Frau Campbell’s Staff Reflection 2021


Frau Campbell skiing

Dear Seniors,


I am honored you would ask me for advice, because honestly, there are so many things I am still figuring out for myself. The first piece of advice I will share with you is borrowed from Adam Grant in his book Think Again: Your answer to the existential question of “What do I want to be when I grow up?” should never be a profession. At your graduation party, when your pushy uncle asks what you want to be, tell him that you want to be curious and go on many adventures.  


I am a teacher, so let me teach you something.  And if I am going to teach you any sort of life lesson, then the best way to do that is with a fairy tale, like the ones we teach in our German classes.  The Grimms’ fairy tales were not designed to help you fall asleep, but rather to keep you safe and keep you kind.  As you head out into the big world beyond LS, those are two of the most important things you can be: safe and kind.  


My favorite fairy tale is the little-known Frau Holle.  And by the way, the Grimms never wrote a single fairy tale. That is a fairy tale itself.


Frau Holle explains it all to you.  

  1. We start out withEs war einmal …….…  This all happened once. 

It was not in a land far away.  You never know where wonder might occur.  Your own fairy tale may be right around the corner. 


  1. Now we meet the characters:  The good sister, Goldmarie, does the good work and never complains.  Pechmarie, the spoiled sister, looks for every possible shortcut and excels at complaining.  Who do you want to be?


  1. The challenge that begins the adventure:  When Goldmarie drops her spinning spool in the well accidently, she takes responsibility and jumps in after it.  She lands in a crazy but beautiful world inhabited by a strange old woman with very big teeth, Frau Holle.  

Goldmarie could grab her spool and hightail it out of there, but she stays and helps Frau Holle who — despite her appearance — turns out to be quite kind herself, providing better food and living quarters than Goldmarie had back at home.  No matter where she is, Goldmarie takes responsibility, simply because there are things that need to be done. 

When she asks to return home, Frau Holle sends her off with a hefty reward.  Goldmarie is genuinely surprised.  She helped Frau Holle because it’s the right thing to do, not because she expected any reward.  She was motivated by her desire to do the right thing.  

Now, Pechmarie, the jerk of a sister thinks: “Hey, maybe I could jump down that well and get some cash too!”  Wrong. Frau Holle does not abide lazy fools, and she quickly sends Pechmarie away empty-handed.  Pechmarie was motivated by the prospect of a reward, and wound up miserable.  


  1. Now, the endUnd wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, so leben sie noch heute. If they haven’t died, they are still living that way today.  No one lives “happily ever after.”  That is Disney silliness.  We just keep going.  That is the most important and profound thing we can do.  We push through, we endure, and we learn many lessons.  Once we have done that, it is OK to just be.


That is what it’s time for me to do now.  It’s been a pleasure to be your teacher, but now it’s time for me to just be.  I will be curious and go on many adventures because, as John Muir once said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”