thus far

Bethany Lerch | Independent Writer | Leipzig, GermanySixteen saw a year-long study abroad in Germany and an infusion of relentless independence. Adolescent perception was kicked into overdrive and writing made a home in her bones. Ambition fueled a fiery story line after that.

There was a sustainable development internship in Germany, a federal internship at the Department of Defense, and graduation from UW-Oshkosh before 21. Fulbright took her to the Rhineland and then a Rotary scholarship sent her to Scotland. Twenty-three saw a Master of Letters from the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. She returned home to Wisconsin where she fell into animal and social welfare, writing and volunteerism, and ultimately created Rotaract Oshkosh.

Each of those experiences was formative; each was made more meaningful by what was written in the midst of living them. Now she is wholeheartedly living another: Assistant Lecturer at the Institute for American Studies at the University of Leipzig in Germany. Come fall, she begins teaching children in Nablus with Teach for Palestine and continues in Morocco with the Peace Corps.

Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes–do you recall?
And we did make so many!
For there were countless numbers of stars:
each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.
– R.M. Rilke