I was waiting for the 21 on University Avenue in the Midway this afternoon, when I heard the chattering of young children behind me. Children! I thought. In St. Paul! Why are they not in a St. Paul school? But of course they were: I turned around, and there I saw in front of me a large, tidy playground, populated by chattering groups of elementary school-aged children. The bus stop was right in front of a low-slung brick building that seemed to be, in fact, a school. On the front of the building hung a sign that read:
GERMAN IMMERSION SCHOOL
The children were laughing and playing, watched over by beautiful 25-year old teachers with dark hair pulled back in ponytails, dressed head-to-toe in chic black and gray tones. It was a very touching scene. A German immersion school! A German immersion recess! Sehr spannend!
One of the children wandered away from the group, up to the fence. He regarded me with curiosity and suspicion. “Mein Herr, warum Sie warten auf den Bürgersteig?” he asked. ”Warum kommst Du nicht mit uns spielen und unsere Lehrer?”
“I have to go to work,” I said.
“Wenn Sie sprach Deutsch, mein Herr, können Sie lehren uns Lektionen über Franz Kline und Joseph Bueys,” he replied. ”Wir würden uns sehr viel davon, und so würde unsere Lehrer.”
But before I could answer, one of the chic black and gray-clad teachers clapped her hands.
“Kommt, Kinder! Bilden einen Kreis und lassen Sie uns gemeinsam Gedichte rezitieren.” Hearing his teacher, my little friend ran back to join the circle. It was then that the 21 bus pulled up, and I got on board to return to work in Minneapolis.
(Note: None of the events described after the second paragraph actually happened.)