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News > Alumni news > Alumni Spotlight: Christine Weltscheff '65

Alumni Spotlight: Christine Weltscheff '65

Throwback to 1965 from Christine Weltscheff from ASB's first graduating class!
Christine Weltscheff
Christine Weltscheff

"My name is Christine Weltscheff, and I graduated from ASB in 1965 - the first graduating class! That was momentous, we had the graduation ceremony on a stage in the school garden, and the senior class rented a banquet room in the back of a seedy bar in the red light district of Barcelona, by the port.  Just imagine walking into a smoky bar, all of us girls dressed in formals. But the food was great...and cheap!

I attended ASB for two years, from 1963 to 1965. Campus life at that time was challenging. For one, we didn't have a proper library, so we used to go to the library at the North American Institute on Via Augusta. Very handy; there was an all-boys school across the street....!!

Because the school at that time was extremely small student-body-wise, being there felt like a big family.  Being part of a small school meant that we always took responsibility for each other and even helped take care of the little ones when asked, and often, without being asked. 

My best memory from my time at ASB isn't printable!!!!!  But there were others.  The 11th and 12th grades often took classes together, especially in the sciences and mathematics.  One day,  our group of friends from the entire 11th and 12th-grade classes decided we needed a weekday off from school!  So one of us (no, it wasn't me) announced to the science teacher that we were all going to Sitges to conduct a science experiment on the beach!! We couldn't believe they let us go. There was no science experiment, but we spent a great day on the beach, and the next day, all of us showed up at school with horrible sunburns...........!

Another fabulous memory was when the entire high school (and you can tell from the yearbook), there weren't many of us, went on a field trip to Montserrat. I don't recall any teachers being there. This trip was significant because it was on that day that most of us saw snow for the first time. An unexpected snowfall fell on Montserrat. We weren't prepared for it, clothing-wise, and by the time we got back to the gathering place to take the funicular downhill, we were all soaked and freezing. The restaurant/bar owner let us come in from the cold, as we had about an hour to kill before the funicular left. We had no money to buy a hot beverage, but the bar owner gave each of us a shot glass of anisette!

After I graduated from high school at ASB, I first spent a year in a boarding school in Switzerland. They called it a finishing school. I had a very busy schedule. I didn't take any of the deportment classes. I thought they were ridiculous and blissfully, they were not compulsory! But I was taking a trilingual secretarial course, as well as studying French Literature, German and Italian, in addition to my conservatory level piano lessons. The school was fabulous. There were plenty of electives, mostly in the way of sports, to keep us occupied. The school was called Institut La Chatelaine, in St. Blaise, NE, Switzerland.  I was there from 1965 to 1966 and have since organized two reunions for the school (which no longer exists). 

After La Chatelaine, I took a year off, after which I attended the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, FL.   I studied Art Education with a minor in French Literature.  While there, one afternoon, I ran into an old ASB friend:  Noel Hermitte! Not sure what became of him, but as you can see, we ASB'ers do travel far!

When I graduated from university, it was hard getting Art Teaching jobs in decent neighborhoods in Miami. On my father's advice, I entered the world of business. I didn't have a particular profession, but I worked mostly in Customer Service for large companies (insurance, software, telecommunications).  I also worked as the Export Sales Manager for a Canadian seafood company, whose entire customer base was in Barcelona!  My boss didn't speak Spanish, and customers only wanted to deal with me! You didn't hear me complain. I would travel to BCN at least 2 or 3 times a year on business!

There were two teachers in particular at ASB who impacted my life. Mr. Bure, the chemistry teacher, let me 'stew' my entire senior year, making me think I had gotten away with something I shouldn't have! He even kept his cool as I was saying goodbye after the graduation ceremony. Mr. Bure was also the Assistant Principal in charge of discipline!! He taught me the meaning of humility and forgiveness.

The other teacher who greatly affected my life was Ms. Kathleen Firth Boigues. She was the gym teacher and would often ask me to watch over the gym class if she was busy. In later years, this turned out to be a great experience.  I now train and teach Shotokan Karate and am often asked to lead a class with the younger students.   The responsibility of having done something similar in high school definitely helped me.

What does ASB do well? I can't answer that in the present. ASB today is so far removed from what it was when I was a student. I am grateful that the school was small when I was a student. However, what the staff did well was instilled in us a sense of responsibility towards our studies and each other.

I cannot possibly pick a single word that would describe the ASB of 1963-65, other than perhaps 'fun'!"

 

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