German CV

(NB: References are available on request.)

Thor Polson was born in Kansas City, Missouri and in his early years lived with his family in India and Norway.  His academic credentials are as follows:

M.A. in German from Middlebury College in Vermont, a program requiring two semesters spent at Gutenberg University in Mainz (1993)

– B.A. degrees in English literature and music from Grinnell College in Iowa (1980)

– M.A. in Latin from the University of Illinois in Urbana  (1984)

– M.A. in Ancient Greek from the University of Missouri in Columbia with minors in ancient studies and archaeology (1989)

– M.Phil. in Ancient Greek from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (2000)

During the 1985-86 school year Thor worked as a Fulbright English-language assistant at the Bundesgymnasium in Tulln, Austria and has continued to travel widely throughout Germany and Austria.

Other distinctions: In the spring of 2014 Thor was named one of Oregon’s outstanding German teachers by the Oregon Association of Teachers of German for his work at St. Mary’s School in Medford.  His students have received high scores on the Advanced Placement Exam in German, have received scholarships from the German-American Society in Portland, and have continued their study of German in college.  Thor has successfully completed the Goethe Institute’s Prüfung zum Großen Deutschen Diplom, the most difficult exam offered by the Institute, with scores of gut for both the written and the oral portions of the exam.  (The list of preparatory Goethe Institute exams that led to this final exam has been omitted.)  He also received an $11,500 scholarship from Middlebury College in 1992 at the beginning of his graduate studies there.

Thor worked as a German translator in Minneapolis in the mid-90’s and has taught German and classical languages at numerous schools, institutes, and colleges in the United States, particularly in Minnesota and more recently at St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon.  These positions include the following:

– German teacher at St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon (2010-17): responsible for teaching German at all four levels, including the Advanced Placement course

– Academic coach and substitute teacher at St. Paul Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota (2005-2009): responsible for individual and classroom instruction

– Instructor of German at the Germanic-American Institute in St. Paul (2002-06): responsible for teaching German to adult learners

– German teacher at St. Mary’s School in Medford, Oregon (2000-01): responsible for teaching German at all four levels, including the Advanced Placement course; also responsible for organizing a GAPP student exchange involving twenty-two German students from Ochsenhausen

– Substitute instructor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul (February 2000): responsible for teaching German at all levels during a professor’s one-week absence

– Instructor of German at Highland Community Education in St. Paul (spring 2000): responsible for teaching German to adult beginners

– Credit teacher and senior counselor at Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, Minnesota (summer 1999): responsible for teaching intermediate German to students in their mid-teens in a four-week immersion program and for organizing related language activities

– Substitute Instructor of German at Breck School and Minneapolis Community College in Minneapolis (spring 1996)

– Adjunct professor of German at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota (January – May 1996): responsible for teaching second-semester German to undergraduates

– Translator for Betmar Language Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1995-96): responsible for translating documents of various kinds

– Fulbright Teaching Assistant at the Bundesgymnasium and Handelsakademie in Tulln, Austria (1985-86): responsible for presenting topics on American culture

Publications: Thor has read Kafka’s writings in their entirety, having studied them in depth for a pro-seminar on Kafka taught by Dr. Christian Schärf at Gutenberg University in 1993. Thor’s publications include his novel Childsong (Athena Press, London, 2007) as well as A Hunger Artist and Other Stories (Guernica Editions, Toronto, 2014), a translation of two collections of stories by Franz Kafka appearing as part of a joint publication which also contains Georg Mordechai Langer’s Poems and Songs of Love (Piyyutim ve-Shirei Yedidot), translated by Elana and Menachem Wolff.

Thor Polson painting by Joe Paquet

Thor Polson (portrait by Joe Paquet)