Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 8- The Letter

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Previously on PND:

Instalment 1: Introduction

Instalment 2: The First Entries

Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance

Instalment 4: Sex Education

Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition

Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: Steven

Instalment 7: Grad and the Part

Today’s instalment

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© Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 7- Grad and the Party

Page_1

Page_2

Previously on PND:

Instalment 1: Introduction

Instalment 2: The First Entries

Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance

Instalment 4: Sex Education

Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition

Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: Steven

Instalment 7:

This instalment is enhanced when accompanied by:

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© Katarina Thorsen 2018

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 4 April (age 15) The Audition

Stockholm

April 13

My birthday.  I am 15 now.  I feel big on the inside but small on the outside.  I wonder if I will always feel this small and young.  In one way, I hope so.  Then I can stay younger longer.  Time flies.  I wonder what I will be doing and who I will be when I am 18.  I’ll have to just live a day at a time.  It’s probably for the best.

April 23

Saturday.  Lord, it’s exactly 10 days since I wrote.  I sure have a lot to write.  But guess what I did today?  I auditioned at the Opera Ballet.  I have danced at the Opera Ballet!  My number was H1.  We get an answer in 2 weeks.  I wasn’t nervous till afterwards.  So long for now.  See you in the morning.  Good night.  – Nina

 April 25

Now I am sitting on a bench and waiting for the train to come and take me to ballet.  These endless trains.  I am so glad I am going to move.  Not that I would be glad to move from the Opera Ballet should I get in.  But everything else.  The trains, Central Station, gross people stumbling around with beer cans, tagging along after people, and that horrible, horrible school where nothing is fun.  One doesn’t dare to speak to anyone at anytime about anything.  All those stupid girls that walk around painting their faces and talking about clothes, and parties and who think that they can decide what everyone else should wear.  As soon as you don’t have tight enough jeans, they whisper.  I will be relived not to be tormented by Assyrian men.  I’ll explain more later.  Too many people around me right now.

The audition for the Opera Ballet. 

Number H1.  I went to the 3rd level foyer.  Karin and Carina were there.  Typical, I thought.  I wasn’t nervous though.  Mom and Dad came along.  The exam was 40 minutes delayed.  Then they opened the doors.  There were at least 20 judges.  I was so scared for the improvisation part of the exam.  But this was different.  We did a regular ballet class instead.  During the lesson, the judges asked me to do a demi-plié.  I guess they were checking turnout.  Svalberg was in the middle of all the judges.  When I was going to do waltz steps, it didn’t go so well.  I think that’s why I didn’t get in.

No, I didn’t get in…  This is how the letter read:

To guardians of Katarina Thorsen (H1), regarding completion of audition for the Opera Ballet student program, Saturday April 23, 1977.  We regret to inform you that we cannot offer a position to your son/daughter in our student school.  We thank you for your interest.

Sincerely,

THE ROYAL THEATRE BALLET SCHOOL

Gösta Svalberg

Do you think this meant that there was no room for me?  That if they had had room, I would have gotten in?  Svalberg signed it himself.  But I won’t give up.  I read about a ballerina that didn’t get into the Opera Ballet and now she dances in Leningrad.

My Diary, 1977  SÖDERTÄLJE– translated from Swedish, word for word, unabridged, sic, ad nauseum

Recall first post: My Diary 1977

For January 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 1, January

For February 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 2 February

For March 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 3, March

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 3 March (age 14) #puberty

Recall first post: My Diary 1977

For January 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 1, January

For February 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 2 February

My Diary, 1977  SÖDERTÄLJE– translated from Swedish, word for word, unabridged, sic, ad nauseum

March 22

So long since I last wrote.  I have had so much to do.  Five tests last week.  Now it’s spring break.  I am going with Fredrik and his friends to Bugsy Malone.

Maud and I were thinking of visiting my great aunt Helga.  But she has an ear infection so we can’t go.

I have been to the doctor about the bump on the left side of my face.  It’s by my ear but they don’t know what it is.  They say I should go to Huddinge Hospital and get a biopsy.  [This was the start of a long journey of operations and radiation treatments through to 1983.]

Aija got a concussion when we had our hockey tournament.

Anna, Katarina and Marie are joining Maud and I for our dance show.  Maud and I have filmed some of the dances and now during Spring Break we will watch it.  It will be so fun.  It will be so fun.

I got highest marks in Biology. What a surprise!  I have 4 cavities.  Blah!  Now we have to leave for the film.

I feel so strange when I watch the movie.  It is so cute.  Blousey and Bugsy suit each other so much.  I wish that would happen to me.  It’s so sad.  Why can’t something special happen to me?  Why do I stay in the same spot all the time?

I have sent in my application to the Opera Ballet School.  Lillemor wrote a letter of recommendation.  What if I get in?  Then I would rise up.  Then if we move to Canada or the US, I would rise even higher.  Stand taller.  Then I would fully concentrate on ballet.  I want to visit Hollywood and Disneyland.  I have never seen it.  What if someone offered me a roll like Blousey or just the part of a dancer?  Bugsy.  When I see him, a feeling explodes inside me.  What does it mean?

It’s so boring at Balettakademien.  It’s just Karin and Carina all the time.  I have to leave there.  There’s nothing there to strive for.  Dad is in Canada now.  He hasn’t called yet, but Mom has called Margareta.  Dad was at MacMillan Bloedel with Magnus.  I think he found a job.  I hope so.  It will be nice when he gets back.

I started crying the night before my History exam.  I didn’t have the energy to study.  Mom said it doesn’t matter.  But I got pretty good marks anyways.

I got my period.  I had such a stomachache that day.  It was a Saturday.  When I got home, there was red in my underwear.  I still have it a little bit.  I want to try to use tampons but I don’t dare.  Pads are so big.  I hope no one can tell during PE.  Otherwise, it’s not so bad.

We played lacrosse with the boys.  I got a goal.  Steven was goalie.  Steven is in the local town basketball league.

I have permed my hair.  It’s wonderful and it feels longer somehow.  It cost 70 kronor!  It’s curly at the bottom.  My hair was boring before.  I always had it in pigtails at school.  I want to start wearing my hair in a ponytail and a bun at ballet.

Lillemor participated in a dance conference.  It got rather a bad review in the paper.  I have bought a hair dryer and a curling iron.

I went to the city with Milton.  He has a hard time on the train but not too bad on the bus.  He will get his haircut tomorrow and that will be nice for him to get rid of all that excess fur.  I have to tell the dog trimmer to use a mouth guard on Milton.  He nipped at Mom the other day when she tried to put cream on his paws.  They are raw from the road salt.

Gitte and Lena have started talking to me a lot now. When Gitte was sick last Friday, Lena and I were together the whole day, but it wasn’t all that fun.  We saw each other today when Mom and I walked to look at Henning Sjöström’s mansion.  We didn’t say hi.  Gitte’s dog, Kompis, and Lena’s dog, Castro, fight a lot.  They are nervous around other dogs.  They are supposed to be training to not bother with other dogs, but it doesn’t seem to be working.  Milton doesn’t mind other dogs and he isn’t doing obedience training.

It’s so nice out.  They don’t have any snow in Vancouver right now.  When we move back, we’ll probably have the worst winter in decades.  That’s what happened when we moved here.  [In fact, there was a major January storm when we moved back, shutting down schools etc.  It was dubbed the Blizzard of 1978”]

Last Thursday we had sports day and Catharina and I chose skates.  It was boring and my feet froze.  We left early.  Helene in my French class chose slalom.  She has the world’s best looking ski clothes.  She looks so professional.  Her brother knows Anders.  He is in the US and does ski ballet.  Dad says that when we move, we’ll get skis and all the equipment and ski in the Pacific Northwest mountains.  Wonderful.  I have 10 million letters to write.  I have to go to bed.  Good night.

My study of Munch's "Puberty" (china marker, oil pastel on wood)