Introducing Beekeeper: Toby

Let’s get to know Toby!

Place of Origin

I was born in the farthest southwest of Germany, in a town nestled between the Black Forest (origin of cuckoo clocks and cruel German fairy tales) and the Kaiserstuhl (famous for warm summers and pretty decent white wine).

Place of Residence

Here and there - but for now, I pitched my tent near Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.

Languages spoken and how you learned them

I learned the basics of French, Italian, Spanish, and English in school, but the best way to master a language is to use it constantly. That’s why I’m a big advocate for travel, living abroad, and using Chatterbug’s Live Lessons!

When did you start tutoring with Chatterbug?

March 2021

Favorite place in the world and why?

Because I’m a nomad at heart, this place is changing all the time. Imho it doesn’t really matter where you are when the sky turns purple and you sit there contemplating with a glass of wine and good company, don’t you think?

Toby’s Favorite Food

Authentic food is always a winner. I like salty more than sweet and I can’t say no to a good Vietnamese Càphê.

3 Fun Facts about Toby

  • I cut my own hair since I was 15 years old. (my folks refused to pay for a mohawk)
  • I was the lead singer and guitarist in a pretty bad punk rock band.
  • I crossed the Pacific Ocean from Hongkong to Alaska on a sailboat without knowing much about sailing.

How do you motivate students?

  • By creating a safe space for the student to feel comfortable making mistakes.
  • By finding that language learning sweet spot, where it’s just hard enough for the student to stay engaged, but not overwhelming.
  • By keeping it light. It’s key to have fun while learning new things.

What is your favorite Chatterbug moment?

Reflecting with my students on the progress they made the last couple of months and see them amazed by their own capabilities. Learning a new language is great for self-confidence!

Say hello to @Toby!


Hello! Yesterday I had a lesson with @Toby and it was an amazing experience.
Congratulations on becoming a Beekeper!


Thanks, @marunyash! :blush:

You did great in our last lesson! I already checked out Sergej Lukianenko’s work, thank you for the tip!


Welcome @Toby!! :catbee:
Wow I am very impressed (and a little jealous) of your Pacific crossing! :ocean: Did you learn on the spot how to sail then?!


Great meeting you @Toby!
Your hair looks great! Where there is a will there is a way! Not only did you manage to find a way, but you made it look awesome too! :sunglasses:
Looking forward to the next Game Day! :star_struck:


Welcome to our buzzing group of beekeepers :hugs: :catbee:.

Besides learning a lot with you in my German LL, I enjoy our conversations and sharing our point of view.

By the way, what a happened with your band? :microphone: Would you like to have a band again?

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Thank you @Amandine, happy to join the crew! Regarding the crossing, we were basically hitchhiking a boat. We did that in Thailand the first time and managed to hitch a ride all the way down to Australia. After that, we were a bit more experienced - by no means propper sailors though! More like chefs/cleaning staff/watchkeepers/occasional helmsmen. :sweat_smile:

Thank you @ChereeKr :joy: When we went in lockdown I was glad I already knew a thing or two about cutting hair!

Thanks, @27sp.sandra! The pleasure is all mine! Maybe one day I’ll join a band again, but not in the near future. Traveling and band practice just don’t fit together very well. :woman_shrugging:

Thank you @wilmer_arias! They say practice makes perfect (which my haircutting is absolutely not, btw, but it’s good enough I guess). My great-grandmother always said: “Probieren geht über studieren!”

But she also said (in her southern German dialect) “Zucker isch g’sund / sugar is healthy” and "Senf schmilzt’s Fett / mustard is melting the fat (as in “eat a lot of mustard to lose some weight”). So I’d take her advice with a grain of salt. :joy:


Great introduction! You have some awesome hair-cutting skills; I don’t think I would ever be able to pull that off! :sweat_smile:
Welcome, @Toby.


Sehr guter Tutor! Ich hatte einen Unterricht am Montag mit him und das war super! Ich hatte viel Spaß.


Vielen Dank @pedrogalher! Du hast das auch echt super gemacht am Montag! :+1:

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Happy to have you join the Beekeepers @Toby!

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Hallo @Toby, herzlichen Glückwunsch zu deiner neuen Beekeeper Position, super!!! :slight_smile:

Sonnige Grüsse aus Playa del Carmen, Mexiko!

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Hey @HeidiS, vielen Dank! :blush:

Ein bisschen Mexikanische Sonne könnten wir hier auch gebrauchen!

Beste Grüße aus dem herbstlichen Freiburg :wave:

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