Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bake Zimt•Sterne: Cinnamon Stars!

The Food Network has made this nice video for us (you'll need to watch an ad first, though). I'm not sure why it's names "null".


Let me know if you try this recipe. I do know that one of my colleagues is baking these right now, and that these cookies are his absolute holiday favorites.

-- > Hier zu Hause backen wir aber auch, nur nicht dieses Rezept. Gestern haben wir den Teig für Görlitz-gewürzte Pfeffernüße vorbereitet. Heute haben wir sie gebacken. Umm! Sie schmecken uns genau richtig!

Viel Glück in Euren Weihnachtsbäckereien!

Bake Zimt•Sterne: Cinnamon Stars!

The Food Network has made this nice video for us.


Let me know if you try this recipe. I do know that one of my colleagues is baking these right now, and that these cookies are his absolute holiday favorites.

-- > Hier zu Hause backen wir aber auch, nur nicht dieses Rezept. Gestern haben wir den Teig für Görlitz-gewürzte Pfeffernüße vorbereitet. Heute haben wir sie gebacken. Umm! Sie schmecken uns genau richtig!

Viel Glück in Euren Weihnachtsbäckereien!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lost Generation (viral AARP video)

Have you seen this about YOUR GENERATION?!

How about that reversal?!

Power of Social Networking Greenpeace gegen Nestlé

It's a new world!

--> Have you ever heard of the word "Kerfluffle" before?

--> Is the public always fair?

--> Is Nestlé off the hook?

--> Did you enjoy the Prezi? (Perhaps you got a bit dizzy?)

(I wanted to build a 90 second Prezi for this coming Thursday's 8th Grade Introduction to German, but got cold feet when I couldn't find a significant block of time to work on it. I turned my outline into an email to our school's Video Team.)

Burgau Gymnasium

Keep an eye on our Partner School's Website, linked HERE!


--> Do you like the way the video starts right up?

--> Were you surprised to find yourself listening to Al Jarreau?

--> How many times did you spot Andreas H. in the school's video?!

--> How about GAPP-Chaperone, Herrn Ulrich Ehrhardt?

How many OTHER school partnerhips does Burgau Gymnasium reference besides ours?

Where are they?

Just below is the link to the student-written articles on their last visit to Rhode Island. Check it out! (Lots of the photos will look familiar!)


--> Did you spot any superlatives in the text?

--> Our 16 Partners plus 2 chaperones will be with us during the first 3 weeks of April. What types of things do you suggest we build into our schedule then?!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Alvin und die Chipmunks

Das Weihnachtslied

Echt toll, nicht wahr?

Spielzeug für Mädels - BILD Lilli

Richtig! Wie heißt diese Puppe (doll)?

Business success (and failure) stories can be fascinating! What is your take on the patent decision mentioned between Mattel and Louis Marx and Company?

From Wikipedia:

In the beginning Lilli was a German cartoon character, created by Reinhard Beuthien for the tabloid BILD NEWSPAPER (Zeitung) in Hamburg, Germany. In 1953 BILD-Zeitung decided to market a Lilli doll following Beuthien's drawings. Over 130,000 were sold. Today Lilli is a collector's piece (as is Barbie), and commands prices up to several thousand Euros, depending on condition, packaging and clothes.

Reinhard Beuthien was ordered to make a "filler" to conceal a blank space in the BILD-Zeitung of June 24, 1952. He drew a cute baby, but his boss didn't like it. So he kept the face, added a ponytail and a curvy woman's body and called his creation "Lilli". She sat in a fortune-teller's tent asking: "Can't you tell me the name and address of this rich and handsome man?" The cartoon was an immediate success so Beuthien had to draw new ones each day.

Lilli was post-war, sassy and ambitious and had no reservations talking about sex. As she had her own job she earned her own money as a secretary but wasn't above hanging out with rich men ("I could do without balding old men but my budget couldn't!"). The cartoon always consisted of a picture of Lilli talking to girlfriends, boyfriends, her boss ("As you were angry when I was late this morning I will leave the office at five p.m. sharp!"). The quips underneath the cartoons handled topics ranging from fashion (to a policeman who told her that two-piece-swimsuits are banned: "Which piece do you want me to take off?"), politics ("Of course I'm interested in politics; no one should ignore the way some politicians dress!") and even the beauty of nature ("The sunrise is so beautiful that I always stay late at the nightclub to see it!"). The last Lilli cartoon appeared on January 5, 1961.

Lilli was available in two sizes, 30 cm (12 inches) and 19 cm (7 and a half inches). She held three patents absolutely new in doll-making:
• The head wasn't connected to the neck but ended at the chin
• The hair wasn't rooted, but was instead a cut-out scalp, attached by a hidden metal screw;
• The legs didn't sprawl open when she was sitting.

The doll was made of plastic and had molded eyelashes, pale skin and a painted face with side glancing eyes, high narrow eyebrows and red lips. Her fingernails were painted red, too. She wore her hair in a ponytail with one curl kissing the forehead. Her shoes and earrings were molded on. Her limbs were attached inside by coated rubber bands. The cartoon Lilli was blond but a few of the dolls had other hair colors. Each Lilli doll carried a miniature copy of the BILD Newspaper, and was sold in a clear plastic tube.

In 1955 the tall dolls cost 12 German Marks (the small dolls cost 7.50 Marks). German office workers then had a MONTHLY salary between 200-300 Marks, so the doll was by no means a cheap toy. She was originally marketed to adults in bars and tobacco shops as a joke or gag gift. Many parents considered her not appropriate for children. A German brochure from the 1950s states that Lilli was "always discreet," and that her wardrobe made her "the star of every bar."

Although the doll was originally not designed as a children's toy, she eventually became popular with children. Doll houses, room settings, furniture, and other toy accessories to scale with the small Lilli were produced by German toy factories to cash in on her popularity amongst children and parents. Lilli and her fashions were sold as children's toys in a number of European countries, including Italy and Scandinavian states. Lilli became as successful as a toy as she was as an adult novelty.

Lilli came as a dressed doll, with additional fashions sold separately. Her fashions mirror the lifestyle of the Fifties: she had outfits for parties, the beach and tennis as well as cotton dresses, pajamas and poplin suits. In her last years, her wardrobe consisted mainly of "Dirndl" dresses.

The doll became so popular that she was exported to other countries, including the USA, where she was just called "Lilli". Some Lillis have been seen in original packaging dating from the 1950s for an English-speaking market labeled as "Lilli Marlene", after the famous song. Several toy companies (mainly in Hong Kong) started producing fashion dolls looking very similar to Lilli. These dolls are easy to distinguish because of their poor quality.

But Lilli also inspired the production of another fashion doll of high quality who would soon outshine her: Barbie, produced by Mattel. Ruth Handler, one of Mattel's founders, bought some of the Lilli dolls when she was on a trip to Europe. Back home she reworked the design of the doll and re-named her Barbie. Barbie debuted at the New York toy fair on March 9, 1959. Barbie had rooted hair and her shoes and earrings were not molded. Apart from that, she was a lookalike of Lilli. Barbie celebrated 50 years of continuous production in 2009.

Louis Marx and Company acquired the rights to the Lilli doll from O&M Hausser and released it in America as the Miss Seventeen (doll) in 1961. Marx unsuccessfully attempted to sue Mattel for patent infringement.

Lilli became so popular in Germany that in 1958 a movie about her was produced: "Lilli - ein Mädchen aus der Großstadt" (Lilli — a girl from the big city). The star was chosen from a contest: Young women all over Germany sent their photographs to the Bild-Zeitung hoping for a career as a movie star. The winner was the Danish actress Ann Smyrner.

Lilli lent her name to several luxury products like scent, wine and rhinestone jewellery plus a flower.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


(I understand there are now YOUTUBES on this concert.)

Here's one posting (in ENGLISH) by a US college student regarding her exposure to RAMMSTEIN, and what attending the concert meant to her.

-- > What do you think?

-- > Do you like the same songs as she?

"Re: Wegen Rammstein lernen Amerikaner Deutsch"

To support what the DIE WELT Journalist says about how Rammstein has helped motivate students to learn German, please read the following student reflection. This student took Spanish in high school and never thought about doing anything in German. German, Rammstein-style has proved contagious for her.

“I knew right away that this Rammstein event at Madison Square Gardens was going to be something that I would remember for the rest of my life. So the night before the concert I carefully planned out what I was going to wear. In anticipation, I also listened to my Rammstein playlist. I was absolutely STOKED and it wasn’t even the day of the concert.

By the time Concert day came, my mind was a mess of excitement.

Having listened to them on the way up, I could not sit still en route to the concert-- nor could anyone else around me. I sensed that most everyone present had a pent - up desire, having waited for Rammstein’s Return for an eternity. After all, it had been ten years since their last visit here.
As for me, I’ve only been a Rammstein fan since 2007! But in the three years since my first exposure in college to the video Du Hast, I fell in love -- with Rammstein’s emotionally turbulent style. Their music was incredibly cathartic throughout the best and worst times of my young adult life. Therefore, once “the wall” came tumbling down, and the crowd essentially lost it in anticipation, I too found myself completely overwhelmed with an emotion that I have yet to name.

Not surprisingly, Rammstein played many songs from their new album, which excited me since their song “Haifisch” is amongst my favorites (”Reise, Reise” and “Rosenrot” being the other two). I wasn’t alone to have been expecting them to include the very critical song, “Amerika.” After all, Rammstein isn’t a band known for censoring themselves. But I was absolutely enthralled over the selection they played after that main segment, YES, even though they hadn’t even played any of my favorites! I also felt sure that they’d be coming back for an Encore. We got THREE! After screaming my ever-loving lungs out, they greeted use with “Die Sonne” -- another of my most loved songs! Shortly thereafter, out came those chords; it was “Haifisch” time!

I screamed so loud that my friends started to become somewhat concerned!

I was *so *elated that they hadn't skipped my favorite song! Why, I just, Dear Lord.... even just now remembering my emotions sends me into a state of absolute speechlessness. It was heaven-sent.

Then, when they followed with “Ich Will”, the crowd actually seemed t become a sea of screams! Hair! Hands! I felt so privileged to actually BE THERE! Yes! To have been there to witness it; indescribeable.

The grand finale “Engel”, were 8 more-than-amazing minutes; a perfectly fitting climax to a phenomenal evening. Rammstein seemed to be honoring us for having participated in this evening with them.

After the lights came on, I simply had to sit down for a while. I was so moved by the performance that I could do nothing else. I was spent. We all were. We all just "knew." We knew that we witnessed a performance akin to the Beatles Concert at Shea Stadium in 1965, or the Jimmy Hendrix performance at Woodstock. Revolutionary. That was all that there was to it. We had witnessed a revolutionary concert, and to say that we were bewildered by it all would be an understatement.

Rammstein is the first German band to break such ground in the United States. Their presence here is obviously welcome! They have ignited so much passion for the German language here, that it seems to me they deserve be officially commended for it.

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be this far ahead in my German studies if it hadn’t been for Rammstein. I think they helped get me addicted to learning German. They continue to inspire me by their lyrics and song writing. In fact, I even wrote a 300,000 word novel, which incidentally includes segments on the wide-spread and amazing linguistic addiction there is in the USA to Rammstein.

Therefore, the fact that I was in attendance that night on December 11th 2010 in Madison Square Garden really means the world to me. I will cherish the memory of that concert for as long as I live." (Theresa S.)

MORE: Language Learning in the USA

U.S. Falls Behind in Foreign Languages
by Joseph Picard / Thursday, Dec 9 2010


Americans are not, in general, proficient in foreign languages. That situation, according to experts, is not good for the nation, not good for humanity, and not good for the individual monolinguist.

"For the United States to get to where it needs to be will require a national commitment to strengthening America's foreign language proficiency."

So said Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA, on Wednesday, hosted a national Foreign Language Summit, which included policymakers, lawmakers, intelligence community members and foreign language educators from across the country.

The message was as Panetta said: to stay competitive in the global society, the U.S. needs more people with foreign language proficiency.

"Mastery of a second language allows you to capture the nuances that are essential to true understanding," Panetta told attendees. "This is not about learning something that is helpful or simply nice to have. It is crucial to CIA's mission."

A number of reports over the past several years point to a shortage of translators in the U.S. military and other agencies that work overseas, and how that shortage affects knowledge, understanding of culture and an ability to work together with foreign people and organizations.

Anthony Grafton, professor of History at Princeton University, writing this week in the university newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, addressed the problem as it regards the military.

"Sadly, many Americans don't see the point of studying foreign languages at all, since the world seems to have learned English," Grafton said. "I wish everyone could speak, as I have, with a veteran of the Iraq war who has done house-to-house searches at night without the benefit of a competent interpreter."

Both Panetta and Grafton know that the problem extends beyond the military and government service.

"A significant cultural change needs to occur," Panetta said. "And that requires a transformation in attitude from everyone involved: individuals, government, schools and universities, and the private sector."

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that schools, colleges, and universities need to invest more, and more intelligently, in linguistic instruction.

Duncan said a top priority of his department and the administration will be the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

"Our proposal to reauthorize goes much further than the existing law in supporting a well-rounded, world-class education," he said. "The blueprint to reform the law would create a competitive pool of $265 million to strengthen the teaching of the arts, languages, civics, government and other subjects."

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-NJ, has written legislation to increase federal funding for foreign language education.

"We need to alter dramatically how children learn language at an early age," Holt said, adding that the government should focus its efforts on teaching languages in grades K through 12.

Rita Oleksak is the director of Foreign Language for the Glastonbury Public Schools in Glastonbury, Connecticut, a school district where foreign language proficiency is required in elementary school.

"It's a whole mindset," she said. "Our foreign language program is integrated across the curriculum. Students learn necessary skills in foreign languages. They learn to make connections between languages. They learn how languages and cultures are the same and how they are different."

Oleksak said that in the current, interconnected world, with so much knowledge at everyone's fingertips, knowledge of another language and another culture is essential.

"Through foreign language proficiency students can learn how people are more similar than different," Oleksak said.

John Carlino, executive director of the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers, said his organization believes that "the ability to communicate in other languages and the cross-cultural skills one builds in learning a language are essential components of a 21st century education."

Carlino said that while English may be becoming a global language in the business world, "it's important to point out that if everyone else speaks our language, but we don't speak other languages or understand other cultures, we are at a huge disadvantage in the global market."

Martha Abbott, director of education for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, agreed.

"It's very naïve to say 'the world speaks English' therefore I don't need a foreign language," she said. "Who has the advantage in business when they know your language and you don't know theirs?"

Abbott pointed out that the United States recently ranked 26 in the PISA tests. That's the Program for International Student Assessment, conducted every several years by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The test covers a range of learned skills, and the U.S. Department of Education and other organizations are bemoaning the results and promising vigorous actions to turn the tide.

Abbott said that each of the top ten nations in the PISA listing required the learning of foreign languages in their school systems.

"The United States does not," she said.

Both Abbott and Carlino cited research that says that a student's overall cognitive abilities improve when he or she learns a foreign language.

"The brain is like a muscle," Abbott said. "When you learn a foreign language you begin working parts of the brain you do not normally use. It increases intelligence, communications skills, higher level thinking skills, critical analysis."

"Brain and language acquisition research has shown that the earlier one starts and the longer the duration of exposure to another language, the deeper, quicker and longer lasting the learning will be," Carlino said.


-- > It's nice to read about leaders trying to help prepare our youth to not just survive, but to excel in tomorrow's world. Do you think these leaders will be successful?

-- > 2050 seems forever away. But most of today's High Schoolers will still need to be earning paychecks then.

-- > What skills will you have in your tool belts upon graduation, to help you be competitive in the next 4-5 decades?

-- > Do you agree that there's a significant need to sharpen up the "survival kits" that our youngest citizens are being equipped with through their education?

-- > How critical do you feel it is, that you are able to contribute to the world culture -- including by being FLUENT in a minimum one language other than English?

Monday, December 13, 2010

175 Jahre Deutsche Bahn

ICE (InterCity Express Depot) in Köln; Deutsche Bahn's Headquarters in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz

According to 10. Dez. 2010

Germany celebrated 175 years of train travel on December 7 with the anniversary of the maiden journey of the steam locomotive "Adler" between Nuremberg and Fürth in 1835.

The "Adler" (Eagle), flanked by jubilant citizens along the tracks, clocked between 28 and 35 kilometers per hour as it traveled along a 6-kilometer stretch of track in 14 minutes.

Today high-speed ICE trains race through Germany at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, criss-crossing a route system of some 38,000 kilometers - down from a reported 58,0000 kilometers of tracks that had sprung up across the country by the First World War.

"Sadly the original Adler steam locomotive no longer exists," online daily The Local recently reported. "The steam engine was converted into a factory engine in Nuremberg in 1858, though a replica stands in Deutsche Bahn's museum there."

Hans Zimmer bekommt seinen STERN in Hollywood

Wer ist Hans Zimmer?

Er ist Komponist.
Er ist 53 Jahre alt.

Am 8. Dezember bekam (got) er seinen eigenen STERN on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.

Er hat die Musik für vielen Filmen geschrieben.

Zum Beispiel:

The Lion King (er hat 1995 den OSCAR dafür gewonnen)
The Dark Knight
Batman Begins
Sherlock Holmes
Thelma and Louise
The DaVinci Code

und so weiter.

According to, Zimmer has been nominated for 8 different Oscars. He's received 3 Grammys and 2 Golden Globes.

Zimmer is said to have dedicated his star (#2426) to his longtime agent, Ronni Chasen, who was shot last month while driving her car along Sunset Boulevard.

Luxuslärm = Luxurious Noise

(This photo is a still from the footage I had hoped to upload. Song is below.)

Vergessen zu vergessen

-- Sie hat nicht seine Name gewusst, aber sie hat nur vergessen zu vergessen, dass es ihn gibt...

Ich finde das Lied ganz toll! Leider kann ich das Video nicht hier aufladen.

Der Weihnachtsbaum

Habt ihr einen geschmückten Tannenbaum schon bei euch zu Hause? Wie sieht er aus?

In Deutschland werden die Weihnachtsbäume oft mit Kerzen beleuchtet (with real candles illuminated). Ja! Die Kerzen sind echt (real).

Mit meiner Familie in Dänemark habe ich zum ersten Mal solch einen Weihnachtsbaum gesehen. Der Baum stand mitten im Zimmer. In der Dünkelheit sind wir alle singend und Hand in Hand herumgelaufen. (Yes, we sang together, as we walked, hand-in-hand around the lit tree.) Der Abend war perfekt.

Vor zwölf Jahren hatte ein Cousin unseren Eltern einige Kerzenhalter für den Weihnachtsbaum geschenkt.

Grammatik hier im obigen Satz:
--> Verb: schenken
--> Subject: (WHO gifted?) "Ein Cousin" (NOMINATIVE: "Der Cousin = Ein Cousin")
--> Direct Object: (WHAT was gifted?) "einige Kerzenhalter" (ACCUSATIVE: Plural)
--> Indirect Object: (TO WHOM was it gifted) "unseren Eltern" (DATIVE Plural)

Ich weiss nicht, ob man diese Halter in den USA kaufen könnte. Ich glaube es ist uns zu gefährlich (dangerous), echte Kerzen auf einem Tannenbaum innerhalb des Hauses zu haben.

ENGEL in NYC Rammstein in Madison Square Gardens

Samstag, am 11. Dezember 2010

Engel = Angel/Angels

Hier unter 20,000 Fans: Acht Minutenlang als Encore gesungen.
So haben sie sich ihren Fans geehrt und gedankt!
(Thus have they their fans honored and thanked.)

"New York, Thank you very, very much. -- Komm gut nach Hause (?)"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kleiner roter Traktor -- am Freien Tag

(Celebrating a day off)

Kennt ihr diese Sendung? Ich nicht! Aber ich finde sie ordentlich.

Viel Spaß beim verstehen.

,,Es tut mir leid, Jan, dass ich Sie am Ihren freien Tag störe."

(So sorry, Jan, that I have you an your free day disturbed.)

zum Ausgleichen = as compensation

Intro: Kommt mit ins Schlümpfeland

Danke Maddi. Du hast diese Einführung ins Schlümpfeland gefunden. Ich wollte eine echte SENDUNG (episode) finden, aber fangen wir erst hier an.

Das Wort Schlümpf ist NICHT mein Lieblingswort auf Deutsch, muss ich sagen...

Basteln wir Fröbelsterne?

Komm nach der Schule am Donnerstag.
In der Deutschklub werden wir diese Weihnachtsschückstücke zusammen basteln.

Wenn ihr schöne Farbbände zu Hause habt, brint sie bitte mit! Ich bringe Streifen aus Dänemark mit, die entweder weiß oder Gold sind.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Das Beste: Silbermond

Have I really done enough to deserve you?
You're the best thing that's ever happened to me!
How wonderful that there is YOU!

--> I'm sharing this song with you all out of gratitude: IHR SEID DOCH DIE BESTEN!

--> Actually, I just learned that this was sung at a recent wedding in Germany.

Du bist die Sonne

Hier ists eine ganz neue Band: Die Drogen. Ja, aber schau die Video doch an.

Du sagst, du brauchst mich.

Du willst allein sein.

Du bist gefährlich.

Du machst mich blind!

--> Verstehst du alles? (Was verstehst du nicht?)

Weihnachtsschmück aus dem Erzgebirge in Sachsen

Christmas decorations from the Ore Mountains in Saxony

Alles handgemacht!


--> Did you catch which Smoker (Räucher) was the best-seller this year?

--> Any idea why it was so popular?

--> Would it help to know that it has something to do with OSTALGIE, or the nostalgia that some Germans today have for the way of life and the product brands which disappeared with German unification in 1990?

Rotkäppchen, animiert und gelesen

This is an experiment: Will this story on the Northumberland website work


It seems so!

HERE'S the site link for more such stories!

--> Welche Endungen findest DU am lustigsten?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sprachen lernen. WARUM?

2010 Winning Videos

Those are last year's College, Middle School, and finally High School winners.

If you have good ideas, and would like to participate in this year's contest:


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Knut ist 4 !

Wo wohnt das aller liebste Tier der Welt? -- Im Tiergarten in Berlin.
Was für ein Tier ist das? -- Ein Eisbär!
Wie heisst das Bär? Knut!
Wie alt ist Knut? --Gestern wurde er VIER JAHRE ALT!

Vor vier Jahren war die Freude in Berlin enorm, als nach mehr als 30 Jahren, es ein Geburt von zwei Eisbären gab. Aber die Mama, die Tosca, wollte ihre Eisbärensöhne nicht erziehen. Ein Eisbärsohn starb fast sofort.

Es gab riesen Panik in Berlin, die Stadt, mit dem Bären als Kennzeichen.

Als Eisbärenbaby hat Knut mehr Glück als seinen Zwillingsbruder. Eine Gruppe Zoopfleger (trained zoo keepers) wurde gewählt, um Knut rund um die Uhr zu füttern, baden, ihn mitzuküscheln, und ihn zu erziehen. Thomas Dürflein schien Knut, und auch das Publikum, besonders beliebt zu sein, und so wurde Knut zum Held geworden. Die ganze Welt hat diese Pflege zugeschaut. Alle wollte, dass Knut leben würde.

Hier folgt ein paar Fotos von Knut aus seinem ersten Lebensjahr.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Win $500 for writing 100 words -- auf Englisch!

Topic: "How does technology make the world a better place?"

60 Prize winners, 6 winners in every grade, from 3 through 12.



Application is online. Once you reach 100 words, you'll be notified. Are you feeling poetic? Give it a try!

Newport's ARTILLERY COMPANY and Armory/Museum

Have you ever stepped into the Greek Revival structure at 23 Clarke Street in Newport? This museum, was listed in 1972 in the National Register of Historic Places. It was chartered in 1741 by Britain's King George II, making it the oldest continually chartered organization in the US.

Besides containing weapons, such as original Paul Revere cannons, it also has uniforms of very famous people, including:

• Colin Powell
• Dwight D. Eisenhower
• James Montgomery
• Lord Mountbatten
• Anwar Sadat
• King Hussein
• Admiral Nimitz
• Walter K. Schroder

Wow, right?! Since we have no chance of meeting the people behind those uniforms, this Museum preserves the uniforms for us, right?

OR? Actually, someone on that list is our very neighbor. Former Jamestown resident and author, Walter Schroder and his wife have recently moved to North Kingstown. He has visited our German classes, and showed us some of his war memorabilia. Believe me: My students were mesmerized! His personal story is simply fascinating, and he has a very receptive, genuine, and articulate presentation style, as well.

Actually, his first book is an autobiography, entitled "Stars and Swastikas: The Boy Who Wore Two Uniforms". I include an Amazon customer review of this book below.

Mr. Schroder has written four other local-interest, and war-related books, the last being a youth novel portraying a drummer boy, who accompanied his father's Hessian regiment to Newport and beyond. This German Regiment had been hired to fight alongside the British forces in our War for Independence in the late 1770's. The novel should soon be published.

Schroder's other three published books are
1. "The Hessian Occupation of Newport and Rhode Island, 1776-1779",
2. "Davisville and the Seabees," and
3. "Defenses of Narragansett Bay in World War II" currently in its 9th printing, and initially written for the RI Bicentennial Foundation in 1980.

Isn't it interesting to have such an important neighbor here at NKHS? We can also read his books, and even visit his uniforms in Newport.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews of "Stars and Swastikas" from

5.0 out of 5 stars Personal Memoir Of Man Who Served On Both Sides., Sept 20, 2004
By John P. Rooney "John" (Massachusetts)

This review is from: Stars and Swastikas: The Boy Who Wore Two Uniforms (Hardcover)
"Stars And Swastikas" by Walter Schroder. Subtitled: "The Boy Who Wore Two Uniforms". Archon Books, 1992.

This is a personal memoir of a young German boy, born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, but growing up in Germany during the Second World War.

During the Great Depression, the parents of Walter Schroder returned to Germany for economical reasons. So, young Walter had to adjust to using the German language every day in school and was "tagged" as an outsider because of his accent.

As the Second World War wore on, Walter Schroder was fundamentally drafted in the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, which had responsibility for anti-aircraft weapons. The book begins with the end of the war and the capture of Schroder's Luftwaffe unit by British troops, with his subsequent incarceration in a British POW camp. Schroder used his ability to speak English, (even though he sounded like a "Yank"), to help himself and his fellow prisoners.

Then, it was discovered that he was born in the United States, one thing leads to another, and he is set free in England, returns to the Continent where he joins the Untied States Army, and before he reaches the age of 21 years, he has served both Germany and the U.S., both "Stars And Swastikas".

Excellent memoir.

Mein kleines Pony - Pony Partyspaß

Mit Pinky Pie wird es gepartiet! (Dieser Satz ist Passiv.)

Party! Party! Party! Jedes zweite Wort ist doch ,,Party"! (Dieser Satz ist Aktiv.)

Hier: 4 Minuten lang, dank der Maddi, die uns es heute gefunden hat.

--> Na, habt ihr Vieles verstanden?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Geographie: Spielen wir!

Wie viele deutschen Städte kennst DU?

Ich muss auch üben.

Zum Beispiel (for example), dass Füssen südlich von München ist, das wusste ich nicht.

HIER ist das Spiel!

--> Kann jemand 100% spielen?

-- > In Minuten ? Sekunden ?!

Bald kommen die KNUSPERHÄUSER!

Gingerbread House time is special in many communities, including North Kingstown High School. Perhaps next year we should make it a town-wide event, as they did in BELLINGHAM, WA.

Today's ProJo included Chef Martha Sylvestre, a culinary arts teacher at the Cranston Area Career and Technical Center with some of her students. Their structures look like they will turn out to be amazing! They are focusing on real architectural elements in Watch Hill. (The print version has another photo; the article will soon hang on our classroom wall.)


Remember, this "Alternate Semester 1 Anchor Assignment, with a focus on Culture" is due in the Media Center first thing NEXT Tuesday, December 14. These structures take a lot of planning, for base, pattern, ingredients, decorations, as well as actual dough (and icing) preparation, structure creating, window inserting (don't forget to do this before you bake!), baking, cooling, assembling, decorating, not to mention determining how to transport your masterpiece to the school.

Take photos. Save your notes and receipts.

Und, viel Spaß, ALLE!

Mein schöner bunter Weihnachtsteller

The first song in this track from an album called "Eine Kerze (Candle) für Papa" , by Peter Sebastian, is a Sankt Nikolaus song. It's about the way celebrating Sankt Nikolaus Tag (December 6) helps to ease the long wait until Christmas (...verkürzt mir die Zeit bis zur Heiligennacht...).
He recalls all the delicious treats Sankt Nikolaus left him on his "Weihnachtsteller," or Christmas Plate, which is a regional variation of leaving one's shoe outside the door.

Here's the song: MEIN SCHÖNER BUNTER WEIHNACHTSTELLER, von Peter Sebastian, with the text right below.

--> Which of the seasonal vocabulary words do you already recognize by now?

Strophe: I Die Augen sind groß, die Herzen ganz weit,

sie ist wieder da, die Weihnachtszeit.

Die Städte erstrahlen im festlichen Glanz. die Städte = the cities (and Weihnachtsmärkte)

Sie leuchten so hell und verzaubern uns ganz. leuchten = gleam/shine; verzaubern = enchant

Bin ich Zuhause, freu ich mich auf ihn,

den Weihnachtsteller, am warmen Kamin. der Kamin = the chimney

Refrain: I Mein schöner bunter Weihnachtsteller,

verkürzt mir die Zeit bis zur Heiligennacht.

Denn all` die Leckereien ( = all of the delicious treats),

hat mir schon der Nikolaus mitgebracht.

Auf meinem bunten Weihnachtsteller,

sind Lebkuchenherzen und Marzipan. das Lebkuchenherz = the gingerbread heart (pendant)

Auch Äpfel, Nüsse, Schokolade.

Und jedes Jahr ein Weihnachtsmann.

Strophe: II Kein Mensch der sich heut` über Kälte beklagt, beklagen = to grumble; complain

denn sie ist ein Grund für den Weihnachtsmarkt.

Hier lockt uns der Glühwein, so süß und heiß.

Er schmilzt sogar in den Herzen das Eis. schmelzen (schmilz - geschmolzen) = to melt

Bin ich Zuhause, freu ich mich auf ihn,

den bunten Weihnachtsteller,

am warmen Kamin.

By the way, next up on the track are two invitations to dance. First is Sebastian's "Der letzte Walzer mit dir", which is "schön schmalzig!". The next one "Tanz noch einmal mit mir" is a bit "techno." (...ich will mit dir den Himmel spüren...)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Aber zurück zu den Enten!

Hört her! Ich habe ein Entenrap für Kinder gefunden.

Und? Könnt ihr mitrappen?

Oh Tannenbaum

Wir können auch sehr schöne Weihnachtsbäume hier sehen.


O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!
Wie treu sind deine Blätter! treu = loyal; true
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit, grünen = to be green
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit. schneien = to snow
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen! gefallen = to please
Wie oft hat nicht zur Winterzeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut! erfreuen = to bring joy
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren: dein Kleid = your dress lehren = to teach
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit HERE: Its (the greenery's) hope and reliability...
Gibt Trost und Kraft zu jeder Zeit. comfort and strength in all times
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich was lehren.

VORSICHT! Hier kommt Krampus! (Watch out!)

In some south-central regions of Europe, Sankt Nikolaus travels about with a side-kick named Krampus. This is historically a horned, long-tongued man-beast with animal legs, who deals out the coal -- and worse -- to those children who have "forgotten" to behave their parents during the year.

Interspersed with real footage of Krampus-Sieges on Sankt Nikolaustag (below) are postcards and other illustrations of this man-beast, often with Krampus carting children away. That's because some of the legends involve children whom Krampus brings deep into the woods, only to abandon them, leaving them to try to make their own way back home.

Do you suppose these kind of stories helped to encourage good behavior ?

If you dare watch, you'll see for yourself how these legends return in parade form today. Various communities, especially in Switzerland, send Krampus delegations into the streets on Nikolaustag (December 6). Certain candidates from the crowd are actually attacked with branches and sticks. I imagine that these folks do remember their encounters with Krampus for a long while, helping perpetuate the legend of Krampus when they tell about them each year at this time.

--> Might you decide to stay home on Nikolaustag?

Jackie Chan bei WETTEN DAS!

One of Germany's most popular TV shows, WETTEN DAS (BET ON IT!) pits personalities against regular folks with various talents. Janna V. bet that she could karate chop through cement blocks with her hand, 4 out of 5 tries, all while cradling a raw egg in her hand -- without the egg breaking. Jackie bet against her (such that, if Jana were successful, he'd have to take a yodeling lesson from the yodeling artists in attendance, and then perform for the audience).

Can you guess the outcome?

Kaugummi in der Schule?


SOURCE: [Science:Physics:Tech:Nano:News]

To improve learning, German school allows chewing gum

December 1, 2010

Few things annoy a teacher more than a pupil chewing gum in class, but a primary school in southern Germany is now actively encouraging them to do so -- in order to improve their grades.

kauen = to chew der Kaugummi = chewing gum

" is good for the children's health and improves their ," said Wolfgang Ellegast from the education ministry in Bavaria, home to the Volkenschwand school where the pilot project is being run.

"No one is being forced to chew gum," headmaster Hans Dasch told AFP. "But it helps the concentrate and deal with stress, particularly during written tests."

He added: "The prerequisite for learning with fun is that kids come to school without fear and that they feel happy... Therefore we are encouraging them to chew gum in break and in lessons."

Chewing gum is also good for dental health, particularly after meals when it is not possible for the 70 children aged between six and 10 at the to brush their teeth, organisers said.

But it is not anarchy. According to a "firm agreement" with teachers, the children must keep their mouths closed while chewing -- except for when speaking, of course -- and properly dispose of the gum.

To this end, each desk is equipped with a special container decorated by the children themselves with bees, ladybirds, snails and the like, in partnership with a local artist.

"All the children respect the rules. None of them blows bubbles ... No one sticks gum on their seats," said the headmaster, who admits that he chews gum too, along with several teachers.

"The pupils chew in a very disciplined manner."

(c) 2010 AFP

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Do-Re-Mi: Antwerp, Belgien

Both the SOUND OF MUSIC and also BELGIUM came up in class today, which naturally reminded me of the following, some of my favorite YOUTUBE footage. It seems like a good time to share it here. ENJOY it ALL (no fair ducking out early, y'hear?).

--> Wer hätte vielleicht Lust so was selbst zu plannen? Wo? Wann! Mit wem?
(Who perhaps might be interested in planning something like this themselves? Where? When? With whom?)

Das Klavier - ein kurzer Trickfilm

Ein Film von Aiden Gibbon

--> Wie wichtig ist Bilanz in einem Leben?

--> Welche Erinnerungen sind Einem am wichtigsten?

--> Hilft es diese Perspektive zu haben, wenn man das eigene Leben aufbaut?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Udo Jürgens singt: Merry Christmas allerseits

Was kannst DU von diesem Lied verstehen?
What--- can---YOU -from --this --- song -- understand?

Der Text ist halb (half) Englisch und halb Deutsch!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALLERSEITS (-- Everybody, on all sides!)

When the snow falls wunderbar
Und die Kinder happy are,
When the Glatteis on the street, - Glatteis = black ice
Und wir einen Glühwein need,
Dann you know, es ist soweit:
Sie ist hier, die Weihnachtszeit.
Every Parkhaus ist besetzt, bezetzen = to be occupied
Weil die people fahren jetzt weil = because
All zu KAUFHOF; MEDIAMARKT; (= 2 popular stores in German)
Kriegen nearly Herzinfarkt. • Herzinfarkt = heart attack
Shopping hirnverbrannte things hirnverbrannte = preposterous
Und die Weihnachtsglocke rings. > Glocke = bell /s

CHOR: Hear the music (x3) see the lights!
Frohe Weihnacht, Frohe Weihnacht,
Merry Christmas allerseits!
Mutti in der Küche bakes die Küche = the kitchen
Schoko-, Nuss- and Mandelkeks der Mandelkeks = almond cookie!
Vater in dem Nebenraum der Raum = room; neben = next to
Schmücks ‘nen Riesen-Weihnachtsbaum schmücken = to decorate; der Riesen = giant
Er ist hanging auf the balls,
Dann er von dem Leiter falls... der Leiter = the ladder

Finally the Kinderlein Here: die Kinderlein (PLURAL) = little kids
To the Zimmer kommen rein herein kommen = come in
Und es singt die family
Schauerlich: "Oh, Chistmastree!" schauerlich = eerily
Und the jeder in dem Haus jeder = everybody
Packte die Geschenke aus. (PLURAL) Geschenke auspacken
= to unwrap gifts

Mama finds unter der Tanne
Eine brand new Teflon-Pfanne,
Vati gets a Schlips und Socken,
Everybody does frohlocken. frohlocken = rejoices: shouts: Juchhe!
President speaks in TV,
All around ist Harmonie,
Bis mother in the kitchen runs: bis = until
Im Ofen burns the Weihnachtsgans. (,,Wackelschwanz heisst meine -Gans”)

Und so kommt die Feuerwehr die Feuerwehr = Fire department
Mit Tatü-tata daher, (Tatü-tata = trumpet sounds)
Und they bring a lang, lang Schlauch der Schlauch = hose
Und ‘nen lang, lang Leiter auch. • Leiter = ladder
Und they schrei - "Wasser marsch!", der Marsch = march
Christmas ist - now im - Eimer... im Eimer = in the bucket; down the drain.

--> What do you think happens in this song?

--> How might you classify this piece of music?

--> Does Udo Jürgens remind you of any musicians in the USA?

Sankt Martins Umzug (Parade)

This video follows a 12-year-old boy scout along with his scout troop as they first meet up, and then join in the Skt. Martins Parade. He's traveled quite a ways to attend, and at the end of the video, it's sure that he won't miss next year's parade either.

--> Can you make out what this theme of this year's parade is?

--> What does our young scout think about Tokio Hotel? (How does this band feature in the parade?)

--> Is the reenactment in the town square with the Roman Soldiers his favorite part?

--> Does he intend to burn his lantern in the bonfire at the end?

Nürnberger Weihnachtsengel

Meet this year's Christmas Angel:

The welcoming poem she recites takes only a few minutes, but they are exciting ones for everyone attending the Opening.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In der Weihnachtsbäckerei

Ein lustiges Lied von Rolf Zuckowski

Link: Rolf Zuckowski - Weihnachtsbäckerei

Sing mit?

Hier, der Text:

CHOR In der Weihnachtsbäckerei
gibt es manche Leckerei
Zwischen Mehl und Milch
macht so mancher Knilch
eine riesengroße Kleckerei.
----- In der Weihnachtsbäckerei

1. Wo ist das Rezept geblieben
von den Plätzchen, die wir lieben?
wer hat das Rezept -- verschleppt

Na, dann müssen wir es packen
einfach frei nach Schnauze backen
Schmeißt den Ofen an -- ‘ran!

----- In der Weihnachtsbäckerei....

2. Brauchen wir nicht Schokolade,
Zucker, Honig und Succade
und ein bischen Zimt? -- das stimmt.

Butter, Mehl und Milch verrühren
zwischendurch einmal probieren
und dann kommt das Ei -- vorbei.

----- In der Weihnachtsbäckerei ...

3. Bitte mal zur Seite treten,
denn wir brauchen Platz zum kneten
Sind die Finger rein? -- du Schwein!

Sind die Plätzchen, die wir stechen,
erstmal auf den Ofenblechen,
warten wir gespannt -- verbrannt.

----- In der Weihnachtsbäckerei ...

die Bäckerei the bakery
manche Leckerei many delicacies
zwischen between
das Mehl flour
der Knilch the jerk
riesengroße gigantic
der Klecks smudge
die Kleckerei mess; spillage

das Rezept recipe
die Plätzchen cookies
verschleppen to carry off; hide
packen grapple
frei nach Schnauze backen: bake by nose / instinct
schmeißen to bash

heran (‘ran) GO for it!
der Zucker, Honig sugar, honey (& sugar)
der Zimt cinnamon
das stimmt that adds up
verrühren to stir
zwischen (durch) in between (through)
probieren to try; taste
das Ei the egg
vorbei that’s done with

zur Seite treten to step to the side
kneten to knead (the dough)
rein pure / clean
stechen to poke / stab
das Ofenblech -en baking tin
gespannt tensely; curious; intent
verbrannt burnt

Die Weihnachtsmärkte sind schon offen! Juchhe!

Ende November? Ja!

Ein Weihnachtsmarkt ist nicht nur für shoppen. Was alles kann man dort machen?

Eigentlich gibt es HUNDERTE von diesen Märkten. In gewissen Städten gibt es mehrere.

Die Deutschen Innenstädte sind in Dezember einfach bezaubernd. Wo möchtest Du am liebsten mit deinen Freunden treffen?

Ein paar mehr Fotos HIER

Warte nun.... (Wait a bit for the photos to load... then either read where each photo comes from, or close the explanation and enjoy the photos without partial text overlay.)

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