Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NK GAPP Group Update

Hello all,

Sorry I haven't been posting regularly -- access to an Internet connection has been very difficult. All is well here in Dueren.

If any parents would like more input, please send me an email at

Our flight arrives at JFK in NY at about 4:00 pm on July 6th; the bus will meet us at about 4:30 pm -- we should be home by 8:45 - 9:45 pm the same day.

Frau B.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

RI-Gruppe in Aachen am 22. Juni 2011

We've had quite a day. The weather was lovely at the beginning and end. I'm hopeful that we'll have a student reporter or two describe their version of Aachen. Meanwhile, here are some photos.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Der Mensch als Industrie-Palast

--> Hättest du etwas mit der Animation anders gemacht?
--> Hast du die Animation einfach genossen (geniessen=to enjoy; here, PPP: enjoyed) ?

German Poetry blog...

Wie ging es mit einem DEUTSCHEN-GEDICHTS-BLOG??

Bei Paul Larue: Duerener Buergermeister

Dueren was at one time, under the direct control of the Emperor, until he sold it off in 1237 to a local prince to help pay his debts. That history is recounted in the following stained glass window in the shape of an official seal, which helped illuminate our visit with Dueren's mayor.

From Mayor Larue we also learned that Dueren's first mention in history was in 747. Well before that (B.C.), Cologne was the capital of this Roman Province, and Dueren also has ruins from that era. A clever act in 1501 involving capturing a relic --of a bone from Anna, Mary's mother -- from Mainz, Germany, put Dueren on the pilgrimage map, which continues to help the town prosper to this day. At the end of July, Dueren still celebrates the Anna Fair, to which there are over a million visitors each year.

Dueren was all but totally destroyed one afternoon at the end of 1944, after the Allied forces had already claimed nearby Aachen. When "our troops" arrived in Dueren in February, 1945, they found only 4 inhabitants. However, because the Rur River water is more conducive to paper production than all other rivers in Germany, that industry reblossomed after the war, helping to rebuild the town into the prime supplier of paper in Germany. While the original building style is still noticeable in a few quarters, the city's architecture is now primarily from the 1950's and '60's. The city's current population rests around 92,000.

Mayor Larue's responses to our questions were thoughtful, often humorous, and sometimes very personal. When Robert asked about his thoughts on the Middle East, for instance, the Mayor mentioned not only the several thousand German troops currently in place in Afghanistan, and the nightly news which hinted at the intentions of U.S. Defense Minister Robert Gates to totally withdraw from the area soon, he also stated his personal regrets that Germany was not involved in helping free Libya of its dictator, since dictatorship was certainly a part of Germany's past. Then, he continued the topic expressing serious doubts about the success of any plan aimed to implant things we tend to like (such as democracy) in regions of the world where most people still live under medieval conditions, with clans and ancient customs, a thought to which there seemed to be several other heads in the audience nodding in approval.

The mayor also did his best to help Mikayla better understand Germany's need for energy obtained from mining coal, at the expense of losing some small villages, as it works to replace all nuclear energy with renewable resources by 2022, without benefit of lots of sun and wind.

As to the largest problem he faces, Larue stated that Dueren's income has been shrinking, while its expenses are growing. In fact, Burgau Gymnasium is asking the town for an investment of $4 million dollars (EURO 2-3 million), earmarked to upgrade its technology, particularly in its science labs, something which, according to Larue, will probably not happen all at once.

Mayor Larue was busy pulling on our Program T-Shirt while we gathered for a photograph, which we expect will appear in one of Dueren's newspapers tomorrow. Meanwhile, the staff photographer thoughtfully offered to capture this photograph of our group.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What a Welcome! It's so good to be here!

Thanks to Julia and Thorsten Kreutzer, my hosts in Aachen, this post from last night which was unsuccessful, can now go through.

After a last-minute T-shirt scramble and a thorough passport check, we severed ties to the school year and embarked on our journey. Bus driver Joe was already quite familiar from having driven us to NY in April. This time around, he was most complimentary, having only fond memories of our previous trip. He was also anxious for our assistance in finding Terminal 8, which was very easy. He even dispensed hugs all around upon our departure, and felt honored to capture this photo in front of his VIKING bus just before we entered the airport:

Check-in went smoothly. Only Ashley and Mme. Jones, with their extra suitcases, and Nick, who was caught with 7 extra pounds, needed to visit the cashier prior to Security Control. Slightly overweight bags, my own included, were forgiven, a very pleasant surprise.

The group selected a spot next to some arcade-type games to help us pass the next 2 hours prior to boarding. Yearbooks also got attention. Some exchanged dollars, getting 61 Euro for $100. Not too bad.

The magazine/newspaper selection prior to boarding was (for this German teacher) absolutely amazing!! We were then welcomed aboard with mints and a smile, while being guided to the desired aisle. Survival kits including pillow, blanket; mask, earplugs, socks, and toothbrush-set served to further welcome us to our individual seats. Our Airbus seating(2x4x2), is so much friendlier a plane to fly than a 747 (with 3x5x3). Our group captured 2 full rows, with one outlying seat (which at the tail end, I took; and was promptly welcomed by very lovely traveling companions on both sides of the aisle).

We experienced just a wee bit of periodic turbulance during our flight. Nutritious, tasty meals were served every 3 hours; beverage service was even more generous, In-Flight purchases were very low-key. The plentiful and helpful staff and flight crew earned a well-deserved, sustained applause upon landing. We'd been delayed by 40 minutes finding a departure window from JFK, but more than made up that time from a favorable tailwind, landing 15 minutes early. In truth, our Partners are envious of us our slick AirBerlin connection: in 6.5 hours in flight time, we arrived in Duesseldorf! They were really worried their bus trip would arrive later than planned, and that they'd keep us waiting. No need to worry!

Passport Control lasted but a few moments. Luggage collection went smoothly. And suddenly we were through the doors, and reunited with a very merry band of festively attired partners, in coordinated I - HEART - GAPP T-shirts! Their very warm welcome included signs, flags, cheers and, ok: shrieking. We each were draped, Hawaiian style, with black-red-gold welcoming leis. Then began the T-Shirt swap. We were each given bright white T-shirts to match theirs, and we dug into our own luggage to find the stunning blue shirts we brought for them! I can't imagine a more colorful, and joyful group! This still photograph seems far too sedate to capture the happy melee.

It was wonderful to see Simon as well, who had been able to override the advice of his mother and doctor to make the trip himself after all, despite his recent surgery.

The bus chartered to bring us back to Dueren was a double-decker. All the GAPP-Exchangers sat up top for better viewing. Below were 4 tables each surrounded by seating for 4, and also a galley right behind the driver. Our driver reminded me of Joe. He needed an additional 7 minutes break prior to setting off (something which we put to full advantage).

Upon our arrival at Burgau, we locked the luggage away just inside the first entrance, and were then led through a series of other various doors with green (druecken = to push) or red (ziehen = to pull) stickers stuck over the levered handles. Wherever we went, we encountered decorated WELCOME signs and photos of our group's USA visit.

Our destination was the Mensa (= "TABLE" in Latin), or cafeteria, where we were welcomed --in English -- by Principal, Andreas Gruederich. At that time, we presented Mr. Gruederich with our sharply personalized 2011 Yearbook, as well as a Program T-Shirt of his own.

After all the introductions and acknowledgements, we were led to a brunch smorgasbord set out for us, complete with a variety of rolls, cheeses, cold cuts and Nutella, with various beverages, followed by luscious pastries -- for dessert.

After some socializing, Mr. Ehrhardt explained several school regulations, and then led us on a school tour. We saw the vineyard and the special rooms for writing tests, we poked into the art and science rooms, met the school secretaries, Frau Pelzer und Frau Schinchen, as well as peeked in on the Teacher Room (a combination mail room and general office), where our group was introduced to the faculty in attendance.

At the chimes, the student group took to the school yard and mingled with pupils in all the grades at Burgau, from 5th to 12th (those in the 13th grade have already all but finished the year, and will graduate next week). Once the chimes rang the next time, we all return back inside the school building to get the feel of our very own Headquarters for the coming 3 weeks, room #116 -- up just a single flight of stairs to the "first floor," since the ground floor isn't numbered as such. All of our partners had decorated the chalkboard for us. There were more photographs and festive decorations awaiting us as well.

We all received our Burgau-Schule Program Folders with the updated and colorful copy of the schedule, as well as a brief run-through of the next 5 days in Dueren, bringing us through the weekend and the 3 class days prior to the Corpus Christi holiday on Thursday/Friday next week.

At that time, families began arriving at the school to collect us. We heard wonderful words of appreciation for the hospitality extended in Rhode Island, with much excitement for the days, gatherings, excursions, and experiences yet to come, and we separated to find our own various ways home.

I look forward to hearing from each Exchanger about their first weekend here, on Monday during Hour 4, when we next gather in Room 116.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mannheim Germany US-Schule jetzt geschlossen: CLOSED

Morgenweb; Das Nachrichtenportal RheinNeckar

Mannheim: US-Highschool verabschiedet ihre letzten Absolventen
Good-bye Separate US-School. Hello German School.

13.06.11, 16:48

Mannheim. Die amerikanische Highschool der Militärgemeinde in Mannheim hat ihre letzten 42 Absolventen bei einem Festakt im Kongresszentrum Rosengarten verabschiedet und ihre Pforten endgültig geschlossen.

Die Schüler - derzeit noch etwa (at this time still about) 200 - besuchen vom nächsten Schuljahr an die Highschool der Nachbargemeinde Heidelberg.

Die Schließung der Schule hängt mit dem Truppenabzug (Troop reduction) der Amerikaner in der Metropolregion zusammen. Bis Ende 2015 werden alle militärischen Einrichtungen der US-Truppen in der Metropolregion geschlossen.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Janosch! O wie schön is Panama

Der kleine Tiger ist stark wie ein Tiger, und der Bär ist stark wie ein Bär.

Sie haben alles was das Herzen begehrt.

Aber wenn eine Kiste (box/crate) aus Panama kommt . . . .

Die Tiger-Ente muss auch mit.

Sie brauchten sich von nichts zu fürchten.
(They needed to be of nothing afraid.)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

To Nuke? Or Not to Nuke? A Serious Problem

SPIEGEL ONLINE June 10, 2011

THE DOWNSIDE of Germany's Nuclear Phaseout
Higher Prices, Higher Emissions

Most Germans support Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to phase out nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. But not all the consequences will be welcome. A new study shows that the country's emissions reduction targets may not be met -- and electricity bills may rise as well.


It was hardly an inspired performance. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took to the podium on Thursday in the Bundestag, the federal parliament, to give a keynote speech on her government's plans to permanently phase out nuclear energy in Germany. But her exhaustion -- the product of having just flown in from a three-day visit to Washington -- was impossible to ignore.

And yet, suddenly, just as Merkel pledged that the last reactor in Germany would be shut down by 2022, applause erupted in the plenary hall. Not, though, from her own party. Rather, it was the opposition Greens who stood up clapping and cheering.

It was a moment which perfectly highlighted the difficult political about-face that Merkel and her conservative governing coalition has recently completed -- from supporting nuclear energy last autumn to rejecting it this spring. And the repercussions of her decision have yet to make themselves fully apparent.

That not all of them are good for Merkel's government has already become clear. Stephan Kohler, head of the German Energy Agency, told SPIEGEL that one significant side-effect of the phase out could be that the country will fail to reach its emission reduction goals. "Large energy companies are now turning more to cheap lignite (brown coal) to replace atomic energy and less to natural gas, which is more efficient but also more expensive," Kohler said.

Lower Emissions Reduction

Germany hopes to reduce its emissions of CO2 by 40 percent by 2020 relative to 1990. But a study from Germany's Federal Environment Agency indicates that current measures "will only result in an emissions reduction of 30 to 33 percent."

In addition, the removal of atomic energy from Germany's power mix and the resulting need to invest billions in the development of alternative energies and a new power grid could result in higher energy bills. "The phase out of nuclear energy is not going to be free," Rainer Brüderle, Merkel's economics minister until recently, told SPIEGEL. Brüderle, who is now floor leader for the Free Democrats, Merkel's junior coalition partner, added that "we have to be honest with the people. We will all have to pay, the power customers, the taxpayers."

Merkel's change of course on nuclear energy came about, as she said once again in her Thursday speech, as a result of the atomic catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami there. It calls for eight of Germany's 17 nuclear reactors to be shut down immediately and the remaining nine to be taken successively offline by 2022. In addition, her plan calls for measures to boost the growth of alternative energies in an effort to fill the gap.

It is, in essence, a plan remarkably similar to one passed by her Social Democratic predecessor Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. And it is one which has put Merkel on a collision course with some of Germany's largest energy companies.

The Deindustrialization of Germany

One of her most vocal critics has been Jürgen Grossmann, head of energy giant RWE. At the end of May, he complained publicly of an "eco-dictatorship" before writing a letter directly to Merkel earlier this week blasting details of her plans.

On Friday, he took the battle a step further, warning in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung that Merkel's phase out plan could result in large companies turning their backs on the country as a result of climbing energy prices. "The de-industrialization (of Germany) won't come all at once. It will be a gradual process," Grossmann said. "Soon we will have to do without entire industrial sectors: companies like BASF and Thyssen-Krupp won't be here anymore."

There has even been growing criticism from within her own party. Indeed, many within her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) now want her to call a party convention to focus solely on the issue of atomic energy.

"It would be good were the party to discuss such a fundamental change as the nuclear question at a special party convention," Peter Hauk, CDU floor leader in Baden-Württemberg state parliament, told SPIEGEL. "Such a discussion would be good for the party." Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, head of the CDU in the state of Saarland, agrees. "Given the effort to find broad societal consensus on the issue," she told SPIEGEL, "a discussion within the party would certainly seem appropriate."

Merkel made no indication on Thursday that she was intending to acquiesce to such demands. "The dramatic events in Japan were a turning point for the world and a turning point for me personally," she said. "I have revised my views."

With reporting by Veit Medick


--> Decisions which affect the long term are difficult ones, and it seems Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to hold the line on this tough choice. Do you think she will lose her job over this issue?

--> Would it still be worth it ?

Money Issues for us Travelers

New York Times June 8 2011, by Michelle Higgins


LIKE many Americans who have tried to use their credit cards in Europe, Elliot E. Porter, a historian from San Francisco, has encountered his share of payment headaches. Perhaps the most aggravating occurred a few months ago at Amsterdam Centraal Station, where he learned only after waiting in line to purchase train tickets that none of his credit cards, which include a MasterCard, Visa and American Express, would be accepted. The problem? They rely on magnetic-strip technology rather than embedded microprocessor chips, which are becoming increasingly common outside the United States.

“This is a big deal when traveling,” said Mr. Porter, who trekked back to his hotel to get cash, which he then had to exchange for local currency before returning to the train station to wait in a long line to pay for his tickets. He encountered similar problems at train stations in Belgium and Britain. “It just got super frustrating,” he said.


There may be some good news on the horizon for Americans like Mr. Elliot. A few banks have begun testing cards with the newer chip technology, known as E.M.V. (for Europay, MasterCard and Visa) and are beginning to offer the cards to select customers. Wells Fargo has issued cards with the embedded chips to about 15,000 United States-based clients who travel internationally, in a trial program. JPMorgan Chase is offering the cards to some of its high-net-worth customers this month. Meanwhile, Travelex, a major currency exchange company, began selling a preloaded E.M.V.-enabled debit card last year. Some credit unions have also begun offering credit or debit cards with chips, including the State Employees’ Credit Union of Raleigh, N.C., and the United Nations Federal Credit Union in New York.

It’s about time. Over the last decade, such cards (commonly referred to as chip-and-PIN cards because users punch in a personal identification number instead of signing for the purchase) have been widely adopted in Europe as a means to reduce credit card fraud; the information stored in the magnetic strips used in traditional cards can be stolen fairly easily. E.M.V.-enabled chip cards, requiring a PIN for authentification, are harder to counterfeit and are becoming the standard in other regions, including Canada, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. More than a third of the world’s payments cards (approximately 1.2 billion) are E.M.V. capable, along with roughly two-thirds of cashier terminals (18.7 million), according to EMVCo, the standards body owned by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa.

But the United States has been slow to adopt the technology, mainly because of the expense merchants and banks would have to take on to convert to E.M.V.-enabled cards and cash registers. (Frau Bakers says that most of these new cards have BOTH the chip AND the strip; which takes the air out of that comment. Probably the real reason we haven't switched after all these years is far simpler: US Banks seem to value the money they make on the vastly higher fraudulent usage that comes from strip-swiping, as opposed to chip with pass-code security.)

American banks also point out that fraud involving credit cards with magnetic strips hasn’t been as prevalent in the United States as it has in other countries. (Chip-and-PIN cards are different from the radio frequency chip in some American credit cards, like the American Express Blue card, which allows customers to pay by waving their card at a check-out scanner, instead of swiping it.)

Until businesses change their minds, American travelers will continue to encounter payment issues abroad. The problem is two-fold. Even though most European cash registers are equipped to handle American cards, some cashiers simply don’t know how to process them. And many automated ticket kiosks like those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages simply don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. (A.T.M.’s typically recognize and accept many cards whether they have a chip or a magnetic strip.)

So what’s a traveler to do? Since the cards being tested by Chase and Wells Fargo are being offered only to a limited number of mostly high-end customers, the best option for the rest of us is to carry a couple of cards in our wallets and politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe each credit card, as the card reader may be able to recognize the magnetic strip and approve the purchase.

That’s what Richard Brill, a public relations executive from Wilmette, Ill., learned last month while on vacation in Portugal. “In some cases they’d redo it,” he said, referring to the merchants who were able to get their machines to accept his Visa card. When such attempts failed, he tried using his American Express card, which was accepted a number of times, even though it also lacked the special chip.

For backup, also consider carrying a preloaded debit MasterCard from Travelex called Chip and PIN Cash Passport, available in pounds or euros, which is equipped with the embedded chip. But use it only when you can’t use other cards. While it does not cost anything to use the card, the exchange rates you’ll get when loading it with cash aren’t great. For example, in late May, the exchange rate when putting funds into a Travelex Chip and PIN card online was about $1.50 to the euro. (It can be higher in actual Travelex stores.) By contrast, the spot exchange rate, charged by most banks, was roughly $1.42, according to, a financial research site. Even after adding the 3 percent foreign exchange fee typically charged by major American card issuers, it was still more expensive to use a Travelex Chip and PIN card.

That said, there are some transactions — like buying train tickets at kiosks — for which you will need a Travelex card; remaining funds can be converted back to dollars after your trip.

Before you go, also consider buying tickets and other basic purchases online. For example, Vélib, the popular Paris bicycle rental system, whose rental kiosks have been known to reject cards without embedded chips, now accepts online payments for one- and seven-day tickets at Rail Europe, which lets American tourists buy many European train tickets in advance, recently added local British train tickets to its online offerings at

And when you return home, be sure to let your bank know about any payment problems. That just may be the best way to motivate them to issue chip-based cards to travelers.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You look lovely tonight: Obama to Merkel


Frau Merkel with a light touch...

--> Findest du das Geschenk (--gift) für Frau Clinton auch lustig?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Museum Audio Guides to UPLOAD

Hi GAPP-Exchangers.

Check out this link to the Rautenstrauch-Joest World Culture Museum in Cologne. It's been closed for 5 years for renovations. (It hadn't been properly rebuilt after WWII's destruction, and then, more recent flooding caused further damage.)

This will also be my first visit to this museum.

Since Frau Kreutzer has put this museum on our agenda, she also thought to send us a link for us to upload the Audio Guides to our cell phones / iPHONES in advance of our arrival in Germany.

Please let me know if you think this will not or will not work for you. Frau Kreutzer prefers not to order more Audio Guides than we will need. DANKE!


Upon arrival at this site, you'll find a WELCOME Guide to listen to first.

Then there are 3 other guides (including the third one, for youth) to consider downloading. I haven't yet heard them yet to suggest which of the three to download, but would like to think we can handle the first two.

Let me know if the kids link (#3) seems more appropriate for us. DANKE!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Schüler Nachrichten


Nichts da. Wo eine Kopie?

Können diese Fragen vom 2010 uns dieses Jahr helfen?

1. Über die Nachrichten
a. Was sagt man, um die Sendung zu beginnen?
b. Wie heissen die 3 Moderator-Schüler?
c. Was sagt man, um die Reporter zu danken?
d. Was sagt einen Moderator, wenn er einen Bericht (report) beginnen will?
e. Was sagt den Reporter, um einen Bericht zu beginnen.

2. Am Anfang geht es um die Deutschklasse. Was sagen sie?

3. Über Musik:
1. Wer spricht über Musik?
2. Welches Instrument spielt der Schüler?
3. Was ist seine Lieblingsband?
4. Was lernen wir über der zweite Musiker?

4. Über Sport
1. Was spielen sie in der Deutschklasse?
2. Wie heissen die zwei Spieler?
3. Was machen sie in der Freizeit?

5. Über das Wetter
1. Wie ist das Wetter in den Alpen?
2. Wie ist das Wetter in Hawaii?

6. Über Verkehr (Traffic): Wie kommen die Schüler zur Schule?

7. Über Mode
1. Was tragen die meisten Mädchen in der Schule?
2. Was tragen die meisten Jungen in der Schule?

BONUS: Wer sind in der Deutschklasse vielleicht auch gute Freunde?

BONUS: Was können WIR über welche Themen auch berichten (to report)?

Oh Herr, bitte gib mir meine Sprache zurück..Wise Guys

Wie geht es auf Deutsch???

Oh Herr, bitte gib mir meine Sprache zurück,-->(die Sprache = Language; check out other translations as they develop further in the lyrics.)
ich sehne mich nach Frieden und 'nem kleinen Stückchen Glück.
Lass uns noch ein Wort verstehn in dieser schweren Zeit,
Öffne unsre Herzen mach die Hirne weit.--> (das Hirn = the brain)

Ich bin zum Bahnhof gerannt und war ______:
Auf meiner neuen Swatch war's schon kurz vor after eight.
Ich suchte die Toilette, doch ich fand nun ein McClean,
ich brauchte noch Connection und ein Ticket nach Berlin.

Draußen saßen ______ und hatten Fun mit einem Joint.
Ich suchte einen Auskunft, doch es gab nur’n Service Point.
Mein Zug war leider abgefahr’n das Traveln konnt ich knicken.
Da wollt ich Hähnchen essen, doch man gab mir nur _______.

Oh Herr, bitte gib mir meine Sprache zurück,
ich sehne mich nach Frieden und nem kleinen Stückchen Glück.
Lass uns noch ein Wort verstehn in dieser schweren Zeit,
Öffne unsre Herzen mach die Hirne weit.

Du versuchst, mich upzudaten, doch mein ______ turnt dich ab.
Du sagst, dass ich ein Wellness-Weekend dringend nötig hab.
Du sagst, ich käm mit Good Vibrations wieder in den Flow.
Du sagst, ich brauche ______. Und ich denk: Das sagst du so.

Statt Nachrichten bekomme ich den Infotainment-Flash.
Ich sehne mich nach Bargeld, doch man gibt mir nicht mal ______
Ich fühl mich beim Communicating unsicher wie nie
da nützt mir auch kein Bodyguard. Ich brauch ______!

Oh Lord, bitte gib mir meine Language zurück,
ich sehne mich nach ______ und nem kleinen Stückchen Glück.
Lass uns noch ein Wort verstehn in dieser schweren Zeit,
Öffne unsre Herzen, mach die Hirne weit.

Ich will, dass beim ______ Kaffeehaus oben draufsteht,

oder dass beim Auto-Crash die Lufttasche aufgeht,
und schön wär’s, wenn wir ______ Muskel-Mäster nennen
und wenn nur noch Nordisch Geher durch die Landschaft rennen.

Oh Lord, please help, denn meine _________ macht mir Stress,
ich sehne mich nach Peace und a bit of Happiness.
Hilf uns, dass wir understand in dieser schweren Zeit,
______ unsre Hearts und make die Hirne weit.

Oh Lord, please gib mir meine Language back,
ich krieg hier bald die ______, man, it has doch keinen Zweck.

Let us noch a word verstehn, it goes me on the Geist,
und gib, dass ______ bald wieder Kleinweich heißt.
Ja, dass es Kleinweich heißt.

--> Wird Microsoft je ,,Kleinweich" heissen?!
--> Worum geht dieses Lied?
--> Woher kam die Ideen dieses Lied?
--> Kennst du schon die Melodie?

Hier: Ein Klassenprojekt:

An-Ge-LA! More MERKEL!

What are your favorite quotes from this article?

I checked for my own favorite quotes just now, after first reading this article a while ago, and am hoping you'll find some of them, too, and share them below. Meanwhile, perhaps to entice you to actually read this piece, here's one quote:

"Understated she (Frau Merkel) may be, and underrated. But Angela Merkel, with her quiet steel and very Lutheran common sense, is a leader without whom Europe would be in disarray."

Kindereier=NO; ChokoTreasures=YES. WHA--?

-- How are these allowed, but not Kindereier?

Check out the Chocho Treasure website's FAQ page.

Question: I've tried chocolate surprise eggs in other countries outside of the USA such as Kinder Surprise(r) and Huevo Sorpresa(r). Sometimes those have plastic toys you snap together. Can you make toys like that?

Answer: The USA Consumer Product Safety Commission has regulations ensuring the safety of small children. The toys you may have seen in similar products overseas are only safe for children 3+ whereas our toys are safe for ALL AGES.

One of the tests for toys to be safe for all ages is that they are sufficiently big to not be a choking hazard. We cannot make snap-together plastic toys similar to those you may have seen overseas as those tiny toys represent choking hazards, and (therefore) cannot legally be sold together with candy in the USA.

Wer ist 2011 Fußballmeister? BORUSSIA DORTMUND!

Gestern im Gillette Stadion war immer etwas los.
Aber hör hier zu, wie es im April in Deutschland beim Meisterschaftspiel gejubelt und gesungen würde!

(Don't expect to see any soccer in this clip. This film is all about ,,die Fan Stimmung" = the mood of the fans.
--> At the very least, do consider just how this game resembles attendance at one of our major Football Games. Danke.)

0:44 You'll never walk alone (Man kann es kaum glauben! 1:40 the fans start kicking it. Goosebumps come after the 2 minute mark...Enjoy!)

3:45 Mannschaftsaufstellung -->(Introducing the team; note the harmony and synchronization between announcers and fans.)

5:31 Einlauf der Mannschaften

6:22 Heja BVB (Ballspielverein Borussia; Verein = club)

8:00 Tor durch Lucas Barrios zum 1:0-->(Tor = goal)

9:03 Tor durch Robert Lewandowski zum 2:0

10:05 Wer wird Deutscher Meister (die ganze Süd hüpft)-->(hüpfen=to hop)

10:30 Deutscher Meister wird nur der BVB

10:51 In der Bundesliga ist allen bekannt

11:14 Deutscher Meister wird nur der BVB

11:46 Bengalofakeln -->(I have absolutely NO IDEA what this means.)

12:13 Durchsage von Nobby

12:17 Schalalala

12:50 Abpfiff! Der BVB ist Deutscher Meister 2011! -->(der Pfiff = whistle; der Abpfiff= the final whistle)

13:10 Borussia BVB mit Pyroeinlage--> (Flaming installations?! These can't be a good idea.)

13:46 Deutscher Meister wird nur der BVB

14:00 Die ganze Süd hüpft

Just who are these fans? Let's meet a few:

Eine neue BvB Hymne...ja, die Fans singen, mindestens im Chor mit...

Fürchtest auch du dich auch nach diesen Schwarz-Gelben Socken von den Dortmunder "Chaoten"!? --> (Aren't you, too, afraid of those Black-Golden socks of the Dortmunder Chaotic-Guys?)

Check out YOUTUBE for many more tributes to the new (7th time) Champs in Germany!

As to the previous mention of "hating the Schalke team", that comment must lead to another post, since as far as I can see, there's no possible way ANYONE could hate the Schalke team.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Du schreibst Geschichte, von Madsen

--> Worüber geht es hier?

--> Lebst du länger als ein Leben lang?

--> Madsen kommt nach den USA diesen Sommer.

--> Wer will ins Konzert mit?

Wer hat Karten heute: USA vs Spanien?

Pre - World Cup Fußball "Friendly" heute in Gillette Stadion, und deine Deutschlehrerin wird dabei sein.

Wer spielt mit?

Whoa! Steve Cherundolo - aus San Diego:

Ich höre ihn ganz gern beim Deutsch reden. Aber hier geht es hauptsächlich auf Englisch weiter.

Du bist dran mit spülen - The Wise Guys

Aufräumen wär nicht schlecht!

Gieß auch mal die Blumen!
Deine Socken liegen überall herum.


Du, ich glaub' wir müssen reden, --(reden = to talk)
so kann's nicht weiter gehn'
Ich kann das nicht mehr jeden Tag
auf's neue übersehn'
Ich hab viel zu lang geschwiegen, --(schweigen = to be silent)
da hat sich was angestaut.--(anstauen = to accumulate; dam up)
Das blieb zu lange liegen,
ich sag's jetzt, sonst werd' ich laut.

-->Du bist dran mit spülen,
-->Du bist einfach dran.
-->Du bist dran mit spülen,
-->also halt' dich bitte ran. (x2) Ja, ...

Wo wir g'rad' dabei sind,
nimm mir das nicht krumm,
aber deine Socken liegen überall 'rum.
Räum deine Klamotten,
doch mal selber auf.
Und du darfst auch mal spülen,
kommst du da nicht selber drauf? --(selber=yourself)

Du bist dran mit spülen,
und aufräumen wär nicht schlecht.
Du bist dran mit spülen.
Du bist dran, ne, echt?
Ja,du bist dran mit spülen,
Du bist einfach dran.
Du bist dran mit spülen,
also halt' dich bitte ran.

Hör mal, uns're Blumen, trocknen vor sich hin,-->(trocknen=to dry)
glaubst du,dass ich alleine dafür zuständig bin?
Die Blumen brauchen Liebe,
Dir fehlt der grüne Daumen.
Und dass du auch nur einmal gespült hast,
glaub ich kaum.

Du bist dran mit spülen,
und aufräumen wär nicht schlecht.
Und giess doch mal die Blumen.
Du bist dran, ne, echt?
Du bist dran mit spülen,
Du bist einfach dran.
Du bist dran mit spülen,
also halt' dich bitte ran.

Du könntest auch mal kochen,
Ich mach damit Schluss.
Was hab ich verbrochen,
dass ich das andauernd machen muss?
Mach du doch mal das Essen,
Ich habe das Gefühl,
dass du einfach dran bist,
und mach danach den Spül.

Du bist dran mit spülen,
und aufräumen wär nicht schlecht.
Und giess doch mal die Blumen,
und kochen wär uns recht.
Du bist dran mit spülen,
Du bist einfach dran.
Du bist dran mit spülen,
also halt' dich bitte ran.

--> Du bist dran mit spülen,
--> Du bist einfach dran.
--> Du bist dran mit spülen,
--> also halt' dich bitte ran.

Ich hab' 'ne Menge Klagen,
über dich gehört.
Ich will nichts dazu sagen,
mich hat das nie gestört.
Sie sagen du bist faul.
Um die Gemüter abzukühln',
finde ich du solltest langsam,
echt mal wieder spülen.

-->Schau wie viele Sachen es aus IKEA im Clip gibt!

-->Wie sah das Frühstück aus?

-->Was haben sie gegessen? getrunken?

Der neue Wise Guy Teil 1

Alle sind nervös, sogar auch die Wise Guys!

--Wie sehr wird Clemens vermisst?

Der neue Wise Guy Teil 2

Nach der ganzen Schulzeit zusammen, warum eigentlich will Clemens nicht mehr dabei sein?

--> Haben sie richtig gewählt?

Der neue Wise Guy Teil 3

Wie geht es nun im ersten Konzert?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Early Rennaisance Quotes by Meister Eckhart

There are lots of German mystics whose work helps us explore the inner workings of our mind and spirit, including medical pioneer (Africa) and concert organist, Dr. Albert Schweitzer (d. 1965), philosopher and poet, Friedrich Nietzsche (d.1900), writer and painter, Hermann Hesse (d.1962), and lyricist/poet Rainer Maria Rilke (d.1926). They were all influenced by a mystic from the late middle ages, Meister Eckhart (d. mysteriously, 1328).

Eckhart von Hochheim, 1260-1327, a German theologian, philosopher and mystic from Thuringen, was tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII. His defense is famous, and he died without record or official burial before a verdict was reached.

The outward work will never be puny if the inward work is great.
Meister Eckhart

The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.
Meister Eckhart

The more we have the less we own.
Meister Eckhart

The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.
Meister Eckhart

When you are thwarted, it is your own attitude that is out of order.
Meister Eckhart

God is at home, it's we who have gone out for a walk.
Meister Eckhart

He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment.
Meister Eckhart

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.
Meister Eckhart

Words derive their power from the original word.
Meister Eckhart

OK. So how about this one, from the Theologia Germanica:

"The two eyes of the soul of man cannot both perform their work at once. But if the soul shall see with the right eye into eternity, then the left eye must close itself and refrain from working, and be as though it were dead. For if the left eye be fulfilling its office toward outward things, that is holding converse with time and the creatures. So then, the right eye must be hindered in its working; that is, in its contemplation. Therefore, whosoever will have the one must let the other go; for ‘no man can serve two masters.’"

Alle Liebe dieser Welt ist auf Eigenliebe gebaut.
[All the love in this world is built on self-respect; love for self.]
Meister Eckhart

Alles Leid und alle Freude kommt von der Liebe.
[All sorrow and all joy come from love.]
Meister Eckhart

Je mehr daher der Mensch vor dem Geschöpf flieht, um so mehr läuft ihm der Schöpfer nach.
[The more a person tries to flee from the Creator, the more the Creator runs after him.]
Meister Eckhart

Wer werden will, was er sein sollte, der muß lassen, was er jetzt ist.
[Whomever wants to become what he is meant to be, must first leave that which he now is.]
Meister Eckhart

I find it interesting that the puzzle regarding the centuries-long ban on Meister Eckardt's writing was resolved in 2010:

From Wikipedia: There was finally a response from the Vatican in a letter dated 1992. Timothy Ratcliffe, then Master of the Dominicans and recipient of the letter, summarized the contents as follows:

'We tried to have the censure lifted on Eckhart', writes Timothy Ratcliffe, 'and were told that there was really no need since he had never been condemned by name, just some propositions which he was supposed to have held, and so we are perfectly free to say that he is a good and orthodox theologian.'[11]

Resilient, Renovated Bonn

Wall St. Journal, Nov 12, 2010

Harald Wagener

In the 1980s, with the two separate German states in what seemed like permanent disunity, Chancellor Helmut Kohl hoped to make Bonn a cultural showpiece. Above, Bonn's skyline

The Former West German Capital Steps Out From its Cold War Shadow, Emerging as a Cultural Hub by J. S. Marcus

Known for its idyllic setting and laid-back lifestyle, the western German city of Bonn has had a dramatic ride in recent years. Elevated from a sleepy college campus to West Germany's capital in the decade after World War II, the town, once a symbol of timeless German provincialism, became an international hub, home to diplomats, bureaucrats and, it was generally assumed, an A-list cast of Cold War spies.

With the collapse of communism in 1989 and the official move of reunified Germany's capital to Berlin, Bonn seemed poised to lose its prestige, left with little but a location on the Rhine River, a stable of students and a heady case of nostalgia.

The spies and the limousines may have moved on, but the former capital is in many ways doing better than its successor. Now home to two of the country's larger employers, Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post, Bonn has a lower unemployment rate and a higher standard of living than Berlin. And, with a cluster of thriving first-class museums, it can compete with many of its eastern rival's artistic offerings. A decade after losing its official political status, Bonn has managed to press the reset button again, emerging as one of Germany's newest, and most prosperous, cultural capitals.

Nothing symbolizes the city's latest incarnation better than the Kameha Grand Bonn, a new luxury hotel built right on the river, with an outrageous neo-baroque interior by Dutch design superstar Marcel Wanders. At lunchtime, you can find international yuppies eating on the terrace, chatting into cellphones as they gaze out over the Rhine. Since opening to the general public in February 2010, the hotel, Germany's leading example of eco-inspired luxury, has racked up a number of accolades, including being named one of the year's best new business hotels by Wallpaper magazine.

Bonn owed its status as West Germany's capital to the country's first chancellor, Konrad Adenauer (1876–1967). Cologne's long-time mayor, Adenauer had studied at Bonn's university and, after the rise of the Nazis forced him out of politics, he sought refuge in Rhöndorf, a village just outside of town. For most of his postwar career, he was also a local Bundestag deputy and was the driving force behind installing the new country's political center within easy reach of his own Rhöndorf house and Cologne, some 30 kilometers away.

However, Bonn arguably owes its current resilience to Helmut Kohl, the Federal Republic's longest-serving chancellor. In the 1980s, with the two separate German states in what seemed like permanent disunity, Mr. Kohl hoped to make Bonn a cultural showpiece. Over the following decade, he helped initiate the construction of 3 major museums, which now serve as the center of Bonn's artistic scene:
1. Bundeskunsthalle: offers a broad range of temporary exhibitions;
2. Kunstmuseum Bonn: unique collection of Expressionist works by native son August Macke; an important collection of postwar German art;
3. Haus der Geschichte (House of History), the country's pre-eminent museum of contemporary German history.

The three museums are the centerpieces of Bonn's so-called Museum Mile.

But perhaps the best place to start a visit these days is Mr. Kohl's former residence, the Kanzlerbungalow (Kanzler = Chancellor), West Germany's version of the White House. This high-modernist masterpiece was designed in the early 1960s by German architect Sep Ruf. After extensive renovations, it opened up to public tours last year.

Ludwig Erhard, the economics minister under Adenauer (who also ultimately followed him as chancellor), commissioned Ruf to design what is an austere steel-and-glass pavilion, one which stands in stark contrast to other public buildings of the time, which still aspired to Bavarian charm or Prussian pomp.

The residence, says Mr. Nerdinger, "was something special." Unlike the American president or the British prime minister, Germany's chancellor didn't live in a "historical building" but one that amounted to a "declaration of modernity."

The Kanzlerbungalow, the chancellors' official residence from 1964–99, was "an enormous step forward," says Mr. Nerdinger, in making architectural modernism acceptable in a country which, before the rise of Nazism, had been home to the Bauhaus movement.

Fanciful postmodernist architecture of the 1980s marks both the Bundeskunsthalle and the Kunstmuseum buildings, which surround a piazza, the Museumsplatz, where concerts are held in the summer and ice-skating goes on in winter.

Bonn "has a museum landscape that is far bigger and more prosperous than other cities," says Stephan Berg, the director of the Kunstmuseum Bonn. Its most popular museum remains the Haus der Geschichte, a user-friendly institution devoted to telling the story of Germany's occupation, division and reunification. A brainchild of the end of the Cold War, the museum didn't open until 1994, when the organizers were compelled to tell recent German history from the new perspective of a single German state.

The permanent collection manages to convey an epic sense of postwar German life. Using a variety of styles and techniques, recalling everything from a science museum to a theme park, the museum aspires "to make the themes of history understandable," says Jürgen Reiche, director of exhibitions since the museum's early days.

Bonn's recent makeover extends to Carnival, which officially begins at 11 minutes after 11 on Nov. 11, when the city is introduced to that season's Carnival "royalty," a select group of locals who preside over the season's costumed festivities. Until this past decade, the ceremony was a private one, but it has now opened up into a public party, with thousands of Bonners joining in.

Bonn now has some 300,000 residents, and is closely connected to Cologne, which you can reach by streetcar as well as commuter train. But it can have a serene, rustic feel, due in large part to the way it straddles the Rhine without overdeveloping the actual riverfront.

"The brilliant thing about Bonn is the River Rhine," says Mr. Berg, who admits that one of his favorite local pastimes since moving here is going for regular swims in the river. "The water quality is really good now," he says. "And as long as you stay on the beaches," which help to keep swimmers clear of dangerous currents and boat traffic, "it's all good."

Bonn "still shows the old dream of Konrad Adenauer," says Mr. Berg, when asked to compare Bonn's cultural offerings with other German cities, "that a village could become the center of the world."

Rivalry: Köln vs. Düsseldorf

Wall Street Journal, Nov. 12, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

The Rhine River has given Germany two great cities—Cologne and Düsseldorf. And those two cities have given Germany its great urban rivalry. Separated by 40 kilometers and a winding stretch of river, the two cities have stayed resolutely separate while seeming to share the same habits and preoccupations. Both are art loving and beer loving, and both are centers of Catholicism. It would be easy to imagine them growing together, like Manhattan and Brooklyn, or waging war, like Florence and Pisa. Visitors to the region eagerly go back and forth, but locals tend to stay at home.

The same difference

Cologne has Kölsch, a light frothy beer drunk out of special small glasses; Düsseldorf has Alt, a dark frothy beer drunk out of special small glasses. Cologne has the Museum Ludwig, one of Germany's two leading museums of modern and contemporary art; Düsseldorf has the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany's other leading museum of modern and contemporary art. Cologne has Gerhard Richter, Germany's most famous painter; Düsseldorf has Andreas Gursky, Germany's most famous photographer. Cologne has a great new building by Pritzker-Prize winner Peter Zumthor; Düsseldorf likes to show off its buildings by Pritzker winner Frank Gehry. In some categories, one clearly is ahead of the other. Both celebrate Carnival on the Monday before Lent, but Cologne's party is larger and better known. Both have excellent shopping, but only Düsseldorf has the Königsallee, Germany's center for high fashion and high prices.

Reduced, but not gone

In the western reaches of a unified country, in the heart of a unifying continent, the cities may seem to be coming closer together. "The rivalry is a little reduced," says Monika Sprüth, a Cologne resident and Mr. Gurksy's art dealer. Reduced perhaps, but not gone. It only takes a few questions to get Ms. Sprüth to restart it. "Cologne is a city that is 2,000 years old," she says, when asked to compare the two. "It was important in Roman times and medieval times. Düsseldorf didn't even exist in those days."

Bonn: UN Global Warming Discussions

Discussions on negotiating texts on pact to combat global warming kick off – UN

2 weeks of discussions include delegates from 182 nations, in this second round (Pre-Copenhagen Pact) session organized by the United Nations, take place in the wonderful university city on the Rhein, Bonn.

Change is on its way. Or?
-->Same old, same old?