Today we first got a news item presentation by Ann-Kathrin and Maria. They gave us a rather detailed introduction to the American presidential elections. What I liked is that they explained a lot: the political parties, their symbols and ideological trends; the fact that the president is elected by the electoral college; and the biographical backgrounds of the two major candidates, Bush and Kerry.
Although Mr. Ringeisen afterwards mentioned a few words which were mispronounced, I was impressed by Maria's and Ann-Kathrin's fluency and good pronunciation. And I liked their transparencies as well.
In the second part of the lesson, we finished translating the poem "Not My Best Side" into German. There were a couple of funny passages, where some people had thought that "tail" means 'Taille' in German ... But in general, it was a good exercise and was enjoyed by people who like translating.
Finally, we talked about the short short story we had read at home, "Murder in the Dark" by Margaret Atwood. It seems that most of us found this story easy to read because we had played that game (or a similar version of it) when we were younger, so it was not difficult to follow. - There is a rather tricky passage, however, when the narrator starts a new paragraph saying, "If you like, you can play games with this game" (p. 13, l. 18). And then she transfers the roles of the game to the roles of author/reader/book, or author/critic/reader. In both these cases, the author would be the murderer, and the reader could be either the detective or the victim. After this meta-fictional passage, the final paragraph follows, in which the narrator leaves it open somehow whether she is talking about playing a real game of "Murder in the Dark", as it were, or whether she is talking about her tricky text with which she is trying to carry out her "designs" (p. 13, l. 25) on the reader. This ambivalence becomes even a paradox at the end, when she finishes her text by saying: "by the rules of the game, I must always lie. Now: do you believe me?" (p. 14, ll. 6-7).
I'm not quite sure what to make of this text, quite honestly, because it doesn't seem to have a definite meaning and feels vague, somehow (if you know what I mean).
Oh, and there were a few other things in the lesson as well: We heard about some technical details when signing in at the blog, we saw our teacher's wonderful poetry book (as an example, because we are supposed to get one, too, so we can start writing poems into each other's books), and we heard about some more ALT key sequences for producing long dashes. Fascinating, as usual. ;-)