2004-11-30

A relaxed lesson

At first, we were only 6 pupils who wanted to learn something about the English language. The others wrote their History or Religious Education 'Schulaufgabe'. So they weren't in time and the English lesson couldn't start before 12 o'clock. That was quite good ;-) .
Afterwards we corrected our translation homework about the text “Is Classical Music Dying?”.
Furthermore we listened to excerpts from a CD of “New Music” (Ligeti, Stockhausen and Charles Ives). It was quite interesting, but not the kind of music I prefer. There was no “real” melody and the instruments didn't sound good. I think, it might be very difficult to compose this kind of music. But I wouldn't go to such a concert ...
--
by Janina

2004-11-29

Rat and Head, Surreptitiously Renovated ;-)

In our lesson today, Janina told us something about the short short story “The Head”, written by Michael Hale Bullock. It was a very interesting presentation, I liked it very much. Well done, Janina! :) Her story was about a head which attacked a woman. The idea that there is a head on your coffee table is kinda weird, I think. But funny anyway! *lol*
After this one we got informed by Elisabeth about the short short story “A Rat and Some Renovations” by Bernard MacLaverty. Americans are visiting with a family. The mother wants to impress them and decides to buy a new kitchen before the visitors come. BUT the problem comes soon... A rat... Very nice. I would have died if there were a rat in my kitchen! Ahhhh... *lol* ANYWAYS... It was funny!! Well done, Elisabeth! :)
After these two enjoyable presentations, we corrected our grammar homework.
Hmmm, what else did we do?!?! Ahhhhh.... We spent the rest of the lesson with reading and translating the text “Is Classical Music Dying?”. It' s a text with some very strange words like "surreptitiously". Try to pronounce it! It's really funny! :)
To put it in a nutshell, we had two very nice lessons....

Have a relaxing evening! See ya tomorrow!

Bye bye

2004-11-28

Holiday in Germany and Still I Rise

Our lesson on Monday (I know, I'm late for my blog entry) started with Melanie's and Barbara's presentation of the short story "Holiday in Germany" by Richard Brautigan.

First we were given some information about the author.
Richard Gary Brautigan was born in the year 1935 in Tacoma.
He became famous in the sixties.
He died in 1984 by a shot. Probably it was suicide.

After that, Barbara explained the plot to us.
The story tells about a bus and a VW driving next to each other on a motorway.
The people in the vehicles wave to each other.
But when the VW finally leaves the motorway nothing important has happened.

The narrator - an American - is part of the story because he sits inside the bus.
He is a first-person narrator and he is omniscient.
The protagonists of the story are the two young German boys in the VW.

The style of the story is direct and sluggish.
(For those of you who don't remember: sluggish = träge)

After this very nice presentation, we corrected our homework, a translation exercise, which was rather easy.

Then we talked about the poem "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou, a very famous black American author. After Mr R had explained some unknown words to us, we (or he) decided to translate the whole poem.
"Still I Rise" is a critcal poem in which Maya Angelou is fighting against prejudices and the discrimination of black people. The poem is written with a lot of passion and in a very melodious style. Because of that it was quite difficult to translate.

Suddenly the school bell rang and finished our lesson, so we decided to continue the translation next time.

2004-11-24

And Still We'll Rise

A presentation of a short story had not been prepared for today's lesson, so we dealt with our poem "Still I Rise" once more. After having translated the poem the previous lesson, we had a second look at its content. We wanted to find out what could possiply rise that often. Apparently it had to be something extraordinarily persistent, to rise so many times. Furthermore we tried to find out what the verb "rise" could mean. We all came to the conclusion that "rising" must be a standing up after a falling. The author of the poem, Maya Angelou, is a black woman, consequently the thing that rises could also be the call for freedom and equality and the fight for having rights.
But we didn't only have a second look at our poem, we also started to do an exercise about a main topic in our next "Schulaufgabe"- the translation from English into German. In my opinion this was a very useful exercise, because I have some difficulties (and I know I'm not the only one) in expressing an english text in a normal, especially correct German. But I'm sure, with Mr. Ringeisen's exercises we will get better and better... because still we'll rise.
See ya all Thursday!

2004-11-18

lessons: Nov 11th & 15th

At the very beginning of our lesson, we had an informative short-story presentation by Eva and Corinna. Both girls presented "The linesman", written by Janet Frame. We listened attentively to the information on the author, the contents of the story, the position of the narrator, before we analysed the style and heard something about the meaning, interpretation and their own opinion of the story.
After the short story presentation Mr. Ringeisen wanted to talk with everybody alone about her first test. He wanted us to pay attention to our mistakes, and gave us suggestions what we could do to improve in the next test. During the individual talks between the teacher and each pupil, the rest of the LK had to work on four texts.
The first text was "Here endeth the lesson"; it's about the influence of the candidates' religion on the voters. The next article, "New standards for elections", is about some methods the author thinks should be improved, because there are some flaws in the American voting system. "Rove's revenge" is about the relation of Bush and Karl Rove in their childhood. The author is a Kerry-fan and is sad about losing. The last text, "Voting without the facts", tells about different people who are well or less well informed about the politicians and politics.
After that (on Monday) we read a very confusing story: "Water", by Fred Leebron. At the end, we thought that the woman who has to give the plants water is the previous girlfriend or wife of the man who is now on holiday with a new girl, enjoys his life - in contrast to his former girl who is jealous, because she still loves him.

by Claudia

2004-11-16

everybody has a different opinion

Today Mr Ringeisen started the lesson with the search for somebody to write the blog entry, so here I am! Then he gave Janina and Susi their poetry books back and he suggested we'd talk about our favourite poems once the poetry books are beginning to fill.
Afterwards we talked about the newspaper articles we had read during the lessons before. I think they were very interesting, especially to see how different the opinions about the elections were. Some authors were very critical and some had some suggestions for the next elections. After that we talked about our own opinion about Bush and those who voted for him. And I saw that in our "little class" we have different opinions, too, and this was very fascinating!
I wish you all a nice free day tomorrow. See you all on Thursday.
Melanie

2004-11-10

Oh, America ...

First, it would be better to say, "oh, Eva " because I'm even not able to write a blog entry... I think I did something wrong on this side and now ... I hope nothing is destroyed?!
But now, my real blog entry:-)
On every Tuesday, we've only got a very short lesson, so my entry won't be long and I will add some comments.
Today, we talked about cartoons we had chosen yesterday. These cartoons told us many details about George W. Bush and the current situation in the U.S.A.. The authors drew many sarcastical and ironic cartoons and they made us smile and laugh about it. Various problems and situations are brought up, e.g. homosexuals, taxes, election campaign, rivalry between President Bush and his opponent Kerry, terrorism, moral values, the two parties ...
It's really fascinating that someone can draw such cartoons because one has to include many hidden details, often ironic and satirical ones, reflecting current problems and situations. At the end of our lesson, after everybody had presented his chosen cartoon, Mr. Ringeisen gave us some papers, too. The first article tells us something about moral values. Many Americans seem to have only voted for Bush because of his deep faith and his attitude towards morals (against abortion, homosexuals ...). That's the reason why America's minorities (homosexuals, but also blacks ...) support Kerry (The Democrats). Oh, America - once even Goethe said - you are lucky, and our old Europe... (didn't he?)
But why do your brave soldiers vote for morals and faith although they pray with weapons in their praying hands ... Oh, America ... And after all, who is their god?
Enough for today, have a nice day, till Thursday...;-)

2004-11-09

Halloween, a spooky short story and grammar mistakes

In our first English lesson after the All Hallows holidays Marina and Miriam started by giving their news item presentation. As All Saints Day is an important holiday in the United States they reported detailed information about the European origin and today’s customs. Halloween is a combination of several European feasts: It goes back to Roman Pomona Day, Christian All Saints and All Souls Day and Celtic Samhain, which are all celebrated on October 31st or November 1st.
They pointed out that Samhain, also called Last Harvest, was the beginning of the Celtic winter season and a very magical and spiritual time, especially the night of October 31st, which was said to allow dead ancestors to return to earth for this single night. Furthermore, they touched on the origin of the custom which is popular today: Children go from house to house asking “Trick or Treat” in order to get sweets.
Afterwards, the class was told the legend of Jack who played a trick on the Devil and hence was – after his death – neither allowed to enter heaven nor hell but had to look for a place to stay, carrying an ember within a turnip. Obviously, the Irish copied this idea, the Americans replaced the turnip later by a pumpkin, and invented the custom of Jack-O-Lanterns. Today families usually carve spooky faces into their pumpkins which are supposed to keep evil spirits away.
Then Victoria gave her talk about the short story “The night the ghost got in” by James Thurber. Fluently speaking, she first introduced the author of her story, additionally the content and plot. She described the characters of “The night the ghost got in” plastically, went into style and interpretation. As she was the first to talk about a chosen short story, I think she gave a very good, well-prepared lecture.
Afterwards, Mr Ringeisen drew attention to the mistakes that most frequently appeared in our English tests. We have to be careful not to forget (or add) letters when building past or progressive forms, to be and being, happen and happened for example. Moreover, our teacher pointed to wrong usage of prepositions and tenses. At the end of our lesson, we got our tests back.

2004-11-04

New Old President of the USA

Hello everybody!
I hope you're all enjoying your holidays.
Yesterday, John Kerry gave up and Bush is again president of the United States. It is a pity that Kerry lost because Bush's way to do politics is not the right way. There will be no improvement of the protection of the environment and minorities like the homosexual people have no chance to get the rights that "normal" people have.
So we have to wait another four years and then there will be a real new president.
See you on moday!:(
Johanna