The January Magazine Holiday Gift Guide 2005: Fiction
There has also been a list in the New York Times, of course. A couple of lists, to be more precise:
And, finally, something I really recommend: Superb choice of audio material - readings by contemporary authors, interviews, discussions - fascinating and *free*:
Author readings and interviews
• Intelligent Design Network: Seeking Objectivity in Origins Science
• Devolution: Why intelligent design isn't
• An Open Letter to the Kansas School Board on behalf of the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Pinter's Nobel Lecture
Pinter's topic was "Art, Truth & Politics", and he began thus:
In 1958 I wrote the following:
'There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.'
I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?
Report in the Telegraph
Report in the New York Times
That's Welsh and now I want to present what we did last week. It was really a lot, so nobody can claim, that anyone of us is lazy. Now I want to show you in detail, what we did throughout the whole week. At the last weekend we were supposed to read the text “Keeping up with the Joneses”. Although this text was really difficult to read, and especially the translation of it was extremely demanding, what every one of us had to experience during the lesson when we translated a part of it, I think it contains some quite interesting facts. For example, I think, many of us were surprised by the fact that there are so immense differences in the way of living between the northern Welsh and those who live in the southern part of Wales, e.g. at their professions. What I personally found very funny is the affair concerning the nicknames. But although being quite funny, this is, of course, also very confusing. I think, some of you aren’t that interested in the topic we considered on Monday, but I am a little bit influenced by my Facharbeits topic. I am writing about the Welsh language, and I can tell you, that, considering Wales a bit closer, you will recognize, that it’s really a beautiful part of the United Kingdom. There is so much you can experience, and if you’re reading about it, you might become fascinated, as I am, and therefore the question arises, if you should plan for your next holidays to go to Wales and look at the beautiful nature and listen to the language, although you won’t understand any word. There is so much you can learn about Wales.
We talked about another part of Great Britain, Scotland, on Tuesday, December 6th. This is one of the parts that want to separate from England. This is a very difficult topic, because there are many advantages of being independent, but also many disadvantages do exist. What I think is particularly striking is the problem concerning the history. Many years, the two peoples fought against each other and now they are united. So I personally understand very well, that there are many who want at least their children to be told Scottish history at school. Tuesday, we started talking, and also discussing, about some typical or not typical British things, what we finished on Thursday. Thursday, Caro also presented one this year’s Nobel Prize winners, Harold Pinter, to us. She did it very well, and I think, we also learned a lot of things, we wouldn’t get to know without her. She presented one his plays, Betrayal. This is the very realistically told story of a fairly trivial case of adultery among the London literary establishment: Jerry has had an affair with the wife of his best friend Robert. The affair started in 1968 and ended in 1975. The story is told backwards, so you see, the book starts at the point, when Emma’s marriage is broken and ends in 1968 when the affair began. I really enjoyed her presentation and its topic. We finally talked about another text, “The Happiest People on Earth”. It presents the British in an extremely positive way. We are supposed to translate the last part of the text for Monday, so don’t forget about it!!!
You see, the claim I did at the beginning of my summary is true, we did a lot of work during that week.
See you tomorrow or at least on Monday.
Today, it is my turn to summarize our informative english-lk week.
On Monday, we listened to a funny and very interesting speech about Pipi Longstocking by Barbara. She told us about the author Astrid Lindgren and the exciting life of the main character. But we also listened to the wonderful song which always introduces the Pipi-films. In my opinion, it was a very funny presentation.
After that we read a text about the UK, Great Britain, the British isles... ?? It sounded very confusing and difficult to decide which expression is the right one to say that you mean the little island which we often and erreounesly call "England". But, thanks God, even British people have their problems with that. :-)
In our next English lesson, on Tuesday, Mr Ringeisen brought along a magazine about "Pride and Prejudice", the movie which we will watch soon. It was funny and also very informative to read something about "How you can catch your dream prince!" and so on. :-)
On Thursday, we corrected our homework, a translation and a word quiz, together and after some hard working, we listened to a caberett song of Michael Flanders and Donald Swan : "A Song of Patriotic Predjudice". It was kind of funny because they sang in a very old style, like the Comedian Harmonists, I guess, and it was very ironical. The men sang about Irishs, Welshs, Scots, Germans, Frenchs and so on and they mentioned all well-known predjudices. Besides that, according to their words, the English are best people ever.
At the end of the lesson, we watched a film about the various parts of the UK and about Shakespeare who was able to combine all parts and become an important writer for the island. So, we learned something about Shakespeare`s parents and grandparents, about the surroundings when he was born and some facts about his life. In my opinion, the film was made very well and informatively and I would like to watch more of it.
Ok, well, that is the end of my short summary. I hope you enjoyed it :-)
Have a nice evening and a wonderful next english-lk week!!
"'Merry Holiday' to all and to some a Christmas fight" (Chicago Tribune)
Some years ago I used to be a student in Peter Ringeisen’s LK. I have to say, I like the idea of calling yourselves ELKs ;)
Just recently, I moved to Chicago. It is a fascinating place and I would like to give you some more insight into my life in the “windy city”.
This last Thursday I experienced my first “Turkey Day”. Thanksgiving really is a BIG holiday here in the United States. In a way it is even more important than Christmas because most people are off work from Thursday through Sunday; and free days are something really precious in the United States. During this long weekend families come together and they are causing enormous traffic! It is the peak travel time of the year: in the last days more than 20 million people flew on US airlines.
We stayed in Chicago and together with some friends we cooked at our place. The turkey, the cranberry sauce, the stuffing, the sweet potatoes and all those other things were really yummy.
Thanksgiving is also the traditional kick-off for the holiday season. There is something special about Christmas time in Chicago: the city hosts the biggest Christmas Market in North America (http://www.christkindlmarket.com). The market is modeled on Nuremberg’s famous Christkindlesmarkt. Although the red-and-white booths are located on Daley Plaza, a square that seems like a canyon in between all the gigantic skyscrapers, standing there, having a cup of mulled wine and smelling roast almonds feels a bit like being home.
Another nice holiday tradition is to go and have a look at the windows of Marshall Field’s (Chicago’s famous warehouse) (http://www.rachelleb.com/002501.html). The sidewalks near the department store are usually choc-a-bloc with hundreds of Chicagoans and tourists who can’t wait to see some fairy tale story acted out by big puppets. This year the story of Cinderella is on display. Have a look at the windows. To be honest, I do not really like the dolls and it took me quite some time to figure out which were the ugly stepsisters and which was Cinderella ;)
I’ll tell you more about Chicago another time. Maybe you want to find out more about some particular topic having to do with Chicago or the USA in general. Just let me know and I’ll try to answer your questions.
I wish you all a great week, Marina
Man, what a week! Unbelievable, how much one can do in five English lessons! I really had to sit down a minute and think to recall everything we did. Ok, let’s summarize our English week:
On Monday, 21st we started with our presentations on a topic of our choice. The one to start was Maria and she told us some really interesting facts about the history of marathon and the New York City Marathon in particular. Isn't it amazing that a person runs 42 kilometres in just 2 hours!? What I found particularly interesting is that the winning woman receives much more prize money than the winner of the men. I think in every other sport women get much less money than the males. We also watched the thrilling ending of this years NYCM. Maria’s talk took us the first of the two Monday lessons. In the second lesson we watched excerpts from another Macbeth movie, this time a more modern one. We talked about the striking differences between this movie (by Trevor Nunn) and the one by Roman Polanski. One difference was the age of the protagonists, they all seemed to be much older in the modern movie, and another one was the colors. The Polanski movie seemed to be more colorful and not just black and white. Thus the whole class (I think so) liked the older movie more than the modern one. If you don’t agree you can give your opinion in a comment on this blog! Excellent idea, isn’t it?
On Tuesday, 22nd, our single-lesson-day, we opened our Viewfinder Specials (long time not seen!) and started to talk about a new topic, the United Kingdom and its nations. We realized the problems existing between the English, the Scottish, the Welsh, and the Irish. They all want to be united in order to have a powerful position in the EU, but at the same time they all wish to have their independent governments and identities. I can totally understand them, I would want to have my own identity too and I would not like to be thrown into one pot and mixed up with other people. We read the first text about this topic in our book and talked about flags and languages of the United Kingdom.
On Thursday, 24th there was a second presentation, this time by Victoria. She talked about the festival of Woodstock in 1969, its origin, music, and people. I think she did a very good job there, because we could listen to the typical Woodstock music and got an impression of the mood there with an excerpt of a documentary movie. Judging from the photos Vici showed us claustrophobia is not very useful in such crowds of people!! The presentation of Victoria filled our first lesson. In the second one we looked at some new words which appear in the new edition of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary. I really enjoyed talking about the modern vocabulary and guessing what the funny words could possibly mean! Did you ever hear words like ‘trip hop’ or ‘chick lit’? In my opinion that lesson was very funny, but also useful, because they seem to appear a lot in spoken English. Twenty-four seven (or 24/7) for example has become a normal word and you can even see it on signs in German stores!
So, that was my little summary of the week. What’s left to say? Read on your chick lits and keep on watching Bollywood movies! Mwah!!! :-) See you all next week!
Look at this text:
Then think of a question and answer it.
You can send your work to me until Saturday, 18.00. Anything after that
will also be received, but I can't guarantee any feedback on it before Monday morning.
Have a nice weekend.
Macbeth is a statement of evil. I use the word ‘statement’ (unsatisfactory as it is) in order to stress those qualities that are 'non-dramatic'. lt also happens to be poetry, which means that the apprehension of the whole can be obtained from a lively attention to the parts, whether they have an immediate bearing on the main action or ‘illustrate character’, or not. Two main themes, which can only be separated for the purpose of analysis, are blended in the play—the themes of the reversal of values and of unnatural disorder. And closely related to each is a third theme, that of the deceitful appearance, and consequent doubt, uncertainty, and confusion.
Each theme is stated in the first act. The first scene, every word of which will bear the closest scrutiny, strikes one dominant chord:
Fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Hover through the fog and filthy air. I.i.9f
It is worth remarking that ‘hurley-burley’ implies more than ‘the tumult of sedition or insurrection’. Both it and ‘When the battle’s lost and won’ suggest the kind of metaphysical pitch-and-toss that is about to be played with good and evil. At the same time we hear the undertone of uncertainty: the scene opens with a question, and the second line suggests a region where the elements are disintegrated as they never are in nature; thunder and lightning are disjoined, and offered as alternatives. We should notice also that the scene expresses the same movement as the play as a whole: the general crystallizes into the immediate particular (‘Where the place?’ – ‘Upon the Heath.’ – ‘There to meet wich Macbeth.’) and then dissolves again into the general presentment of hideous gloom. All is done with the greatest speed, economy, and precision.
The second scene is full of images of confusion. It is a general principle in the work of Shakespeare and many of his contemporaries that when A is made to describe X, a minor character or event, the description is not merely immediately applicable to X, it helps to determine the way in which our whole rcsponse shall develop. This is rather crudely recognized when we say that certain lines ‘create the atmosphere’ of the play. Shakespeare’s power is seen in the way in which details of this kind develop, check, or provide a commentary upon the main interests that he has aroused. In the present scene the description
- Doubtful it stood,
As two spent swimmers that do cling together
And choke their art - I.ii.7ff.
applies not only to the battle but to the ambiguity of Macbeth’s future fortunes. The impression conveyed is not only one of violence but of unnatural violence (‘to bathe in reeking wounds’) and of a kind of nightmare gigantism -
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
And fan our people cold. I.ii.50f.
Questions on the text
1 Name and explain the main themes that L. C. Knights mentions in the first paragraph.
2 Comment on the term ‘hurley-burley’ in Macbeth.
3 What example does Knights use in order to illustrate unnatural disorder?
Would you recommend a friend of yours to read Macbeth? Explain.
Yesterday I watched TV and found a broadcast, which was about a very interesting topic: racism in America (which is also most incredibly the topic of my Facharbeit! Wow, I'm lucky!) There's a teenage Pop-band in the U.S. advertising white racism and reviving the attitude of Hitler. When I watched that program I just felt disgusted! Please, read the article I found on the internet and tell me if you would take this new form of "patriotism" seriously or not worth bothering. I'd be really happy if you would tell me your opinion!
See ya'll soon, Ann-Kathrin
Twin pop stars with angelic looks are new face of racism
America's white supremacist movement has an angelic new face: twin teenage pop stars whose songs preach messages of racial hatred.
Prussian Blue, a "white power" band now recording its second album, is described as a sinister version of the Olsen Twins, the squeaky clean child actresses of the 1990s. It is attracting more and more fans among young white nationalists.
Lamb and Lynx Gaede, blonde, blue-eyed 13-year-olds from Bakersfield, California, have been entertaining all-white crowds with their music since the age of nine. Lamb plays the guitar and Lynx the violin.
Their songs have titles such as "Sacrifice", a tribute to Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, that praises him as a "man of peace who wouldn't give up".
Performing for such groups as the neo-Nazi National Alliance at Holocaust-denial events and festivals entitled Folk the System, the girls execute Sieg Heil salutes while belting out lyrics such as "Strike force! White survival. Strike force! Yeah."
"We are proud of being white," Lynx told ABC News. "We want our people to stay white…we don't want to just be, you know, a big muddle. We just want to preserve our race."
The twins have such a high profile among white supremacists that David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader and presidential candidate, uses them to attract support.
Critics have condemned the twins' message and say that they have been brainwashed by their mother.
"It breaks my heart to see those girls spewing out that kind of garbage," said Ted Shaw, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People's Legal Defence Fund.
The twins' act was recently withdrawn from the Kern County fair because of "security concerns". Their mother, April, 38, a former member of the National Alliance, told the Bakersfield Californian that her daughters were upset. They "simply want to perform their songs: songs about Vikings and German history", she said.
Miss Gaede has brought her daughters up on racist beliefs using textbooks from the 1950s. She is separated from their father, who is said to have similar views and has a swastika on his belt buckle.
Prussian Blue, under contract to the white supremacist label Resistance Records, is one of a number of extremist pop bands, such as Blue-Eyed Devils and Angry Aryans.
The twins' first album featured songs called Road to Valhalla and Aryan Man, Awake. They depict a world "where freedom exists for only those with darker skin" and encourage the Aryan man to awake and "turn that fear to hate".
The twins recently came under fire for stipulating that money they donated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina should go to whites only. In a recent interview with the magazine Viceland, they were asked what was the "most important social issue facing the white race right now". They replied: "Not having enough white babies born to replace ourselves and generally not having good quality white people being born."
FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.
PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.
BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.
FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.
PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.
RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.
CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.
DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.
LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.
(Thanks a lot for pointing me there, Jochen!)
"I can honestly say that without Mrs. Parks, I probably would not be standing here today as secretary of state."
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, at a memorial service for Rosa Parks.
And now look at this: The Long History of a Bus Ride - New York Times
The beginning of this text:
ROSA PARKS led an inspiring life. Unfortunately, we rarely hear about it.
That may sound surprising at a time when Rosa Parks is probably mentioned in every American history textbook and is the subject of dozens of biographies. The problem is that her story is usually presented as a simplistic morality tale. It is a paint-by-the numbers picture of virtue that goes like this:
On Dec. 1, 1955, Mrs. Parks is an ordinary 42-year-old seamstress in downtown Montgomery, Ala. She leaves work and gets on the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home. When the whites-only section fills up, the bus driver yells at Mrs. Parks to give up her seat to a white man. She refuses and is arrested. Simply by sitting on a bus, Mrs. Parks sets off the year-long Montgomery bus boycott that galvanizes national attention, brings the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the start of his journey as a civil rights leader and creates a model of nonviolent protest against racial segregation.
There's no denying the appeal of this story - her body began lying in honor in the Capitol yesterday. But this telling of the tale does a disservice to Mrs. Parks and twists the history of the civil rights movement. Her story is about more than one bus ride. And the civil rights movement is more than one moment of defiance. The focus on Rosa Parks leads to the neglect of other civil rights pioneers who did far more to shape history.
Rosa Parks, 92, Founding Symbol of Civil Rights Movement, Dies - New York Times
The beginning of the article by E. R. SHIPP (published: October 25, 2005):
Rosa Parks, a black seamstress whose refusal to relinquish her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Ala., almost 50 years ago grew into a mythic event that helped touch off the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's, died yesterday at her home in Detroit. She was 92 years old.
'Shakespeare'; 'A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare': Straight Out of Stratford - New York Times
'Shakespeare'; 'A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare': Straight Out of Stratford - New York Times
For those of you who haven't registered yet with the NYT, here's the beginning of the article:
LONDON, Oct. 13 - Harold Pinter, the English playwright, poet and political campaigner whose work uses spare and often menacing language to explore themes like powerlessness, domination and the faceless tyranny of the state, won the Nobel Prize for Literature today.
Mr. Pinter "uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms," the Swedish Academy said in announcing the award, which carries $1.3 million in prize money.
Now 75, Mr. Pinter has had an extraordinarily productive and versatile career, writing plays and screenplays, directing theater productions, appearing as an actor on screen and stage and winning awards across Europe. So precise and pared-down is his prose, so artful his use of pauses and omissions to invoke discomfort, foreboding and miscommunication, that the adjective "Pinteresque" has come to mean a peculiar kind of atmospheric unease. [...]
But did you know that Rita, although weakening, remains dangerous. Damaging wind gusts, torrential rain and isolated tornadoes will persist along the path of the storm toward the ArkLaTex.
Despite the expected continued weakening of the system, excessive rain and inland flooding will remain major threats over eastern Texas, western Louisiana and southern Arkansas for the next several days as Rita is forecast to slow in its forward movement.
Rita is a Category 3 hurricane and there are surges as high as 15 to 20 feet.
Meanwhile, in the central and eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Kenneth is moving westward, while Tropical Storm Norma is pushing toward the NNW.
Fortunately, none of the storms poses any threat to land.
We've finally received our copies of Macbeth and have started to read the first two scenes.
Well, the language of Shakespeare sounds really good, but it is very difficult to understand, so I think that we will need some time to get used to it. :-)
For everybody who may have wondered: yes, it's really Sean Bean (Boromir from Lord of the Rings) on the cover of the book. :-)
And if you open the book on page 16, then you can see another LotR-star there: Ian McKellen, Gandalf! Cool, isn't it?
And now the second part of my entry: the new Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire trailer is out!!!
If you want to watch it, here are two links:
It's really amazing (I had to watch it two times within 10 minutes *lol*), exciting and breathtaking.
So, enjoy the trailer and cu
"Schröder is playing a real tough power game now," said Claus Leggewie, a political scientist at Giessen University. "His argument is, "I have a won a plebiscite of the German people, but it's unreal because he has no majority."
Still, if the options for Mr. Schröder all seemed fraught with potential difficulty, those for Mrs. Merkel seemed equally tough. Only a few weeks ago, as the election campaign accelerated, polls showed Mrs. Merkel almost a sure winner, in combination with the Free Democrats, so much so that she was almost treated in the German press as if she had already become Germany's first woman chancellor.
Mrs. Merkel seemed to have every advantage given Germany's actual situation - especially an unemployment rate of more than 11 percent that Mr. Schröder, despite many promises, had conspicuously failed to reduce. This failure was the reason for several embarrassing losses in state elections during the fall for the Social Democrats. Indeed it was one such loss, in North Rhine Westphalia in the spring, that led Mr. Schröder to call for early elections, a gesture that at the time was widely interpreted as a way for Mr. Schröder to engineer an early departure from German politics.
But Mrs. Merkel, who campaigned on what she called the need for a thoroughgoing reform to revitalize the German economy, led what many analysts, and, apparently, the German public, felt to be a weak, unfocused and even self-contradictory campaign. Mr. Schröder, meanwhile, made speech after speech hammering at the point that Mrs. Merkel's proposed reforms would mean new inequality in Germany, as well as an end to Germany's traditional social welfare system.
"In my perspective, the majority of the German population is still not ready to accept a real hard reform course," said Uwe Andersen , a political scientist at Ruhr University in Bochum.
I’m quite sure you all remember last Sunday when we went to our polling stations.I think most of us had surprised amazement all over our faces watching the news broadcasting latest calculations in the evening.We heard a lot of politicians talk about them being the winners although nearly all of them lost votes – compared to 2002 results. As I see it, it was lots of fun watching them (mis)interpreting the results and commentating on them. If you listened closely to some people’s arguments you discovered anything – but logical consequences: one maintained being the biggest parliament party by separating other parties’ shares, others accused each other of being undemocratic by excluding parties from negotiations in an effort to form a coalition that would command a parliamentary majority and simultaneously promising to never talk to another party about governing together.
A part from a coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD are a lot of further ones possible – theoretically: because of the still current government refusing to govern in coalition with the newly founded left party, there are the “traffic lights”-solutions. Both a coalition of red-yellow-green and of black-yellow-green, the so-called Jamaica Coalition, are mathematically doable.
But the far more interesting question for me is who is going to be our next chancellor? In my personal view there are three possibilities: Probably it will be our first female chancellor Angela Merkel, or the chancellor of the medias Gerhard Schröder for one more time – or, which is a quite exciting thought – somebody completely different – if the Federal President dissolves the Parliament to ask the people to vote once again after some unsuccessful elections after October 18th. (According to our Constitution, the newly elected Parliament has 30 days to hold its first meeting, at which presumably it would elect a chancellor.)
Today I read that more than 70% of the Germans are unsatisfied with the results of the election. About 30% are in favour of a coalition of Social Democrats and the Christian Democratic Union.
Today, Angela Merkel talked with the leaders of her party's traditional coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party, even though the election left the two parties combined about a dozen seats short of a majority. That means that she still needs to find support from another party, and it was unclear where that support would come from. One possibility is the Green Party, which is now Mr. Schröder's coalition partner. And Christian Democratic officials said that talks would be held with the Greens too.
I am not that confident if you noticed that Afghanistan voted its first Parliament for more than 30 years. Despite scattered reports of shootings and attempted sabotage that left five people dead during the day and two police officers dead on the eve of the election, the vast bulk of the voting went remarkably smoothly.
About 50% of the 12,4 million registered voters chose a candidate of 5800. This astonishing number probably confused some of the voters – so they stayed at home. About 10% of all candidates were women who were especially encouraged to try to get elected to integrate women in the new established political system and daily life. The results will be announced next month.
The first democratic election in Afghanistan after the war is considered a big step toward a stable democracy...
Perhaps we should think different about our election which was so perfectly natural for us.
A good night to you,
Many of you have already started to read and some have already finished ( ;-) ) "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince".
Maybe you can remember that I once posted the link to my Harry Potter Forum (here it is again: http://kittyconfused.proboards38.com/index.cgi) "Harry Potter United".
Now, I want to invite you to join the discussion about the latest Harry Potter book, if you are interested! Here's the link to the board about the Prince:
I hope to you see you there! *g*
Won-Won fan (also from Harry Potter *g*)
I wanted to tell you about a book I recently read...
You surely remember Miriam’s presentation of “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown. Perhaps you already heard of his latest novel “The Da Vinci Code”.
It had real good press (“Fascinating and Fun ... exceedingly clever ... Read the book and be enlightened.” – The Washington Post Book World) and was discussed all over the country – do you remember?
I sum up the plot shortly:
Robert Langdon who we already know from Brown’s first novel “Angels and Demons” is in Paris while the curator of the Louvre, Jacques Saunière, is murdered inside this museum. Langdon, Harvard symbologist, is awakened in the dead of night and brought inside the museum. Inspector Captain Fache makes him believe he could help the police finding the curator’s murderer by deciphering numerous hidden clues. What he is not told is the fact that he is Fache’s primary suspect because he was supposed to meet the Louvre curator the same evening inside the Louvre – in fact there where the murder had taken place.
A young French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, who happens to be Saunière’s granddaughter, warns him and helps him to get rid of the tracking dot for guarded observation. She is convinced Langdon did not kill her grandfather because he left her a message on the floor instructing her to find the symbologist. Together they discover a trail of hidden clues and by following these instructions find a peculiar key, which bears the symbols of the secret society Priory of Sion. Obviously, Sophie’s grandfather was one of the leading members of this group whose members included Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo , and Da Vince, among others. Together Sophie and Robert leave the Louvre and try to get away from the police. They even manage to solve a riddle to get hold of a wooden box, which contains the Holy Grail – Robert Langdon supposes.
Their flight from the police is interrupted for a short time when they arrive at Sir Teabing’s castle in Paris, one of Langdon’s colleagues. The whole story develops even faster when an albino monk named Silas appears. They kidnap the monk and leave France illegally by plane with Teabing’s help...
What makes the book so highly exciting is the fact that Brown tells each chapter from another point of view. He does not only refer to current events but reports the reader also the characters’ past.
I promise you will read it within few hours because the short chapters and the mixture of past, present and future nearly force you to go on.
What is perhaps even more important than the plot is the information the novel contains concerning the secret society Priory of Sion, the quest for and existence of the Holy Grail and Leonardo Da Vinci’s life and art.
Last but not least I quote a passage from the book, which is mysterious – in my eyes:
Many have made a trade of delusions and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude.
Blinding ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!
– Leonardo Da Vinci –
Well, I think the book is worth reading, it’s exciting from the first page to the last and you will be very astonished at the fact that even Jesus Christ plays an important role in the solution of all the hidden clues.
In my opinion, the book does not criticize the Vatican or Christianity in general, but is to be seen fictional.
See you soon, Caro
As we watched the second part of "High Society" today, I looked for some critics about the film and found some very interesting facts which I want to tell you:
High Society is based on The Philadelphia Story, filmed by MGM in 1940 and starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart.
A completely new score was written for the film by Cole Porter and one tune, "True Love," was nominated for the Best Song Oscar of 1956.
The ring Grace Kelly displayed in the movie as her's character engagement ring was actually Kelly's own, given to her by her fiance, Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Crosby, Sinatra, Kelly and Armstrong recorded the soundtrack album for Capitol Records in 1956.
It was recorded in stereo, but because stereo LPs did not hit the market until 1958, it was originally released in mono.
The album was Crosby's first after his 20-year exclusive recording contract with Decca Records expired and he chose not to renew. His and Kelly's single of "True Love" became a gold record.
The film was the biggest money-maker of 1956.
Apart from this I also found some critics which weren’t very positive, here’s one of them:
I know it's not really fair to compare the two movies, but if you're going to film a remake of a classic you'd better make it different enough to stand on its own. Just adding songs and changing the faces isn't enough. I'm sure they thought this would be the perfect way to get these three stars onscreen together and initially I'd have to agree. This story gives Kelly the chance to flirt with both men while rediscovering her one true love and her imperfect nature. What saddens me is this role turns her into the cold blond goddess she managed to avoid for most of her short career. Sure she may look that way, but in most of her films her intelligence, passion and vulnerability shine through. Here, she never looses that icy reserve, even when her dialogue and actions are supposed to show differently. There's no fire behind those eyes, no matter how much she tries to light it. Hepburn finds strength, redemption and acceptance from her foibles, willing to start anew under her own steam with her eyes open. She doesn't need a man to be happy, but is thrilled when Dexter gives her another chance to prove what a great wife she can be. Kelly just seems resigned to her fate, glad that Dexter decided to rescue her from her clearly unfit behavior and a boring future. It's funny how much sexual tension Kelly has with both Stewart and Grant in earlier pictures and how little with either of the men here. Maybe she was too involved with her upcoming nuptials to Prince Rainier to put much effort into her acting.
I have to admit that this is the first film with Crosby that I've see all the way through. I was not impressed. He's going through the motions of being charming without any of the effort, relying on his voice to get him through. His Dexter seems to only want Tracy because she's the prettiest girl in the movie, not because she's a kindred spirit. He may be a great singer, but his acting leaves much to be desired. Sinatra, who I enjoy more as a performer, manages to give his character a little pizazz, but none of the indignation or intelligence that Stewart gave the role. Celeste Holm was horribly miscast as Liz, Sinatra's eventual love interest. She's far too innately intelligent and classy for a lug like him. The music is wonderful with songs composed by Cole Porter and played by Louis Armstrong. However, they really don't add anything to the story and really slow down the pace of the film. The dialogue makes this a screwball comedy, needing a certain timing to be funny and effective. By altering that, the film just seems tiresome and dim-witted. If you're a fan of any of the leads, you'll probably enjoy this outing...as long as you haven't seen the original. They do a decent job, but it just doesn't compare to the triumvirate of Grant, Hepburn and Stewart. If you haven't seen either, do yourself a favor and watch THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. That's how romantic comedies are supposed to be made. (http://crazy4cinema.com/Review/FilmsH/f_high_society.html)
Well, after having read this article, I’m very interested in "The Philadelphia Story". Perhaps we could also watch it?
See you tomorrow!
As I promised today, here are two links concerning the translation of "Harry Potter" books into German.
This is where you can see all the threads (groups of topics) of the forum (the language of communication is German):
Harry-auf-Deutsch-Forum: Willkommen im Forum
And this is where you can announce your willingness to translate one (or two, three) pages of the new "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Remember that you are expected to buy the English version yourself, and you ought to be able to have it in your possession by Saturday afternoon at the latest - maybe you can buy it at one of the Amberg bookshops on Saturday morning, or have it delivered to your doorstep via Amazon or one of the other online bookshops:
Anmeldung zur Blitz-Übersetzung
Before you can enter any contributions to the forum, you must go through a (short) registration process. If there are any questions about this, don't hesitate to ask.
P.S.: The above-mentioned forum is *terribly* slow at times, so don't be frustrated if it takes a while. But once you're registered as a translator, you'll get the address of a temporary forum which was specially opened only for the "Blitzübersetzung", and that's pretty fast. Very fast, in fact.
Telegraph | News | The pupil shrieked: 'Don't make me hurt you. I swear to God I'll do it'
Please don’t panic! It is very improbable that this storm of the century comes to Europe. But the nation should be prepared for the worst.
The best way of winning a fight is: Knowing your enemy. A brainstorm(ing) can assume a variety of characters. In order to find out which roles are common read this extract of a very funny and, of course, important article.
Now you know how it looks like and you can make a plan of action. This link gives you a kind of guidance.
But above all, the best way of being protected is: Specific preparation for brainstorm(ing)s. Join this page and go into training.
*If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. (Albert Einstein)*
Bless Me, Blog, for I've Sinned - New York Times
PostSecret: an ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard"
Welcome to Albert Goldbarth's "Library"!
It all started with a long poem by Albert Goldbarth, called "Library". Don't shy away from it being a "long poem" - it's very easy to read, there is no rhyme, no fixed rhythm, but it's fascinating.
Then Goldbarth invited other poets to add lines to his poem, and after that, all readers of poetry.com were invited to add lines of their own, too.
This description is very weak, I can see that. But you must see for yourselves. Please tell me what you think.
All the same - or because of that: Have pleasant holidays!
Obituary: Saul Bellow, 89, master of American novel
Guardian Unlimited Politics Election 2005 When to go? The future for Blair and Brown
For more articles on this election look here:
Election 2005 Special Report
A couple of days ago, there was an interesting article about the elections by David Lodge, the famous novelist, in the New York Times:
Politics by Another Means
See you on Monday! :-)
What facts described in "The Crucible" are true and what is just made up by Arthur Miller?
Perhaps this is a question that you also often asked yourself while reading the play. Well, I looked for some information concerning the historical inaccuracies in the play and I think the result is quite interesting:
Have you known for example that Betty Parris' mother was not dead in 1692?
She died in 1696, four years after the events.
The Parris family also included two other children - an older brother, Thomas, and a younger sister, Susannah - not just Betty and her relative Abigail, who was probably born around 1681.
Miller admits in the introduction to the play that he boosted Abigail Williams' age to 17 even though the real girl was only 11, but he never mentions that John Proctor was 60 and Elizabeth, 41, was his third wife. Proctor was not a farmer but a tavern keeper. Living with them was their daughter aged 15, their son who was 17, and John's 33-year-old son from his first marriage. Everyone in the family was eventually accused of witchcraft. Elizabeth Proctor was indeed pregnant, during the trial, and did have a temporary stay of execution after convicted, which ultimately spared her life because it extended past the end of the period that the executions were taking place.
There never was any wild dancing rite in the woods led by Tituba, and certainly Rev. Parris never stumbled upon them. Some of the local girls had attempted to divine the occupations of their future husbands with an egg in a glass -- crystal-ball style.
The Putnam's daughter was not named Ruth, but Ann, like her mother, probably changed by Miller so the audience wouldn't confuse the mother and the daughter. In reality, the mother was referred to as "Ann Putnam Senior" and the daughter as "Ann Putnam Junior."
Enjoy your holidays, VICI
I'm not sure whether you have heard of him (except my friends who always have to listen to my stories about him)but he's a professional skier of the US Ski Team. He has won two gold medals at the Alpine Ski Worldchampionships at Bormio, Italy and now he has the chance to win the overall Worldcup. This weekend is the Worldcup Final at Lenzerheide, Switzerland and Bode has already won the Super-G Worldcup has he and his team mate Daron Rhalves won the last competition in this discipline today. Concerning the disciplines: there are four: Downhill (you mostly have to run straight down the hill with few curves), Giant Slalom (you have to drive a lot of curves, but they are not too narrow), Slalom ( that's where you have to be careful in case of narrow curves) and Super-G (= Super-Giant-Slalom, you almost ski as fast as in Downhill, but there are more curves and you need good skills).Bode managed it to win races in all disciplines this season and only four other skiers have achieved that, among them Marc Girardelli and Günther Mader.
He is 184 points in front in the overall Worldcup, followed by Benjamin Raich, a skier from Austria. Miller has to be very careful because there are only the Slalom and Giant- Slalom competitions left and Raich is very good in this disciplines. But Bode is also able to win the Giant-Slalom Worldcup.
Apart from this, Miller is not just a very good skier, he also looks good and of course, he's very cool.All the other skiers in the Worldcup sleep in hotels on their long journey from race to race, but Bode has his own trailer where he lives during the Worldcup season in Europe.
If you want to know more about this succesful man ( he also won some medals at the Olympic Games 2002 at Salt Lake City and at the Alpine Ski Worldchampionships 2003 at St. Moritz), just visit his hompage: www.bodemillerusa.com and watch the last races on eurosport.
Have a relaxing weekend, see you on moday!
I want to say, that I think the theatre today was interesting and not too long!*g*
And I think, that you could understand the most things. But I hoped that John Proctor looked well but it wasn't.
I wish you all a nice weekend!
Good evening everybody!
Well, I don’t know how to start...
I recently “discovered” an article about blogs, which now sounds very boring...
Unfortunately, it’s in German, but I think for all those, who are interested in new Media this might be interesting and useful...
The message: The blogs are going to conquer the Internet! Blogs are the media of our future! They appeal to thousands of people, everyone can interfere and everyone can read... webloggs are going to replace talk shows, chat rooms and they have power concerning their influence on the public opinion...
Excerpt from FOCUS January 31st 2005:
Mächtige Meinungsführer oder selbstverliebte Spinner? Weblogger stürmen das Internet
Der Doktor der Soziologie trägt eine gelbe Kutte mit chinesischen Zeichen und hat sich einen Spitzbart ans Kinn gemalt. Gleich wird er in einen Schokokuss beißen. So war das damals beim Fasching in der Grundschule, wie das Foto auf dem Weblog Schmidtmitdete.de dokumentiert. Für die Internet-Gemeinde hat der inzwischen 32-jähreige Jan Schmidt auch das Treffen beim Ortsverband der SPD und seine Erlebnisse eines Abends in einer Wiener Eckkneipe ins Netz gestellt. Im „Franz-Josef-Stüberl“ programmierte er fünf Musiktitel in die Jukebox. Doch statt „Heart of Glass“ von Blondie dudelte das blöde Ding „Ganz in Weiß“ von Roy Black. Nur, wen interessiert so etwas?
Jan Schmidt ist nicht nur selbst ein so genannter Weblogger, sondern zudem Weblog-Experte an der Uni Bamberg. Seit die Blogger im Dezember das Image des deutschen Handy-Klingelton-Verkäufers Jamba ramponierten, ist der Wissenschaftler ein gefragter Mann, soll einem staunenden Publikum erklären, was da eigentlich vor sich geht.
Weblogs sind zunächst persönliche Websites mit regelmäßig aktualisierten Einträgen. Log steht dabei für Logbuch. Ähnlich einem Kapitän auf See manövriert der Weblogger, kurz: Blogger, durch das Datenmeer und kommentiert Gesehenes, setzt Links und Querverweise für seine Leser. Je nach Vorliebe entstehen Web-Auftritte mit verschiedenen Schwerpunkten, etwa Fach-Blogs, Fan-Blogs, Tsunami-Blogs oder Moshammer-Blogs. Der Macht der Blogger für die Meinungsbildung im Web resultiert aus der Vernetzung ihrer Blogs – genannt: Blogosphäre. Mitunter jagen Blog-Einträge wie Springfluten durch das Netz.
Wellen im Web. „Die Weblogger haben eine kritische Masse erreicht“, meint Wissenschaftler Schmidt. Soll heißen: Die Schätzungsweise 100 000 deutschen Weblog-Betreiber – und alle 30 Sekunden kommt ein weiterer hinzu – sind inzwischen im Internet meinungsbildend. Schießt sich die sendungsbewusste Szene auf eine Firma oder ein Faktum auf einem Weblog ein, erkennt die Suchmaschine Google die erhöhte Relevanz. Prompt stuft sie die betreffende, stark verlinkte Seite auf der Liste der Suchergebnisse weit nach oben. Im Fall Jamba spuckte Google die imageschädigende Kritik des Weblogs Spreeblick.de an ihrer angeblichen „Taschengeld-Abzocke“ wochenlang gleich hinter der Firmen-Homepage aus. Dort war man machtlos.
Eher aufklärerisch als angriffslustig bekrittelte Spreeblick.de Mitte Dezember die Jamba-Methoden: „Sie tun einfach nur so, als ob sie euch Klingeltöne verkaufen. In Wirklichkeit verkaufen sie euch ein immer weiterlaufendes Abonnement für ganz viele Klingeltöne.“ Binnen weniger Stunden verwiesen Hunderte von Bloggern auf Johnny Haeuslers Kommentar. Das Blog des Kreuzbergers schnellte in die Spitze des Google-Rankings. Jamba-Sprecher Tilo Bonow redete das Phänomen klein: „ Viele Blog-Artikel wirken unorganisiert und vom Niveau her sehr flach.“ Weshalb man nicht zwingend darauf reagieren müsse. Tatsächlich?
In den USA avancieren die Blogger zur fünften Gewalt im Staat. Das Magazin „Time“ beschwört „das goldene Zeigalter des Blog“, und „Newsweek“ fragt: „Werden die Blogs die alten Medien vernichten?“ Acht Millionen Amerikaner schreiben regelmäßig Internet-Tagebücher, 32 Millionen lesen sie, so eine Umfrage. Populär wurde das Weblogging dort nach den Terroranschlägen des 11. September 2001. Statt der dauerwiederholten TV-Bilder wichen die Zuschauer auf gefühlsbetonte Augenzeugenberichte im Internet aus. Nach gleichem Strickmuster etablierten sich während der Kriege in Afghanistan und im Irak die War-Blogs.
Der Boom blieb den amerikanischen Politikern und Werbetreibenden nicht verborgen. So luden die Parteien die Blogger während des Präsidentschaftswahlkampfs zu den Veranstaltungen ein und ließen sie berichten. Die US-Werbeindustrie beschert inzwischen einigen von ihnen per Online-Anzeige ein kleines Einkommen. Denn Blog-Leser sind längst keine Teenies mit leeren Taschen mehr. Nach einer US-Studie verfügen fast 40 Prozent über ein Jahreseinkommen von mindestens 90 000 Dollar und sind zu 61 Prozent älter als 30.
Unbekannte deutsche Szene. „Im Wesentlichen sind das ganz normale Leute“, glaubt der Dresdner Blogger Martin Röll, 24. Spätestens seit sich unter Blogger.de oder Weblog.freenet.de im Handumdrehen ein Weblog einrichten lässt, sind die 500 Freaks, die vor zwei Jahren in Deutschland starteten, in der Minderheit. Mit stoppelbärtigen Jogginghosenträger, die vom Küchentisch aus Verschwörungstheorien in die Welt blasen, hat das nichts mehr gemein. Vier von fünf Bloggern, so Experten, dichten eher für den Privatgebrauch (...)
In diesem unübersichtlichen Umfeld haben sich gut ein Dutzend Meinungsführer herausgebildet. Immer wieder filtern und kommentieren die stark vernetzten Blog-Aktivisten Nachrichten, die sie im Netz aufspüren. Die Kommentatoren, mitunter Journalisten und Wissenschaftler, verstehen sich als kritisches Korrektiv zur veröffentlichten Meinung. Deren Stärke: Lesernähe, Unabhängigkeit, persönliche und eindeutige Stellungnahmen.
Jüngst bekam dies der Privatsender SAT.1 zu spüren. Vor zwei Wochen strahlte die Wissenschaftssendung „Planetopia“ den Beitrag „Die Blogger kommen“ aus und zitierte darin den Berliner Blogger-Pionier Jörg Kantel, der seit Februar 2002 den Schockwellenreiter.de verantwortet. Als der 52-Jährige seine Zitate verstümmelt glaubte, wetterte er öffentlich: „Planetopia lügt!“ Sofort bekundeten täglich 15 000 Surfer auf Schockwellenreiter.de ihre Solidarität, listete die Blogg.de-Top-Liste die Seite des EDV-Experten auf Platz eins und Google beim Stichwort „Planetopia“ seine Schmähkritik auf Platz zwei.
Dreimal darf man raten, was wohl passiert, sollte Kantel diese Geschichte nicht gefallen. (...)„Demokratisierung der Medien“ und „Anarchie von unten“ nennt Kantel das. (...)
Die Macht der Tagebücher. „Viele Unternehmen beobachten Blogs systematisch, um negative Entwicklungen zu erkennen“, sagt der Geschäftsführer des Blog –Experten 21 Publish. Denn Blogger reiften zur „Meinungsmacht, die unangenehm werden dann.“ Giganten wie Media Markt, Saturn, Ikea und Philips haben die Meinungsmacher unter den Bloggern längst auf ihrem Radar. Zudem nutzen immer mehr Firmen die Blogs, so Web-Spezialist Klas Eck, 40, aus München, „Für die interne Projektarbeit und die externe Imagepflege von Unternehmen und Produkten.“ Blogs erweisen sich als einfache, billige und schnelle Möglichkeit, um ein großes Publikum zu erreichen. Umgekehrt lässt sich etwa per Blogstats.de leicht prüfen, wie es um den Firmenruf in der Blogosphäre bestellt ist. Nicht jeder Beitrag ist es allerdings wert, gelesen zu werden. Manchmal lauern im Internet – Gestrüpp „Trolle“ – Blogger, die über alles und jeden stänkern. „Diese Paranoiden“, sagt Eck, „sollte man einfach ignorieren.“ Ein Blog sei eben nur so gut wie sein Blogger.
Mit der Flutkatastrophe in Asien kam Bewegung in die deutsche Blogger-Gesellschaft. Damals bewies die Szene, was sie kann – nämlich schnell und hautnah aus den Tsunami-Gebieten berichten. Während die Berufsreporter am Flughafen saßen, richteten Printmedien, Radio- und TV-Sender wie die Deutsche Welle und das ZDF eilig Blogs ein und nutzten die Am-Ort-Privatiers für ihre Recherche. Erstmals mischten sich hierzulande traditionelle Medien und Blogs.
Doch eine Kulturrevolution, wie von Bloggern prophezeit, wird es wohl nicht geben. „Blogs können den traditionellen Journalismus ergänzen“, glaubt Blog-Experte Schmidt. Mehr nicht. Und so reift das Gemisch aus Leserbrief, Presseschau und Tagebuch zur ersten eigenständigen journalistischen Online-Form heran, mit der „viele derzeit herumexperimentieren“, so Schmidt. Wie das aussehen kann, zeigt Schmidts eigener Blog. Fachliches und Persönliches fließen ineinander. Wissenschaftliche Blog-Studien und private Faschingsfotos passen nach Meinung der modernen Kommunikatoren eben sehr wohl zusammen.
Hey, that’s it..
What do you think? Do you think Blog supervisor could be a profession of the future?
Do you think there will be manipulation by the media via Blog?
Have a nice week, Caro :-)
PS. Mr. Ringeisen, I hope it is ok to put a German text into this blogg...?
Today I reread some parts of "The Crucible". In my opinion there are some very interesting scenes in it. I think, especially the way John Proctor thinks is remarkable. He doesn't want to save his life, but his reputation is more important for him.
Apart from this, I personally am looking forward to seeing this drama at theatre. I'm wondering if the actors are able to show the emotions of the characters.
Have a nice weekend!
Are you interested in Harry Potter and/or the Lord of the Rings? Then I have two nice links for you!
The first one:
This is for the Harry Potter-fans! Register and then get sorted into a house in the Great Hall! We still need members! You can be teacher or get another job and chat about Harry Potter!
The other link:
For all the Ringies among you! You have to register and then get into a kingdom! You can decide if you want to be a Hobbit, an Elf, a Man or a creey and evil creature from Mordor! There are many interesting threads and theories about the books and the films!
Greetings from Ina
The New York Times > Theater > News & Features > ARTHUR MILLER (1915-2005)
Have you ever read fanfiction? Fanfics are stories written by fans about a book, film, etc.
They are no comments, but stories that tell you more about the characters that you like very much.
You could write about the adventures of the characters after or before the book, for example.
Fanfics have nothing to do with the real authors of the books, they come from the imagination of the fans.
Interested? Then go to:
There, you can find many fanfics in foreign languages and in German, too. They are about books, films, cartoons, etc.
The education secretary will urge teachers to adopt a "zero-tolerance" policy for low-level disruption and outline plans to tackle pupils who constantly interrupt lessons
Is that a problem at our school, too? Is discipline important?
(A few) more details at the Guardian's web site:
EducationGuardian.co.uk | News crumb | Kelly to tackle school discipline
This is a weird article about a scientist who found out that next Monday will be the most depressing day of the year. Well ... have a look at the article, but make sure you don't miss the readers' comments below! There are some really nice ones ;-)
BBC NEWS | UK | 'I don't like Monday 24 January'
Have an uplifting weekend,
There was the old lamp that had to be rubbed, and - voilà - out came a genie who granted three wishes ... there was the fantastic birthday gift of a parachute jump ... the curious Harold and Maude relationship ... the brand new therapy for colds (climb streetlamps - the air is warmer up there!) ... and many more.
I don't know whether you enjoyed it. I did.
Inauguration of the President: January 20, 2005
A speech transcript, video material and articles about the ceremony can be found at the CNN site:
Bush: Expand freedom 'in all the world'
Girls and of course Mr. Ringeisen, have a nice day!
See you tomorrow,
Today we talked about the excerpt from Abraham Cahan's novel Yekl, which was published in 1896 (pp. 216 - 128 in our book).
One of the comprehension questions was about the differences between Yekl, who now calls himself "Jake", and his wife Gitl, who has just arrived on Ellis Island after a long journey from Eastern Europe:
Jake has lost his Jewish identity and has become a stylish, clean-shaven and smartly dressed young man. Gitl is dressed in a very orthodox Jewish way and she looks dowdy, unattractive and even scruffy by comparison. She is wearing a wig because orthodox Jewish women have to cover their natural hair in public.
Then we read the info boxes on "Yiddish" and "Ellis Island" (p. 219) before answering the question on the final passage of the excerpt (ll. 184-189).
Whereas Jake is very much ashamed of his strange-looking wife, she tries to lighten the atmosphere up by making a joke about the term for the evening meal which Jake has just told her about: The “irresistible pun” is that “dinner” in Yiddish means “thinner,” whereas in English dinner is something which makes you get fatter. The pun is possible here because both the language and lifestyle in America are quite the opposite of the Jewish.
Although it was interesting to look at the situation of immigrants at the end of the 19th century, nobody was particularly fascinated by this text, and so we skipped the analysis and opinion questions in order to have a quick look at the next text, which we are supposed to read for Monday, 24 Jan.: “New York” by Joan Didion (p. 220).
This concluded our single lesson, and we’ll have our round of oral marks on Thursday, telling everybody a “fishy story” to explain the situation on our activity and time cards. I wonder whether looking at an aquarium would be a good idea to prepare for this ...
Today, Monday January 17th was the exciting date: We were given our Facharbeit-Topics.
We have to decide which one we choose until February 2nd. The variety was broad: There are topics which appeal to pupils who are interested in politics, literature, music and geography.
Furthermore, we discussed several positive and negative aspects concerning this blog! There are some disadvantages, e. g. the amount of time the correction and reading of our daily comments require. But our blog is a medium to document our lessons and it can be very useful, e.g. in connection with the oral exam after the A-Levels next year, which some of us may possibly use to improve their mark.
We thought about writing entries with the content of the five lessons over a whole week. Nevertheless, we decided against this solution to the problem that there are few volunteers, because this could make our entries superficial.
Mr. Ringeisen suggested to form a “Lang Team”, a Language Team, that is “on duty” for about a week or two. The striking advantage would be that we often see other people’s mistakes and being on the team of correctors is a possibility to improve our English – not only grammar and spelling, I suppose ;-)
*Uuh, I just noticed that I forgot an important detail!!! All of us chose a date for the presentation of our novels! Don't forget about them ... :-) There coming soon!
Afterwards, we talked about the film version of “Alice in Wonderland” we watched last Thursday. We talked about the caterpillar that blew smoky letters out of its mouth. Then we mentioned the Queen’s game of croquet and the Dormouse’s name and behaviour.
After a short break Mr. Ringeisen introduced us to “fishy stories”. One pupil draws an activity card, for example showing a person sitting in the middle of the Alps, playing the guitar, and a time card, e.g. saying "4.30 am". Then the pupil has to explain to the audience why she was playing the guitar somewhere up in the mountains, at 4.30 in the morning. It doesn’t really matter what you tell, you should pay attention to grammar and pronunciation, and let your imagination flow in order to produce a story that explains your situation.
Susi was first to tell the course why she performed as a ballerina in the morning; the next was Melanie, who reported that she visited her aunt in Africa and had to pick flowers.
Janina presented her Saturday night to us when she repaired her car because she had crashed into a tree; and finally, Elisabeth related that birds encouraged her to play the guitar in the Alps in the afternoon.
In the last ten minutes we read the first lines of “Yekl”, the second text in the chapter “New York” in our “Viewfinder Special” (p. 216 – 218).
The excerpt from this novel by Abraham Cahan tells the reader about immigrants in the USA. “Yekl” is the name of a Russian immigrant who already lives in America and after three years of separation, his wife Gitl and his son Yosselé, who had stayed in Povodye in northwestern Russia, move to their husband and father. He picks them up at the Immigration Bureau of Ellis Island. The text shows estrangement, the feelings of all members of the family and the differences in life-style between Russia and America.
First I want to mention that Mr. Ringeisen came too late in the lesson of January 12th. So we lost some important minutes. But only a few minutes. So we didn't have enough time to talk about some really interesting things. But, of course, English is very interesting, too. (I hope Mr. Ringeisen becomes aware of what I said in my last sentence.)
After Mr. Ringeisen had arrived, some girls asked for the list and wrote down the title of the novel for their presentation.
Then we talked about "Alice in Wonderland", especially about "Jabberwocky". It's a poem the Cheshire Cat sings. We should have read it at home, but it is very hard to understand. There are many words which don't exist and also some portmanteau words like "galumphing" (mixture of gallop and triumph). The poem is about a hero who fights against monsters, and when he comes home everybody is happy.
At last Mr. Ringeisen told us that there are even German versions of this famous nonsense poem. But I think the translator has to be extremely good to achieve the same effects. Perhaps "galumphing" is "galophierend" or "galphierend" in German. OK, this word was an easy one.
With this our lesson ended.
Actually one can divide our today’s Monday-lesson into two parts. Our double lesson consisted firstly of a “must-be-done” and secondly of a “just-for-fun” part.
With the “must-be-done” part I mean, of course, the return of the second “Schulaufgabe” and I may remark this was not a very joyful moment for a lot of us because the second test was much more difficult than the previous one. I really doubt I was the only one doing the translation part and thinking quietly to myself: “What the hell is this supposed to be??” After the compulsory correction of commonly made mistakes in translating and quoting and after getting our tests back we began with a much more interesting and entertaining thing.
Mr. Ringeisen opened the “just-for-fun” part of the lesson with telling us that we will soon watch the Disney film “Alice in Wonderland”. I think it’s totally good that we do not only occupy with serious, important stuff, but also with funny and even a little bit childish things. It brings a lot of change with itself and besides: You can also learn a lot! Even with only watching a children film! We got a worksheet where there were some information about the author of “Alice in Wonderland”, Lewis Carrell and two short extracts of the action.
We got to know that quite a lot of puns occur in the book as well as in the film. This figure of speech plays with two words which sound, look or mean the same and combines them. For outsiders of the English language like us it is often quite hard to recognize the connection between the two expressions and therefore to understand the point, but nevertheless I myself really like those puns.
At the bottom of our sheet there was a poem by Lewis Carrell called “Jabberwocky” and which also occurs in “Alice in Wonderland”. This weird poem was full of words made up by the author and consequently hard to understand. The poem is about some creatures, or better monsters like the Jabberwock or the Jubjub Bird or the Bandersnatch who seem to be extremely terrifying.
At the end of the lesson we were left alone with this confusing piece of art and got the homework to reread the poem to understand its content. So, I’ll do this now,
See you soon!
I hope you've had a pleasant couple of 2005 days already.
Maybe you would like something German to read for starters. So please read the following article and take the implied moral to heart.
Zwiebel Fisch: Dem Wahn Sinn eine Lücke - Kultur - SPIEGEL ONLINE