2005-01-31

EducationGuardian.co.uk | News crumb | Kelly to tackle school discipline

What do you think of this?

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

2005-01-22

So you think you're logical?

Bored by homework? If you want to answer four logical puzzles and compare your results with those of thousands of other online participants, click below.

So you think you're logical?

2005-01-21

BBC NEWS | UK | 'I don't like Monday 24 January'

Hi there.

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,
PR

Fishy Stories ... An Explosion of Creativity

We had seventeen fishy stories today, seventeen quite different tales of mystery and imagination (well, the activity cards were different, too, so ...), told in seventeen different voices (which was to be expected, but still, it was fascinating to listen to how everyone gave her best to make it "sound right").

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

If you can spare a couple of minutes, have a look at "The official website of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies":

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'

2005-01-19

the mysterious come-back... lol

YAY I'm back!! ... *lol* Mr. Ringeisen saved my life :) And because I'm so happy about that, I thought about taking the chance and say HI to everybody. HI EVERYBODY!! hehe... Well, just as a warning, my eyes are everywhere again. So, watch out! *giggle* Hmmm... I'm a little bit confused, crazy or whatever today. I hope you will forgive me!? :)
Girls and of course Mr. Ringeisen, have a nice day!
See you tomorrow,
Susi

2005-01-18

Yekl's and Gitl's Yiddish

Hi everybody,

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 ...

2005-01-17

A fishy blog discussion in Wonderland

Hallo everybody!

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.

Until tomorrow,
Caro

about January 12th

Hello girls!
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.
CU Elisabeth

2005-01-14

Second Schulaufgabe and Alice in Wonderland

Hi everybody!

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!
Ann-Kathrin

2005-01-06

Zwiebel Fisch: Dem Wahn Sinn eine Lücke

Hello everybody,
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