2005-11-28

Leistungskurs Englisch

‘Tis the Season

Hi everyone!
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

2005-11-25

Of New York City Marathon, Woodstock, United Kingdom, and Modern English

Hello everybody out there!
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!
Yours Ann-Kathrin

2005-11-17

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - review

If you're interested in Harry Potter stuff (like me), you can have a look at the movie review here:
http://movies2.nytimes.com/2005/11/17/movies/17pott.html?th&emc=th

2005-11-10

France Today

Job Interview

Additional practice (for more perfection)

Hi.
Look at this text:
http://www.mala.bc.ca/%7Ejohnstoi/eng366/lectures/macbeth.htm
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.

2005-11-09

CAE Pre-test

The pre-test for the Cambridge Exam is scheduled to take place on

Friday, 18 Nov. 05, at 13.30

Please reserve approx. three hours for taking it.

Room Change

Attention:

Tomorrow, Thursday, we're in room A29.4 - not in F34.

Please tell the others about it. Thank you.

2005-11-08

Practice makes perfect

L. C. Knights, "Macbeth as a Dramatic Poem"

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?

Composition
Would you recommend a friend of yours to read Macbeth? Explain.

2005-11-06

Racism in America spread out with innocent popsongs

Hello everybody!
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."

2005-11-05

What's a Modern Girl to Do? - New York Times

Have you EVER asked yourself ... - If you have (and if you haven't, too), read this:

What's a Modern Girl to Do? - New York Times

2005-11-04

Politics Explained

Have you ever been at a loss when asked to explain political systems? - Well, forget all your worries, here are definitions you can use to baffle your social studies teacher:


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.


Source:
Politics Explained

(Thanks a lot for pointing me there, Jochen!)