Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Here's wishing you a very merry Christmas, and lots of good stuff for the new year, e.g. good health, happiness, ability to concentrate when it counts, a good memory for things worth remembering, ... and that all your wishes may come true (or at least, the more reasonable ones ;-) ).



Hi everybody.
I just want to wish you a very mery christmas and many gifts ;-)


Merry Christmas!

Hey everybody,
I'm so glad I found my password again and I get to know how this blog works . So I wish everybody merry christmas and a happy new year! Hope you will be all healthy back in the year 2007!!


christmas party :-)

Hi everybody.

Surprise, surprise we made a little christmas party today. No - we didn`t eat cookies or drink tea. No, we did something that was a lot better ;-)
We watched a movie. "Holiday Inn" was a very kitschy but nice film. I laughed and I cryed, but it was great
See you all tomorrow :-)


"American Dream" in songs

There's something I forgot to tell you at the end of the Monday lesson:
Could you please try and find songs (pop songs, rock, r'n'b, whatever) that contain the expression "American Dream"? If possible, bring it (or them) along on CD or on a USB stick, plus the lyrics, if you've got them. If you're looking for lyrics, I can recommend www.lyricsondemand.com - they're quite good.

So, I'm looking forward to a musically interesting part of next Monday's lesson ;-)
CU on Thursday,


english lesson (28.11.06)

hey everybody:

well now I will tell you what we did in our last english lesson on Tuesday:
At the beginning Katrin told us something about "sometime" and "sometimes". Although it wasn`t so much to talk about, she made a quite good job. :)
Then we worked at our pronunciation with a nice little poem. I find that very useful because there are so many differnt pronuncations for one letter in english. So we could see how to speak some of these words correctly.
And oh yes Freyja was with us too. (:

So I hope I made not soooo much mistakes ans see you tomorrow in the Englisch Leistungskurs!


English lesson (27.11.06)

Hallo everybody!
Here's my summary about what we did in our english lessons today:
At the beginning we listened to two presentations. First, it was Carolin's turn. She told us something about the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, how they got to know each other and their honeymoon. After that, Birgit and Elke started their presentation about the short story "History lesson" from Arthur C.Clarke. It is a quite surprising story I think.
In our second lesson Mr.Ringeisen gave us a piece of paper with information about the American history, how it started and what is important to know. After that, we began to read a text in our viewfinder with the title "The American Dream" and which was written by James Truslow Adams. Because the lesson was over before we finished the text we have to read it until next monday as homework.

Have a nice day!


English lessons 20-23.11.06

Hello everybody.

I just want so sum up what we did in our English lessons this week.
On Monday we had a special guest: Freyja, a native speaker from Australia.
She told us about her expectations of Germany and Bavaria: sausages and "Lederhosen"
Then she added that it's rather cold.
Forthermore we listened to two very different songs: to the national anthem of America and to "Born in the USA".
We noticed that the national anthem charakterizes the Brithish as "brave" and that the flag is very important for this nation, as a flag normally is for every nation, I think.
Bruce Springsteen sings about a man who doesn't like living in America: he hasn't got a job and that's why he's just killing time. Addionally he cannot integrate into the American society anymore.
I really liked this lesson. It was different to the other lessons because of the songs and because of our guest.

On Tuesday we listened to Snow White, a fairy tale in rhyme. I'm sorry but I cannot imagine the exact title anymore.
In addition to that we talked about "The pet shop" by Monty Python.

Finally, today, today is Thursday by the way, we had a rather long, but nice presentation about the short story "My financial career". Angelika started her presentation by telling us something about the author Stephen Leacock. After that, she had prepared several tranparencies with other texts or books which are also by Leacock.
In the end she summed up the content of the story and analysed one stylistic device: it was an epiphora.
Because of our music-exam, we had only one lesson. That's why Carolin will do her presentation on Monday.

Have a nice day tomorrow and enjoy your weekend.


Liaising with ubiquitous colleagues?

The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary is not very well-known at Bavarian schools - but (of course) it's a very good dictionary all the same.
The publishers offer a list of the Top 50 words that were looked up in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Would you have had to look them up, too? - Take my advice, and take a discreet look ;-)

Top 50 in 2004/looked up at the online version of CAL


US mid-term elections

As you are aware perhaps, U.S. voters are about to decide who is to represent them in the House of Representatives over the next four years. These elections are called "mid-term", because they come in the middle of the president's term in office. So, it's another two years to go for President George W. Bush, and it doesn't look too good for his party in these elections.
If you want to get some background information, it would be useful to look at one of the articles in the New York Times, e.g.
Republicans Resigned to Idea of Big Losses
2006 Election Guide

British media also have very useful coverage of what awaits us on 7 Nov., e.g. the Economist magazine:
America's mid-term elections: Good-bye to the permanent majority?

All this content is available free of charge - BUT: You must register first. That means, you must choose a username and password (choose something you can remember easily - or write it down!). I'm convinced this is a small price for such excellent information (and immaculate English) as offered by these media.

Once you're registered, you'll be able to read most of the New York Times articles. The Economist is more restrictive with its content; they only offer a small percentage of the current magazine - but it's worth the trouble anyway.

Oh, by the way: Why are the two big political parties in the U.S.A. symbolized by a donkey and an elephant? And which stands for which? Maybe you can find out for our next meeting ;-)

Have a pleasant rest of the weekend,


"klein 'd', wie 'deutsch'" - Club Habana

Hello my dears,

How are you? I hope you're enjoying ( is this written right?) your vacations. Though they're pretty short...actually too short to get relaxed, but I really don't want to complain(wouldn't change anything anyway)! Better than none...

I'd just like to say "hello" to everybody who came to "Club Habana" at sunday and watched "SPOTT 3", including our, esp. my very embarassing performance( I usually don't listen to "Mariah Carey" or "Britney Spears" nor sing any songs of them...! Just wanted to mention that...) . It just was so cool to have you guys there ( janina, steffi, biggi, kerstin, anna...etc.) and being supported by you. And you really seem to be good luck, I mean we are third, aren't we? All in all it really was fun. I hope you enjoyed the evening and you still want to be seen with me and don't blush, turn around and run away, everytime you meet me...I won't sing in class, I promise!!!

So I guess I'll see y'all on monday!



Analysis of style

Especially for those of you who haven't received their Viewfinder Special yet, here's the list of stylistic devices that you find on p. 298:


New blog member

Hallo everybody.
I just wanted to tell you that I've managed to sign up for this blog. (So it won't be necessary to send me a new invitation.)
Have a nice evening!


"Themenwoche USA" on German TV (Phoenix)

If you've got cable TV at home (I don't know - is Phoenix on a satellite channel as well?), you can get a wealth of information on the U.S. via the German programme Phoenix in the next couple of days.
Between 29 Sept. and 03 Oct. it's their "Themenwoche USA":

Themenwoche USA:
Ein Einblick in die Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der "Supermacht" USA

If you scroll to the bottom of that page, you'll see links leading you to the various topics, where you'll find the exact date and time when they're broadcast.

It starts with "California Dreamin" ... on Saturday (or should we say: Friday night), between 0.30 am and 3.30 am (four installments in a row). Maybe you can program your video machine (or DVD recorder).
There are some normal times as well, e.g. Saturday at 20.15 ("Die Kennedys").
And so on ... see for yourselves, if you're interested.


as you can see I'm a proud owner of one of these blog-"things" now and though I've got nothing important to say (as usually), I thought I should say "hello".
So: " hello to everybody!"

with all due respect lemony s. (or better known as angelika)

Leistungskurs 2006-2008: Welcome!

I'd like to welcome all 17 students on my new "Leistungskurs". I hope you'll come to like this channel of communication.
I'm looking forward to your contributions.



May 1: A Day without an Immigrant

Leistungskurs Englisch
May 1: A Day without an Immigrant

May 1 used to be a normal working day here in the United States. This year this is supposed to change. The motto for May 1 is: “A Day without an Immigrant”. Immigrants in the USA are asked not to go to school or to work – just not doing business as usual during that particular day.
The campaign is based on a movie called “A Day without a Mexican”: one day there is not a single Latino left in a Californian city. This turns the urban agglomeration into a mere chaos because it is the immigrants (very often illegal ones) that usually keep the infrastructure going.

The organizers of marches in cities all over the United States hope that “A Day without an Immigrant” will have a similar effect and make people realize that no one in this country can live without immigrants.
The idea for this event has been triggered by the general discussion about immigration and by several specific incidents. For years illegal immigrants have been employed all over the country and companies make big money with them. While the employers pay minimum wages and don’t have to worry about insurance or taxes, the immigrants – often Latinos – are struggling to make ends meet and to offer their families a better life.
Instead of introducing steps how to legalize those immigrants the US economy obviously relies on, a repressive bill (HR 4437) has been submitted by the Wisconsin Republican F. James. If he has things going his way, even giving humanitarian assistance to an illegal immigrant will be a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

I, myself will probably join the marches in the afternoon. I want to show my support for those whose life as an immigrant is not as easy as mine. I immigrated, too, but my husband’s company is taking care of our visas, work permits, etc. And we came to Chicago because we want to broaden our horizons and have a good time. They come here because they believe living here is the only way they can improve their families’ lives.
In the morning of May 1 I’ll go to work. I am teaching at a Montessori School in the Chicagoland area. One of the most exciting things about this school is that we have a language immersion program in Japanese and Spanish: The students spend half a day in the English classroom and the other half in the “foreign” classroom (note that for some of them the Japanese or Spanish classroom might even be more familiar because of their background).
All the teachers decided to come to work that day but we will also state our opinion. As 95 percent of the staff are immigrants or first generation Americans and also most of the kids’ families have come to the US rather recently we are really existing thanks to immigration. We will collect data on our school’s immigration background and illustrate the statistical data on a banner which we’ll display above the entrance door. We want to get the message across: USA is what it is thanks to immigration – always has been and hopefully always will.


Why I Hate Weblogs

Looking at the amount of contributions pouring in here, maybe somebody would like to read the following article by an American student.
Cautionary statement: This text contains some strong language. Parental guidance not recommended.
Donald Brook: "Why I Hate Personal Weblogs"

You should read all of it, though, not just the introduction ;)


The same procedure as every year

A very happy new year to all of you!

Maybe you can spare a couple of minutes to look at this report on a quaint German new year's eve tradition:

The Mystery of Dinner for One: How an obscure British skit has become Germany's most popular New Year's tradition.