Monthly Archives: February 2009

Business Cards

This summer I will be on the prowl for a job. Business cards are a must. I have been toying around with having a custom card, but my designs have been boring at best. The card must be geared towards education professionals. It must reflect that I am somehow related to communications and / or German. It must show a connection with other people. Here is what I’ve got so far. Yes, the font is helvetica. 

Business Card Idea

Hmmm… Input would be nice.

Teaching Zeitgeist

German has two verbs that sound exactly the same when you use them in different ways. Today I had to explain that difference to my class.

Let us suppose we want to say “Helmut eats a cake.” That would be “Helmut isst einen Kuchen.” When used in the first-person singular form the verb “to eat” – isst – sounds exactly like the first-person singular verb “is” – ist. That one little “s” can make all the difference in the world. Therefore…

Helmut isst einen Kuchen. – Helmut eats a cake.
Helmut ist ein Kuchen. – Helmut is a cake.

Then I realized that there is little else separating cakes from humans. Both cakes and humans…

  • …are carbon based.
  • …require eggs, sugar, and oxygen.
  • …come in chocolate, vanilla, and a wide variety of flavors.
  • …celebrate birthdays and other holidays.

May the Almighty help us if the cakes learn to speak German.

[Edit] : A reader caught my nominative case error. Thanks!

Teaching Zeitgeist

Instructing a foreign language class of thirty bouncy 6th graders requires a reevaluation of instruction method. Holding the attention of that many students for  a sustained period of authentic language usage is no simple task. As a result instructors rely on meaningful self-guided activities. During one such activity where the students were cutting out puzzle pieces it struck me cold.

The macabre realization…

There is thirty of them. Thirty of them with scissors. Thirty of them with scissors and only one of me.

My God, what have I done? I was only supposed to equip them with the tools they need intellectually. Not physically. How am I going to get out alive? Stay calm. Think. The bell comes not too soon. Quell any insurrection. Keep a close eye on those who could fan the flames of revolt. The principles of the democratic classroom fall to the wayside in times of strife. Facism. Total facism is the only way for the teacher to survive. Power, strength, and threats of force will save me. Do as I say for I am your infallible leader. Yes. Yes! Oh, God yes!

And not a moment before the delusion of grandeur forever sets, the bell rings. Peace in the democratic classroom is restored, but it is a delicate balance.