Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday/Mittwoch


Could not come up with a good title, so I just used the day of the week.  Peter is not watching trains this week, but horses and carriages in Vienna, yes, that is right, he is in Europe now.

Mir fiel kein guter Titel ein und so habe ich einfach den Wochentag genommen.  Peter schaut sich diese Woche keine Züge, sondern Fiakers in Wien an: Er ist mal wieder in Europa.  

All children got a role in the Nutcracker and are very excited.  Flora will be a "bad mouse" and keeps telling everybody.  Actually, that was the role Jonathan had ten years ago in a Nutcracker performance put on by a different teacher.  This time he will be the nutcracker.

Alle Kinder haben eine Rolle im Nußknacker bekommen und sind sehr aufgeregt.  Flora wird eine "böse Maus" sein und erzählt das allen Leuten.  Diese Rolle hatte Jonathan vor zehn Jahren, als wir noch eine andere Ballettlehrerin hatten.  Jetzt wird er der Nußknacker selbst sein.  

The co-op homeschool went fine yesterday.  Peter and I are co-teaching a class on a book called The Black Spider.  Peter was supposed to do the intro class yesterday, but half an hour before he was going to teach, he noticed that his plane to Europe was leaving an hour earlier than he had thought.  So he just said good-bye very hastily and left me with teaching a class I had not prepared at all!!  I did read the book in school many years (7th or 8th grade) ago, but to fill 45 minutes without any preparation was impossible.  So I remembered that I had some pictures from our trip to Switzerland still on my laptop and used those to introduce the area where the author Gotthelf lived and wrote and the book takes place.  The students were fascinated by what they saw and we also talked about the particularities of Switzerland (language, political system, culture, etc.).  I managed to engage them for 45 minutes!  Hurrah!  They all were very interested and are looking forward to reading the book.

Gestern war unser erster Heimschülerunterrichtstag.  Peter und ich unterrichten gemeinsam einen Kurs über Die schwarze Spinne.  Eigentlich sollte Peter die Einführung dazu machen, doch eine halbe Stunde vor Unterrichtsbeginn hat er bemerkt, daß sein Flug eine Stunde früher nach Europa abflog, als er gedacht hatte.  Also hat er sich nur noch verabschieden können, und ich mußte diese Klasse alleine unterrichten.  Ich war überhaupt nicht vorbereitet.  Das Buch habe ich vor vielen Jahren mal in der Schule gelesen, doch das reichte nicht, um 45 Minuten ohne Vorbereitung lauter Jugendliche zu unterhalten.  Dann fiel mir aber doch ein, daß ich auf meinem Laptop noch die Fotos von unserer Schweizerreise hatte.  So habe ich dann eine Klasse gestaltet, die die Landschaft der Gegend gezeigt hat, in der Gotthelf gelebt und geschrieben hat, und wo auch das Buch spielt.  Wir haben auch Schweizer Besonderheiten wie die Sprachen, das politische System, die Kultur usw. erwähnt.  So waren die Schüler 45 Minuten freudig engagiert und haben interessante Dinge gelernt.  Nächstes Mal reden wir dann über den ersten Teil des Buches.  Sie freuen sich schon alle auf die Lektüre.  



Charlotte is practicing her (my) flute these days.  She is taking classes with a music student.
Charlotte übt Querflöte.  Sie nimmt bei einer Musikstudentin Stunden.  



Miriam is doing some geography studies again.  We have been reading about Thales and his method of determining the height of a pyramid.  We applied the method also to figuring out the height of a tree.  When your shadow equals your own height and you measure the height of a tree, you know how high the tree must be.



Miriam lernt wieder etwas über Geometrie.  Wir haben Thales' Methode der Höhenmessung einer Pyramide kennengelernt.  Diese Methode haben wir dann auf die Höhe eines Baumes angewendet.  Wenn der eigene Schatten der eigenen Höhe entspricht, dann kann man auch herausfinden, wie hoch ein Baum ist.  Man muß nur zu dem Zeitpunkt, wo der eigene Schatten mit der eigenen Höhe übereinstimmt, den Schatten des Baumes messen, und schon weiß man, wie groß der Baum ist.  





Veronika has learned about the Jewish festival Rosh Hashanah today.  We will cover major Jewish holidays this year as part of our Old Testament Studies.  The History Channel had two interesting videos. We also read Psalm 47 and the "Sacrifice of Isaac" from the Bible.  As traditional dessert, Veronika prepared apple slices that were to be dipped in honey.

Veronika hat etwas über das jüdische Fest Rosch ha-Schanah gelernt.  Wir werden die großen jüdischen Feiertage im Rahmen unserer Bibelgeschichten des Alten Testaments dieses Schuljahr kennenlernen.  Für dieses Fest heute kommt Psalm 47 in Frage.  Auch die Operfung Isaaks paßt dazu.  Apfelscheiben, die man in Honig tunkt, stehen an diesem Tag auf dem Speisezettel.  

Oh, and we did have a very interesting field trip to a candle factory.  They make thousands of candles each day.

In front of the factory
Vor der Fabrik

Ach ja, wir hatten auch einen sehr lehrreichen Ausflug zu der Kerzenfabrik, wo tausende von Kerzen jeden Tag hergestellt werden. 








Tonight, Jonathan and Charlotte went to a talk on the political and religious problems in the Middle East.  The professor giving the talk is a Bible translator and former missionary and the kind neighbor who installed our master bedroom fan when Peter was in Europe.  They enjoyed the talk very much.  They said it was packed.

Jonathan und Charlotte waren heute abend bei einem Vortrag über die politischen und religiösen Verhältnisse im Nahen Ostern.  Der Professor, der den Vortrag gehalten hat, ist ein Bibelübersetzer und ehemaliger Missionar.  Er ist auch der freundliche Nachbar, der unseren Deckenventilator ersetzt hat, als Peter in Europa war.  Beide Kinder fanden den Vortrag sehr interessant und haben erzählt, daß es so voll war, daß Studenten stehen mußten.  

26 comments:

  1. Dear Eva,

    It was a very eventful day! Kudos to you for pulling together the lesson for the Black Spider. I wish Chanda and I could be there with you. Gotthelf was a very interesting person I think.

    I remember studying Thales and his method with Chanda. It was fun to measure her shadow and the tree's shadow. And the candle factory looks like it was a fun place to visit.

    I hope everyone is pleased with their Nutcracker roles and they have a good time. Do all of you enjoy the music? I think it's very beautiful. When do rehearsals begin?

    The flute is a lovely instrument. You must enjoy listening to Charlotte practice. Maybe one day you could include a movie with her playing? When was the last time you played? Do you think you'll try to get another flute and play a duet with her?

    I think sweet Flora will have a lot of fun playing a bad mouse :)

    Time for sleep! Sweet dreams!

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    1. One mother originally from NYC was there. Maybe she is listening for you! Maybe you could read the book on your own. It is not long and such a great book!

      This candle factory supplies candles to places like T.J. Maxx, Meyers, etc. Quite a large factory!

      I think Charlotte and her friend were disappointed that they did not get to do Clara, but I told them that the girl who got the role could not participate in Swan Lake, so it was just fair to give her one of the leading roles this time. I don't quite remember what Charlotte will be, she will do different things. I will have to ask her again. I think Jonathan is happy about his part, Veronika and Miriam will be soldiers and gingerbread children, I think they would have preferred not to be the soldiers, but they will be fine. They have been watching online versions of the ballet and love it. Rehearsals begin this Saturday and Flora has already practiced her mouse part :)!

      Have a wonderful evening.

      Yes, it is so nice to hear her use my flute. The teacher is the sister of one of my former German students. Nice young lady. I will try to do a video one of these days. Last time I played was together with Peter at the graduate student housing Catholic chapel. We did the music for the Masses there on Saturday night together with some guitars. Peter played the keyboard. So that was over 16 years ago. Flutes are expensive, so we will not get one right now, but it would be nice to get a good second flute one of these days.

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    2. Something nice to wish for :)

      Yes, I've been thinking of getting the book on the nook, since we have a nook and since i saw it was available for it.

      It's nice that they split up the major roles and take turns. You can tell Veronika and Miriam that Chanda and Morgana and Korrina loved being soldiers and battle scene was their favorite part of the whole ballet! The music is very exciting and moving, and the mouse king is very funny. Korrina was a soldier for two years at NYCB here in the city. She had a lot of fun with it. Maybe I'll try and round up some old pics of her in her uniform. Actually, Morgana never got to be a soldier. The year she could have done it, there were enough boys. She was so mad!!! (But she was a mouse for two years). Then the following year Chanda filled in for another dancer who had to leave, and so she was a boy in the party scene, and thus a soldier! Oh, was Morgana ever annoyed!

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    3. Oh, do get the book! I still remember how fascinated I was when reading it in school.

      I will let Veronika and Miriam know. I think Miriam is not the fighting type, but Veronika will do quite well. She is my summer child and has lots of "heat." I would love to see those pictures. Poor Morgana! We don't have many boys for the performance, I think two boys plus Jonathan. She would have gotten her chance here.

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    4. :) That's funny. I'll mention that to Morgana. We skyped with her today . . for three hours! It was so nice to talk with her. Korrina and Chanda got tired of talking and left me to skype alone. It was nice because I haven't had a one on one conversation with Morgana since she left. I've missed it so much. I think she's very happy. I think she misses home! However, she is very comfortable with her family and I think they get along well. It was a good match. There may be ups and downs, but it will work well. I hope she puts up another post soon about the area she's living in.

      It's true that Miriam does not look the soldier type! But I hope they both have fun with it. She'll like the gingerbread I think. I think the Merlitons is also Marzipan . . The music is very pretty. Chanda hasn't done that yet. It's nice that Charlotte is. I hope you can get a few pics/movies of rehearsal :) I better get to sleep now. You too!

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    5. P.S. I wanted to say that I've seen those candles at TJ Maxx! It's nice to know where they are coming from! That's what I always liked about Mr. Rogers. He would visit different factories and make the items one would buy in stores more real . . familiar. It's nice to know there are people overseeing the machines! We're not totally automated . . yet!

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    6. That is great, three hours! Maybe we were skyping at the same time, you with Morgana and we with Peter. We skyped at about 4:00 p.m. I am so glad she likes it. Of course there will be little differences in how things are done and what people expect from each other, but that is part of living in a foreign country! The countryside where she is, is very pretty. Very green and luscious. I have to look up where I spent that summer working with children. I know it was near Innsbruck, but I don't remember the exact place. Some small "Pension."

      Maybe being a soldier will give Miriam some "backbone." She is always quite dreamy, but also very logic. She likes to do things on her own and being part of an army is so against her nature! Most of the rehearsals will be here, but I assume there will be dress rehearsals. Maybe we will be allowed to get pictures and videos then.

      You know, the candle people actually put the wick in by hand. Each candles gets poured by a machine, and it slowly hardens (that is what you see on the pictures), but then there is a guy who makes holes and puts wicks in, all by hand! Also, the little warning labels about not leaving a candle unattended are put on by hand. And then they are carefully packed by hand. They also told us that they used to make soy candles, but soy candles are harder to make because once they are done, they tend to grow in their containers (they sell some candles in glasses) and are getting too big, almost bigger than the glass. That is a big challenge so they discontinued those candles. And their tapers are actually not made by them because the equipment is too expensive. All their tapes come from Germany. But I don't know if the tapers also get sold at T.J. Maxx. So were like a Mr. Rogers group :). You know hat is also interesting? The paraffin for the candles is made from oil from our county!! Not all of it, but quite a bit. That is truly amazing.

      Okay, time for sleep. I have to get people up early tomorrow morning. Without Peter that is quite an undertaking.

      Sleep well and good dreams.

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    7. I'm impressed with the candle factory :)

      It's interesting what you say about Miriam, as it's been good for Chanda to have Morgana gone (she's also very dreamy and can live in a book all day). It's forced her to "step up to the plate" more with me. She cleans the kitchen more readily, is motivated to do her work more, and all in all is more of a help around the apartment. I used to try and incorporate her more even with Morgana here (taking turns asking the girls for help . . trying to make sure I didn't always ask the oldest or the one more likely to do my bidding, making sure she had errands to run, etc. . . ), but it has made a difference for her to be more on her own. It'll be interesting to see what we fall into when Morgana returns! We do miss her very much.

      Good luck with your days with Peter gone. Sending a hug :)

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    8. Who would have thought that the wicks get put in by hand?!!

      I can completely understand that about Chanda, she being the "little nest's hook" as you sometimes call the last child of a family when it is a girl. I have no idea where this comes from. So maybe it is good for her to be a "big girl" now! It might be difficult to sort things out again when Morgana is back. I remember that my sister and I had problems after my one year stay in Canada. She was so confused/mad about my return that the first thing she told me was that she was not happy that I had returned. I am the oldest and she comes after me in the birth order. So I do hope this won't happen in your family!! It was a shock for me, to put it mildly.

      Thanks for the hug, Peter is going back to Vienna tomorrow. I will try to post some of the pictures he has sent.

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    9. I have to admit that I have thought it might be a bit difficult when she returns! But I think that my awareness will be helpful. Thanks for writing about your experience returning. I hope you and your sister were able to work things out. I am sure you did not want to be unwelcomed!

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    10. I always post so quickly I never take note of the "notify me" box. I will click it now!

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    11. Well, my sister and I were never very close, we are too different I suppose. We have had a stormy relationship over the years and we are still walking on eggshells around each other. I have almost no contact to her, but that is also due to the distance. My relationship with my little sister is very different. Those 18 years age difference have made this relationship much easier :).

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    12. It's always so surprising to me how different sisters can be! I'm very close with my sister but I truly think it's because she made sure to let me know how much she cares for me over the years. Now that I'm older I see the effort she has put into our relationship and I've tried to reciprocate more. If it was just up to me I would go on my merry way without a thought to family! La dee da! But they have always pulled me in. And now I do the same with my children.

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    13. Maybe you and your sister are too alike! I have to say it must be different coming from a big family. It was just my sister and I. I always envied big families growing up!

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    14. No, we are not alike at all, we are too different! We were always like fire and ice. But over the years we both have mellowed and it is not so bad anymore.

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    15. Is your sister the older one? Older ones like to take on more responsibility, at least normally. I think there is a time when all children think they can do as they please and not care about their family, but it is good when they are taught that indeed the family does matter and can also be a big help when you get older. So it is very interesting what you write about your sister.

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  2. Toll dass das mit dem Nussknacker so gut geklappt hat! Ich freue mich mit euch! :)

    Oh, das hast du gut hinbekommen mit der Klasse. Das ist im ersten Moment keine besonders angenehme Lage, wenn man nicht vorbereitet ist. Zum Glück ist dir etwas wirklich gut Passendes eingefallen!

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    1. Ja, die Kinder sind alle ganz aufgeregt! Ich war ziemlich genervt, als er zu mir kam und mir eröffnete, daß ich das jetzt aus dem Ärmel schütteln mußte. Aber es gab kein Zurück mehr und so mußte ich in den sauren Apfel beißen, der dann ganz süß wurde. Peter sagt sowieso, daß ich immer gut bin, wenn ich improvisieren muß. Ich mag dieses Gefühl aber gar nicht.

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  3. Schön zu lesen, dass du die Schweiz, dieses winzige Land, den USA-Kids etwas näher gebracht hast :-)

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    1. Ja, so weiß unser kleines Dorf bald mehr über die Schweiz als der Durchnittsamerikaner.

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  4. Eva, sorry, hier bin ich nochmals, es ist nämlich noch eine Frage aufgestiegen: Wie alt sind diese Heimschüler im Co-up? D.h. für welche Klassenstufe ist die schwarze Spinne empfehlenswert?

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    1. Die Co-op Heimschüler sind in allen Altersgruppen zu finden: neugeborene Babys bis hin zur 12. Klasse. Deswegen sind alle Veranstaltungen nach Altersstufen geordnet. Die Kinder, die "Die Schwarze Spinne" lesen sind alle 14 und älter, bis auf Miriam, die das auch gerne machen wollte. Ich habe "Die schwarze Spinne" in der achten Klasse gelesen, glaube ich. Vielleicht war es auch die siebte. Eigentlich ist Miriam noch zu jung dafür, man sollte wirklich schon ein Jugendlicher sein, also mindestens 13, sonst versteht man das Anliegen Gotthelfs nicht.

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  5. Wie schön, dass nun wieder viele Schüler/Studenten mehr über die Schweiz wissen!
    Toll mit dem Nussknacker! Und wie schön, dass Charlotte nun auch Musikstunden nehmen kann. Gibt es bei euch ein Orchester wo sie mitspielen können? Das motiviert immer so schön, wenn man mit anderen zusammen spielen kann.

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    1. Nein, erst wenn sie mindestens 16 ist, könnte sie beim College im Orchester mitspielen, aber dafür muß man schon gut sein. Es gibt hier ja keine Musikschulen, da alles, was mit Musik und Orchester zu tun hat, über die Schulen läuft.

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  6. Replies
    1. Kommt hier wahrscheinlich von England her :):

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