“Absolutely Fantastic!”

Beginning with Summer Semester 2013, Ms Smith is offering “Theatre in English” for interested students. All are welcome! Contact Ms Smith if you are interested.

From Dr. Olaf Jaekel on our first “Theatre in English” production, 11 June 2013:

Dienstagnachmittag in einem vollbesetzten Hörsaal des Uni-Hauptgebäudes. Ein Theaterereignis erster Güte! Was für ein Glück, dabei gewesen zu sein! Inmitten der Zukunftswoche der Universität Flensburg erlebt eine völlig gebannte Zuschauermenge eine Sternstunde des Universitätslebens: die Geburt einer Theatertruppe am Seminar für Anglistik und Amerikanistik! Continue reading

Snow Days

Siggy loves the snow. On our morning walks he bounds out to the limits of his leash, snapping at the ground, biting mouthfuls of the powder, ultimately coming up for air with a dusting of white on his worn-leather nose, until it’s hard to tell where dog ends and snow begins.

I never expected Siggy to love the snow so much. Bred in Georgia, he didn’t see snow until we moved to Germany shortly before his fourth birthday. But love it he does, his normally neurotic personality melting into playfulness and anticipation as the ground slowly turns white. Snow days are the best days for him, and he can barely contain himself as he waits by the door for me to pull on snow boots and other winter gear. “Come on, Mom!” he seems to whine, unable to sit still long enough for me to put on the layers. Then we are out into a winter wonderland, our footsteps crunching around the lake as he immerses himself in a world of crisp, cold smells and sounds – the ice, the ducks in the pond, the gulls overhead – and for a moment I can appreciate his joy. Continue reading

Acoffeelypse Now

I threw a mug of coffee at Kevin this morning.

Now, honestly, “threw” implies a level of planning and intent that I’m typically incapable of at oh-dark-thirty*. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that I was bringing Kevin a mug of coffee when my thumb slipped off the rim, resulting in a caffeinated explosion of java and Splenda all over Kevin, the wall, the carpet and floor,and  various books, papers, and what-have-you in the vicinity of our desk.

It was not a pretty sight. Continue reading

The Staff of Life

My dreaded to-do list is growing ever longer: write, read, prepare for classes, do taxes, do paperwork, clean house, work on websites…. So what did I do today instead? I baked.

IKEA has a wonderful mix for Lingonbrod, a rye/whole wheat mix with dried lingonberries. It’s wonderfully nummy (I know what I’m taking for Brotzeit tomorrow!) — and it’s a welcome retreat from everything else. Continue reading

It's spelt Eyjafjallajokull…

but it’s pronounced FLIGHT CHAOS! Thousands of people all over the world have been effected by the volcano in Iceland, affectionately known as “The Big Belch” (well, no, not really, but what it IS known as I can’t write in a PG-13 blog!). From where I sit in central Germany, the only physical evidence is a bit of a haze on the horizon and dusty windows. Some of my Brit friends at NICE on Friday were pooh-poohing the whole mess — “oh, it’s not that bad really, they’re overreacting” — and complaining about the inconvenience — one of Sheridan’s friends is stuck in Seattle, for example. Apparently, however, those with means have avoided too much inconvenience.

So what’s the big deal? How does an invisible cloud of ash cause so much havoc? It’s apparently not a health hazard, except to those with respiratory conditions, although it can harm grazing animals. The worse effect is on our food supplies — food imports have been effectively closed for the time being.

Originally, I thought the airlines had grounded themselves for safety reasons, but I’ve since realized that the flight ban was instituted by the various European governments. Airlines are losing millions of dollars a day, and grumbling about not being allowed to fly… even though the risk is considerable.

What would you do? Would you risk flying through this cloud, knowing it could effectively kill the jet engines and make the airplane’s windscreen impossible to see through? Of the thousands of flights a day, it’s likely that only a few would be affected. but even one out of a thousand is too many. Should the airlines be allowed to play Russian Roulette with their passengers’ lives?

I think I’ll stay home and eat local produce for a while.

1600 words…

I’ve set a new goal for myself: 5 pages a week on the dissertation, even if it’s dreck that I’ll have to rewrite once DZS tears through it. At least with something I have something to improve on! I managed to get a few pages written today. 1600 words, about 7 pages, which doesn’t sound like much, but comparatively, I feel like I’ve written a book! I would have done more but I need to prepare for class tomorrow. I do have free time between classes tomorrow, so I’ll write then, maybe get a bit more done. Yay! Continue reading

Julie & Julia

I recently watched the film Julie & Julia, about a NYC public worker who is inspired to write a blog chronicling her year-long journey through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking: 571 recipes in 365 days. Apparently Child herself was unimpressed by Julie Powell, calling her blog a “publicity stunt.” Stunt or no, it garnered her a book deal and a movie based thereon. Not bad! Continue reading

The Butterfly Effect…

Have you ever wondered how you ended up where you are right now? I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. I feel like I’ve been wandering around with no real direction, and those of you who know me well know that I have a hard time finishing things…. I’ll get bored with something and just drop it, turn my attention to something else.

I’ve been treating life like a smorgasbord, sampling a bit here and there of the possible lives, careers, and futures the world has to offer, but never really settling on anything. I’ve dabbled in real estate, theatre, computers, web design, advertising, teaching. After Shawn died I went back to school, in an impractical field with the stated goal of teaching college, but my ulterior motive was finding something to do that gave me health insurance and direction after his death. Continue reading

Golf License?

I’ve said before that everything in Germany takes 3 weeks and a stamp. Well, apparently everything also takes a license.

Now, in the US, many places require a fishing license to go fishing. Fine. You go to the local Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, or whatever, fill out the form, pay a fee, and get a license — a permit, if you will.

Not in Germany.

In Germany you have to get an ACTUAL fishing license — the kind where you take lessons and an exam, just like a driver’s license! Here’s more information about it. Wow… just… wow.

I tell you that to tell you this: I found out today that you have to have a license to play golf! It’s called a Platzreife, and you must pass not only a written test (24 out of 30 questions, only given in German) but a skill test as well — putting and chipping, etc — and then play a round of 18 holes with a pro, with a score of 108 strokes or less.

In case you’re wondering whether I’ve lost my mind and decided to pick up a hobby…. Today in one of the English courses I teach, a participant gave a presentation about golf, and mentioned it when talking about the differences between golfing in the US and Germany. I was astounded!

So Jon, Lisa, if you plan to play while you’re here, bring a handicap card from the country club, if you’ve got one handy. They won’t let you play otherwise!