Friday, November 6, 2009

Alles in Ordnung


Hello Everybody,

It’s been a while. I’ve been a bit lazy and trying to get acquainted with the Herzo Gymnasium. The Gymnasium is sort of a Jr. High and High School rolled into one, it is for the brightest students, or at least for students that show ‘promise’ by the age of ten, in town. Yeah! by age ten it is determined, by test scores, where young Jane and Johnny might end up doing, working as, when they are older.

In Germany, students are tested at the age of ten, which also determines if they will be attending one of the three kinds of schools that provide different “life” skills. There is the Hauptschule, a vocationalistic school, also considered a ‘low’ school. A Realschule, a ‘life’ school, general know how is taught here, students learn one foreign language and so on, medium grade school. The Gymnasium, where students get an ‘intellectual’ education, putting it nicely, is the top school, students are required to learn three languages at the least and so on.

Well long story short, I’ve been asked to work at the Gymnasium, as an English expert…(can you believe that, they like to use the word expert quite freely, although I believe it’s a way for them to negate responsibility, did I just write that), provided my work visa goes through.

Without getting too political and bring the blog down, I’ve been feeling really out of place, I believe I’m experiencing what illegal immigrants might go through back home. Except that obtaining a work visa here(Germany) seems more difficult than the hand me outs back home.

Also when I use the word immigrants, I mean all immigrants, Russians, Canadians, Germans, Africans, Scandinavians, Australians and many more, not just Mexicans. Maybe I’m sensitive to the Mexican immigration issue, with walls going up and such, because we seem to be seen as the last to arrive to the party, when in fact I believe we’ve always been here(U.S.). (By the way where is the wall keeping out Canadians…nothing against Canadians, just trying to find a tenor in the whole deal.)

Excuse the jabbertalkie, my thoughts are coming from a recent guest speaker engagement I was asked to do at the Gymnasium. The topic was about immigration in the United States, particularly Mexicans. I found the questions, coming from the students, quite stimulating and thus my rant which was ignited from talking about my work visa.

Or maybe I’m just feeling a little sad because L will be leaving for two weeks to China and I’ll be left here with my thoughts to fester.

On the bright side, I’ll have a job at the Gymnasium, plus now they would like me (potentially) to speak at a conference about Bilingual schools…what!? But hey I wanted a job, so I’ll take what I can and run with it.

I hope everyone is doing great, keeping warm and dry. L and I miss everyone dearly. By the way, can someone send more peanut butter M&Ms, we’re running dangerously low.

missing everyone,



Tracy said...

Congrats Martin, sounds fun and very interactive. Peanut Butter M&Ms are dangerous look what I started by bringing some. Until you get your next stash at least you can find regular M&Ms at the grocery store and dip them in peanut butter! Love and miss you guys!


Josh Sohm said...

That sucks. You should make all the kids in the Alpha school read Brave New World as an English assignment.

Kathleen said...

congrats - now you just need a vespa and the ability to smoke while driving it to fit in with the gymno-set. how intellectual? they let kathleen attend one you know. speaking of dr. professor - as of yesterday she is now a tenured professor. lynarra