Genre of the Week: Never in a Million Years by Laura Branigan

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While writing my last piece for the Files, I had a craving for listening to 80s music and ran across this diamond in the rough. From the 1980s right up until her death because of an aneurism in 2004, Laura Branigan was one of the best female pop singers, whose songs reached the Top 10, including Gloria, Self Control, Solitare, Shattered Glass and this one, Never in a Million Years, released in 1989.

This about a man and a woman, whose personal encounter produces a romance that is untouchable. The woman is definitely interested in the man and wishes to hold him, yet the man is far apart and unreachable, whether it is physically or emotionally, pending on the context. It is a love that is out of reach unless efforts are taken to fulfill it. And that can be hard to do if either one is far away or not willing to commit to love- yet, that is.

This song is perfect for those who have long distance relationships, especially if one is in a foreign country and cannot see the partner for long periods of time. It is also great for people whose encounter with another person produces sparks that are difficult to explain, yet they cannot love that person for unknown reasons. Sometimes those people need time to ripen before they take that next step. Others were just not meant to be. All of us have had that encounter in one way or another. ❤

If you know someone who has been in a similar situation, maybe you want to give him/her some food for thought, with a reminder that you can find true love in a person, but sometimes it takes time, let alone many attempts to make it happen. This song has been in my top 100 of my all time list of love songs. But it could be that Laura steals your heart, even if she’s no longer here. This one is for her with many thanks! 🙂

 

Check out her website for more on her life and legacy: http://laurabranigan.com/ 

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In School in Germany: The Characteristics of Being a Great Teacher of English (as a Foreign Language)

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A few months back, I was approached by a colleague of mine, who runs a pair of online columns devoted to English writing, wanting to know from me some of the things that are important for teaching English as a foreign language.  After some thoughtful consideration and looking back at what I’ve experienced in the 15+ years I’ve been teaching here in Germany, dealing with everything in the sun, I decided to compile a list of ideas that are especially useful for those entering the field or are struggling in their first year on the job. The characteristics I mention here do not necessarily mean that if you don’t have them, you will never be a great teacher. It just simply means that if something goes wrong, you may want to think about them and ask yourself if it is useful to try them, at least. After all, each teacher has his/her way of teaching English language and culture.

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  1. Image is Everything- This was the slogan that tennis great André Agassi used for his Nikon camera commercials in the late 1980s and 90s. As a teacher, you have to market yourself to the students in a way that they will respect you from the first day on. This goes beyond your outer appearance. It even outguns the knowledge of your native language. It has to do with being on the level with your students and finding ways to get them to follow you. Sometimes you and your students find the right chemistry right away and you have a productive and successful class. Other times there is a wall that you cannot overcome, even if you try. Then it is like the love affair between man and woman, or in my case, the beamer and the laptop as stated in an earlier article.
  2. Your Students are your Audience; your Friends. Treat them with Care- I was once told that teaching is a business and the students are your customers. If you have students who “hate” you and your teaching and decide to annoy you at their convenience, then that is where the German formal “Sie” and the business-like relationship comes in. However, not all of them are like that. Many of them stay with you as long as you are working at their institution and even become your friends for life. To give you a hint: In my last semester teaching in Bayreuth in 2009, I had a class where all but three of the 20 people had been in my previous classes. All of them are still in contact. If you have this experience, then it is because you did something right, by listening to what they want, customizing your classes to make them interesting and you are integrated into their “culture” and they into yours. Almost all of them are eager to learn from you, and not just for the sake of languages.
  3. You need Structure; You need Discipline- A Frank Fitts from American Beauty quote that definitely applies to teaching, especially English. As Germans, especially in the eastern half, are obsessed with a structured form of teaching, you should structure the teaching to cater to their needs. It’s like a presentation: you have the introduction, the key points, the summary and time for questions and clarity. Then you make sure that they are kept in line with what they learned. Entertainment only serves as a frosting to the cake. This was a lesson I learned from a colleague at a private institution recently.
  4. Less is More- Too much of everything in an English classroom, even worksheets, are never a good thing. If you find yourself having a complaint where there were too much print materials to work with, you may want to reduce it and alternate your teaching methods. Sometimes some help from another source will help a great deal.
  5. Back-up your stuff in the classroom: Stewart Tunnicliff, who runs a couple Leipzig-based websites and a translation/proofreading business once said this when he presented the WordPress presentation at the Intercultural Blogger Conference in March. I have to say it also applies to teaching as well. Despite the careful planning that Germans are famous for, a back-up plan must always be in store, should your original plan fail in the classroom due to the students’ lack of interest, some technical glitches, missing elements because you were in a hurry, etc. While some teachers believe that Plan B is non-existent, they haven’t seen some situations, including those I experienced, where it was warranted. So have a Back-up plan ready, and ……
  6. Plan for technical doomsday- Your computer will crash, its relationship with the beamer will fail, the files will not open, the speakers will not operate, anything will happen. It has happened with the best teachers and they have dealt with them. Almost all of those who experienced a technical “Panne” have learned to do this one important item next time they work a technical equipment: check to make sure everything is in order before entering the stage with eager students awaiting to watch something “educational.” 😉
  7. Creativity and spontaneity are bread and butter- If there is a characteristic a teacher must have, there are two of them: being creative and spontaneous. A creative person comes up with activities on paper, through brainstorming and best of all, in the classroom in a spontaneous manner. A spontaneous person foregoes a planned session because of cock-ups along the way, presents a new strategy out of the blue, and gives it to the group for them to do. 99 times out of 100, that works every time. Teachers must have the brains to do both if they wish to continue with their career in the long term.
  8. Be a great storyteller- Storytelling not only provides students with a sense of entertainment, but also lessons for them to learn from, both in a moral and philosophical manner as well as when learning a foreign language. The stories told don’t have to be very personal ones, but they should be ones that are related to reality, and students can relate to. Even the tiniest story, including a person and a chain-smoker, who disregards the no smoking sign, getting into a debate on smoking, brings value to the students as some of them are smokers wanting to quit but don’t know how. Think about it. 🙂
  9. Slow and easy always wins friends- Especially for Americans teaching foreign languages, teachers love to speak at their tempo, which is for the non-native speakers of English, too fast. Sometimes a problem with dialect can hinder the success in the classroom. Slow down. Speak high English (with a Chicago dialect), have someone listen to you if you feel it is necessary. No student will mob you if you speak extra slowly and clearly, or did one student do that?
  10. Make sure your exits are covered- If a student complains about a bad grade, explain to him/her why and what can be done to improve it. If students become a smart-ass, surprise them with a quiz to test their knowledge. If a person wikiing his assignment says his grandma helped him with English, invite her to class unannounced. If lectures are needed, give it to them. Students will respect you if you keep pace with their learning but will love you if you are ahead of the game. A lesson I learned after dealing with the unbelieveable. 🙂
  11. Finally, be decent. Teaching students goes beyond the subject or the basic skills needed for the job. The main goal of a teacher is to show students how to be decent. Decency is a commodity that is well underrated but one we need so that we can love our neighbors and friends and respect their rights and wishes. It also means that teachers learn by example, by being professional and kind to others. A video with a lecture of how decency and justice goes together, shows us how important our job is, which is to teach our future generation how to be decent.

There are many more, but these eleven are the most important elements of a teacher, in my opinion. Each teacher has his/her style of teaching which works in some cases and fails in others. Even more so, teachers have different personalities that can work out or cause conflicts. In either case, what is important is making sure the students get a proper education so that they can go out, see the world and experience it themselves. How it is done is solely up to the teacher, yet if something fails, they should take a different approach. In either case, in the end, if students walk out of the halls of school or university with a great sense of satisfaction, then it is a sure-fire sign that they will leave footprints in your hearts forever,

let alone pairs of sneakers on the line outside your home. 🙂

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FF new logo1

In School in Germany: The Characteristics of Being a Great Teacher of English (as a Foreign Language)

DSCF8130

A few months back, I was approached by a colleague of mine, who runs a pair of online columns devoted to English writing, wanting to know from me some of the things that are important for teaching English as a foreign language.  After some thoughtful consideration and looking back at what I’ve experienced in the 15+ years I’ve been teaching here in Germany, dealing with everything in the sun, I decided to compile a list of ideas that are especially useful for those entering the field or are struggling in their first year on the job. The characteristics I mention here do not necessarily mean that if you don’t have them, you will never be a great teacher. It just simply means that if something goes wrong, you may want to think about them and ask yourself if it is useful to try them, at least. After all, each teacher has his/her way of teaching English language and culture.

DSCF8393

  1. Image is Everything- This was the slogan that tennis great André Agassi used for his Nikon camera commercials in the late 1980s and 90s. As a teacher, you have to market yourself to the students in a way that they will respect you from the first day on. This goes beyond your outer appearance. It even outguns the knowledge of your native language. It has to do with being on the level with your students and finding ways to get them to follow you. Sometimes you and your students find the right chemistry right away and you have a productive and successful class. Other times there is a wall that you cannot overcome, even if you try. Then it is like the love affair between man and woman, or in my case, the beamer and the laptop as stated in an earlier article.
  2. Your Students are your Audience; your Friends. Treat them with Care- I was once told that teaching is a business and the students are your customers. If you have students who “hate” you and your teaching and decide to annoy you at their convenience, then that is where the German formal “Sie” and the business-like relationship comes in. However, not all of them are like that. Many of them stay with you as long as you are working at their institution and even become your friends for life. To give you a hint: In my last semester teaching in Bayreuth in 2009, I had a class where all but three of the 20 people had been in my previous classes. All of them are still in contact. If you have this experience, then it is because you did something right, by listening to what they want, customizing your classes to make them interesting and you are integrated into their “culture” and they into yours. Almost all of them are eager to learn from you, and not just for the sake of languages.
  3. You need Structure; You need Discipline- A Frank Fitts from American Beauty quote that definitely applies to teaching, especially English. As Germans, especially in the eastern half, are obsessed with a structured form of teaching, you should structure the teaching to cater to their needs. It’s like a presentation: you have the introduction, the key points, the summary and time for questions and clarity. Then you make sure that they are kept in line with what they learned. Entertainment only serves as a frosting to the cake. This was a lesson I learned from a colleague at a private institution recently.
  4. Less is More- Too much of everything in an English classroom, even worksheets, are never a good thing. If you find yourself having a complaint where there were too much print materials to work with, you may want to reduce it and alternate your teaching methods. Sometimes some help from another source will help a great deal.
  5. Back-up your stuff in the classroom: Stewart Tunnicliff, who runs a couple Leipzig-based websites and a translation/proofreading business once said this when he presented the WordPress presentation at the Intercultural Blogger Conference in March. I have to say it also applies to teaching as well. Despite the careful planning that Germans are famous for, a back-up plan must always be in store, should your original plan fail in the classroom due to the students’ lack of interest, some technical glitches, missing elements because you were in a hurry, etc. While some teachers believe that Plan B is non-existent, they haven’t seen some situations, including those I experienced, where it was warranted. So have a Back-up plan ready, and ……
  6. Plan for technical doomsday- Your computer will crash, its relationship with the beamer will fail, the files will not open, the speakers will not operate, anything will happen. It has happened with the best teachers and they have dealt with them. Almost all of those who experienced a technical “Panne” have learned to do this one important item next time they work a technical equipment: check to make sure everything is in order before entering the stage with eager students awaiting to watch something “educational.” 😉
  7. Creativity and spontaneity are bread and butter- If there is a characteristic a teacher must have, there are two of them: being creative and spontaneous. A creative person comes up with activities on paper, through brainstorming and best of all, in the classroom in a spontaneous manner. A spontaneous person foregoes a planned session because of cock-ups along the way, presents a new strategy out of the blue, and gives it to the group for them to do. 99 times out of 100, that works every time. Teachers must have the brains to do both if they wish to continue with their career in the long term.
  8. Be a great storyteller- Storytelling not only provides students with a sense of entertainment, but also lessons for them to learn from, both in a moral and philosophical manner as well as when learning a foreign language. The stories told don’t have to be very personal ones, but they should be ones that are related to reality, and students can relate to. Even the tiniest story, including a person and a chain-smoker, who disregards the no smoking sign, getting into a debate on smoking, brings value to the students as some of them are smokers wanting to quit but don’t know how. Think about it. 🙂
  9. Slow and easy always wins friends- Especially for Americans teaching foreign languages, teachers love to speak at their tempo, which is for the non-native speakers of English, too fast. Sometimes a problem with dialect can hinder the success in the classroom. Slow down. Speak high English (with a Chicago dialect), have someone listen to you if you feel it is necessary. No student will mob you if you speak extra slowly and clearly, or did one student do that?
  10. Make sure your exits are covered- If a student complains about a bad grade, explain to him/her why and what can be done to improve it. If students become a smart-ass, surprise them with a quiz to test their knowledge. If a person wikiing his assignment says his grandma helped him with English, invite her to class unannounced. If lectures are needed, give it to them. Students will respect you if you keep pace with their learning but will love you if you are ahead of the game. A lesson I learned after dealing with the unbelieveable. 🙂
  11. Finally, be decent. Teaching students goes beyond the subject or the basic skills needed for the job. The main goal of a teacher is to show students how to be decent. Decency is a commodity that is well underrated but one we need so that we can love our neighbors and friends and respect their rights and wishes. It also means that teachers learn by example, by being professional and kind to others. A video with a lecture of how decency and justice goes together, shows us how important our job is, which is to teach our future generation how to be decent.

There are many more, but these eleven are the most important elements of a teacher, in my opinion. Each teacher has his/her style of teaching which works in some cases and fails in others. Even more so, teachers have different personalities that can work out or cause conflicts. In either case, what is important is making sure the students get a proper education so that they can go out, see the world and experience it themselves. How it is done is solely up to the teacher, yet if something fails, they should take a different approach. In either case, in the end, if students walk out of the halls of school or university with a great sense of satisfaction, then it is a sure-fire sign that they will leave footprints in your hearts forever,

let alone pairs of sneakers on the line outside your home. 🙂

 

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FF new logo1

 

 

 

In School in Germany: Lehramt Studies at the University

The Library is your Home: Carnegie Library in Little Falls, Minnesota, built in 1909. Photo taken in 2011

This is a throwback article dating back to my experiences with the Praxissemester at a German Gymnasium in 2014. None of the facts are still in dispute since then and if you still think Lehramt is a stroll in the park on a Sunday afternoon, read below…. 🙂

frage für das forum

Before going into the topic of teaching degrees, here is a question for you, which you can share in the Forum:

  1. How did you obtain your teaching degree at the university of your country? And for which subjects?
  2. What classes did you have to take, including the pedagogical courses?
  3. How many months of student teaching did you do, and did you do this under supervision or without?
  4. How long does it take to obtain your teaching degree in your country?
  5. If applicable to those teaching in Germany, were there any difficulties in having your teaching degree accredited?

There are many ways to teach at a German school, pending on which level (primary or secondary) and which type of secondary school (Realschule, Hauptschule or Gymnasium). The most traditional way to obtain a teaching degree, known to Germans as the Lehramt, is at a German university.  Yet this way of obtaining a degree can take 5-6 years and is a painstaking task, which if you decide to pursue the degree, it has to be all the way or none at all. Before starting, you have to ask yourself whether it is worth the trouble or if there is another way of doing it. Since the reforms of the German university system in 2007, in accordance to the Bologna Process, it is more difficult than ever to obtain any degree in Germany, which leads to the question of how student friendly or even how family friendly (if students have children) the university really is. From the writer’s point of view, as he is going through the process even as this article is posted, this is how a typical Lehramt program functions on average, using the subject of English and History:

 

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1.  Lehramt in two subjects of studies. Unlike the teaching program in the US, where you have the choice between primary and secondary education, as well as one subject to choose from (for example, music education, health and physical education,  or English), you have the choice of two subjects you can do your Lehramt degree in while at the university in Germany.  Yet, you have to be very careful as to which subjects the university can allow you to study, let alone the Numerus Klausus, which means that only a limited number of students are allowed in the program based on grades obtained in high school through the Abitur or your previous studies. Some exceptions may apply, such as language knowledge, work experience or close connections.

2.  Einführungspraktikum before Praxissemester. Almost all universities have adopted a policy, where students are expected to provide proof of doing an introductory internship (Einführungspraktikum), totaling 320 hours, before doing the six-month practical training (Praxissemester). This can be done by being involved in children’s organizations, tutoring, or even teaching. For those who taught before entering the Lehramt program, be disappointed as the people whom you taught have to be ages 18 years and younger. The purpose: to force the students to get acquainted to working with children and consider whether the profession is suitable for them.

3. Modules, Modules and More Modules. All courses are made up of modules, where there are certain classes pro module, pending on subject and the university.  There are obligatory modules that need to be completed before taking the state exam, as well as electives where you can select certain courses as long as you have sufficient credits in order to register for exams.  Example: English and Sprachpraxis (practical speaking). At the university in Jena for example, one is required to take a year of Linguistics and Grammar, plus a semester of translation, and two electives in order to fulfill the module. For literature, it is two obligatory introductory seminars plus two electives.  And then there is the cultural studies course, which is one semester. As you are expected to take the minimal requirements per semester, which is usually 7-8 classes, you are expected to take your classes seriously and almost literally put your private life on the wayside for the duration of the semester- an act that is sometimes worth it if you’re single and 20, but almost impossible if you have a family.

4. Your library is your home. Like in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs, you will be loaded with readings and assignments you need to do every day for eight hours straight. And this in addition to the classes you have to attend.  If you are fresh out of high school and can handle the pressure, it is possible to pass all the courses. If you are older, pursuing a different path, and have a family, it can be a struggle to balance school and family life, especially if you need to earn some money to help your partner out.  In this case, sometimes studying part-time while working full time makes the best sense.  Therefore, try to balance, but take care of yourself and your loved ones, as they need you more than your studies. If the workload is too much, reduce or look for alternatives.

5. Two strikes and you’re out!  Since 2007, most German universities have centralized themselves, which includes the examiners offices taking full control over the administration of exams,  papers, and courses accredited from previous studies.  A relief for teachers who had had problems finding a place and time for exams, as well as dealing with students with conflicts that interfere with their exam dates. However it can be a nightmare if you are hanging by a string regarding subject you are studying.  Students, who want to take exams, have to register with the examiner’s office, and are obliged to keep to the scheduled exam dates. They have two attempts to pass an exam in the subject of studies. Failure to pass it on the two attempt means expulsion from the program and even the university. At some universities, a student has only one try and that’s it. There is the third attempt, but that has to be approved by the examiner’s office before it can be done.  Yet if all attempts are exhausted, that’s it.   Worse is if they are expelled from the program, students are automatically blacklisted, which means that they cannot study the same subject at another university in Germany for as long as they live.  A rather draconian policy (as it is impossible to enforce in the US and other countries), yet one with a purpose: to reduce the number of eternal students at the German university, which consists of only 3%  of the student population.

6. The student teaching semester is like doing your full-time studies. While students are required to do an average of five hours a day for 5-6 months at a school, assisting in preparing the materials and teaching the classes, that is not the only thing that is required. Students also have to take seminars dealing with teaching methods in the fields of study pursued, psychology, empirical research, and school life. The workload in terms of writing reports and preparing presentations is enormous- sometimes overexaggerated- yet the curriculum of the seminar teachers is different. Some love to communicate directly with the students and are open, others are closed and prefer the paper form.  While some universities’ policies regarding the Praxissemester are transparent, others are not, and it can frustrate the ordinary student who is already overly burdened with work being done at the school.

7. Take what’s assigned and be thankful for it. It is almost certain that students are assigned to certain groups and to a certain school for the duration of the semester. While there are some exceptions which can influence the office of student-teachers (Praktikumsamt für Lehrämter), like family and location preferences, for the most part, students are expected to take what is given and plan accordingly. After all, one can learn a lot from teaching at an assigned school, like I have done to date.

8. Praxis is of the essence. Prepare for the unexpected. Universities and schools have a fragile relationship regarding what the university and the students expect and what it really is in the school climate. Each teacher has a different method that works, but also the students, especially those who have taught. The theories provided on the academic front is totally different than in the praxis at school.  Therefore, compromise is the key. While it is expected that one has to learn more than ever before- a statement made by a university professor  recently, practical experience as a teacher in an educational environment is the only way to learn how to become a great teacher.

9. Big Teacher is Watching You. Students teaching a class during the Praxissemester will have a teacher watching them. This “babysitting” service can be annoying at first, but there are two reasons for it: 1. To keep the class in line and 2. To offer suggestions to better teach the class. Not a bad service, isn’t it?

10. Not working hard enough? If one thinks that teachers are not doing their work hard enough (the mentality that work requires physical force), then perhaps you can show him/her this link.  Speaking from experience, teaching is the most undervalued position in the job market food chain. This is especially clear in schools here in Germany, where the work is much harder than in academia. Therefore teachers are open to suggestions on the part of the intern. Work with them.

11. Will trumps Must. Students have quit their studies or switched programs after the Praxissemester at the school. There are many internal and external factors influencing their decision, but this fact has echoed in the lecture halls here in Germany.  Success as a teacher does not depend on whether it’s a must to complete your studies. It is based on your will to teach them something new every day, and put up with the elements that you do NOT see every day at the university. This includes the health aspect, which I’ll mention later in the series.

12. When you are down and almost out from your studies and Praxissemester, smile. The best is yet to come when you have your state exam under your belt and you have a chance to teach on your own for two years, before doing the second state exam. The first one will take you a year worth of writing and communicating with 6-8 different exams, pending on the subjects you want to teach. This includes that of education and psychology. But once you’re finished with your year in the exam torture chamber, you’ll be free with a diploma in your hand.  The two-year Referendariat will allow you to teach on your own for two years, while taking seminars at the same time. In the end, you have your exams based on your practical experience. Before you know it, despite a potential of waiting time, you will become a certified teacher, being allowed to teach at a state-financed school in a German state, a post that is considered a job for life, if all goes well as planned.

In the last 2-4 years, many universities have started introducing the Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in education,  which last 3 and 2 years respectively. Yet the program serves as a title dressing for the workload and requirements are similar to that of the Lehramt degree.  But is it really necessary to get a Lehramt degree and become a teacher?  Some sources claim that you can do a 2-year Referendariat without such the hassle if you have done a Bachelor’s, Master’s and other studies beforehand- ideal for the Quereinsteiger, a person who comes from different fields of work despite not obtaining a degree in it. Other (private) institutions have taken on teachers with many years of experience without going through the Lehramt.

 

But really, for those who are teachers in Germany and had the opportunity to avoid the Lehramt studies, how did you do that? Did you obtain your degree at a university outside of Germany? Did you find a back door through a program as Quereinsteiger?  Let’s hear about it. Place your comments here or send me an e-mail at Flensburg.bridgehunter.av@googlemail.com. Some examples will be added as articles separately with some details added.

Mystery Building 3: A Water Tower with Windows

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This next mystery building feature has enquiring minds wanting to know what this unusual building is. This is located along the Zwickauer Mulde west of the town of Glauchau. The community of 24,000 is located near the Thuringia-Saxony border near the cities of Zwickau and Chemnitz, and prides itself on agriculture, religion, nature, serenity and open-mindness- at least that is what a person originating from there once told me a while back. It has two castles, a small town center which is very empty and quiet at lunch time, several schools (including an international one) and lastly, this unique but very unusual building.

Located at the South Dam and Bridge, this building is made of brick and features a decagonal design. It has six stories with windows lining up along every second side. Biking past there enroute to the bridge, there were some hunches I had that may have something to do with its unusual shape. They include:

  1. It is a water tower.  Several German water towers have similar designs, including one west of Glauchau in the city of Jena near the train station Göschwitz. However, there are a couple arguments against this theory. The first is that Germany has more universally standardized water towers than the old ones, as today’s towers are mushroom shaped with the head having water storage. An example of this can be found in Halle (Saale):  IMGP0065

Some water towers are similar to a typical one found in the United States, like the one in Jackson, Minnesota for example:

IMGP5680

The second argument against this theory has to do with the windows, where it is obvious that storm windows- or windows that are water resistant never existed at the time the Glauchau tower was built in the 1900s. Otherwise water would have leaked out, and the nearby residents would awake to flooding, caused by the release of water. Therefore, the first theory has to be taken out.

IMGP7147

My next theory was that the building looked like this one in Iowa: a grain elevator or silo, used to store crops for use. This would make the best sense, given Glauchau’s location in the agricultural region, plus its crops bringing in revenue. The problem with this theory is the building is much smaller than even the house located in front of this grain elevator, thus allowing little room for storing crops. It is also doubtful that the brick siding would hold the crops without breaking apart, spilling them into the Mulde, and creating an environmental disaster that would reach the city’s history books. And of course, the windows would make this theory look ridiculous in writing.

So, my last theory would be either an apartment (flat) complex or nursing home. It would look practical given its appearance. Yet the building appears too small to house the residents, even if there was one apartment per floor (story). In addition, the building is fenced off, owned by a private agency, thus rendering this theory as false.

This leads to the question: What kind of building is this, when it has six stories with windows, but as small as a silo and on the same level as a water tower? Any ideas?

If so, please place them here in the comment section as well as in the Files’ facebook page, as it is open for the forum. Your comments can be made in German or English. If you wish to contact me directly, please use the form by clicking on this link.

Germany has a lot of unusual architectural works that have survived two wars and even the Cold War. While most of the records are lost for good, there are a few left that are significant for research, including this one. What do we know about it? The answer awaits from readers and locals, like you. 🙂

Link with Map of the Place:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Apmla5YpaNqA1S7aJmoo-krqYEo&usp=sharing

 

Author’s Note: Check out the other sides of Glauchau including the bridges by clicking on the following links below:

THE BRIDGES OF GLAUCHAU (SAXONY) by the Bridgehunter’s Chronicles

THE CITY OF GLAUCHAU (SAXONY) via Files’ facebook page

 

flefi-deutschland-logo

To the Teacher with Many Thanks

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Leaving the halls of school

Forever into life

We remember the days of being cool

With a teacher being “alive.”

Alive because of her passion

Alive because of her taught lessons

Of life, of love, of happiness

To ourselves, our daughters and sons

Of being open and finesse

To those around us.

 

 

Leaving the halls of school

Forever into life

While our teacher taught us what is wrong and right

She also taught us how to be in the right

And respect ourselves and others

So that our lives will not be bothered

By those who betray and derail us

Or fatten or lie to us

Despite our own imperfections in our lives.

 

 

Leaving the halls of school

Forever into life

Our teacher that was an acquaintance

Was the one who became our mentor

And in the end, became our friend

Leaving footsteps and memories in our lives

While saying to each of us her good-byes

And setting off into the horizon

Where next day’s sun arise(s).

 

colo sunrise

Author’s Note: We’ve had many teachers in school and college who have come and gone, but only a handful have left footprints because of the difference they made in our lives. I had quite a few myself who contributed to making me who I am today. Therefore, this poem is for all the teachers out there with a special thanks for what they have done for us. Because of you, we have passed on the knowledge you gave us as children, along with our own experiences, to our children in hopes they can paint a future that is brighter and to their liking.   🙂

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