Genre of the Week: Cordula Grün by Josh


Each country has its own one-year wonder, a song that is (one of) the most popular for the whole year and is the trademark of its own culture. Most of these one-hit wonders that is popular during the year are produced by up-and-going musicians, many of whom fade into the background after the hit has past.

We’re hoping that the musician Josh will be the one in the minority. Born and raised in Vienna, this musician was getting a start in his musical career when this one-hit wonder came out in 2018 entitled “Cordula Grün,” a story of a love affair with a person bearing this name.  The rhythm and story go together like bread and butter, resulting in the hit reaching the top five in Austria and Bavaria (in the category of Volksmusik), whereas it has been in the top 30 in Germany.  This unique pop song will more likely get some accolades in the next year, but for this year, it has earned the honors of being the Files’ Genre of the Week. Enjoy and feel free to comment on this unique song:




A Tribute to Stan Lee

Image result for spiderman
Source: Geek Tyrant


Growing up as a child in the rural part of the US, it was not typical  to have not read a comic strip by Stan Lee, like Spiderman, X-men, the Incredible Hulk and other characters he created in the 60+ year career as a cartoonist/writer. It was also not typical to have not seen a film or TV-series based on Lee’s characters that created the Marvel Comic universe, regardless of when they were produced.  Stan Lee had extraordinary talents that through his work with his characters, attracted everyone, young and old, rich and poor and regardless of what background they had.  Stan Lee also brought out the best in those who dreamed of becoming a “pop star” like him because of the philosophy he instilled on his audience: “If you can think it, you can make it.”  If one has a great idea on how to change something, even through one’s own writing, the person does it, with dilligence, passion, dedication and love. After all, no character created is alive unless you breath life into it. No idea bears fruit unless you push it through and beyond the limits. And no story is published unless you modify it, scrutinize it and sometimes throw it away and start anew from scratch.  This was what many people like myself see from the works of Stan Lee.

Stan Lee was a man who intermingled between the comic world and the real world. He was famous for his cameo-appearances in many of his films, as you can see in the examples below:

He always had a great quote with him, almost all of whom were homemade. Here are my top five quotes:

“The more you read, the better you’re going to become as a storyteller.”- This quote is one that teachers should take notice, as their role in the classroom also includes storytelling.

“Life is never completely without its challenges.” – Think of Rocky Balboa and the Rocky Principle I wrote a while back.

“You know, my motto is ‘Excelsior.’ That’s an old word that means ‘upward and onward to greater glory.’ It’s on the seal of the state of New York. Keep moving forward, and if it’s time to go, it’s time. Nothing lasts forever.”– Especially in the last two sentences one should take notice. You can continue on as long as you wish, but when it’s time to move on, it’s for a reason.

“Most people say, “I can’t wait to retire so I can play golf,” or go yachting or whatever they do. Well, if I was playing golf, I would want that to finish so I could go and dream up a new TV show.” – The secret to Stan Lee’s success was passion. Without that, he would not lived as long as he did. The same applied with Picasso, George Burns, Jimmy Carter and others.

And the last one was part of the Soapbox series, Stan wrote from 1965 to 2001. Each one was found at the back of every comic book; each one dealt with themes that were close to home and to reality. This one, despite it being written in 1968, still holds true today:

Image result for stan's soapbox the collection

It also reached the top of the top five by Inverse Magazine, as they nominated their own top five Soapbox essays written by Stan Lee. The ills of politics and social life mixed in with the themes of Stan’s comics which brought the marriage of fiction and reality.  It was through his comics, combined with the on-screen productions that followed that got many to read more and talk about them.

Stan Lee died on 12 November, 2018 at the age of 95. The loss is immense as many people from all aspects are paying tribute to him. And it’s no surprise, as there may never be anyone who can bring fiction and reality together, while producing the best characters for all to read, regardless of which of the 100+ were their favorites. Yet, as we close this tribute to Stan Lee, there is one quote that was made at the end of a TV-episode of The Incredible Hulk in 1978, where the boy mentioned to David Banner (played by Bill Bixby) which led to its ending with its signature melody “The Lonely Man”:

People Never Die As Long as Somebody Remembers Them.


And like Universal Pictures, which ended this in silence, I will do the same except to say this:

Photo taken in 2014 by Gage Skidmore

Thanks, Stan.  For everything you taught us about life from the eyes of a gifted cartoonist…….





Raise Your Glasses in the Evening on Saturday- A look at the Prepositions of At/In/On for Time

Taken on September 22, 2005 [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
Prost! Cheers! Mazeltov! Salut! Zum Wohl!  Raise you glasses as you made it through the week. On a Friday night at 9:00pm, you and your friends are celebrating over wine before riding in the night going home.

Wait a minute! In the night? Why not at night?

Very simple: When you ride home in the night, you are riding home in darkness at night, whereas at night itself focuses on the time during the 24-hour day where between 8:00pm and 12:00am, the moon shines its very best. An even better way to describe the difference is a song produced for the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, describing the runner at night training in darkness in order to win the gold medal:

It is one of many deep secrets about the prepositions of time, using at, in and on. In each language, there is a different meaning of the three if we focus on the aspects of calendar, clock and the clicks of the timer. The best way to look at this is by looking at the picture below:

André Karwath aka Aka [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5 (, from Wikimedia Commons

Without reading further, where would you place the three prepositions in the wine glass?

wine glass time 2

The reason for the wine glass concept is very simple. With a few exceptions, wine glasses have an half-oval shape as a way of measuring the amount of wine poured into the glass.  That means as the wine glass is filled up, the amount of wine increases as the width of the glass widens. The narrower the glass, the less wine you have.

The wine glass represents the time frame where as the wine glass is filled to the top, the longer the given time period is allotted. That means at the bottom of the wine glass, where next to no drops are poured, that is where the preposition AT belongs to. AT here focuses on the exact time and moment of an event. Examples of how at is used is the following:

The train to Paris leaves at 7:45am from platform 5.

At Easter time, we have the egg hunt.

I’m not here at the moment

The Treaty of Armistice was signed at the 11th hour on November 11th.

It’s 11:00 at night. Do you know where your children are at?


When the wine glass is a third to a half full, then the width of the wine glass plus the amount of the wine is restricted. That is the same for the number of hours in a day, which is 24. Here, ON best fits the wine glass model for it is used to focus on a certain day or date, be it an exact date, holiday or even a day in the week, as seen in the examples below:

On Easter Sunday, we go to church.

I have an appointment on Monday.

She was born on 27 April, 1980.


When the wine glass is completely full, then so is the (sometimes) unlimited amount of wine, and in this case, time a person has. This is the meaning of IN in a sense of time. IN focuses on long periods of time. With the exception of certain periods in the day, like in the morning, afternoon and evening, IN has to do with long periods of time that is allowed to complete something. This can include months, weeks and years, but also seasons and other time periods where time keeps running whereever it wants to.  Some examples of how the preposition IN can be used include:

In the spring, we plant our crops.

We have tea time in the afternoon.

Who is making noise in the middle of the night?

Our conference will take place in October.

World War II ended in 1945. 


In the end, after reading the explanations, your wine glass in connection with time should look like this:

wine glass time

After looking at the review, do you have any questions? If not, let’s proceed to the exercises, shall we? 🙂

Activity 1.  Complete the sentences using the correct preposition of time (at/in/on)

  1. The concert takes place _____ 5:00pm ______ Sunday at the Church
  2. ______ May, we will fly to Thailand for three weeks.
  3. It’s 11:30 ______ night. Do you know where your children are?
  4. _______ Tuesday we have our important town hall meeting. It starts ______ 10:00am and will last two hours.
  5. Sherry was born _______ 23rd of May, 1977 ______ 3:00am at the hospital in Dublin.
  6. World War I ended ________ 11th of November ________ the year 1918________ 11:11 am.
  7. The building will be finished ________ the spring.
  8. _______ Easter, we have a family gathering at my grandmother’s place.
  9. _______ New Year’s Day we will be at some friends‘ to celebrate.
  10. The Christmas market starts _______ 5:00pm _______ the evening, and ends _______10:00 ______ night.

Activity 2. Why do we say these things? Explain.

  1. Why do we say 9:00 at night instead of in the night?
  2. Why do we say in the morning instead of at the morning?
  3. Why do we say in March instead of on March?
  4. Why do we say on Monday instead of at Monday?
  5. Why do we say both on the weekend and at the weekend?


Activity 3. The following sentences are incorrect. Change them to make sure they are right.

  1. The Open Night of Science will start at 8:00pm in the night.
  2. Stacy was born in January 23rd, 1967.
  3. The TV-series made its debut on 1988 and was cancelled at 1991.
  4. The bus comes every morning at 7:30 to pick up the children.
  5. In the weekend, there is a choir concert at the city convention center.
  6. In the moment, I’m preparing the exams.
  7. The meeting will take place on 6:45am at Thursday the 14th of September.
  8. At the winter time, we go skiing in the Alps.
  9. In Christmas, we sing carols.
  10. In my birthday, we will celebrate it at my place.


Activity 4. Complete each phrase with at, in, or on.

  1. ______ Saturday
  2. ______the afternoon
  3. ______ noon
  4. ______ Thanksgiving
  5. ______ 4:00pm
  6. ______ 1300 hours (military time)
  7. ______ the fifth day of Christmas (song)
  8. ______ this time
  9. _______ the weekend
  10. ______ night
  11. ______ midnight
  12. ______ the wee hours of the morning
  13. ______ 2:30 ______ the morning
  14. _______ breakfast
  15. _______ the time of Lent
  16. _______ Friday night
  17. ______ Friday
  18. ______ this second
  19. ______ the class period
  20. ______ this day.







EU parliament versus FATCA

Financier Worldwide is a leading, widely respected information source covering corporate finance and board-level business issues.

Following the worldwide implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) – a reporting regime that obliges financial institutions to disclose certain financial information on their US customers – thousands of law-abiding EU residents realised that they were subject to tax obligations in the US, whereas they thought they had no ties with the US. These so-called ‘Accidental Americans’ could be anyone with an American parent who inherited US citizenship but was born outside the US, or people of other nationalities who happened to be born in the US and who stayed there only a few weeks or months and maintained no ties whatsoever to the US. The US is one of only two jurisdictions in the world that has a taxation system based on citizenship (with Eritrea), as opposed to the domicile and residence concepts which are seen in many other jurisdictions.

These ‘Accidental Americans’ who are residing in or are citizens of the EU, suffer adverse effects as a result of FATCA, such as having their savings accounts frozen and being denied access to banking services due to the reluctance of financial institutions to follow costly FATCA reporting.

Further to a petition submitted by a ‘Collective of European citizens who are either “Accidental Americans” or dual European/US citizens Association of Accidental Americans’, on 5 July 2018 the European parliament adopted a resolution on the adverse effects of FATCA on EU citizens and in particular ‘Accidental Americans’.

In this resolution, the EU parliament acknowledge the difficulties encountered by the EU “Accidental Americans” and calls on Member States and the Commission to ensure that the fundamental rights of all citizens, in particular those of ‘Accidental Americans’ are guaranteed. Furthermore, the EU parliament also raised other concerns, such as the fact that although most of the intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) negotiated with the US are theoretically reciprocal, it seems the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not been systematically reporting information on EU taxpayers having financial assets in the US, albeit most of the IGAs have now been in force since 2014.

In the context of the gradual shift from banking secrecy to the globalisation of tax transparency over the last decade, the EU parliament is now raising certain concerns over the effects of the implementation of FATCA within the EU, and in particular its lack of bilateral transparency.

To understand more about FACTA, how it affects Americans overseas and what the EU is doing to try and eliminate this unnecessary policy of impurging on the privacy and rights of Americans and Europeans alike by forcing Washington to retract this, please continue to read this article by clicking on the link below….

Source: EU parliament versus FATCA

10 Techniques Every Teacher Needs to Know

10 Techniques Every Teacher Needs to Know

In School, In Germany: I saw this as I was doing some research lately and it deals with the concept of classroom management, which includes more involvement of students, praising the students for their work and especially a personal journal about the students’ learning experience. These ten ideas are useful for both the teacher and the student (regardless of age). If you haven’t tried any of them, experiment. If there are some other ideas you’ve tried that Richard Rogers has yet to know about, tell him. Bottom line is you won’t know what works unless you try an experiemnet or two. Enjoy these ten ideas for the classroom. 🙂

An article by Richard James Rogers (Author of The Quick Guide to Classroom Management)

Illustrated by Pop Sutthiya Lertyongphati 

I’m a big fan of books and articles that condense years and years of hard-earned experience into a few, clear, tidbits of advice that anyone can benefit from.

The aim of this week’s blog post is to do just that.

To set the context for today’s article I’ll tell you a little about me: I completed my PGCE in 2006, taught secondary science in the UK for two years before moving to Thailand to teach science and mathematics at international schools (along with a little German here and there). I’m now in my 13th year of teaching. In 2015 I published my bestselling book, The Quick Guide to Classroom Management, which has inspired thousands of teachers all over the world to make subtle little changes…

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Genre: I Heard Your Voice in the Wind Today- Unknown Author


Some food for thought from a poem written by an unknown writer to start off the weekend. Enjoy! ❤ 🙂



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