Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Annals of Teaching English

Last Monday my project week class went to an English language library in Heidelberg. While exploring the library, I saw some of my students holding a book and snickering with each other. One of them said, grinning like the schoolboy he is, "Mr. Lenz, what does this mean?" I then got to explain to them what The Annals of America means, and no, it isn't funny.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Verabschiedung und Geschichte

What a busy week this has been! I am now officially done with my job as an assistant English teacher. Not only have we had end of the year celebrations, but I have also gotten to spend time with some former Guest Teachers as well.

On Monday, we had a staff meeting and then party. Six teachers were retiring and we were celebrating their work at the school, but Principal Wilhelm also said some words about me and I received a wonderful book about Germany's history over the last six decades. Later during the unofficial after party, the English faculty also gave me a book on the cultural landscape (with lots of photos) of the Odenwald and Bergstraße regions.

Also attending the celebrations were four other Ole guest teachers, Linda from Fürth (2003-4), Lawrence from Wolfsburg (1963-4), Lois from Helmstedt (1967-8), and Virginia from Austin, Minnesota (1959-60). It was really fun to get to speak with them about their times at the school. We also discussed hopeful plans for the future.

American Guest Teachers and their classes, 1960 & 2011
Me with my eighth graders
Speaking at the farewell party
Five Ole guest teachers with former principal Hans-Jürgen Schmidt

Sunday, June 5, 2011


We were learning about California in my 8th grade class and I asked if anyone knew the capital of California. Many students thought they knew. I heard Los Angeles, San Francisco, and even Las Vegas, but they had never heard of Sacramento.
Not unreasonably, they thought the governor was still Arnold Schwarzenegger and had never heard of Jerry Brown.