Tuesday, February 28, 2006

As promised:

O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

The Hills are bare now,
And Autumn leaves
lie thick and still,
O'er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Those days are past now,
And in the past
they must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

0 Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
your like again,
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen,
And stood against him,
Proud Edward's Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday morning, 11 am...

Today, I took the Second Years one step further into the mysterious realm of german grammer (brrrrr). Mr Campbell had written the day's schedule on the board, referring to me as "Assistentin" (which I am).
So, later on, Haylie asked me what the word meant and I told her that, just as the word "Assistent", it means "assistant".
I asked the kids "So, why am I an "Assistentin" and not an "Assistent", what do you think?"
Whereupon Conner (my personal nightmare) fixed me and, very calmly, replied:

"Because you don't have a penis."

Haylie began to scream histerically and asked me wether she should slap Connor for me.
Of course I told her she couldn't, as he was absolutely correct.

I love kids...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hadden's Heroes send England home tae think again

Oh Flower of Scooootlaaaaand...
...die Buzze is voll, Murrayfield Stadium is almost completely sold out, there's only two empty seats in the house and they are in front of me. Suits me magnificently. What a fine day for rugby! It is freezing, the wind rattles in the gates and, actually, in our faces and the rain drizzles down ever so slightly and ever so incessantly.
I just wonder who let all those ... english people in here...disgusting!
When the teams enter we let the guys in white and red know they're not the All Blacks, don't get too comfortable, this will not be a walk in the park, we're gonna put up a hell of a fight. The battle of Bannochburn is shortly reinacted on the pitch for that purpose, battledrums, speers, torches and all.

After that, we let them sing their song about their queen. Then, a second of silence, before the 100 or so bagpipers give'em a taste of their lungs, the Higland Clan Battledrummerboys and girls screem along as 30 015 people (half of the spectators + 15 players on the pitch) stretch their vocal chords for the Flower of Scotland. With the last word the gun is fired and, BANG, here we go again.
(die Wumme)

It has to be said that as a Scotland supporter, the belief in your team and the willingness to scream your lungs out for them is often the one thing you can cling to, especially when these folks from south of the border are at Murrayfield.
But three minutes into the game, there is a defening uproar, as Scotland TAKE THE LEAD!!!!
And they were determined to not give it away too easily. By half time whistle, 40 minutes later, the score is an amazing

The break gives us time to gather our strenght and give our voices a little rest. Meaning singing "Flower of Scotland" kind of quietly this time, as you can see here:

During the second half, there's more strain to be put on the voicebox, so that after another 20 minutes or so, I finally get from shouting things like "Comeooooooooon!!!!!", "Gie'magoodoooooone!!!!" or "Downwi'em!!!!!" to a mere "Hsaaaaaaaaaaadf -rgh!!!!!". The Lady next to me kept on shouting "Stop'emstp'emstop'emstop'em", and the boy in the seat in front of her seemed to be kind of concerned about that. In return, he stuck his giant blue wave-finger-what-do-you-call-those-thingys in my face a couple of times.
Much of the game took place only half a yard away from both of the try lines, but none of the teams actually GOT to try. There were a few more penalties throughout the match though, so that at full time, Scotland had actually beaten England

FRAKING OUT GALORE!!!! (on both sides of the Tweed, I guess)
The English were gutted, having been sure of a victory, as can be seen in this picture:

Now, let us put this in historic perspective;
The last time that Scotland beat England in a Rugby match was in 1999. The last time before THAT was in 1990. So, it doesn't happen all too often, to put it that way, that's why the whole city (and, thinking of it, probably the whole COUNTRY including every single island) went celebrating in the pubs. You actually had to queue to get into the Last Drop and the likes, so we went celebrating with chips from the chippie and Whisky from Tattie's Cupboard.
For the next match, I am determined to stock up on the three lines of "Flower of Scotland" I know by heart, ("Oh, Flower of Scotland, ...something something something something about fighting and King Edward, something, ...and sent them home, tae think again" Ende.) and as I am a teacher and you're not (at least most of you), I'll put it on the blog for you to learn, too.
Das wird dann aber auch abgefragt!
Hefte raus, Klassenarbeit!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Police called after pupils go on strike over uniform crackdown


POLICE were called to a city high school after pupils staged a walkout in protest at a crackdown on uniform.

About 100 youngsters, aged from 11 to 14, wore casual clothes to Craigmount High School on Friday, flouting an instruction to adhere to school dress codes.

An undisclosed number refused to go back to class after the morning break after they were given a dressing down. Police were called as the demo threatened to get out of hand.

The stunt had been organised via e-mail the previous day, in response to a letter sent home by headteacher Dr John Campbell asking parents to make sure pupils obeyed the dress code.

Children at Craigmount, in Corstorphine, may wear a white or blue polo shirt, or the more formal white or black shirt with the school tie. They must, however, wear black trousers.

Dr Campbell is understood to have warned youngsters who failed to do so that a letter would be sent to their parents.

This prompted an angry stand-off between pupils and staff on Friday, just hours before the school broke up for the half-term holiday. Most of the children were coaxed back into class, but a minority did not return.

Education chiefs say their parents have been contacted and the pupils face possible disciplinary action on their return next week.

Dr Campbell attempted to capture the youngsters on film, so the protestors and their actions would be on record when the time came to dish out punishments - but his video camera did not work. However, the pupils were caught on CCTV and may face disciplinary action on their return next week.

One parent claimed the children had been spurred into action by the "heavy-handed" approach taken by Dr Campbell.

She said: "The new headmaster wants them all to wear school uniform at all times. The kids got together and decided they would have a day of protest and most of them wore jeans on Friday.

"All the kids got letters home to give their parents and this sparked a riot. They were all outside, rampaging along Craigs Road.

"Dr Campbell has just come in and laid down the law without any consultation with staff or pupils. I don't like the fact that the kids were rampaging about, but he has brought it on himself."

Another parent added: "My son said there had practically been a riot at the school. Some pupils seem determined to resist."

A council spokeswoman said: "A small number of pupils left early on Friday without permission. Appropriate action will be taken against them upon their return from the February break."

The council has denied reports that children were shouting and climbing fences and that some pupils were knocked down in the rush to leave the school.

A police spokeswoman said: "Community officers were called to the school. However, there were no signs of a disturbance."

Craigmount High School has had a school uniform since 1999, and pupils have had a say in the colours used.

Education chiefs believe uniforms improve behaviour and attainment, and have urged schools and pupils to improve take up to the point that almost all schools in the city now have at least a dress code and in many cases a full school uniform.

The pupils have been backed by the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC).

Judith Gillespie, development manager of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said: "There's no evidence to suggest that everyone wearing the same clothes to school makes a difference to attainment.

"Threatening to report the children back to their parents is an insult to their independence."


Tja, Leude, so sieht das aus, wo ich so unterrichte.
Da bereut man es fast, freitags frei zu haben. Aber nur fast.

Wat man so alle in der Post kricht!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Lords and Ladies!
Schaut her!
Die Dame, die mich schon im zarten Alter von 16 auf ihrem tuerkis farbenen Roller (Motor-) durch die westbadische Landschaft geheizt hat,
die mir den Beinamen Tequila brachte (don't ask!),
mit der ich unzaehlige Schlachten gegen Horden von Orks, machteifernede Magier und wahnsinnige Passionen kaempfte (again, don't ask),
die ich einst verlor und wiederfand,
diese Dame also...
...traegt jetzt einen fetten Brilli an ihrem Ringfinger! (Zumindest idealerweise, wa, Christian?!)
Liebste Jenny, Niniel, Sunrise;
Der Umtrunk, den wir haben werden, der wird sich aber gewaschen haben, das kannste glauben. Kommt mich doch ma besuchen, fuer Gelage ist das hier aber sowas von der richtige Ort.
Ansonsten warte ich gespannt auf die naechste Karte...
Ich wuensch euch alles Liebe und ich glaub, ich ruf gleich ma an.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Die Revue passiert

Oh, Man,
this last week flew by so quickly. I had just stopped minding having to put up with no more than 40 cm of mattress space, and now -WHAM!- I'm alone again. Well, not quite; telly's in the kitchen, the laptop is here and Katie Melua is singing something strange about blue shoes (?).
My nose is red, so are my eyes, I can't breathe properly and I have a V-shaped bit of inflamed skin just between my nostrils. I already used tons of tissues and, quite honestly, I will be running out of them this very evening but I don't see me walking up all the 200 yards to LIDL to get more of them in time like.
I feel miserable. And I've got a cold, too. But also I miss the sonoric voice of Jo ... telling me to switch off the TV and wash the dishes. Also he took my last package of tissues. Or did I take his...??? Dunno.
We did a lot of nice things during this past week, some of which are none of your bloody business, but some others of which I'd love to share with you.

Unfortunately, our little trip to the Highlands didn't happen due to certain circumstances, but I still managed to take the Man to Loch Lomond ("You take the high road and I take the low road and I'll be in Scotland afooooore ye..."eherm. Sorry.)
We found
a castle (with lavatory)
whisky coloured water
picnic benches
a rope attached to a tree
the snow covered Highlands in the distanceaaahwhataview
all kinds of fat water birds

Armed with our cameras the value of a small car as we were, we took tons of pictures. For most of them you'll have to harass Jo, but these are Matilda's words as to what Loch Lomond is like:

(If you click on the pic, you can actually see things.)

On our way we stopped in Glasgow to chase a hat (by the way: I found mine, baby, it was in my desk thingy the whole time!), the results of which can be seen on photos that Jo took, and we didn't actually meet Jamie that day, but this is what HE looks like:

We also went to Craigmillar Castle, but it was closed. And, oh, by the way, I am now an official Friend of Historic Scotland!!, which means that I have free admission to sites like Edinburgh Caslte, Craigmillar Castle, Urquahuahard Caslte on the shore of Loch Ness, a bunch of standing stones on some island or other and loads of other things, because I am a ... (Trommelwirbel, bitte) ... MEMBER!! I am currently waiting for the sticker and the badge.
One other major attraction was Asda at the Jewel, where you can buy things, and a couple of "Accessorize"s, "Next"s, "Topshop"s and the like, where you absolutely can't.

And tomorrow...
it's back to school, where I will blow me nose some more.

That's a keeper

Conversation between Ian MillerHeadOfDepartment and Lorna Hughes, Lecturer in Recent German, shortly before the end of lunchbreak:

Lorna: "Oh, no. I've got this bunch of nutters now..."
Ian: "Which one? There's so many of those."

and a little later, talking about some behaviourly channlenged pupil with motivation issues and poor social skills:

Ian: "Oh, I want to take a pair of candles, shove them up her bloody nostrils and SET THEM ON FIRE!"

Dear Ian and Lorna, I will keep these words of yours in my heart for evermore.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This one goes out to...

...Ferdi and footie, as a healing charm from the land of druids and strong, strong liquor (Barrels of it. Of both of it.).

Saturday, February 18, 2006

For Hobbes

who is in lovable psycho cat heaven, where there are nothing but cosy little spots above eye-level and plastic straws to play with all day...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thursday morning, 10 am...

...and the guy with the hat strikes again.
I was entering school and once in the building turning right towards the concourse, when out of the janitors' wee box someone was shouting "Heeeey!!". "Not again", I thought and turned back to inquire as to the motivation of the shouter. When I faced the janitor he said "Oh, sorry, I thought you were a student." "Never mind", I said, "it happened before."
I don't know how, but apparently, my backside looks ten years younger then my face. Mh. Well...I guess in another twenty years, me and my toyboy will be drinking to that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Royal extra terrestrian alien freaks

On the corner of Nicholson Street and West Richmond Street, just a couple of metres from me hoos and opposite LIDL, there is a branch of the Royal Mail (not to be mixed up with the Royal Mile, which is something completely different, but try explaining that to an Aussie!). In this post office, two guys are working. It's always the same two guys, they must be there 24/7 and probably the two massive shelves of envelopes, thick brown tape, rubber bands (assorted) and childrens scissors really are some kind of fold down beds, so they never leave the place.
Everytime I have to post something, I encounter the two of them. I can't really tell them apart, they're actually quite the same. They look like some Indian underground chainsmoking baked potatoes in beige shirts (ALWAYS beige shirts!!) and knitted waistcoats. Everything about them just melts together, colourwise, like some huge pot of custard that has been left out in the sun.

So when I go there and say:
"I've got a letter here to Edinburgh." (Meaning: just sell me a 42p stamp and let me get on with my life.),
they will always say something like:
"Beg pardon?!"
"Whaa? Oh, yes , to Edinburgh."
"You shut your trap about my mother!"
"Hassne messsfll brrps. ... S!"
"Oh, yes, the scale, here, I put it on it, don't brain fizzzz me, please."
"Oh, yes, 42p, there you go, keep the change."

I am convinced that these two are some kind of alien brothers from planet Zorrk, sent to earth to spy on our ... postal system?? Really I don't know what the Spaceman Spiff they hope to achieve by sitting in a stuffy little post office all the time, but if I knew, they probably would have brain fried me anyway. Or I found out already and they just had the relevant part of my brain removed surgically in one of their ships orbiting Earth so I wouldn't tell the Earth Government about their plans. Well. I like my brain, so I won't investigate any further. Just so you know: if you never receive any letters from me, it's not because I don't write any; it's because they probably dyed them beige and ate them.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Breaking News - bulletin


With the start of the Six Nations Cup, Murrayfield Stadium was sizzling again with a screaming crowd. Scotland enters this competition as an absolute underdog and yesterday, they warmly welcomed one of the best teams of Europe, France.
The Scots weren't expected to stand much of a chance against such a team, as up until the change of Manager a couple of monthes ago, they performed rather poorly recently, BUT: DAMMIT, THEY KICKED ASS!!!!!!
We (!) took the lead only a couple of minutes into the game and two minutes before the half time whistle, the score was Scooooootland: 20 - france: zilch! (vielzuvielscheissverein!)
The French (or Froggies as we lovingly call them) came on violently during the second half, but Scotland didn't give in to even the most ambitious attack. In the end, Scotland had scored 20 points, France 16. WHAT A GAME, MAN!!

My personal Man of the Match: Sean Lamont (right). What a dude! He can only be described with an astonished adoring: geil!

Zur Feier des Tages ging ich heute zu H&M und verprasste £ 54,94, hae-hae!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

To the Misty Mountains!

The one thing I regret about living in an place like Berlin is not being able to escape to the woods every once in a while. I mean, technically it's possible; I myself attempted to explore Tegeler Wald a couple of times, being bored of know-every-corner-of-it-Victoriapark or Same Old Trep everytime, but it takes about half a day to get there so that when you arrive you can almost be sure of the sun being gone.
So today, as the bright blue sky reminded me of Damien's words ("saer is a woode in Costorfiinoe. It's wreali bjutifulloe..."), I decided to take Mathilda on a little trip towards the western edge of town. There was the sweet scent of spring in the air, the birds were singing and the sun shone brightly on my face as I was sitting in the bus.
I got off at the zoo and had my ten minutes of exercise while walking up Costorphine Hill towards the woods. I entered the shadow of the trees and followed a well trodden path, past saturday doggie walkers and saturday kiddie walkers. After a couple of hundred metres I came around a bend in the path and saw before me the most phantastic view of the town. To my left there was the hill but to my right there was a steep slope and only a few trees, so that they gave way to overlook silverknowes and, in the distance, the castle, sitting majestically on its hill.
I continued and after a little while noticed a kind of tower or steeple on the hill to my left. The Indiana Jones part of me awoke, I left the main path and went exploring.
Uphill I found what was indeed a tower, sitting on the very summit of Costorphine Hill, surrounded by trees and illuminated by the golden sunlight.

Not far off there were the ruins of some building, but nothing much was left of it, so I cannae really tell what it once was, but this is what it lookes like:

I pondered in the sun for a while and had a closer look at both the tower and the ruined bit.
When I moved on I did't return to the main path but took one of the smaller ones, leading into the woods. I passed many a decaying bit of masonery on my way, the remainders of walls and steps of stone, leading nowhere.

The forest seemed enchanted, with green trees everywhere despite the time of year and myriads of Ivy leaves covering dead trees. The sun shone through the roof of the trees and made everything look so beautiful.

Now had I been an old toothless Scotswoman, I might be able to tell you the stories of the fayries living in these woods, scaring off anyone who wanders astray, keeping the outside world off their premises.
I am not a toothless ols Scotswoman, but I can assure you, the fayries are real!
When I was walking amidst the trees, I could hear them rustling in the undergrowth and whispering to each other, though I couldn't understand what they were saying. But I know for a fact that when they saw me walking all too confidently through their realm, they made the stones move, so that I fell flat on my sun warmed backside.
I took that as a warning and tried to find my way back to the main path. When I had climbed yet another summit, I could see the top of a hill in the distance, overgrown with trees and emerging from the mist like an island out of the see. For a split second I swear I could hear someone say "Avalon!".
I was amazed at the beauty of this place but well aware of its dangers. That and the fact that I was growing hungry made me climb downhill, until I could hear the noise of Queensferry Road not far off. I followed the sound, stepped out fom under the trees and Edinburgh had me back.