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William Huster

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Travel Update #9: Some Observations from the Oberschule

Well, I’m feeling a little productive, so I decided to write another little post. A little more about my experience at the Oberschule:

In the third period on Monday I was helping out with a 7th grade class. Half of the class left within 15 minutes, because it was picture day for them. Curiously enough, it was not picture day for the other half of the class. They stayed in the room and I helped them correct their English tests. I was assigned to two girls and a Turkish boy named Patrick.

Patrick, whose name is not very Turkish, did not look very Turkish (except for his gelled-up fo-hawk), and he didn’t have a Turkish accent. He, as well as the two very German girls, did not get a very good grades on their English Test - they were all deep in F territory.

Now, what is one supposed to do when confronted with such “poor students?” Well, the best they can, naturally. Patrick sat to the side, quietly confused, but rather unworried by his terrible grade. The two girls also didn’t seem to mind, even though one of them had received a 29 out of 100. The assignment was for each of them to redo the second and third sections.

I watched as the girls copied the seven English sentences, in which they were supposed to find and correct errors. They were very concentrated and their handwriting was flawless. They finished copying the sentences within 10 minutes, but Patrick had hardly made any progress. He was distracted by the other boys in the classroom, I didn’t really pay attention to what they were talking about. Occasionally, I would glance over at Patrick and direct him back to his paper, where he had written the numbers 1-10.

Looking closer, Patrick scratched out 8, 9, and 10, realizing that he only needed those up until seven. He started copying down the sentences. The girls, meanwhile, were using fountain pens with a special ink-eraser to correct their mistakes. I helped them correct the sentences. They hadn’t even understood the assignment!

Okay, first translate the sentence into German. Alright, now go back to the dialog and find the related sentence…. Ok, I’ll help you, this one here. Translate that into German…. Exactly, now you see what’s wrong….

Well, I haven’t mentioned yet that we spent this weekend in Warnemuende once again. Our train leaves shortly, so I will have to finish this post a little later.

Until then!