Van Wert High School German Club was up and running with its Inaugural Meeting September 1st. About two/thirds of our contingent attended and followed parliamentary procedure in electing this year’s officers. Several candidates were on hand to run for each office and nearly all gave very good speeches (except for the seniors…who told everybody to vote for Luke…well, at least they ran). Elected were: Luke Brubaker( German 4 student), Bundeskanzler; Sarah Aurand ( German 3 student), Bundespräsidentin; Leah Brubaker (German 2 student), Sekretärin; Bob Riley and James DeFore, Finanzminister (German I students).
German Club’s 2nd meeting on September 28th celebrated Oktoberfest. There was lively music and great food. We devoured brat’s and chips and pretzels and pop. The German Club homecoming banner, created by Morella Mills, was also unveiled to great fanfare. We enjoyed each other’s company as a general atmosphere of Gemütlichkeit (“good spirit”) prevailed. The party ended with a lively “dance the bird”. We acknowledged Halloween (even though Germanic cultures drive out evil spirits in other ways) with It’s a Grave Matter, a celebration of our own family heritage. Prior to “treats” during our PAWS Halloween gala, our “trick” involved telling what we knew about our own family history…on video! Herr Aufderhaar tacked these together in the form of an eight-minute film, complete with a soundtrack featuring the German National Anthem and even Rammstein. We premiered the finished product at our celebration. It was also shown on the WVHS news. The 6th of December is St. Nick’s Day in Germany. In spite of the six hour time difference, he took the time to visit our classes. Apparently everyone was good enough this year to garner a tasty candy cane in a shoe left outside the door. We also opened Adventskalender doors periodically! We also held a dessert contest! Entries could be German, Austrian, Swiss or even American. Eight teams participated, and each was awarded a certificate recognizing their entry’s particular achievement. All enjoyed the offerings. Brrr. Im Januar ist es kalt! What better way to forget the cold than with some Austrian Eispalatschinken? Take a thin pancake or a crepe, warm it, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream inside, fold, drizzle artistically with chocolate sauce and sprinkle with snowy powdered sugar; enjoy! German Clubbers created their Eispalatschinken in class while taking turns commandeering their Smart Board to answer trivia questions about Austria and Mozart (Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!). Februar ist Karneval! We watched an Alles Gute segment shot in Köln during Karneval and viewed up-to-the-minute photos on our Smart Board. Finally, we had our own “parade”, complete with masks & marshmallows, shouting Alaaf!
German IV students took their skills on the road, teaching basics such as greetings, alphabet and numbers to Van Wert elementary classes. We spent an hour planning lessons and practicing for each session. We visited Mrs. Coleman’s class, as well as Mrs. Brubaker’s music class (where we taught: “Mein Hut, er hat drei Ecken!”
Albert Einstein ist im Maerz geboren! We celebrated his birthday (nachtraeglich!) with: cupcakes (some of which resembled the genius himself), a song, a brief documentary, and a trivia contest. (Winners got Smarties.) Es hat Spass gemacht!
German III and IV Clubbers took a field trip to ALPLA (http://www.alpla.com) in Lima, Ohio, in May. ALPLA is an Austrian firm which manufactures plastic containers. The trip was a first both for VWHS and also for ALPLA, which hadn’t hosted a school before, but was most accommodating when Herr Aufderhaar rang their phone. Students rotated in three groups: one received a Power Point presentation on the company, a second was permitted to view operations (from a safe distance) on the production floor, while the third enjoyed a special treat: getting to interview ALPLA’s German-speaking employee – auf Deutsch, natürlich!! Big thanks go to Steve, to Ingo and their team! THANKS too to parent chaperones! This was a most relevant field trip for German learners. Afterward, we enjoyed a Germanic buffet at Old Barn Out back, which added sausage, kraut and Schnitzel to their already sumptuous selections (we admit, we liked the chicken), just for us. Pic’s: factory hair (and beard) nets; Jacob at the buffet.
We ended the school year im Mai with a salute to our outstanding students: members of German II were inducted into Ohio Zeta, our one-year-old chapter of Delta Epsilon Phi (German Honor Society, sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of German). Inducted were: Hayley Walker, Erin Dingle, Leah Brubaker, Dustin Carter, Lynzee Davis, Hannah Merkle, Sean Miller, Kyle Keber, Olivia McKeddie, Matt Bidlack, Eric Easley, Chelsea Henning, Courtney Smith, Maggie Almandinger, and Lisa Roop. These students all have maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 and 3.6 in German. The initiation was in the PAC lobby. Shown: German II students and inductees assembled; certificates; Matt gets his own.