Starting my German course : LUSENET : Stats Forum for Keller-plan Course : One Thread

So much has happened in September that I better get some things posted now. Louise is quite amazed that I haven't the slightest regret about not teaching this fall. My days are so full that I haven't time for regret. I haven't got to many of my planned projects. Even my top priority project--writing my mother's story--hasn't been touched for several weeks. Of course I did give the speech a couple of weeks ago at Massey College.

My classroom teaching is over, but contact with so many former students is a huge satisfaction for me. The e-mail keeps pouring in. It's amazing; right now there are about 8 e-mails of the last few days that I haven't answered yet. I persuade everyone to post news on the forum and many do--that's also satisfying. Keep it up--it's a life blood for me.

During the last month, Louise and I had lunch with Mirona and with Angie. The lunch with Angie was on my birthday. Louise and I went one day to Kitchener for a "Knitters' Fair"--Louise was on a high that day and for several days thereafter because of the beautiful wools she saw and bought.

My title promised news about the German course. It's going very well--even better than I anticipated. We meet for 2.5 hours twice a week. When I registered for the course I was given a written test to determine my placement. I felt as nervous as our stats students taking Quiz 1. I did well enough to place in the second level, but scheduling problems resulted in my attending a first-level section. I'm actually very glad it worked out that way as I'm learning a lot, without the great strain I'm sure I would have felt in the next level course (which I'll take after Christmas).

The Goethe Institute has trouble attracting students to its day courses (most people are working and take the courses starting at 6 p.m.). My section is during the day and has only 9 students. The evening courses are larger and the students are tired (so the instructor told me today). So we have the advantage that everyone is awake and the instructor runs a very lively class. Most of the class is young--just like a group of TAs! In fact, one is a grad student in Chemistry at the U of T and another is an undergrad student in Psychology at U of T, now taking a statistics course! The chemist's ears pricked up when she heard my last name, and was flabbergasted when I confirmed that, yes, Gerhard was my father. I am certainly "der Alte", but there are two others who are in their 30s or 40s. It's a wonderfully congenial group.

I'm learning German rapidly. There's lots of homework (voluntary) and I have already created over 200 flash cards. The books and tapes we use are first-class (given to me by the TAs--the other students were very jealous when they learned that) but have a few deficiencies in organization, such as lack of a table of contents and index. I have prepared documents to make up for these deficiencies and have given copies to the other students and die Lehrerin. When I first did that, the U of T students said: "that's just like what a professor would do"! Of course, they also say (which is true) that I prepared them for myself and learned by doing so. What was that expression from Petronius?--"By teaching, we learn".

I've gone on long enough. Two big events are coming up. I'm having my groin hernia repaired the week after next (complicated because of my anti-coagulation--I'll be using a new procedure for reducing the time when I'll be coagulated). And I was due for jury duty all next week, but have now arranged to have that postponed to early December since there are several steps that have to be taken next week in preparation for the surgery.

I forgot to ask a question earlier: How do or did students like yourselves ever take 4 or 5 courses at one time (and probably worked on top of it)? I find that with the one German course I have little time left for anything else. It's quite a mystery to me how you take 4 or 5 courses!

Keep writing on the forum and to me. Best regards.


-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

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