First of all, this blog is now syndicated to my Amazon.com author page.
Besides, I’m busy getting the next Pegasus Pulp e-novella ready for publication, so instead of a longer post, here just a short list of things that piss me off:
- The weather
Even without record-breaking rainfalls like yesterday, the weather is still annoying. It’s hot, it’s very humid, there’s still intermittent rain and worst of all, it doesn’t cool off at night. For three nights in a row now, the temperatures haven’t dropped under 17° Celsius. Yes, I’m aware that the people in Texas are having a much more horrible summer, but the US also has a lot more air-conditioning, whereas Germans seem to consider air-conditioning a mortal sin. Many shopping malls and supermarkets don’t switch on their air-conditioning systems even at temperatures above 25° Celsius.
- Accidentally recording a TV pilot in French without subtitles:
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency pilot aired yesterday evening on the German/French TV channel arte. Because I was at the translators’ meet-up yesterday evening, I recorded the pilot. But when I wanted to watch it tonight, it turned out that the film was in French without subtitles. Now the arte channel is a German/French joint venture, but they normally broadcast the German version in Germany and the French version in France (I can get the French version via satellite, though) And if a program is in French only (or reversely, German only), it is always subtitled. But this was just a French dub of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency without any subtitles whatsoever. I suspect that someone at the channel messed up and accidentally broadcast the French version on the German channel. It’s still annoying, because I was looking forward to the show and instead ended up watching the umpteenth rerun of Cold Case.
- Porny trailers on public television:
The German public TV stations are very, very sensitive regarding violence to the point that they don’t air something as harmless as the BBC’s Sherlock before ten p.m. Besides, in the 1980s, when they were the only game in town, they censored US shows like Magnum P.I. or even Dallas and declared action films like Mad Max or Die Hard unbroadcastable, because of the violence.
However, they have considerably less issues with sex. Hence, one of the two big public TV stations, ZDF, runs a series of erotic films named Sommernachtsphantasien (Summer night fantasies) every Monday at ten p.m., i.e. in the same timeslot as Sherlock or The Midsummer Murders. However, while it is easy to avoid the film series, if you don’t want to watch it, you cannot avoid the trailers, because they are airing them all the time after ten P.M. Even worse, the trailers are basically edited together from solely from sex scenes, so the films seem more erotic than they actually are. So any ZDF viewer is basically bombarded with misleading and porny trailers for films which are not porn at all. And this happens every freaking summer.
Finally, here’s something funny. On the Deutsche Welle homepage, there is the following headline today: “Economists stay calm as stocks crash worldwide” Though that in itself is not funny. What makes this run-of-the-mill stockmarket crash headline funny is the fact that it runs under the topic “soccer”.
Wah, they caught it – it’s under economy now. *sad*
Do you really feel 17° at night to be a problem? What sort of temperatures do you usually get at night? My bedroom never goes below 21° from spring to autumn… I do hate the humidity though, not used to it and I don’t need to be in a sauna with my clothes on.
Well, Wall Street soccer would have been funny.
17°C are the exterior temperatures, indoors it’s warmer and I live directly under the roof, where it’s always hot. Besides, I have always been someone who sweats very easily, even when other people are still cold. As a result, I feel far happier in autumn and spring and winter than in summer.
The humidity is extremely unpleasant as well. So far, we’ve gotten of lightly with regard to rain. My cousin lives in Frankfurt/Main and he’s had pretty much non-stop rain for the past few weeks. But in the last three days we had almost half the regular rainfall for all of June and it is pretty much like a sauna all day long.
I hope you’re enjoying your summer holidays by the way. Six weeks without school or students are always a much needed break.
Yes, I’m pretty much running on empty this year. I’ve applied and gotten a reduction of my hours next year, from 25 to 21. I wanted to reduce at some point in the future anyway, but not at such an early age, really. I need to get some perspective, though, and deal with my weight gain because this year the limit has been reached (I actually showed a student the middle finger and said “Fuck you” in front of the whole class).
If I don’t find a way of turning this around, I’ll be burned out before I’m 50.
Heh, in other words, thank you for your wishes ^^ – they come in handy.
Trust me, there were times where I wanted to say “Fuck you” to students and give them the finger. So far, I’ve managed to resist that impulse, though. I also had a few extremely difficult and disruptive students last year.
Anyway, it’s good you got the reduction. Teachers have an increased risk of burnout (even if certain arseholes think we’re lazy), so it’s important to take care of yourself.
It’s for a year only, so far. I don’t want them to think they’d be better off with getting a younger teacher, after all (it’s not as if I had worked for this employer from my 20s on or so – This is my 9th year coming up in Donauwörth).
I had hoped to avoid doing this until I’m in my middle 50s *sigh*.
That’s why there needs to be significant change this year, hmm.
A year with fewer hours should give you the chance to recharge.
And does Bavaria actually have enough young teachers? Because Niedersachsen constantly complains that they don’t have enough young teachers to replace those that are leaving and has even taken to encouraging “Seiteneinsteiger”.
Yes, we do ^^ – they use them up as preparatory teachers, because they are cheapest then and then depending on need they get an offer from the state or not.
Within a time of… around 3 or 4 years, all the Realschulen in Bavaria went from 4 to 6 years in length – they really needed to look around then, which is when I got into Donauwörth (although that’s not run by the state). Now lots of students have started to go for Realschule and they have a surplus.
Similar waves happen at grammar school level. Are teachers in Niedersachsen still civil servants?
Oh yes, Bavaria still had the Gymnasium from grade 5 and Realschule from grade 7 system for a long time, so I imagine that extending Realschule from 4 to 6 years would have required a lot more teachers.
Niedersachsen recently switched back from four years of elementary school, two years of Orientierungsstufe and then division into Gymnasium, Realschule and Hauptschule in grade 7 to eliminating the Orientierungsstufe and dividing up the students in grade 5. However, that didn’t require too many new teachers, because the Orientierungsstufen were usually tied to secondary schools and staffed by qualified secondary school teachers.
Though we also experienced a shift towards Realschule and particularly Gymnasium. At my school, we have only one Hauptschul class per grade, compared to three or four classes each of Realschule or Gymnasium. Parents shun the Hauptschule because of the bad reputation, even though that reputation is largely undeserved.
Niedersachsen still has a few new teachers with civil servant status, though it was almost entirely employee status a while back. I suspect they reintroduced the civil servant status as an enticement, once the numbers of teachers started to drop.