Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Imagine being a guy and going to England to take an English course. Years after the English course, your married host father sends you this card. What would you think?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Story of Waboose

Waboose's early days with us, before Wee had fully accepted him

The question came up of whether Waboose is a lionhead rabbit, and the answer is, I don't know. I imagine he's a mutt rabbit of some sort. He and Wee both came from Panama, the children's playground and petting zoo here in the Neustadt. Wee was free, they had baby bunnies to give away in the summer of 2003, Waboose cost €8, and was sort of a pity purchase back in September 2004 because there was a sign hanging on the cage that said if the little guys weren't sold by the end of September, they'd become food for the crocodile at the Dresden Zoo. That made me shudder, as I do every time I go past the crocodile pit and read how he eats a live chicken or rabbit once a week, and as you probably know, I'm a sucker for such things. So Waboose joined us back then, with me not knowing what he is, and not really caring because he was cute. Wee, on the other hand, had a different opinion. She must have found him adorable, but still felt the need to establish her dominance. The relationship between the two got off to a rather rocky start, as you can see below.

Upon their first meeting, Wee promptly urinated on Waboose. Upon following meetings, she beat him up and sometimes even tore out a little hair, as you can see above. No blood was ever shed, and they always had seperate living quarters until, one day, they just started sharing the bigger cage, and never looked back at the small cage. Until now. Wee has developed a terrible eye infection, and her course of antibiotics has lead to a seperation once again. This is because Waboose should not clean the infected eye, as he was doing. He still can come visit Wee for a couple hours a day, so he doesn't think she died or something. And it seems that he's enjoying his new bachelor bunny life. He's built a nest in the corner, and often reclines on his bunny rug. I think the new peace and quiet is good for Wee, as well, and I hope it helps her to achieve a speedy recovery! If not, the vet said one eye may need to be removed, due to the infected lid and a detached lens in this eye, with which she has always had problems, but which took a sudden turn for the worse last weekend. Her name will then be changed to Weeclops.

But if you'd like to see a friend of Wee and Waboose's, go here: http://merlinlein.blogspot.com/
Merlin seems to be a lionhead rabbit, plus, he's just darn cool. Wee and Boose visit him and his bunny friends sometimes, and I think Wee has a crush on him, which, of course, does not please Waboose. But Wee is such a tease, she had a baby with Najimo, a flatmate of Merlin's, a couple years ago...I'm glad Waboose can't make babies!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!
Working men of all countries, unite!

Today we paid a visit to Karl-Marx-Stadt, better known as Chemnitz these days. The goal of the trip was to see the Cranach exhibition in the art museum there, and an added bonus of the outing was seeing this huge sculpture. I hate to be so critical, but it's an incredibly ugly city, with the exception of this giant Karl Marx head, which some might say is also kind of horrible. For me, it was a treat, because I find these remnants of the GDR and socialism sort of special amidst places like McDonald's and shopping centers and the stuff you find all over the world nowadays. It's really big, unfortunately you don't really get the magnitude of this sculpture in photographs.

Karl and I in front of a shining example of socialist architecture.
Art Class

Teaching kids again is something I hadn't really completely thought about before applying for my latest job as an art teacher, and while I am working hard to become good at handling classroom management (last week I decided it's necessary to have the kids sign out X-acto knives and things of this nature which often turn up missing or in the wrong place, like in the sink, not to mention problems with talking and the like), which is frustrating, the things the kids produce are pretty neat. Have a look at a few examples.

The 7th graders made some nice masks in what I think was their first 3D project of the year (I'm the second teacher they've had this year, and the third in the past 2 years...). These are just a few examples of some of the fine work they did after we talked about the uses of masks in different countries and cultures, and looking at many examples of African masks used in dance ceremonies.

In the 6th grade classes we just finished a unit on design and linoleum printing. This project was pretty complicated for them, but they also did quite a nice job with it, and stayed pretty engaged though it went on for a long time and was frustrating because printing can be an unpredictable process. The historical background for this project was the use of quilts on the Underground Railroad in the United States. We learned about different quilt patterns and their meanings, then the students created their own designs to print. On the left you can see our sampler quilt, and on the right the quilt prints from the students of one class.