Do You Want to Dress Up As a Unisex Snowman?

Do You Want to Dress Up As a Unisex Snowman?

It’s that time of the year again. That time where many people can’t wait to dress up and have fun, while others (including myself) want to escape and hide for a weekend until it’s all over. I wrote about it last year and not much has changed from that article. But this year it is harder for me to escape the claws of Fasching.

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The Surface Is a Warm Blanket

The Surface Is a Warm Blanket

I made the stupid mistake of taking all the exams I had written in my classes into the holidays for correcting. Normally, I try to get them done as fast as possible and to not take too much with me in the holidays, but this time there was just no other way. Getting through those four piles of exams, I couldn’t help but notice some patterns and have some thoughts that are partially troubling to me. Here they are.

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Uncredited Terrorists

Uncredited Terrorists

So, I read this really fascinating article at GQ about Arab American actors being typecast as terrorists. At first, this seems like an obvious story, nothing that would surprise you, “Of course they mostly cast them as terrorists, so what?” but the story pointed out some aspects even I wasn’t aware of.

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London Rambling, Part 2

London Rambling, Part 2

It’s so hard to summarize all the impressions I’ve been having here over the last two days, but I’ll try. What I do notice more and more that I really enjoy exploring such a big city because there is so much to see and discover, but it also becomes more exhausting each day.  I wouldn’t want to live here, as much as I like the city by now. It’s simply too much of everything and the bad parts would depress me soon.

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London Rambling, Part 1

London Rambling, Part 1

I’m spending this week in London with my English Advanced Course and thought I could sort of ‘live-blog’ my impressions here. I’ve been to London before, but never as extensively as now and while have liked the city before, this time I really get into it and get a feel for what it is. Aside from various observations, I’m also interested in reflecting upon big cities like London in general, as they are normally the symbol for our culture of civilization as signs of progress and growth, but also symbolic for the problems this culture is facing.

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Exceptional Circumstances (Into the Not-Normal) [or Hell-Au]

Exceptional Circumstances (Into the Not-Normal) [or Hell-Au]

Every year in Germany (and in other parts of the world), Carnival is celebrated. In Germany it’s called either Fasching or Fastnacht or Karneval and to me this always seemed like a typical German tradition. It is a strange time of the year, as for 5-6 days people go a little crazy. I hate it. In recent years I noticed more and more that I’m not alone in this, but in general people seem to be into it and in more than one instance my dislike provoked people to ask if I don’t like “fun.” Ha. Here’s what I don’t like about Fasching.

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Fifty Shades of Pink

Fifty Shades of Pink

The holidays seem to allow me less time to actually write something, but if I do, I thought it should be “seasonal.” A while ago I flipped through a store’s toy catalogue, just in time for Christmas and I was amazed and shocked by the strict gender policy. There is nothing new there, nothing you haven’t seen before, but all of it packed together, again and again, in every possible variation… it’s somewhat terrifying. Let’s take a look.

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The Three Flawed Pillars

The Three Flawed Pillars

After over 5 years of teaching critical thinking, some ideas seem to repeat themselves, so last year I turned it around for my English course and first introduced what I think are the cornerstones for most problems in our society, before moving on specific topics where you can find those ideas. It worked insofar as that everyone is more aware of these things, but it also makes a good running joke whenever I mention them again. And the students now try to use them for an answer when I ask something. They learned fast that in most cases, they’ll be right with one of the three words I introduced. And I use those words often enough in my posts to warrant some explanation. Which words am I talking about and why are they so important? Good thing you ask, that’s what we’re here for today, kids!

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