EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Once again it is time to join Joyce from across the pond in her weekly "Hodgepodge."  Her questions are always thought provoking, ingenious, touching, and pertinent.  Today she asks about topics that range from what inconveniences us to what our opinion of a teacher who blogs about her students is.  No matter the topic, Joyce has a way of drawing us in and allowing us to participate in the banter.  If you haven't done so yet, grab her badge and share in the fun of "Wednesday's Hodgepodge."  You'll  be glad you did!

1. Did you know there is a national day of pretty much everything in the universe? Feb 23rd happens to be National Inconvenience Yourself Day...when was the last time you were inconvenienced?

Today. We are purchasing a car and we want to pay for it with funds from our American bank accounts.  We called the U.S. and had our bank transfer the funds into our German account.  The German bank asked us to access the money by using the ATM, but it has a limit amount far below the amount we needed.  Why isn't anything straightforward?  After three unsuccessful attempts, the ATM said our account had technical problems and we could not access it anymore.  Tomorrow, we will go to a bank here in Germany and get it in cash from a human being instead of a machine.  Inconvenience.

2. When a room in your house needs painting, who does the job?

We are moving and German rental agreements stipulate that the whole apartment must be painted and cleaned before we move.  We will have it done professionally.  With over 130 sq. meters, I do not want to spend our time here in Europe with paintbrushes in our hands.  My hubby will organize it.

3. Are you friends with your cousins?

Yes, yes I am.  My mother had four siblings and my father had one.  (There are only 2 cousins who are deceased.)  In all, I have  15 cousins.  We don't all live in Ohio anymore, but we have made attempts over the years to get together.  We are spread out in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Alaska, Florida, and North Carolina.  It makes visiting family that much more fun.  We have an uncle who turns 90 this summer and many of the cousins will make an attempt to join us, I'm sure.  It will be good to see them again.  

4. Do you use an alarm clock-if yes, is it an actual alarm, music or something else?

Yes, my i-phone playing harp music.  Set for 6 am, an ungodly hour for a retiree, but my husband loves to have breakfast with me so we wake up together for our daily bowl of hot oatmeal and coffee.  It is a good way to start the day together.

5. What do you put ketchup on?


6. What smells make you nostalgic?

  • Perfume my mother, who is now deceased, wore makes me miss her. (Opium) 
  • Wood burning fires take me back to autumn when I was young and we could burn leaves out in the streets.  
  • Eucalyptus scented candles or wreaths transport me to Australia where my step-children, mother & brother-in-law, and grand-children live.
  • White glue reminds me of the classroom  

7. Did you hear about the high school English teacher recently suspended for some things she wrote on her personal blog? You can read the story here but in a nutshell she vented a lot of frustration onto her blog. She didn't mention individual students by name but she did make some harsh comments about kids in general and their parents.

What are your thoughts-if you're a parent is your child's teacher online and are you a 'friend' or 'follower' there? If you're a teacher are you on facebook and do you accept or friend students there? How about their parents? If you're a student are you friends with your current or former teachers online? Do any of them have blogs you read? If you're a teacher or a parent do you ever use your blog as a place to vent your frustrations with our educational system? So much to discuss....

I am a parent of grown children and I am a retired English teacher.  What this teacher vented in her blog was done anonymously.  In that respect, I can see no legal reason to suspend or fire her.  Does it upset parents and students?  I am sure it does.  Is it professional?  Probably not.  

But, is it a reason to lose her job?  Not in my opinion.

Blogs are a platform that should be protected by the constitutional right of freedom of speech, but I would not advocate anyone putting something out there that they know is injurious to another reader.  If you do so, you do so at your own risk.  I am continuously shocked at what people write just because they can.

She may keep her job, but she has lost her integrity for good.  A monumental price to pay just to get something "Off her chest."  

But, if valid discussion about educational reform results from this conundrum, then I say, although dangerous for her, it will be constructional for helping to educate our youth in the future.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Wisconsin teachers, don't give up the good fight.  The nation's teachers are behind you.  You may be on the front lines, but soon every state in the nation will have to fight a similar battle.  You are first, but we are all behind you.


Anonymous said...

Good for you for hiring out your painting job. When we moved from South Florida, we painted our entire house ourselves. It was one of the most back-breaking chores I've ever done!

Maribeth said...

Interesting. I think the little teacher should have sat down with another teacher, a friend, mentor, etc, and gotten it off her chest.
My Dad was a teacher. His students respected him, as he respected them.
In the 40 years he taught he went to school every day wearing a coat and tie. He dealt with problem students during his free time.
During his off hours he counseled them.
When he passed 2 years ago I heard from over 100 men and women whom Dad had helped.
I sure was proud.
I'm not a big fan of unions. Hubby was in one and when they negotiated a new contract they basically sold the retired pilots down the river. We lost our medical insurance and much of our pension.
So I would tell every single teacher to not trust their union with their livelihood. Basically union are fairly corrupt now. Just like most politicians!

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

You should try thousand island dressing on your fries - it's really good (I make my own, mixing ketchup and mayo with a little sweet pickle relish).

Totally agree with your #7 - couldn't have said it better myself.

The smell of crayons reminds me of school days - mine and my girls'

Capri K said...

I liked your answers!
You have an interesting life!

LynnMarie said...

Great answers! I like that you will hire out the painters and that you are still friends with your cousins. I will be back to visit again.

April said...

Hello! I'm visiting from Joyce's blog! I find it so interesting that you've lived in several different countries...how exciting that must be! I really enjoyed reading all of your answers! I am now a follower!

Shawn Becker said...

What a coincidence that your Mother wore Opium. I enjoyed reading your answers and look forward to learning more about you via the blog. It sounds like you are leading a very interesting life post retirement.
Have a great week,

Joyce said...

I don't think she should lose her job but I do find it dissappointing.

I have some good banking stories from our days in the UK. Including the time they said they were out of money-come back tomorrow : )

Amy said...

Harp music...sounds too soothing for me, and I love the fact that you two can share breakfast together, and man that was an inconvenience...for sure!!

Nanato4 said...

DH & I like to have our hot oatmeal together, too. Fortunately, I get up about an hour before he does (we're retired, too, and don't set an alarm clock) ... and it's about an hour after I'm up before I begin to feel like starting breakfast. So by the time he's up, I'm ready to start breakfast. It works out well for the two of us.