Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

WAY back when I was starting high school (just before the meteor killed most of the dinosaurs), I signed up for a social studies / current events class.  As our homework, we were expected to become familiar with current events by reading at least one “national” publication (as opposed to a local newspaper with national news).  My mom always tried to encourage our reading so she signed up for three (four actually):  Time Magazine, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report.  The fourth was more for herself and the whole family:  Life Magazine.
Thus began my (more or less) life-long subscription to Time Magazine…
We dropped the other two after the first year’s subscriptions ran out – but she kept me going on Time.  There was a brief lapse while I was in the military and in training, but I picked it back up when I got stationed in Germany for my last two years.  I was reading the “International / European” edition.  I didn’t realize there was a “different” version until after I’d already subscribed.  I just assumed everybody in the world got the same news – after all, our “national” version contained international and European news.  But of course, this was a completely different focus / emphasis and I – being the ugly American – resented I wasn’t getting as much American news.
Anyway, I kept it up when I got out and went to college and, in fact increased my subscriptions to include the Time / Life book series on “understanding computers”, the book series on history and civilization, the book series “Reading Program” – (kind of a mini-“Great Books”) secondary works of famous authors, and two music series: “Great Men of Music” (classical composers) and “Big Bands”.  I continued my weekly subscription when we moved to Liverpool and again upon returning to the Bay Area.
Now, however, my 50+ year relationship with Time has run its course.  My subscription ended towards the end of last summer (2021).  For whatever reason, they continued to send me issues until the end of January this year (2022), but I did not and will not be renewing my subscription.
There are three primary reasons for my non-renewal:  1)  As of five years ago, I retired and funds are getting tighter.  Now don’t get me wrong…  I can still “afford” the subscription.  I just choose to spend the limited discretionary funds on other things.  2)  the magazine has gone from a weekly to a every-other-week magazine.  They are under pressure to turn everything over to the internet and are apparently struggling to keep up staff, quality and quantity.  The practical effect was the weekly was getting thinner and thinner.  Their shift has “almost” restored the number of pages in any given issue, but it’s still only half as many pages of information.  And, 3)  the magazine has modified the typeface in their hard-copy.  I’m fairly confident they explained / justified their reasons for doing this in one of their editor columns, but frankly, it (the magazine) is just less appealing to look at now.  And so I’m moving on…
And just to make a long story (post) longer…  Why now?  If the subscription ended last year and the “bonus” issues back in January, why am I writing this (blog post) is the end of “Time“?
It’s purely personal.  I get the issue in the mail.  I take a quick glance to see if there’s anything I “NEED” to know about now.  I read that.  The issue then goes into my “throne” rack to be read cover to cover when I’m doing “something else”.  So, now, at the end of six months, I’m all caught up and “moving” to other things…
I am continuing my subscription to “Wired” magazine and I will be occasionally be posting quotes from that source.   I will miss the Red border and (regretfully) I’m sure my overall knowledge of current events will suffer / decline.
Back in the Principal’s Office of my high school, there was a framed question on the wall:  “Time is passing…  Are you?
.
On This Day In:
2021 Best To Be Trained And Educated
The Great Relief
2020 Diversity And Uniqueness
2019 Ebb And Flow
2018 America: Paging #45
2017 Near By
2016 Maybe Someday
2015 How’s The Cow?
2014 Mind Made Up
2013 On Purpose
2012 The Dream
2011 What Could Be More Comfortable?

Read Full Post »

Feynman Learning Technique:
1)  Take a piece of paper and write the concept’s name at the top.
2)  Explain the concept using simple language (show examples to demonstrate you know how the concept works)
3)  Identify problem areas in your explanation or examples and then go back to the sources to review the material / concept
4)  Pinpoint any complicated terms and challenge yourself to simplify them.
Several days ago, I posted a quote and made a comment about excellence in teaching.  (Why We Have So Few Personal Favorites )  Basically, my proposition was that it is extremely difficult to evaluate the competence and productivity of a teacher because of the number of variables and an inability to control them to a point sufficient to determine what are the tools we could provide the “most effective” teachers to make them better (or any teachers for that matter).
I never gave much thought about teaching until I joined the Army and they insisted I learn, participate in and practice “Performance Oriented Training” (POTs training) when I attended the NCO Academy in Frankfurt, Germany.  Essentially, POTs stipulates that until the student can perform the task, the training has not been effective.  There were three elements:  1)  the instructor demonstrates the task to be performed / explaining the objective of the task, the reason for the task, and each step necessary to complete the task;  2)  the instructor then walks / talks the student through each step as they (the student) follows along with each step;  and, 3)  the instructor asks the student to perform the task independently.  If the student fails in performance (step 3), the instructor must return to element 2.  Re-cycle through elements 2 and 3 until 3 can be accomplished independently.  At that point, the student can perform the task and the training has been effective.  (Of course long term retention of the knowledge / skill is a different matter.)
This training methodology served me very well during my working life / career as I was frequently called upon to instruct on topics in the military, and then as a civilian:  from credit card fraud prevention, to correspondent banking, to numerous Information Technology topics (basic trouble-shooting, using spreadsheets, using word processing applications, server and network administration, setting up databases, conducting data analysis and creating web pages to display the analysis / data).
Rather late in my career, I “discovered” (i.e. read about) Dr Richard P. Feynman (PhD) and his personal learning methodology.  Post-employment (i.e. in retirement), I’ve now watched bits and pieces of Professor Feynman’s lectures (on YouTube) and I believe his methodology is a civilian / academic equivalent of personal POTs training.  That is:  how we should expect to teach ourselves and verify our own knowledge / competency in a subject.  I shudder to think of the number of lectures / classes / training sessions I’ve attended where the instructor either did not have this level of personal expertise or expect the student to demonstrate understanding at the end of the session.  Which, (again) is why we remember our few “great” teachers over our lifetimes.
Disclaimer:  The list of four steps above are available in several books and on the web and the exact wording is neither mine nor exclusive to any specific source so I have not bothered to cite any “original” source.  I apologize in advance if anyone reading this feels I have used their exact language describing Dr. Feynman’s technique.
.
On This Day In:
2021 Learning And Teaching
Two Loves
2020 Does Anyone Else Look Forward To The Last Lawn Mowing ‘Til Spring?
Only For You
2019 10,000 Tries
2018 Keep America Great – Vote This Tuesday
2017 Old Style Ear Candy
2016 Next Tuesday
2015 Wanna Trade?
2014 Brothers And Friends
2013 So Suddenly
2012 At The Center
2011 Live Long And Thinner
Got Health?
2010 SF Giants – 2010 World Series Champions!!!
52 – 54 – 56 – 58
2009 Diet Update
Pictures from Chicago Trip…

Read Full Post »

It’s A Good Night For Singing

Favorite Line(s):
I wonder
Where are all the pleasant souls
Tonight
Indecision made them stay home
And wait for daylight
Spherical witness,
Help me in my flight
Comment(s):
Now, I’ve never claimed to be much of a vocal talent (singer).  My range tends more to the roar than to the octave.  I have, on more than one occasion, had the opportunity to roar along with this particular song.  But then, that’s what NCO’s do when stationed in Germany, playing cards, smoking cigarettes, talking trash, drinking beer and listening to country music.  We build fading memories…
Thanks for the memories Jerry Jeff Walker (March 16, 1942  –  October 23, 2020).  You’ll be missed.  I think it’s time to go hoist a shot of whiskey…
.
On This Day In:
2021 Do What You Can
From The Shadows
2020 Mostly To Just Smell A Few More Roses
Above The Storm
R.I.P.: Jerry Jeff Walker
2019 Ought To More Often Than Once
2018 Talking About Egypt, Not The White House
2017 Left Behind
2016 Self-Restraint
2015 In The Midst
2014 Match Book
2013 Disservice And Disingenuous
2012 Giants Win Game 1 Of The World Series 8 to 3!!!
On Death
2011 The Spirit Of Universal Connectivity
2010 SF Giants Pitchers Witness Protection Program
Orange Outside (Too) & Fear The Beard
Non-Taxing Read

Read Full Post »

Free speech, exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where the people are themselves free.  Our Government is the servant of the people, whereas in Germany it is the master of the people.  This is because the American people are free and the German people are not free.
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants.  He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.  Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.  Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.  To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.  Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.  But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
   —    Republican President Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt
[This is the third time I’ve posted a “version” (longer or shorter, NOT edited / modified) of this quote by President Roosevelt.  It strikes me as ironic that last time the post was titled “Unpatriotic And Servile“, but here I am again, complaining about Republicans.  One of the other two was ONLY about “Tea-Party”ers.  I guess it’s true that history repeats itself.  Particularly when the “Party” doesn’t learn – or even acknowledge – its lesson the first time around.  And, yes, the emphasis is mine and does not appear in the original.   —  KMAB]
.
On This Day In:
2019 Lost Again Or Still?
2018 Why #LazyDonald Starts Work At 11AM
2017 At Least Most Of The Time
2016 But Doctor, I Never Learned How To Read
2015 Punch The Keys, For God’s Sake!
2014 Ouch!
2013 Revelations
2012 Movies And Juicing
Brady Gets #4 (Prediction)
Happy To Get Up
2011 What About Good Blogs?
2010 Slowly, Slowly…

Read Full Post »

Goodbye, Mr. Chips”  (1969)  —  movie review
This movie is a musical adaptation of the novel about the life of a schoolteacher, Mr. Chipping, written by the James Hilton.  The book was first adapted into movie form back in 1939 (also a great movie).  This version is a modification of both the novel and the original version.  It’s placed later in history – around World War II instead of WWI;  Chipping is married longer;  meets his wife differently; and, it’s a musical (instead of a “normal” drama / romance movie).  I have not read the novel, but I have seen the 1939 version several times before.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to find it somewhere and watch it again so I can do a review from a fresh viewing.  This was my first viewing of this movie!
Mr. Chipping is a staid and stern housemaster at an English public school.  (That’s a “private” school to those of us in the U.S.)  The boarding school is where the upper crust of society send their boys to learn to be proper British gentlemen.  Chipping teaches Latin and Greek.  He gets talked into going to a play to see the future bride of a friend.  The lady doesn’t realize this is the “arrangement”.  Chipping unknowingly embarrasses himself and his friend.   Chipping goes on his holiday (vacation) to Pompeii, where he coincidentally meets the lady again.  As he is an expert on Greece, she asks him to be her tour guide for the day – which he does.  They hit it off and she falls in love with him (and he her).  Blah, blah, blah.   Mild comedy and laughter ensues.  They marry and she returns to school with him.  They become popular at the school.  She dies during the war.  He spends the remaining years of his life at the school.
The movie stars Peter O’Toole as Arthur Chipping (“Mr. Chips”), Petula Clark as Katherine Bridges / Chipping, Michael Redgrave as The Headmaster, George Baker as Lord Sutterwick (the wealthy donor who is at odds with Chipping due to his own previously sordid background), Siân Phillips as Ursula Mossbank (a famous actress who has a “background” with Lord Sutterwick), and Michael Bryant as Max Staefel (a German teacher who “must” return to Germany).  Phillips is “simply marvelous” in her take on being a famous actress.  Bryant is also impressive in his subtle expressions.  In fact, I repeated several scenes just to re-watch his facial reactions.
So, is this movie any good?  Does it work as a musical?  And, did I enjoy a rom-com musical?  Yes.  Mostly yes.  Emphatically yes!  I know I’ve seen Peter O’Toole in other roles (obviously “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Becket“), but I really think this is my new favorite role for him.  He was nominated for the Oscar and a Golden Glove for Best Actor for this role.  One of his eight Oscar nominations for Best Actor.  (He holds the lifetime record for nominations without a win.)  Interestingly, his wife (Siân Phillips) at the time was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role (Mossbank).  He won the Golden Glove.  She did not.
As a musical, the movie is not “great” – in my opinion.  With the exception of “Fill the World With Love” (see videos below) only a couple of the other songs were entertaining, let alone memorable.  This is partly why the movie was panned by the critics on its release.  In fact, I understand several of the songs were removed from the theatrical release because initial audience reviews were so poor.  The songs have been re-added for the “TCM” version which I watched.  The result is the movie is a “classic” movie with an introduction, intermission and exit production which add almost 15 minutes to the viewing time.  The total run time I watched was over the 2hrs 35min of the “official” run time.  But, it is worth it!!
Final recommendation:  VERY highly recommended.  While at one level, this is the story of one man’s struggle with the apparent mediocrity of his life, at a more profound level it is a love story – personal (husband and wife) and general (Chippings love for knowledge, teaching, manners and character).  I am sure some will find this a bit of a “chic flick” and a tear-jerker.  I did not find it the former.  I did find it the latter.  But then, I often find movies about character and integrity (and love stories) to be tear-jerkers.  So, get the Kleenex ready.
As a “bonus” for this review I am including two videos.  The first two verses of this song are performed by:  Petula Clark (from the 1969 musical:  “Goodbye, Mr. Chips”).  The last verse is performed by Peter O’Toole and is slightly different from the “actual” lyrics as he is singing to his deceased wife at the end of the film.  (Listen for the “Shhsh” and watch for Bryant / Staefel’s expression during Clark’s singing.  Priceless!!)
[I noted today (3 Feb 2020) that the original 2nd video is no longer available on YouTube, so I have replaced it with Peter O’Toole singing – but not “appearing” in the movie.  If I ever purchase this movie, I will consider uploading the excerpt from my copy to YouTube.  We’ll see…    —    KMAB]
I sang this song many times back in my senior year of high school.  It was the first year of our high school choir – and they were taking anyone who was willing to volunteer to sing in public.  LOL.  I did not know the song was only a few years old.  Nor did I know it came from a movie / musical.  But then, I had not seen either version of this movie – 1939 or 1969.  I think I’m better for now having seen both.  If you can find them, I highly recommend them!
.
On This Day In:
2018 Stock Market Sets Another Record Under #DumbDonald
#LyingDonald: About That Special Prosecutor Testimony
2017 We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
2016 But You Have To Learn It Feels Good
2015 Never Stop
2014 Caution
2013 Treat Her Like A Lady
2012 Build New Worlds
2011 I Grok Elegance
Standing Relish

Read Full Post »

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
     ―      Martin Luther King, Jr.
.
On This Day In:
2021 Current Heroes (II)
Glued To The TV – 3,000 Miles Away
2020 Current Heroes
I’m Mid-West Born, But California Raised
Appropriated To Her Being
2019 All In Good Time
Day 13: Pause & Resume
Ghrelin And Leptin
2018 Gratitude And Warmth
Remembering Loss, Sacrifice And Service
Making Little Ones Out Of Bigger Ones
2017 Never Forget
2016 It’s All Greek To Me (Well, Latin Actually)
2015 Truism
2014 Thank You
2013 Really
2012 Ordinary Five Minutes Longer
2011 The Wealth Of Sons (And Daughters)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: