January 2022



I learned a quick and simple lesson at German class today. Unfortunately it is the second or third time I have failed to learn my lesson, so I could only be considered a fool.

The principle is KISS-or, as you all know, Keep It Simple Stupid.

I fail to do this. We were supposed to write an outline of our typical day, and I was all too eager to do so.

Es ist zwanzig nach sechs. Das Handy klingelt. Ich stehe auf. Ich dusche. Ich mache Früstruck. Ich gehe zum Bahnhof. Ich fahre mit dem Zug. Es ist acht Uhr. Ich gehe ins Büro. Es ist viertel nach zwölf. Ich mache Mittagspause. Ich gehe in die Cafeteria. Ich esse Mittagessen. Ich gehe ins Büro. Ich arbeite bis halb vier. Ich fahre mit dem Zug. Ich gehe zum Deutschkurs. Es ist viertel nach sechs. Ich gehe zum Supermarkt. Ich gehe nach Hause. Es ist viertel vor sieben. Ich wasche die Kleider. Ich koche das Aberdbrot. Ich trockne die Kleider. Ich wasche die Teller ab. Ich putze die Zähne. Ich gehe ins Bett.

In case you don’t really want to figure this out, basically I state that I wake up at 6:20 when my mobile phone goes off (I don’t have a functional alarm clock), I get up, take a shower, eat, catch a train, work, eat lunch at lunchtime in the cafeteria, work, leave at 3:30, talk the train, walk to the German class, leave at 6:15, go to the supermarket, go home, start laundry, cook and eat, dry laundry, wash my plate, brush my teeth, and go to bed.

I was proud of my daily list: I was able to get down a lot of ideas- and then it came time to read it aloud. I had problems- for some reason words started to fail me, and I spazzed out. Only two or three of us read our lists aloud, and after having glanced at other people’s lists, I had one of the longer ones. Perhaps one day I will remember the KISS principle before putting myself in an awkward situation.

Telling Time: yesterday we had to fill in the blank in a time keeping exercise using either “vor” or “nach.” Of the six blanks, one was already filled in, and three were easy. I had to diagram the other two in order to figure out what they were trying to say.

The sentence “Es ist fünf vor halb drei,” is admittedly shorter that the translated equivalent, “it is 5 minutes before half an hour until three,” but a whole lot longer than “two twenty-five.” At least it makes marginally more mental sense than the charming “Es ist fünf nach halb drei,” or, “?it is five minutes after half an hour until three.”

“Two thirty-five” never sounded better to me.

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