Thursday, February 2, 2017

Everything is Awesome

January has been an awesome month for my Waldorf doll shop. My doll sales on Etsy have finally picked up again. I am so happy that I found homes for two of my big dolls. It is hard to let go of my babies but I am happy they have been adopted by a new family.



I also had a super month teaching. I love teaching German to 6th graders. It is hard to believe how one year can make such a difference. It appears that by 7th grade almost half the students suffer from severe "hormone poisoning" and cannot focus. One does not want to generalize - but it does seem that sixth grade students have much more respect for their teachers and have a residual sweetness about them lacking in the average 7th grade student.

Just a few days ago, I had a great teaching moment, when I happened to have my back turned away from the class. I hardly ever wanted to turn my back last  year. As I was writing on the board, I heard a child say:" I love German class. I wish I could take it all year." That comment sure made my day.

Teaching foreign languages in the US is definitely a tall order. Many people don't seem to believe in the need of learning another language to begin with. A few people might actually see a need for Spanish because there are so many Spanish-speaking immigrants. But German? Why would you need that?

So we make lists of the whys and what-fors. The kids really like the idea of having a secret language to mystify their siblings. They also love the discovery of cognates. Why they had never thought that they already knew German and that is was so closely related to English. And as they are having lots of fun playing games they don't even know that they are learning stuff...

The weird thing about being a teacher in the US is having the watchful eyes of administrators on you. Just picture the Eye of Sauron. While I was growing up in Germany I never saw the principal come into the classroom to check if our teacher was doing a good job. Once you have been trained and have your teaching degree there are no tests or watchful eyes. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

Anyway, I find those "tests" very stressful and kind of scary. But I am sure that in the end it is beneficial, and this process may be helpful in weeding out teachers that are not very good at their job. But who knows. Well, I passed my "teaching test" this month with flying colors. So a little round of applause for this old lady rookie seems to be in order here!




Sunday, January 8, 2017

Feeling Inspired

I have been wanting to the see the movie Life of Pi forever. It's probably old hat to you if you are into movies. If not, you must see this movie. January is always such a hard month for me. It is dark and cold. In fact super cold right now. We had temperatures around negative 24 Celsius over here. You open the door and feel like your face is going to fall off. Then you realize you have to go out there and shovel snow. Brrr.

Anyway. I finally got to see the Pi movie. I suppose if I had to sum up in one word what it is about I would say: Hope. Yes, a perfect movie about that topic. So if you are feeling down and sad, see that movie!

Image result for life of pi

Another good thing happened yesterday. I found a home for one of my little Waldorf doll babies. It is always such a joy and blessing when somebody adopts one of my babies. I was getting a little worried about this little freckled redhead. He is such a fine fellow. Well-behaved and quiet. Not sure why it took so long to find him a good home. I know redheads are a minority. Some folks are downright prejudiced against them. It is sad to me when I see kids in the classroom being discriminated against because of the color of their hair. Why? I don't get it. When I see red hair I get envious. Who wants to grow up with boring brown or dishwater blond hair?


So please, be kind to people. And love them for who they are. Red hair, brown hair, dishwater blonde, or gray. I am turning gray. Please, don't discriminate against me because I am getting old!

And here are some great quotes from that movie:

"I had to stop hoping so much that a ship would rescue me. I should not count on outside help. Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway's worst mistake is to hope too much and do too little. Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one's life away."http://www.shmoop.com/life-of-pi/spirituality-quotes-2.html

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” Yann Martel

I think I will have to read some of Yann Martel's books now.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Happy New Year, Waldorf doll friends!

Yup. I am still here making dolls. Still teaching German and I love both of my jobs.
I totally abandoned blogging last year. I guess it is hard to find time and words these days. Like I have no words for what happened in politics and with the elections in the US. Just choking when I think of it.

I guess the best part about 2016 was that I got to go home and visit my family in Germany. There were lots of hugs and tears during the most fabulous of family reunions. And I got to visit my friends and "family" in Berlin. Lucky me!


Wishing all of you, my doll friends a Happy 2017. May you have health and happiness! I will try and find more words this year. Maybe even write something in German once in a while...

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hello dear Waldorf dollfriends! Looks like another six months have gone by without me posting on my beloved blog. Who has time for blogging? Apparently not me. I just stopped by for old time's sake. If you see this post please leave me a note. Kind of like going to the beach and finding a bottle with a message in it.

Who are the people in the photo? They are my kids. They are almost grown up. Seems like yesterday when I made that first doll for my little girl. Now she is learning to drive. A - M - A - Z - I - N - G . How did that happen? 

WoW!

I still enjoy teaching German. Being a teacher is so rewarding. I feel so honored to get the opportunity to introduce middle school kids to the German language. It's not an easy job. I come home and I am just exhausted. I found that standing in front of a classroom takes a whole lot of energy. More than I ever imagined. But it is all good. I love it. 

On the days I am off I make some little dolls now and then. Over the summer I worked hard to fill up the shop with doll clothes and other little treasures so folks don't have to go without germandolls for Christmas. If you have time, please visit my shop and hopefully you will find something for a friend or kid who needs a hug or special price. 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Clouds

We drove up to the mountains the other day. I was totally prepared to get all those wonderful photos of the snow covered Colorado peaks. Then we got out of the car in Estes Park. It was bitter cold. Next thing it started snowing on us. The only photos I took were pictures from the car. Here is the one I liked best. Who does not love a good picture of clouds?


One minute it snows here. The next you see the sun come out and the sky is bright blue. That pretty much describes my mood these days. In German we call that sort of mood: "Himmelhoch jauchzend - zu Tode betrübt". In translation that means something like: Shouting gleefully happy up to the sky and then deathly sad. Yup, that's me. Very moody these days.



My little Waldorf dolls and the bright smiles of children make me happy.
Watching the news makes me sad.

So not digging the politics here. Who would seriously vote for that guy with the ugly comb-over? I mean really, folks, just from an aesthetic perspective? Never mind the politics that match his looks.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Waldorf dolls for Easter

The picture below was taken by my friend Nicolette Bardos a couple years ago. All the Waldorf dolls in the photo have found loving good homes since then.

Looking at this sweet group makes me feel a bit melancholic. It's been a while since I made a big doll. I mostly make little pocket sized babies these days. Maybe this summer - I will find the time. Of course, there is always time for a little custom work if someone was to ask nicely.


Other than that I am trying to keep the doll studio organized and focus on little projects. Blanket dolls are always in demand since new babies are born all the time and need a soft doll to cuddle with. What is your favorite color? I am kind of partial towards this little green guy.

If you still need some Waldorf Easter basket fillers or small treats to tuck away for your Easter hunting, make sure to visit my Etsyshop. I recently lowered the price of my little pocket dolls. I need to make some space here - so please order some littles here:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/germandolls


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Yes, I am still here making Waldorf dolls!

Just in case you wondered. I know it's been another long spell of not posting on my blog. What can I say in my defense? I love my new job. It does take a lot of energy to create a curriculum for teaching German. I have been writing and re-writing lesson plans, searching for materials, running to conferences and and and...

I am loving it all, and I am happy as a clam. I wish I had more time to think, process, and write about it. Some day. Maybe when the kids are off to college. But hey, it is almost spring break here.

The dolls have not been neglected either. When I am taking a break from teaching and grading I do sit down and make a tiny sweet Waldorf baby doll now and then. This will always be my other happy place. Just look at them at their little school desks! They are so excited about their German lessons. LOL