Category Archives: Teaching

Lock, stock and … drill

The day began with fetching the morning paper as usual. Less than usual I did not have to unlock the door today because I was unable to do so yesterday evening.

So this morning I tried oil. The weather here in Denmark is a drought currently but in winter I did see dew on the inside of the lock and thought it may be rust.

Oil and time, even more oil and more time did not help. So I tried rust remover. To no avail. Gave in and found a locksmith. Thankfully this trade shares a feature with ER and midwives: A lot of their work is unplanned calls to people who need their help NOW.

The half hour or so was fine, I was not in labour and did not desperately need to leave the house together with my grown daughter. Told him (a rather handsome, youngish man!) what the problem was and what I did.

He then knew exactly what was wrong: The door had a fault from the factory that had allowed too little extra room for the protruding bit of metal to fit into the frame of the door. Apparently all doors sink a little over time. My door had sunk too low by a fraction to give enough room.

Hence the drill: He simply drilled away a bit of the metal. And now it works again!

And the stock bit? I just stocked a couple of items for sale onto my site.

Those cards will have me in shards

Here’s a confession: I hate German grammar. Mind you, I’m not overly fond of any grammar and if pressed I’d probably say Latin grammar is worse than German.

The thing is: I’m trying to cash in on German grammar. Together with a German friend I have a project to make teaching material about it. The material involves two sets of cards, and today I got done designing those cards.

I use Excel for want of a proper graphics program and it works sort of alright. My wrist tells me I did more mouse work than it really prefers but I can ignore it.

What really got me hugging the desk in despair is the sheer number of variations in especially pronouns. Of several kinds. Small wonder that my hatred is common among learners.

And now for the happy note: If this material makes the grand transition from project to actual, published and buyable aide, it will change the way pupils and students battle with grammar.

Think I may go for the name “Deutsch ohne Tränen”: German without tears.