Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Thanksgiving, Choir Class Concert, Advent and a Review

This has been a busy week around here!

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday. Practical reasons really: no one has Thursday off and to eat a tradition Thanksgiving dinner at 7pm is just wrong and bad in so many ways, plus I'm unwilling to cook it all all by myself, which is what would happen if we did it on Thursday. Dante was so excited! We mad toilet paper turkey napkin rings on Friday and on Saturday he asked about every 5 minutes when the guests were arriving. It was pure torture. For him and us. We invited our new friends the Pillai's, whose daughter shares a desk with Dante at school. They are of German/Sri Lankan/Canadian extraction. And we invited our foodie and kitchen guru (Holger Kahl from Poggenpohl designed and built our kitchen) and his family. Turns out his son is also Type 1 diabetic! An Australian friend sent us a wonderful collection of readings curated by Seth Godin (A Thanksgiving Reader), which we attempted to do (the Germans went on strike!) and it was lovely. It includes quotes and brief passages by the likes of Khalil Gibran and Native American prayers and such.

And will wonders never cease? The food was all hot when it landed on the table and it tasted delicious!!

The next day, yes, on a Sunday morning, was the Hannover Chorklassenkonzert (Choir Class Concert). We had to be at rehearsal at 9:15 and pick up one of his classmates on the way. Ugh for the early start. But the whole thing was wonderful! The program encourages schools to designate one class per grade as the Choir Class and music and singing play an important role in the character of the class and the singing is integrated into the lessons as well. Dante loves it, I'm so glad he was chosen to be in that class. His singing skills have improved dramatically! For all the exposure to and learning about music and instruments that happened at Ecole Koenig they always sang songs that were too low and pretty much just shouted the whole time! Not so here! Yay! The concert itself was actually quite good. There were 3 schools represented. The other schools had a couple of grades each, but Dante's is the only Choir Class in his school. It was really interesting to see how well they sing
together after having done so a few years. Dante still pretty much looks like a deer in the headlights,
but he said it was fun, so....

This year we are doing all the activities. Germany makes a lot of Fall and Winter activities integral to childhood and Dante's just at the right age to appreciate everything. There was the St Martin's parade, where the kids make lanterns and parade through the streets sing the lantern songs. Now we have the Advent Calendar, where he gets a treat or a mini-present everyday and in a couple of days St Nicholas comes to give the kids goodies or coal. We also have an advent wreath that we light every evening, and we've put up most of the decorations. The Christmas tree will go up this weekend. On the 13th is Santa Lucia, who brings The Kids in Scandanavia and Verona, Italy presents. He's getting totally spoiled. But the poor kid has so many activities and so much homework that there's not much time for playing!!!

And now, comes the plug for my most recent poetry review. Last Spring I wrote a LOT of reviews for Star*Line (the journal of the SFPA) and my agreement with the editor is that I can use those reviews for Amazing Stories as well after a period of exclusivity. That's cool, because Star*Line pays me (a token) whereas Amazing Stories does not (yet). So, when I went on hiatus prior to the end of school for Dante, our vacation in Italy and the end of our sojourn in Paris and move to Germany, I still had 2 reviews from S*L that hadn't yet appeared on Amazing Stories. I completely forgot about them, because my hiatus extended into Fall and in fact just ended about 3 weeks ago with my return to posting at Amazing Stories. ANYHOO, the 2nd and last of those reviews appeared last week Tuesday (which is the new Wednesday - which was my posting day). It is a review of Carolyn Clinks ever morphing poetry collection entitled "Much Slower Than Light". It includes 3 full poems in audio read my moi.

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