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About sonazeit

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  • Location Hamburg
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female
  1. I confirm the salaries going down and housing prices going up (in Hamburg, Munich is worse with the housing prices by far. Ending up in a different city might be better,  then you woudl habe a chance of affording to buy a home, which for many engineers is no longer feasible in Munich.
  2. I did bookkeeping for an engineering firm in Hamurg and mostly what was wanted were engineers with some years of experience. And the engineers from abroad that were hired were so busy on the interesting project that they had no time to learn German, even though they wanted to learn it very much.   So, if you like Germany and want to emigrate you can eventually do it, but in the meantime keep studying German somehow even if just by reading easy books or listing to youtube mini classes in the meantime as once you start working you might be too busy.   The idea of a masters is good too if you want to get over here.    
  3. Photographing street art/graffiti?

    Good you ask, as this has been a legally debated subject in Germany, particularly when it comes to more creative graffiti.   I am not at all up on the topic, but since no one else answered so far, here is a link in German which with Google translator or something else like that you can figure out:„street-art“-–-und-die-verwertungsmoglichkeiten-von-fotos/  
  4. Maybe you can Anmelden at the local Amt as getrennt even if at the same address? I mean, if you are like roommates. Might cost about 10 EUR and a morning off of work. Maybe they will accept? Use the same month of separation on your taxes too. Even if he is at same address.  Might work. Never mind how he files or does not change his Anmeldung. Might make it easier to get divorced a few years down the line, cause gives a record of separation date. If he does move out I would check a few weeks after to make sure he has updated his anmelde Adress and if not apply to have it changed, even if you do not know the new address.  If he ever leaves the flat long enough maybe put his stuff in the living room and have someone install a lock on the bedroom door and only you have the key? At least you have some privacy. If he needs a place to stay then he can stay in the living room.  Have friends over for moral support more?  An acquaintance of mine's husband invited a male relative of his over for weeks on end and it was uncomfortable for her. Maybe time to pad up the place with people on your side as long as it meets landlord-tenant agreement so you have moral support inside your home.   If he does leave for a few days to some friend's place or such get a bunch of heavy duty trash bags and some gal pals over and put his stuff in the bags and in the basement out of your sight since he does have another place to stay in case of emergency. Might give him the message. But I guess since you pay for stuff he is always around inside most of the time, but maybe you'll get luck and he'll visit a friend in another city and you can say, oh I thought you left. And change the lock.  Just some ideas, good or bad, to consider if you decide not to move out yourself and cancel the lease at this time.   
  5. Hamburg English Children's Library

    In case any one is interested in an informal english-language book lending exchange:  Update on books we have for lending: In addition to the chewed (toddler collection) we have school age and preteen and some teen and young adult Manga. We have Bride's Story, Tom Gates, Wimpy Kid, some other manga, books on sewing, cooking, science, Scratch programming... Daughter would love to borrow a lot of books with humor or about friends and families. No violence.  I have some books for nerds such as Musk, Hooked, Focus, SAP-related books, Analects. And about 7 romantic books by Nicholas Sparks. Anyone with books she or he could lend my daughter in exchange?   
  6. Deposit Not Paid to Me - What Can I Do?

    Maybe politely threaten to pass to a bill collector or will take to court if x amount not wired to such and such account by such and such date then and that she will be responsible for debt collection or court costs or both as needed to get payment to you. That would get me motivated to pay at least. Need some sort of return receipt of your notice to her.
  7. Thinking about suing Kindergarten

    Maybe copy page if not already done and maybe you can get released from notice period and thus once you found an opening someplace else avoid paying for two places? If they at least confirm to waive the notice period that reduces financial damage to you. 
  8. Deposit Not Paid to Me - What Can I Do?

    Do you have proof you paid the deposit, bank transfer or receipt? If not, then it might be hard to prove you paid it. Also, was this an illegal or legal sublet? If illegal, then you can mention you will turn to the main landlord to ask to get the deposit returned, might get the main tenant moving to take care of returning your deposit first before main landlord finds out about illegal sublets, which is a valid cause to threaten eviction.
  9. 2 philosophy book recommendations:   A History of Chinese Philosophy by Yu-lan Fung (has 2 volumes)  Way of God (Derech Hashem) by Luzzatto (Ramchal)    
  10. What teachers say to kids...

    @Joanie:   Currently there are 96 individual Math classes based on completing kompentenzorientiertes lernen worksheets. Instead of 4 groups of children being taught by 4 Math teachers, which would seem more effective to me.    But the third graders are not all really ready for regular third grade Math, or Gymnasium-prep math, even though half or more will go to Gymnasium (almost anyone may go here).   So, the idea to split for Math time into groups which make sense to teach together.  The rest of the time the children and staff can be in their usual room with their usual group of children.    I like your idea of giving up on the subject blocked by the school and instead passing the time another way!  I asked for permission for my daughter to bring a book and read there instead of sit there with the Kompetenzprientierung workbooks/worksheets which bring her nothing but frustration to stop the Schulschwänzen  but got rejected.    A brief week or two recently was an exception, I noticed the dark cloud go from my daughter, and I mentioned this to and thanked the Lernplanner, but I think it got nixed by the school director as the Kompetenzorientierte worksheets, the dark cloud and the Schulschwänzen on days with particularly heavy Kompentenzorientierung ideology are back.    The school does not have open time in which a child could read a subject of interest, or really adjust for individual needs, but rather lots of Kompetenzorientierung assignment  time, which is kind of like getting tons of useless homework instead of being taught school mornings.    I don't mean to convey that all German schools are like this.  I mean that even outside of Bremen/Hamburg/Berlin are also schools adopting the busywork instead of teaching reforms. So families relocating and looking for a public school might want to check the current reform status and plans of the school, not just rely on how it was a few years ago, or how it is at a neighboring school.                      
  11. I live in Hamburg, I have heard of this recent (last few years) getting more stringent too. I would try this, 50% chance it will work:   Go in person with a copy and the original of the rental agreement to the Anmeldungsamt. Sublets are perfectly fine. One week is also perfectly fine.    Tell them the person from whom you rented will not cooperate and ask to apply to Anmelden anyway, even if approval cannot at this time be given as a result. Ask them if they would send a request to this person on your behalf, as you have no other way to obey the law. Make a note that you did this in case you ever get accused of not trying to register. You can at least show you tried.    It might turn out that they will let you apply for the Anmeldung with that requirement missing at this time and not give you the approval at this time, and say they will have to wait and see how the person who rented to you answers, and then in a week or two  surprise surprise you get your approval and actual Anmeldung to pick up at the Anmeldung office.    And concurrently how about the good old, well, Mr. sublettor I really legally do have to register now, I'll have to ask the main landlord then, and then see if the person coughs up approval? Mentioning to contact the main landlord often gets sublettors moving on all sorts of matters.    I would not sign a long term anything unless really planning to stay a while, as in many cases you could get stuck with debt (for example, I will have to fix the wood floor of where I am most likely, but I plan to stay a while longer so not too bad). I have an acquaintance who got stuck with debt from her first rental in Hamburg, probably also her having to repair something.   There is nothing wrong with taking a first place for a few months, registering there, and then moving on, many individuals and families do this when relocating to Hamburg as you need any place at first to get going.  
  12. What teachers say to kids...

    For children who want to go slower in Math, except for some old-style schools which are still teaching to grade level, Hamburg is getting better in terms of Math education. You can even stay with friends and not have to know any Math I think until grade 6 end, when I think Gymnasium can still expel children who do not meet some minimum ability level in it (maybe 20% percent of the children get booted).   I highly recommended my daughter's current school to someone I know whose daughter is stressed out at a KESS 6 school which is teaching Math too fast for her, so not rubbish but perfect for many children. And any parents in our area who happen to read my posts on my daughter's current school, it is a mismatch in the morning program regarding mostly Math, the class is slow (NOT the kids!) and my daughter wanted to be taught at at least grade level. Which could be esily solved with allowing her a tutor at my expense a couple mornings a week if all the other kids are happy with the slower pace, no need to alter what they are doing. But I got refused and I want to try to keep her in the neighborhood school because that's where the other kids in the neighborhood go.   My daughter appreciates being taught and I appreciate when she is taught as well.  She gets taught now swimming and is so happy one school morning a week for a change. She would like the same for Math and Co. and have afternoons free.No matter how much effort her Lernplanner puts into Lernplanning her Math school mornings instead of simply allowing her to be taught, it is unfortunately ineffective. Pardon the Denglish regarding the Lernplanning.  German is to a lesser extent similar, but in Math it seems she got taught close to 0 school mornings and has had a huge amount of her school mornings and even afternoons wasted with this Lernplanning stuff.   I don't mean at all to say all schools in Germany are the same in terms of Reform introduction or other changes at all. I meant to say the opposite, even the same Grundschule, in the span of one year, might drastically change what is done in a typical class, because of  recent reform legal requirements or because of increased heterogeneity of the children who show up in September in some areas even outside of Bremen/Hamburg/Berlin.   And I was also wondering, when I read so often on teacher forums and hear from school staff that their biggest challenge is the heterogenity in the class room in the Grundschulen, why staff don't want to split the children into rough ability groups. I just see: heterogeneity has increased therefore we have to give up teaching groups of children and instead pass out to them different assignments from the reform list of materials (individualize). I don't see why ability grouping is ignored as an alternative solution to increased heterogeneity when it is so extreme that even teaching to grade level has become a challenge.                                  
  13. What teachers say to kids...

    I just want to say to any parents looking for a school for their child in Germany, private or public, based on the experience of my daughter the past few years regarding the various reforms underway, which might make your child's experience very different from what a child may have experienced a few years ago or even last year in the same school. The main trend though is a general dumbing down, especially in Math, and passing off of teaching from teachers to parents and tutors outside of school hours.   In 'Klassischer Unterricht', which is being cancelled, there are only holdouts it seems, the child will usually get a school book with lots of rich text examples and be taught how to do basic Math calculations, often at a Gymnasium-prep pace, which may be right for your child or might be too fast and stressful, and you will be stuck with trying to help her or him catch up unless the child is into Math. In Germany, this seems to happen more in neighborhoods with parents who are CDU or CSU voters.  The child will be taught (unless the teacher is often absent, which happens in many schools, CDU or SPD), get homework, and have tests with the rest of the class. You may apply for the child to repeat a grade to allow for more time, or there is Drehtür or weekly pull outs for the nerds to keep them busy.    There is a movement for 'individualisiertes Lernen', which means 'we teachers can't teach a class of kids who are in different grade levels in the subject and have IQs in the subject ranging from 65 to 140 together, and this is legally mandated to have them in the same room while the subject is 'unterrichtet' (words lehren and such are avoided, because that means teaching), so instead of teaching them we pass out worksheets for them to fill out at their own pace.'   Individual attention to children who are slower: a worksheet. A pull out for children who are faster? Another worksheet at best, no pull out for group teaching of them. Usually this means a much slower pace and for children on the faster end in the subject extreme frustration, and a fleeing by them by the thousands to private schools. My daughter is doing still today what she was taught a year ago at a classically teaching school, and only slowing down is allowed in terms of 'at your own pace' in public schools, to help kill off the Gymnasium by sending them as many children as possible who are unready for 5th grade Math.   In public schools the materials usually must come from an approved 'Kompentenzorientierte' publisher, and they tend to be not good materials for a child to teach herself at grade level, which is a super pain, since these are exactly the same schools which on longer teach, the parents have to step afternoons and Ferien to do the teacher role of teaching unless they think the child really ought to go a year or more slower than grade level.   In the public school that uses the reform ideology, I can't call it pedagogy, as the reforms mean the lack of teaching rather than a method of teaching, the child is demanded all the time to show what she can do, not to practice what she has been taught by a teacher.   Private schools seem to more often not to be against children being taught at great level, but when they are doing the individualiertes learning, often parents have to put effort into teaching and organizing the child, since each person is doing his own thing during many of the school hours, and there can be 'Hausaufgaben', 'Schulaufgaben', 'Referat Vorbereitung', 'Wochenplan', 'Monatsplan' ,'Lernplan' ,'Hefte für das Thema des Monats', at the same time several German-related notebooks...   as in the public reform schools.   In Hamburg in public schools at least for 1-4 grade there is at this time absolutely 0 academic minimum standard for the child to fulfill to be passed onto the next grade. So, my kid sits in a room for Math and German with kids at Vorschule to beginning 3 grade level, not because children are dumb there but because there is not much teaching and no minimum standard to be placed into the next grade (they just change the number on the door from 2 to 3 but continue with grade 2 worksheets at best the next half year).      Admission standards into Gymnasium have also been abolished, so she will probably get more of the same as well after 5th grade, but less so than if she wen to Stadtteilschule, as more of the Gymnasium children at least are able in German.   There is a 'Kompetenzorientiertes Lernen' movement in addition to the individualiertes movement,  which means instead of teaching basic Grundschule knowledge, have the children fill in workbooks to show the school what they can do (what the parents taught them at home). Usually the materials are a grade lower level than they would be at a 'Klassischer Unterricht' school, and for a motivated kid annoying. Even some Unis are being told to do Kompetenzorientierung.    My child often did under the supervision of one or more adults assignments clearly wrong, and no one pointed this out to her.    There is a movement also to kill off the intellectually elitist Gymnasium, but not by allowing ability differentiated teaching of groups of children in the same building, making Gymnasium no longer needed, but by grouping on purpose the most heterogeneous IQ and interest group of children they can into each room, either Gymnasium or Stadtteilschule, and this way it is just not doable to properly teachMath and such at the same time and place to these children.   I don't get why children may not be grouped into ability for Math and German, as they can for swimming instruction, so that my daughter can go to the same school building after 5th grade as her play pals, so they can all stay in the neighborhood. With the reforms we have more and more parents in Hamburg having to devote one parent to school commute companion/driver role, not to mention teacher role, even ones who are pro one school for all, and fleeing despite poverty and severe commute hardship to child and parent to private schools in other parts of the city. Just allowing rough ability grouping into different rooms in the same building would make possible for the children to play with their friends and still get taught by a teacher school mornings.    Many 'teachers' in Germany seem to genuinely be against the teaching of Math at grade level, forget about faster, from what I have encountered the past months.    In my daughter's class the hatred of teaching her Math is so strong, that when she asks to be taught the next step of German Grundschule Math calculation, she is told to teach it to herself. After 5 months no teaching at a grade level pace, forget about an individually-appropriate pace, she actually asked if I could stay outside the classroom one morning the next school day after she was refused her pleading to be explained a German calculation method, so she could then practice it, so she could for a few minutes step out and ask me during the 'teach yourself Math' time and then be able to go back to the room and practice it, since the school provides her no proper teaching in the subject. Many schools doing the 'Individualiertes' thing do, however, have someone run around to answer some of the questions by the 23 or more children at different grade levels in the subject, so still only 1/23 the teaching time of a classic style class, better than 0. Some staff and school directors and definitely the current Hamburg school system head are really into  the '4th grade Math needs to wait until 5th grade so we can kill off the Gymnasium' so refuse to teach the faster (or grade level) kids, place many stones in their way.    What I don't get is, although many people want to delay the split into Uni track to way after 4th grade, why don't they just allow ability-differentiated classes in the various schools, so a child can actually get taught? And have incentive to try to move into a subject-specific higher track, or be able to shift to an easier track in the subject without losing contact with friends? That way it would not matter which of the several schools in our area my daughter would attend, Stadtteilschule or Gymnasium. That would be I think a better way to the 'school for all' movement.  There would be thousands fewer children fleeing to private schools in major german cities, and much quicker acceptance of 'one school for all' .    What do you TTers think?                 
  14. Relocating young family

    Maybe ask for a 'Hospitation'? Because what is good for one child may not be for another.
  15. What teachers say to kids...

    @Samlov  I meant you can probably find one via ebay kleinanzeigen. Many tutors find their clients this way and it costs usually less than going to an official tutoring or language business plus they often are willing to come to where is convenient for you. You can put your postal code in it and people close by will apply.