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About sonazeit

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  • Location Hamburg
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female
  1. Moving out due to problematic alcoholic roommate

    Axe. Hatchet.  By 2. I meant sublet again.  I agree with someonesdaughter, never mind the agreement, you have no further obligation about it from the date you fled due to egregious circumstances that made staying no longer bearable, you were effectively forced out. Put your bank info in your cancellation notice if you want money that way. If he wants keys back before giving you money at this point forget it. You can mail him the keys return receipt after you get all your deposit your money back. If you fled mid month I would demand and prepaid rent for any unused days back as well.     
  2. Moving out due to problematic alcoholic roommate

    Just some ideas,   I would not send back the key unless he gives you the deposit back first even if you promised to.    Use what leverage you have. Tell him you will ask the landlord for help if he does not give you back the money immediately.  You can say you will turn to the landlord directly to see if they can help with getting your deposit back (even if they can't) as you need the money immediately. If he says he does not have so much money right away ask him how much he has in the bank and say you'll be okay with that as a partial payback for now if he shows you the bank statement for the past 30 days as proof or else you are going to the landlord for help (even if they can't, it's just to threaten him to blow his fraud)  Also threaten to contact the Job Center (maybe he is on welfare and if you have evidence that you paid him rent even if in cash and he is on welfare but did not tell the job center he will probably get some financial penalty).   He can get booted out for this if he did not get landlord permission to sublet to you, even if it was short-term.  Even if it was legal, his having a problem with you would allow the landlord to make it harder for him to sublet  legally the room in the near future. Send him by return receipt requested mail Sublet cancel notice to take effect immediately upon your move out date, even if it was in the past, due to unbearable conditions (need not specify what they were). Keep a copy of the letter and the return receipt (Einschreiben). Can be written in English. Use move out date even if you said something verbally different to him. If he is not on welfare, he might be required to report rental income (I never sublet so I don't know) to the Finanzamt on his yearly private tax return. So, use your 4 points of leverage: 1. Job Center - you can find the office responsible for him based on his address and send them evidence, even if in English.  2. Landlord (illegal sublet, make it harder to result room even if this sublet was legal)  3. Keys  4. Finanzamt Until you get your money back. 
  3. Truck-driven terror attack at Berlin Christmas market

    I second program director's separating out from the general population proposal. Would at least reduce incentive to migrate here without a visa unless a real refugee.  
  4. What teachers say to kids...

      SEGELn has replaced my daughter's teacher with   That's what I think is stupid. Not the people. The children at my daughter's school are nice, we often invite them over to our home. It is the lack of teaching of third grade Math and German school mornings a few times a week that has been a waste of my daughter's time.    I have confirmed that there is at this time in Hamburg no administrative recourse when a child is prohibited from being taught at her grade level during school hours.   She needs to be taught regular Math and German, not special classes. Begabten teaching would not apply to her even if there were any. In fact, after months of neglect she is that many months behind a normal third grader.  This facility does not offer and in fact prohibits the teaching of third grade Math and German to third graders. There may a complete withdrawal of teaching of these two subjects. In fact, this is politically desired. This is SEGELn ideology.  It is seen as modern.   The alternative, teaching groups of children at a particular rough academic grade level or strength together, has been rejected. Schools still teaching classically are being pressured to adopt SEGELn.  We got lucky and got almost two years of classical teaching before encountering SEGELn.    Under SEGELn there may be a repeat of the entire class to a lower grade despite the slogan in the Hamburg media of 'Förderung statt Wiederholen'. Just the number on the door goes up. There may be a prohibition of the use of schoolbooks during self-teach time. Parents need to arrange for teaching privately if they think their children would benefit from teaching.  My daughter has not been receiving third grade Math and German lessons this school year. She has no right to receive any teaching in these subjects at a school in Hamburg. She has been completely neglected education-wise the past several months with the results one would expect.   I tried with no luck to get a approval for some tutoring during the offener Unterricht (teach yourself with workbooks) hours to give her some teaching school mornings, preserve her afternoon play time, and to enable her to see the 'school' as a real school, but was refused.    This has caused since September attendance problems, not to mention compete lack of third grade education for my daughter. She has a legal right to Bildung, which I have not been providing her hoping that the school would do most of the teaching of third grade Math and German.   The central Hamburg government is aware of the dismal Math results with this self teaching thing and are fine with it. We are the Math light place and many parents are fine with that.  Fifth graders here are now often still working on basic arithmetic rather than moving on to fifth grade Math. Both at Stadtteilschule and Gymnasium.  As for German, that is not hard for the german families with a stay-at-home parent or a grandparent at least to help out with teaching afternoons.   So, after testing out this teach yourself ideology for a few months and getting disastrous results, we join the other families in teaching at home a little four times a week to do damage control. We're familiar with a good set of materials and I have arranged for someone to come to our home.    Thank you all again for your input. 
  5. What teachers say to kids...

    Thanks again all for your comments and insights.   As you can see by this announcement, my daughter is not in a real third grade class. It's a test to see if the children know very basic second grade material. It has nothing regarding normal third grade material.    She's a normal kid who needs a normal third grade class in which she is taught normal third grade Math and German, but our local school seems to have recently been converted to a new ideology called SEGELn and it has been a disaster for our family.   All attempts to ameliorate the situation, such as allowing her to use third grade school books for German and Math, attend a parallel class that is taught at a normal third grade level,  get a tutor to teach her during some of the Arbeitsblätter hours, have failed.   I have contacted several school advisory places with no luck since September.    The SEGELn ideology extends into the afternoon care there. She is still ordered to do Math basic calculation second grade review there as well.    SEGELn almost ensures migrants who live in our neighborhood end up at the local migrant school in 5th grade, where SEGELn is continued.  So, good for german families with a housewife to teach at home, the children get Math light through Abitur (many Hamburg families in my neighborhood want for their children Abitur with Math light) and the migrant children are segregated out.    On a positive note, my daughter likes the Pause of the morning program as she can be with the local children and they seem to have a music class that is taught.    I would therefore like to find a solution as it's our neighborhood school  but it looks like SEGELn politics are strong and block a solution which would help my daughter and our family.   I know what material needs to be covered and I can arrange for it to be done privately and have materials and manpower lined up but this does not solve the SEGELn problem of the morning (and afternoon) programs which is gumming up the works on a daily basis.    I want school to just do plain normal school on school mornings.  And not take over my daughter's free play time.    Would write more but have had my hands full daily since my daughter broke the bad news to me the second week of September. She has been devoid of education since 01.09.2016.    . 
  6. What teachers say to kids...

    Was no uproot. It's the neighborhood school a block away so she knows the children and can play with them there. She's been in the same flat since birth. She's happy to get rid of the commute.  Many parents like the school this way and I praise it for putting out innovative ideas and brainstorming such as the linked draft. Just I was not prepared for the no teaching part. I agree, parents take up the teaching part it seems in many cases.  Different schools and even different classes inside a school seem to be quite different here.  Cannot teach her play pal together as they are effectively in different grades. The children I thought go to school to be taught together but now I know this is outdated thinking.  Just wondering if any parent got around the having to step in and teach part. Looks like no.  The problem we had before in Kita and Vorschule was when she was age based placed (she is early in year born, and a girl, and Hamburg is a well-known taillight of education).  Another peer of hers got an exception to the age-based placement and is doing fine as a result. A boy we know is still trying to get out of age based placement, he is very frustrated, and I'm so glad I spared my daughter that.
  7. What teachers say to kids...

    Thanks again Bramble.   The concept draft in the link is nice but right now my daughter is taught neither German nor Math in this school. As far as a basic education goes, it is a complete waste of time for her. It is cheap daycare, a girl she likes to play with is still in her class (parent wants to switch child to a school with teaching) so she goes but    The teacher role is turned over to the family for  subjects German and Math. But a huge amount of the child's morning is wasted with busy work instead of just being a pupil mornings in school, the time of day when one can easily teach a child.   No teaching allowed of third grade German and Math mornings. No schoolbooks allowed for third grade German or Math mornings. Boring workbooks only, must be selected from the SEGELN approved list.  Workbooks have no explanation, are useless for self teaching. Extremely inefficient for child and for family.   Child can't magically make up himself for the lack of a teacher's teaching? In steps Mommy or Grandma or a tutor afternoons to teach the Schulaufgabe material. A lot of families are helping with the Schulaufgabe at home afternoons, which is supposed to be done mornings by the child alone.    Outsteps child's free play or sports afternoons.  Outsteps Mommy's job as well. SEGELN increases poverty.  I even came across two grandmothers who have had to step in and start doing Schulaufgabe with the children.    School insists so far on SEGELN for all, even when it clearly does not work for all children as it is practiced at this time.  I don't see any magic substitute for a good teacher for basic Math and German.  Parents may not arrange a teacher school mornings to teach though the school refuses to teach. The first two years I did not need to get involved  with school work as she was taught mornings Math and German.   In the SEGELN class children get taught third grade afternoons at home or by a tutor often what in a normal class was taught in second grade mornings at a normal school by a teacher.    She has been taught 0 so far since at a SEGELN school, and since not allowed even a proper book, has taught herself nothing in these two subjects as well.    A pupil has a teacher. She has no teacher.   The SEGELN workbooks have 0 explanations, so a parent or tutor has to step in and teach. I have not done that so far, but now I see it is a must so daughter will have to start taking her Schulaufgabe home as the other children do. But that means she loses her afternoons a couple times a week and I am paying for tutors or doing myself what a teacher ought to be doing mornings, namely teaching. I would prefer to arrange for some one mornings to teach her a little a few times a week as it would keep her afternoons free and reduce the huge time waste she has now.   She was a pupil until July, now she is not a pupil. She is without education for the time being.   SEGELN = no teacher, no school books, no education.  As I have seen so far.   Here is cooking class, morning circle,  and workbook busywork mornings.  Some children are so behind in the Schulaufgabe they are effectively in second grade.  Pull out some mornings to prep for the Matheolympiade (some schools have been doing) definitely not happening.    My requirement for my daughter is just basic third grade Math and German to be taught by a teacher or tutor mornings and with school books.  
  8. What teachers say to kids...

    Gymnasien in our area are also reducing teaching.    At 13:00 today I  bumped into a grandmother  in the school, child is in a parallel third grade class, who was asked by her daughter to start picking up the child right after the Schulpflicht time is up and take child home to start doing the Schulaufgabe with him. She said the mother (her daughter) found it hard to do the Schulaufgabe with the child  so the grandmother does not know how she is going to manage teaching the child to do it.  So, two parallel classes at least have family doing teaching that the paid staff is not teaching during Schulpflicht time. The Schulaufgaben are supposed to be done in the 5 or 8 (have heard read different opinions) the children have each week mornings to do it. But many cannot.    I asked the school for a compromise over a month ago (to bring something to read from home and send a tutor about two mornings a week but got rejected), and reported the mismatch to the government between the SEGELN class and what my daughter needs mornings, namely she needs a teacher who teaches her third grade.   Here is the SEGELN concept which is being worked on:   In Hamburg there is no right for a school child to be taught. Only requirement to be in the morning daycare. Teaching seems optional but now more and more actively discouraged.    Typically in response to a daycare strike by a pupil the Hamburg government takes a countermeasure from the below list of possibilities:   1. move  child to a parallel daycare  group (but already confirmed at least two of the parallel morning groups are already having parents take over teacher role afternoons), so would only be a tick better at best I'm afraid and daughter is getting  the same impression, but willing to try as it means just going across the hall     2. move child to a school  of government's choice (that might be Veddel probably to spite her, possibility was already mentioned by one of the government advisors) allow a tutor an hour a week mornings (but that would make too much sense, that would be teaching inside a school on a school morning, and would allow my daughter to have a fun childhood these next two years, our family to stay together, and me to get back to getting us back on track financially, so not going to happen even though I offered to pay for the tutoring), if that is what is decided I will ask the JA to sport a rebuttal to have child be allowed to have a tutor a few mornings a week at parent expense instead, as it is a security and social and financial major negative fr our family to be expelled to another  district because of something which could easily be solved otherwise   3. allow a pull out mornings  with a group of children who are similar (e.g., math nerds) an hour a week (school seems to hate math, so not gonna happen, only groups of weaker children are allowed, such as most of my daughter's class which is in second grade for math at this time, the class is converted to a second grade, that is fine, despite Hamburg prohibition against mandatory holding back of  children, not any fun groups for nerds though again I would be willing to pay), looks like that is on the SEGRLN horizon of future possibilities but they are day to day busy with the children who need Kita or reviews or slow pace so not holding my breath. And makes no sense if the basics are not even being taught.    4. threaten family with fines or removal of child to a Kinderheim (no  letter received yet but will most be coming, as she is not psychosomatic, she does not feel ill, and she wants to go to school, but a real school).  If that happens then will widerspruch with request to allow tutor at own expense some mornings to make up for lack of teaching provided by school instead.    Government will in the next weeks talk to the school first (there was a two week Ferien recently), then to us, and then tell us what they decide for my daughter. I hope a compromise can be worked out allowing her to actually use one little schoolbook each for Math and German in school and let her start having a few teaching hours in these subjects each week at third grade level.    She knows what excellent classroom management and teaching and transparency and differentiation are as she has experienced them  so has that in her toolbox to compare to what she is currently experiencing. She gives what she has experienced since September 1 two thumbs down.   I don't want to scare any other family about SEGELN or insult anyone or a school. I am happy others like SEGELN as it is practiced in her class and wish SEGELN a continued bright future.  And I am very happy for brainstorming and experimenting and such among groups. Just I don't think my daughter is a good fit this year or next for SEGELN as she has been experiencing it. We want to work with the neighborhood school, because we live here, but there seem to be  strong barriers to being taught there set up by the school.    So, I was wondering if other parents have children not happy with SEGELN or similar lack of teaching and what they were able to do to adapt.  Other than taking away their afternoons. Anyone have luck working with the school for a compromise?   Thanks for all the info anecdotes and comments. After the shock of hearing there would be no teaching of German or Math for my daughter this school year school mornings permitted this year, I read up on it in German and see it is an ideological controversy in the German speaking region in the past years.                   
  9. What teachers say to kids...

    Problem: Child finished second grade. Wants to attend a real third grade. Current purported third grade is a Kita/dumbed down second grade mix. The 'teacher*, instead of teaching, passes out different workbook assignments for each child for the month.  For German and Math. There is no teacher for these subjects but rather a learn coach. What is discussed by the learn coach for those subjects is basic second grade stuff. The rest of the class is sort of a Kita or Vorschule. I want to avoid a move so want to know if any TTer was able to make such a situation more bearable for the child please let me know what worked.  Could not get school to approve any measure (for example bring a school book from home to read for those subjects) to try to make it less torture.  Child did experience an excellent  private Vorschule and excellent public first and second grades, so she knows what excellent teaching is. It is not Montessori where she is now but 'SEGELN'. The afternoon program (not run by the school but takes place there) is an excellent match for her.  Many of the parents, whose children are not into math for example, like it as the children may go as slow as they like, and some have learning disabled children and need the Kita style.  
  10. What teachers say to kids...

    Thanks so much for all your tips and ideas.  Hamburg passes Johnny who can't read write or do arithmetic right on up, so the class becomes a mess and is disbanded or dumbed way down or in the case at hand a mixture of both.  Math and German class is disbanded and are self-study only via workbooks by the new self learning method publishers.  Parents or tutors teach the children outside of Schulpflicht hours.  No tests for German and Math, as each child is doing something different anyway. There is no class to whom to give a Klassenarbeit.  Daughter did effectively get forced to repeat a grade, this time with no option during Schulpflicht time to do anything vaguely interesting. Sometimes there is one or two additional staff in the same room for children with diagnosed severe learning difficulties. They get a separate math class inside the classroom as others teach themselves second or third grade with the workbooks.  A grouping of math-interested children is prohibited. There is cooking in the mornings some days, morning circle time every day, Kita-like. It is since the second week of September more a matter of Schulpflicht requirement meeting at this level of severity and I need to help her be able to meet it without punishing her by forbidding basic education. The 'regular' children were indeed asked if they want to learn basic multiplication at home over the October school holiday.  If there is Schulpflicht (daughter likes school but not Kita) then it would be helpful to at least let me pay out of pocket for someone a couple mornings a week to do a little teaching in the hallway- My daughter and I share the computer, pardon for the mangled post and thanks again for tips on what to do when this happens (looking to deal with it to avoid a move).                        
  11. What teachers say to kids...

    Anyone with a Grundschule third grader in a class with no Schulbücher (only Arbeitshefte) for Math and German, no tests (keine Klassenarbeit) , and no teaching to the class group at that grade level in those subjects?     If so, how to do you arrange to have your child actually get taught Math and German school mornings at their grade level?    Or does your child do fine and enjoy teaching himself new third grade material in these subjects via the Arbeitshefte while the lessons are given in the grade level your child did the previous school year so does not need nor want a teacher to teach the class at his grade level for these subjects?  
  12. Bob Dylan's Nobel silence 'impolite and arrogant'

    It's pompus to assume someone or even worse everyone wants a particular award or gift. When giving, one is to think from the perspective of the receiver.  Didn't Obama even jokingly say something to the effect that he wasn't sure what he got his Nobel Peace prize for? 
  13. Rebuilding after divorce in Germany with children

    I thought it was explained in another thread that it would have helped the family to have a rental agreement drawn up. That is done among family members sometimes in Germany. Tacky but needed sometimes for tax or welfare purposes to document costs/income.    I think the economics of the decision makers was much better with taking the children out. It is a common complaint. I don't know the details but I hear that there is big financial incentive to out of home care rather than sending someone to the home. But that is how it is and if things are okay for now for the two children then good.    She ought not to have paid rent without a rental agreement in her situation. Same goes for most people. She needs under the circumstances to document her expenses.     As autos are more important to some people than their families I think it was mean to damage the car. Not seeing one's kids or helping one's spouse is socially okay in Germany, you can still claim them even as tax deductions as far as I know and expect them to pay for your funeral, but car abuse is just too much.    Sorry I have no positive stories and tips on how a parent with no money and no family help and children in the middle of nowhere can get a job that pays enough to get a decent place in a decent area with such low hours that one can still be at least a part-time parent.    I would recommend taking it one step at a time, focusing on being as available for the children as best one can, and not try to get off of welfare for some time. If you do right by the child at home and when you are with the others then great.    And think longterm: I hope the OP will someday be a grandmother assisting her children and their spouses with their little children.    That is what a friend of mine is doing now, she was an RN in the US, and moved to Germany and was then on her own, stuck forever in low paid work, but now after that long time the bright side is that she has a great relationship with her children and is now a wonderful grandmother so that the next generation has it easier.    As for selling a home with a sitting tenant not prepared to move. I think the new owners will be the ones complaining. They just got defrauded if they were told the tenant had agreed to move out. Maybe the buyer will approach the OP to offer a rental agreement if it is an investment - some rich people buy homes as they have nothing better to put cash into - or pay out if they really want to live there.       
  14. Rebuilding after divorce in Germany with children

    Ways I have seen parents in Germany compromise between work and parenting, all more desperate measures rather than happy alternatives to stay off of welfare:   1. Stick children in daycare even in Ferien while parent is working or is getting subsidized vocational training. As they get older there might be more activities for them such as 'Feriencamps' that are partially paid for by the government in some areas. 2. Tell boss one can continue the job (which requires specialized skills) only if one can work from home sometimes or do some work after the kids are in bed from home. 3. Send child to Realschule instead of Gymnasium as no one is home afternoons to make sure the child does his Gymnasium homework  4. Take a major paycut by switching from what is at one's professional level but requires travel or flexibility time-wise and constant study to a junior role with no travel or even worse to one with little brain input requirement. 5. If one is a good negotiator and has wanted specialized skills, when the job ad says 40 plus hours a week in office plus an hour lunch, counteroffer to work from home late afternoons/early evenings and make up the time late evenings from home or work as a part-timer.  6. If switching for a job to a city with cheap flat scarcity, move family first to a bad neighborhood to at least be able to work in that city. In some cities it seems easier to get short-term rentals as it is long-term. 7. Take small weekend outings to the local pool or on bike somewhere instead of Urlaube.  8. Get takeaway and cold foods instead of cooking, even if the child and parent want freshly-prepared warm food to have a little time evenings to read to child. Save cooking at home for weekends. Have a stash of fast-to-heat-up frozen or canned food, even though unhealthy.  9. Good stash of children's films and t.v. programs saved to keep them busy as the parent rests or does housework. 10. Stuffed animal toy for the child instead of a furry pet.     Parents I know whose net income is not good enough to pay babysitting costs are out of luck. They can barely work and are on welfare until the children are old enough until the oldest is legally allowed to look after the youngest afternoons or evenings so the parent can earn money.  I actually know one family who wants to have the oldest daughter mind the youngest. Until then the family is welfare-dependent.   Single parents I know who work tend to want want the following laws changed:   1. Change tax class from single to head of family.  2. Continuance of government child support subsidy given when non-resident spouse does not pay a minimum of child support after the child's sixth? year. That would at least cover some babysitter expenses. 3. Afternoon hours paid for by government in Kitas (seems rules depend on area and can change from year to year).   One thing that might be in your favor later on is that with three children, if you apply some years from now for subsidy for a Tagesmutter/Babysitter in your home late afternoons/early evenings, the subsidy is from what I heard per child, so that your out-of-pocket expense (top up to make it worth the person's while since the rate might be too low to live on in some cities) will be less and maybe you can even get the dishes washed before you get home.   The comment by another poster about a head scarf might have been flippant but in some neighborhoods might  actually work in terms of building rapport with some of the other moms.    One mistake one parent made was that she took a flat to get in a city with a job and the management made her pay for repairs and she had no time to fight it. I had to do the same to avoid having to move my child suddenly. So, in both cases we had to take on some minor debt. Not a big amount but still not good. Hopefully the OP is a better negotiator. 
  15. "Don't you love being pregnant?"

    I agree, pills are to be avoided, and best to have her husband care for her, but for those either on their own without family help or even with family help and it is still not enough it has helped hundreds of thousands if not millions of pregnant women. I do not yet know of a case of birth defects caused by this drug despite its being used for decades for severe nausea and exhaustion in pregnancy.  For some women it is a wonder drug bringing them relief. Plus, one can take it some days and not others, basically, only when one wants a few hours break from time to time from the severe nausea and exhaustion to drink, eat and rest, and to get up from the floor for a change.