Mount Mercy Students Enjoy German Play

Theaterstück (Play): Auf dem Campingplatz (At the Campsite)

Auf dem Campingplatz. Actors David Jonas-Frei and Lydia Fischer play the central characters of Jürgen and Sonja. 

At the campsite

Student Participation

All German classes (1st year to 6th year) enjoyed a German play entitled ‘Auf dem Campingplatz’ (‘At the Campsite’) staged at Mount Mercy College on the 25th April 2017 by Onatti Productions, a UK-based theatre group. Native German-speaking actors – David from Basel in Switzerland and Lydia from Berlin – provided an extremely entertaining, lively and fun-filled comic performance which included active audience participation. The superb acting combined with excellent comic timing, very clearly spoken German, expressive facial and physical gestures, and lots of laughs provided our students of German with a novel opportunity to enjoy and engage with the German language.

The play revolves around two characters, Sonja and Jürgen, who go camping. When their taxi drops them off at a remote campsite in the middle of nowhere, Jürgen is well equipped with all necessary gear whereas Sonja is struggling to cope with a night in a tent and wondering where to plug in her hairdryer! Soon they realise they have forgotten to bring any food and, with no mobile phone reception, they face into a long and hungry night. Then the arguments commence!

Here are comments on the play from some of our student spectators:
“I thought that the play was extremely entertaining. It was very funny … I could understand most of the play through the actors’ actions. I enjoyed the way that the actors involved us in the play and got us to practise our German speaking.”
– Rachel Mackey, 1st Year student of German

“It was amazing! Sonja was very funny. I could understand more than I thought I could because of the way they acted – you could tell what they were saying. I loved the way we were part of the play too. They kept picking people out to do things.”
– Kate Tompkins, 1st Year student of German

“The actors were very good. It was a very funny play. I was called to do a part – it was embarrassing, but fun!”
– Aleksandra P., 2nd Year student of German

Some comments on the play from our German language assistant Jana Reusch:
”Am Dienstag präsentierte Onatti Productions für die Deutschschüler aller Jahrgänge ihr Stück „Auf dem Campingplatz“. Aufgeführt von den beiden deutschsprachigen Schauspielern David und Lydia, die mit diesem Stück schon erfolgreich durch das Vereinigte Königreich tourten und es nun an irischen Schulen vorführen, bietet es eine lehrreiche und vor allem lustige Abwechslung zum normalen Unterrichtsgeschehen und half den Schülern ein Gefühl für die gesprochene deutsche Sprache zu bekommen.
Meiner Meinung nach war es ein sehr lustiges und vor allem interaktives Stück, das an keiner Stelle zu lang war, sondern vielmehr dazu einlud, immer weiter zuzuhören und auf die nächste witzige Stelle zu warten. David und Lydia haben die ganze Zeit klar und deutlich gesprochen und viel Körpersprache eingesetzt, was das Verständnis für die Schülerinnen sehr erleichterte. An den Stellen, in denen sie Schülerinnen aus dem Publikum in ihr Stück miteingebunden haben, wiederholten sie alles mehrfach und der Rest konnte genießen, wie es zu komischen Situationen kam, z.B. als sich eine Schülerin im Zelt versteckte und nass gespritzt wurde. Man merkte, dass beide Schauspieler sehr viel Spaß während der Vorführung hatten und wie sie versuchten, die Begeisterung auch auf die Schülerinnen zu übertragen. Auch mit den beiden gegensätzlichen Charakteren, die sie spielten, auf der einen Seite den bodenständigen und campingbegeisterten Jürgen und auf der anderen Seite die selbstverliebte modeaffine Sonja, konnte man sich mehrfach identifizieren und mitleiden. Alles in allem habe ich das Stück sehr genossen und finde es eine gute Möglichkeit für alle deutschlernenden Schüler die deutsche Sprache mal von einer anderen Seite kennenzulernen und würde es auf jeden Fall weiterempfehlen.”

Well done to Onatti Productions on this superb play and the fine performance evident throughout, greatly enjoyed by all present.

Which hat to wear? – The audience must decide …

 

German Scholarship Winner 2017

Heartiest congratulations to Mount Mercy College student Laura Murphy who was awarded a 3 week scholarship to Germany based on her exceptional performance in her Junior Cert German exam and her interview in German at the Goethe Insitut, Dublin in March.

The scholarship is awarded by The German Pedagogical Exchange Service and is funded by the German Foreign Office.

Application for such scholarships is not possible as the award is merit based. Laura’s scholarship will take her to Kiel in Northern Germany next June in a group of 12 scholarship winners. As well as participating in group activities and trips, Laura will also travel to other parts of Germany as part of her scholarship.

Well done to Laura on her outstanding achievement!

Nikolaustag 2016 at Mount Mercy College

1st year German class pictured with Principal Bean Ui Riordain on Nikolaustag (St Nicholas day) 6th December 2016.

1st year German class pictured with Principal Bean Uí Ríordáin on Nikolaustag (St Nicholas day) 6th December 2016.

Nikolaus made his annual visit to 1st year students of German at Mount Mercy on his feast day 6th December. Students sang the German Christmas carols Stille Nacht (Silent Night) and O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree) and enjoyed the special surprise Nikolaus delivery of their treat-filled Christmas stockings containing an assortment of various Strohsterne (straw stars), Dekorationen (decorations), Süßigkeiten (sweets), Schokolade (chocolate), Gummibärchen (Gummy-bears), and quirky Goethe Institut badges with fun words like ‘lecker’ (delicious), ‘genau’ (exactly), ‘toll‘ (great), ‘Brot’ (bread), ‘Deutsch’ (German), ‘Hallo’, ‘Ja’ (yes) and ‘Tschüss’ (bye). The students also enjoyed learning about Christmas traditions in Germany through participating in a presentation about festive German Christmas customs.

Frohe Weihnachten und die besten Wünsche für das neue Jahr! (Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!) to all!

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1st year German class pictured with Principal Bean Ui Ríordáin (far right), teacher Ms Loftus (back row: far left) and language assistant Jana Reusch (far left: front row)) on Nikolaustag (St Nicholas day) 6th December 2016

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Principal Bean Ui Ríordáin and language assistant Jana Reusch pictured enjoying their Nikolaustag stockings.

Leaving Cert students of German also enjoyed celebrating Nikolaustag with festive treat surprises. They also enjoyed exploring German Christmas traditions and viewing the timeless slapstick favourite ‘Dinner for One’ movie which has been screened annually in Germany on New Year’s Eve since the early 1960s.

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Leaving Cert Nikolaustag treat napkins

 

Celebration of St Martin’s Day 2016

2nd Year students of German display the lanterns they made in celebration of Martin's Day.

2nd Year students of German display the lanterns they made in celebration of Martin’s Day.

‘Ich geh mit meiner Laterne und meine Laterne mit mir. Dort oben leuchten die Sterne und unten, da leuchten wir’ . ‘I go with my lantern . And my lantern with me . Up there the stars shine . And below, we shine.’ (Traditional Martin’s Day song)

In celebration of St Martin’s day (Martinstag), 2nd Year students of German at Mount Mercy enjoyed a handicraft lesson making paper lanterns in November 2016. Tealights were placed into the lanterns and lit upon completion, creating a festive brightness to contrast the Winter darkness outside. St Martin’s Day marks the beginning of Winter. St Martin was known as a friend to children and to the poor. His feast day falls annually on 11th November and is a special celebration in Germany. On St Martin’s Day in Germany, children make paper lanterns and carry them containing brightly lit tea-lights in street processions, singing Martin’s Day songs and enjoying receiving sweet treats. A man dressed up like St Martin often leads the procession on horseback. St Martin was known for his acts of kindness – one example of this was when he is said to have cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm to prevent the man from dying from the cold. The lanterns bring light to darkness, just as St Martin brought hope to the poor through his good actions. It is a celebration enjoyed by children of all denominations or none in Germany.

Laterne, Laterne –
Sonne, Mond und Sterne.
Brenne auf, mein Licht,
Brenne auf, mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.
Lantern, Lantern –
Sun, moon and stars.
Burn, my light,
Burn, my light,
But not my dear lantern.
(Traditional Martin’s Day song)

Starting to make our lanterns.

Starting to make our Martin’s Day lanterns.

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Designing, sketching and cutting out various shapes such as leaf motifs before attaching them to the paper lanterns

2nd Year German class busy with 'Basteln'. The German word 'basteln' means 'to do handicraft' or 'to make things with one's hands'.

2nd Year German class busy with ‘Basteln’. The German word ‘basteln’ means ‘to do handicraft’ or ‘to make things with one’s hands’.

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A creative display of luminosity! Well done to our 2nd Year students of German for their lovely creative designs which included leaf patterns, stars and hearts.

Cork Film Fest German Movie 2016

On the 16th November 2016, Mount Mercy College Transition Year, 5th Year and 6th Year students of German attended the Cork Film Fest Schools Screening of the German movie ‘Charlene macht Schluss’ (‘About A Girl’). This movie encompasses themes of love, family, friendship, coming of age, death and ultimately hope in a sensitive and highly evocative manner.

© IMBISSFILM

© IMBISSFILM

Festivals: Rio de Janeiro 2014, Gijón 2014, Cleveland 2015, BUFF Malmö 2015, Stockholm Junior 2015, Dallas 2015, Zlín 2015

Awards: Enfants Terribles Award Best Feature film (over 13) Gijon 2014, Bavarian Film Prize 2014 (Best Upcoming Actress: Jasna Fritzi )

Director: Mark Monheim
Germany 2014
Recommended age: 15+
Subtitled drama
104 minutes

Deutschmobil visit to MMC 2016

Transition Year students studied German popsong ‘Du bist die Sonne’ (You are the sun) from German pop group ‘Die Drogen’. They display the line ‘Du bist die Sonne und ich brauche dich. Doch komm nicht näher, Sonst verbrennst du mich’. Pictured far right: Katharina Carson, Goethe Institut Irland and far left: tutors Katharina and Saskia

Transition Year students studied German popsong ‘Du bist die Sonne’ (You are the sun) from German pop group ‘Die Drogen’. They display the line ‘Du bist die Sonne und ich brauche dich. Doch komm nicht näher, Sonst verbrennst du mich’.
Pictured far right: Katharina Carson, Goethe Institut Irland and far left: tutors Katharina and Saskia

Mount Mercy College German Department was delighted to welcome the Deutschmobil for the fourth time on 10th November 2016. Katharina Carson and language assistants Saskia and Katharina of the Goethe Institut Irland provided wonderful and inspiring lessons for our young learners of German.

1st year students of German pictured with Goethe Institut Irland team. The class learned about ‘Martinstag’ (St Martin’s Day) traditions in Germany. Children in Germany celebrate this feast day on the 11th November annually.

1st year students of German pictured with Goethe Institut Irland team, 10th November 2016. The class learned about ‘Martinstag’ (St Martin’s Day) traditions in Germany. Children in Germany celebrate this feast day on the 11th November annually.

Children throughout Germany celebrate St Martin’s Day with a special lantern parade on the evening of 11th November annually. Children carry their lighted lanterns singing traditional songs in accompaniment. This special celebration marks the start of the Advent season; and is later followed by Nikolaustag, Weihnachten, and Dreikönigstag. Our 1st year students of German learned about the tradition of the lanterns, the significance of the ‘die Martinsgans’ (Martins Day goose), ‘der Martinsumzug’ (Martins Day parade), ‘der Mantel’ (the coat or cloak associated with St Martin) and ‘das Schwert’ (the sword). They also learned and sang a traditional Martin’s Day song entitled ‘Ich geh mit meiner Laterne’.  A special word of thanks to the Goethe Institut team as MMC German Department specifically requested a lesson on St Martin’s Day and the Goethe Institut Irland delivered an excellent lesson in response to this request.

TY students get creative with the pop song under study ‘Du bist die Sonne’

TY students get creative with the pop song under study ‘Du bist die Sonne

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Mount Mercy Transition Year students of German pictured with Katharina Carson of the Goethe Institut (far right in back row), teacher Ms Loftus (2nd from right in back row) & Goethe Institut language assistants Katharina & Saskia (far left in back row), 10th November 2016.

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Mount Mercy Transition Year students of German pictured with Katharina Carson of the Goethe Institut (far right in back row), German language assistant Jana Reusch (2nd from right in back row) & Goethe Institut language assistants Katharina & Saskia (far left in back row), 10th November 2016.

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Transition Year Students of German display their newly acquired Goethe Institut wristbands.

Transition Year Students of German display their newly acquired Goethe Institut wristbands.

Goethe Institut wristbands on display!

Goethe Institut wristbands on display! Transition Year students of German, 10th November 2016.

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1st Year students of German with Goethe Institut language assistants Saskia & Katharina

Learning about St Martin's Day

Learning about St Martin’s Day

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1st Year students of German learned about St Martin’s Day traditions : Der Martinsumzug

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Learning about St Martin’s Day traditions: Die Martinsgans

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St Matin's Day

Significant aspects of St Martin’s Day: the lantern, the cloak, the goose, the Martins Parade, the sword.

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1st year German class pictured with Katharina Carson of the Goethe Institut (front left), Katharina & Saskia (Goethe Institut language assistants, far left in back row ) & teacher Ms Loftus (back row, far right). 10th November 2016.

The Goethe Institut presented lovely gifts of lanyards, badges, wristbands, notebooks, sports bags, gummy-bear sweets and posters, which were greatly appreciated. A sincere thanks to the Goethe Institut Irland for the wonderful lessons which help us to understand and appreciate the German language and culture within a fun, dynamic and creative teaching and learning environment.

To find out more about the Deutschmobil click on the link below:

Deutschmobil

German Ambassador Honours Mount Mercy College With Visit

On the 14th October 2016, Mount Mercy College was honoured to receive a visit from the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency Mr Matthias Höpfner.

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner with pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. ( l to r) Jana Reusch, German language assistant; Ellen van Walleghem, Deputy Principal; sixth year pupils Niamh Busby and Emma Sheehan, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, sixth year pupils Maeve O'Sullivan and Larisa Sabou, German teacher Ms Mary Loftus and cellist Roisin Fleming. Pic; Larry Cummins

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant), Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (Vice Principal),  Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan and to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) & 2nd year cellist Roisin Fleming.  Picture Credit: Irish Examiner                                                

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The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner, pictured centre. To his left (L-R) Jana Reusch (Language Assistant) , Niamh Busby, Emma Sheehan & to his right (L-R) Maeve O Sullivan, Larisa Sabou, Ms Loftus (Teacher) and 2nd year student Roisin with cello.

Picture credit: Irish Examiner

1st Year class pictured with teacher Ms Loftus say ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’.                                 Picture credit: Irish Examiner

EEXX news 14/10/2016. VIDEO AVAILABLE WITH THIS. German ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. It was the first visit of a diplomat to the girls secondary school. Pic; Larry Cummins

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

 Ambassador Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork.

The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner addressing pupils and staff at Mount Mercy College, Cork. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner. 

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner visiting Mount Mercy College, Cork. Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to the school. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Pupils, past-pupils and staff listen to The German Ambassador, H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner during his visit to Mount Mercy College. 
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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The German Ambassador with Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem (left) and German Teacher Ms Loftus  (right)

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1st year students welcome The German Ambassador

1st year students :  ‘Welcome Mr Ambassador’

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The German Ambassador arrived at 10am and was welcomed by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem, teacher Ms Loftus, the Head Girl Isabel Coburn and Deputy Head Girl Arisha Muhammed. 1st year students of German welcomed the German Ambassador with the words ‘Willkommen Herr Botschafter’ (Welcome Mr Ambassador) and proudly displayed these words in their sign to deliver a group welcome on behalf of all students of German in MMC.

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group

Mount Mercy College Traditional Irish music group welcomed The German Ambassador

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Past pupils of German returned to MMC to enjoy Ambassador Höpfner’s visit. L-R: Sarah Clifford (Deputy Head Girl 2012-2013), Mary O Driscoll (LC 2014), Jessica Schweizer (LC 2014), Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan & Jennifer O Leary (all of whom completed their LC in 2016)

The Ambassador stopped to warmly appreciate the beautiful welcoming music provided by Mount Mercy’s traditional Irish music band, as he was escorted through the corridor en route to the library. He entered the library to rapturous applause provided by the Mount Mercy students of German. Ten past pupils of German were also present and joined in providing the warmest of welcomes.

Proceedings commenced with an eloquent welcome speech given by Vice Principal Ms Van Walleghem which highlighted the strong Mount Mercy ethos as well as the achievements and excellent reputation of the College. She highlighted the College’s excellent record in terms of modern languages and spoke about German in Mount Mercy as a popular choice, with many students having achieved very good grades and a significant proportion having chosen to pursue it in higher education. She expressed delight with the support the College has received from the German Embassy and the Goethe Institut, as this support has created new and inspiring opportunities.

Ms Loftus then spoke words of welcome and thanks to the Ambassador, in recognition of the invaluable support provided by the German Embassy for the teaching and learning of German in MMC. She highlighted how the German Embassy, working closely with the Goethe Institut Irland and the German Teachers Association of Ireland, shows us that ‘German connects’ through the provision of wonderful initiatives including:

· The ‘Deutschmobil’, which MMC has been lucky to host annually since its inception in 2013
· Wonderful scholarship opportunities which Mount Mercy students have been lucky to enjoy
· Invaluable support through the provision of the German Language Award – German Teacher of the Year Award which MMC was thrilled and honoured to receive in 2014
· Teacher scholarship opportunities, one of which Ms Loftus was delighted to receive

She highlighted the fact that the German Embassy is simply a magnificent force to be reckoned with and that MMC was most grateful to have this opportunity to thank The German Ambassador in person.

Past pupil and former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin then delivered a lovely speech detailing her experience of German during her six years in Mount Mercy and sharing her experience of the German tour to Munich and the Bavarian countryside which took place in October 2015, during her Leaving Cert year. Alison was a member of the first group ever to raise the Mount Mercy flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 metres. She also played a special role as she was responsible for carrying the flag to the peak.

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Alison Devlin, Former Deputy Head Girl

Scholarship winners Larisa Sabou and Niamh Busby spoke warmly of their experiences during their scholarship periods in Germany. These scholarships are awarded to a limited number of students nationally based on Junior Cert results in German and interview performance in German at the Goethe Institut, Dublin. The girls thanked the Ambassador and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD, Pedagogical Exchange Service) for these scholarships, which have left a lasting positive impact on them, both in terms of German language acquisition and life experience. As Larisa said, from seeing the Brandenburg Gate and Angela Merkel in the Reichstag, to visiting Zugspitze, ‘there’s nothing we haven’t seen’.

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L-R: Niamh Busby and Larisa Sabou

German poems were then performed by all German class groups from 1st year to 6th year. The German Ambassador enjoyed the Mount Mercy rendition of all of the poems which showcased poets from different eras and styles, including Goethe, the world famous German poet laureate.

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1st year German class perform their poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ by Oskar Stock in both German and English

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The 1st year poem ‘Gute Wünsche’ (Good Wishes), by Oskar Stock, was written shortly after World War II and the theme of ‘more peace and friendship, instead of hatred, strife and dispute’ is as relevant today as it was in 1946. This wonderful 1st year class gave a rousing performance of the poem, firstly in German and then in English.

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2nd Year German class perform their poem ‘Auf dem Land’ by Ernst Jandl

The 2nd year poem ‘Auf dem Land’ (In the Countryside), by Ernst Jandl, is an amusing and challenging performance poem where students work with careful repetition of syllables in each word to mimic the sounds made by the animals being described. This was no mean feat and the Mount Mercy students rose to the challenge and performed it wonderfully.

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3rd Year German class perform their Autumnal poem ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), Poet unknown

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3rd year students gave a lovely rendition of ‘Der Herbstwind’ (The Autumn Wind), a fitting choice of poem by an unknown poet, to mark the season in which the Ambassador chose to visit MMC. After the poem was performed in German by the class, 3rd year student Sophie Crosbie gave us a charming rendition in English.

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5th Year German students perform their poem ‘Wanderer’s Nachtlied II’ by Goethe, considered by many to be the most beautiful lyrical poem in the German language. Siún Long O Connor holds a poster showing the famous 1787 painting of Goethe by the German artist Tischbein entitled ‘Goethe in the Roman Campagna’

5th year students performed a beautiful version of Goethe’s poem ‘Wanderers Nachtlied II’ (The Wanderer’s Nightsong). This special poem evokes a still and quiet mood as it depicts the wanderer’s thoughts whilst surrounded by the beauty of nature. It is considered by many to be the most perfect lyrical poem in the German language. Following this, 5th year student Katie O Connor performed a lovely version of the poem in English.

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Combined group of Transition Year and Leaving Cert students perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ poem for Ambassador Höpfner

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Transition Year students Aleks Janowich and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform a poem in German along with their class. Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

Transition Year students Aleks Janowicz and Harsimran Ahluwalia perform the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy‘ poem in German along with their class.
Picture Credit: Irish Examiner

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Transition Year and Leaving Cert students combined to recite the ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy’ (German in Mount Mercy) poem. This poem conveys the spirit of German in Mount Mercy and these students did a fantastic job of conveying that particular spirit through their enthusiastic and fun approach in the performance.

At this point a special presentation of Cork Crystal was made to the Ambassador, to mark the occasion of his visit to Mount Mercy College. This vase carries the special ‘Winged Starlight’ design by Master Craftsman George Duggan. No two pieces are ever the same. This quintessential piece of Cork Crystal was specially engraved to mark the occasion of The German Ambassador’s visit to Mount Mercy College.

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Presentation of Cork Crystal vase with Winged Starlight design to The German Ambassador

Ambassador Höpfner made a presentation of a beautiful book entitled ‘Deutschland’ to Mount Mercy to be housed in our school library.

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Ambassador Höpfner presented a beautiful book about Germany as a gift to Mount Mercy College

The German Ambassador then rose to address the students. He spoke eloquently about his life growing up in Germany, his early career path in law and the German Diplomatic Service, his family and how he had worked in the German Embassy in Indonesia and later as Deputy Head of Mission in the Germany Embassy in Tripoli in Libya. He later went on to serve as German Ambassador in Ottawa, Canada and Sofia, Bulgaria prior to coming to serve as the German Ambassador to Ireland in 2014.

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After his speech, Ambassador Höpfner went on to further give very generously of his time in providing thoughtful answers during the student question and answer session following his speech. He provided wonderful answers to a diverse range of questions from students in all year groups.

Samples of questions asked included the following:
What does your job involve?
Did you always want to be Ambassador?
What’s the best thing about your job?
If you could name one place to visit in Germany, what would it be?
What is your favourite German historical monument and why?
What do you think Ireland can learn from Germany?
How do you think Brexit will affect the EU?’
Of the many famous dignitaries you have met, who impressed you the most?
What do you think are the strengths of both nations (Ireland and Germany)?
Do you think Ireland and Germany work well in partnership together, in business, technology or simply in friendship?
Are you enjoying your visit to Cork?

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5th Year student Fiona O Sullivan stands to ask The German Ambassador her question: Is Goethe still considered to be relevant in modern day Germany?

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1st Year student Kate O Riordan stands to ask Ambassador Höpfner her question: “What can Ireland learn from Germany?”

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Leaving Cert student Larisa Sabou stands to ask her question

Students certainly provided the Ambassador with a challenging task in answering many questions and he answered all with great aplomb and generosity.

‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ followed this Q & A session . All present enjoyed the delicious Kipferl German cookies baked by the Mount Mercy Home Economics Department and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Evelyn Coughlan, Home Economics teacher.

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Ambassador Höpfner and Vice Principal Ms Ellen Van Walleghem enjoy ‘Kaffee und Kipferl’ whilst chatting with MMC past pupils of German

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Alison and Jana enjoy the delicious traditional German ‘Kipferl’ cookies

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Past pupils of German chat with Ambassador Höpfner whilst enjoying Kipferl: L-R – Clara Bennett, Lea Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary

A beautiful Bach instrumental piece was expertly performed on cello by 2nd year student Roisin.

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The Ambassador further gave of his time to shake many hands and to speak with individual students.

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with former Deputy Head Girl Alison Devlin

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Niamh Busby, PAD scholarship winner

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Larisa Sabou. Larisa’s 4 week scholarship placed her amongst the top 5 scholarship winners nationwide in 2015

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The German Ambassador shakes hands with Ann Keohane, 2nd year student & member of MMC Student Council

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Alex Jancowicz, TY student, speaks in German telling the Ambassador it is an honour to meet him: ‘Es ist mir eine große Ehre Sie zu treffen’

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Ambassador Höpfner together with Ms Van Walleghem (right) , Ms Loftus (left) and all present in the room, stood to listen to the beautiful rendition of the European Anthem, Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ , played by Mr Whelan on piano and 2nd year student Roisin Fleming on cello.

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Ambassador Höpfner greatly admired the 2nd year student’s ability on the cello and told us his father had been a music teacher and had played cello in the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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Ambassador Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch to his left and Ms Loftus to his right

Many photos were taken and a special word of thanks must be given to Ms Vanessa Gardiner, Art Department, for her lovely photography. Finally, the time to say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ came. All rose to stand and respectfully listen to a beautiful rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the European Anthem, expertly played on piano by Mr Vincent Whelan, Music Teacher and student Roisin on cello. A special word of thanks must be given to Mr Whelan and the Music Department for the choreography of all music throughout the Ambassador’s visit, which helped to add to the great sense of celebration on this special day. A standing ovation was given to the Ambassador as he took his final leave of the students. He was most impressed with our Mount Mercy students of German and expressed this in his final moments at the school. This brought to an end a most special and memorable visit.

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L-R back row: Jana Reusch, Ms Loftus, Past pupils attending the Ambassador’s visit: Mary O Driscoll, Aisling O Donovan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Jennifer O Leary, Sarah Clifford, Front row L-R: Jessica Schweizer, Alison Devlin and Clara Bennett.

In conclusion, Mount Mercy German Department wishes to express most sincere thanks to the German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner and his team at the German Embassy in Dublin for choosing to honour us with this very special visit. We also deeply appreciate the generous amount of time the Ambassador made available for our students, spending over an hour and a half with them. A special word of thanks must go to Mr Peter Adams, First Secretary and Nelly Reske, P.A. to the Ambassador, who work very hard behind the scenes to coordinate events like this. It was a great honour to receive the German Ambassador at our College and we are most grateful for the opportunity. As well as being the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr Höpfner has now set a new record – first ambassador ever to visit Mount Mercy College!

Sincere thanks also must be given to our School Principal Pádraigín Uí Riordáin and Vice Principal Ellen Van Walleghem who greatly supported this special occasion. A special word of thanks must go to our office administrators Vivienne O Shea, Susan Archbold and Debbie Brennan and to Joe Larkin, our caretaker, and Barbara Smolenska, for their great help and support at all times throughout the organisation of this event. A huge thank you to the Home Economics, Music and Art Departments for their invaluable assistance in this event as each department’s participation helped to ensure the event was a great success. Sincere thanks to Ms Mary O Sullivan, Transition Year Coordinator, who kindly organised  the creation of beautiful posters for the event by talented TY students. Last but certainly not least, congratulations to all the Mount Mercy students of German, who really participated wonderfully in this event and with great finesse. The Ambassador came to Mount Mercy specifically to see these students and they certainly did not disappoint. Well done to all our students of German! Our Mount Mercy students of German epitomise the sentiment expressed in the final lines of our ‘Deutsch in Mount Mercy Poem’…..

Wir besteigen den höchsten Berg Deutschlands
In Schnee und Sonnenschein
Und dort hissen wir die Mount Mercy Fahne
(Das hat Niemand vor uns getan),
………denn es ist wichtig ein Ziel zu erreichen

We climb the highest mountain in Germany
In snow and sunshine
And there we raise the Mount Mercy flag
(Nobody did that before us)
Because it is important to reach a goal

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Mount Mercy welcomes German Language Assistant

Mount Mercy German Department is delighted to welcome Jana Reusch from Kiel in Northern Germany who joins us as German Language Assistant for the 2016-2017 school year. Céad míle Fáilte Jana! Herzlich Willkommen in Irland!

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

The German Ambassador H.E. Mr Matthias Höpfner pictured with Jana Reusch during his visit to MMC on 14th October 2016

Wir sind froh Jana im Mount Mercy zu haben und wir wünschen ihr alles Gute für die Zeit im Mount Mercy Team!

Deutschmobil visit to MMC

1st Year German class enjoy Deutschmobil visit, December 2015.

1st Year German class enjoy Deutschmobil visit, December 2015. Pictured with Deutschmobil native German speaking tutors Katharina Sander (far right) and assistant (left).

1st year students examine German map during Deutschmobil visit.

1st year students examine German map during Deutschmobil visit.

Junior Cert German class enjoy their 3rd visit from the Deutschmobil. This class previously enjoyed Deutschmobil visits in their 1st year (2013) and in 2nd year (March 2015). Pictured above in December 2015.

Junior Cert German class enjoy their 3rd visit from the Deutschmobil. This class previously enjoyed Deutschmobil visits in their 1st year (2013) and in 2nd year (March 2015). Pictured above in December 2015.

The Deutschmobil visited Mount Mercy for a record third time on 4th December 2015! The Dublin Goethe Institut representatives provided fun and interactive lessons in German for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year classes. These native German speakers provided a very special and memorable learning experience for our students. 1st and 2nd year classes learned about Christmas in Germany through games, quiz and song. 3rd years learned about the body parts in German through use of diagrams and interactive games. Maps of Germany were explored with all groups. Fun, involvement, active learning and colour were the order of the day. Special treats including lanyards, badges, flags and reading materials were generously given to our enthusiastic students of German. Sincere thanks to the German Connects Campaign, the Goethe Institut Dublin and the German Embassy for the provision of such a wonderful teaching and learning resource for all students of German nationally.

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Nikolaustag Celebrations at MMC

1st year German class enjoy Nikolaustag celebration , December 2015

1st year German class enjoy Nikolaustag celebration . Pictured with Principal Bean Ui Riordain  and Vice Principal, Ms Van Wallegham, December 2015.

MMC Leaving Cert students enjoy Nikolaustag celebration, December 2015.

MMC Leaving Cert students enjoy Nikolaustag celebration, December 2015.

Nicholas Day was celebrated in early December 2015 by 1st Year and Leaving Cert German classes. Principal Bean Ui Riordáin and Vice Principal Ms Van Wallegham attended the 1st year celebration where German Christmas carols were sung by the class. The 1st Year students of German enjoyed a presentation on seasonal Christmas customs in Germany and the excitement of unexpectedly receiving their Christmas socks filled with treats including chocolates, straw stars, badges, wooden decorations and goodies. This annual feast day was celebrated in traditional German style! Leaving Cert students of German received token arrangements of chocolates, goodies and straw stars in celebration of Nikolaustag and enjoyed learning about German Christmas traditions and watching the comic short movie ‘Dinner for One’ which is screened annually in Germany on New Years Eve.

1st year students, Nikolaustag at MMC 2015

1st year students, Nikolaustag at MMC 2015

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Token treats for Leaving Cert students, NIkolaustag celebration 2015

Token treats for Leaving Cert students, NIkolaustag celebration 2015