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!

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

German Movie at Cork Film Fest November 2015

On Tuesday the 10th November 2015, senior MMC students of German attended a special schools’ screening of the German movie “Elser – 13 Minutes” at the Gate cinema in Cork city as part of the Cork Film Fest. This 2015 movie, directed by “Downfall” director Oliver Hirschbiegel, is based on true events.

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Georg Elser was a carpenter who tried to assassinate Hitler during his address to a Nazi Party meeting in 1939. However, due to a 13-minute mistiming of a time-bomb, the assassination attempt failed. Elser was subsequently arrested, interrogated and tortured. Through torture, he presented the motivation which led to such drastic action.

Elser 13 minutes (German: Elser – Er hätte die Welt verändert)
Release dates: February 2015 (Berlin), 9 April 2015 (Germany)
Running time: 114 minutes
Country: Germany
Language: German
Screened at 65th Berlin International Film Festival

MMC German Tour October 2015

Making history! First Mount Mercy students to ever raise the Mount Mercy College Flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, 19th October 2015

Making history! First Mount Mercy group to ever raise the Mount Mercy College Flag at the summit of Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, 19th October 2015

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On Saturday 17th October 2015, a group of senior MMC students of German together with their teacher, Ms Loftus, and accompanied by Ms Coughlan, flew from Cork Airport for an adventure in Munich and the Bavarian countryside.

Pictured L-R back row: Ms Loftus(Teacher), Aisling O Donovan, Emma Sheehan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Fiona O Sullivan, Kornelia Bukowska, Alison Devlin (Deputy Head girl), Front row L-R: Clara Bennett and Olivia Savage

Pictured L-R back row: Ms Loftus(Teacher), Aisling O Donovan, Emma Sheehan, Lea Bennett, Julie O Sullivan, Fiona O Sullivan, Kornelia Bukowska, Alison Devlin (Deputy Head girl), Front row L-R: Clara Bennett and Olivia Savage

Upon arrival in Munich International Airport, the group proceeded to their accommodation at Haus International in Munich which was constructed originally for Olympic athletes participating in the 1972 Olympics. This warm and comfortable hostel provided a solid base where the group received daily breakfast and hearty evening meals for the next few days.DSCF1071

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On day 1, the group set off on foot and used public transport to get to the Saturday evening ice skating disco in the Olympic Park. This proved to be an evening of great excitement and fun. Navigating the city’s excellent transport system was an adventure in itself and superseded only by the outstanding experience of skating on such a world class rink. Special effects, changing lighting and music make this a real disco experience! Before long, our novice MMC skaters were skating like professionals and enjoying the fun with each other and some new found friends on the rink.
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Day 2 commenced with a hop-on/hop-off bus sightseeing tour of Munich which provided an excellent chance to view many famous sights and get a bird’s eye view of the City. This was followed by a visit to the Marienplatz in the centre of Munich where the group got to see the famous Townhall Glockenspiel dance which is performed at certain times each day.

Pictured at Marienplatz in the heart of Munich in front of the 'Rathaus Glockenspiel'

Pictured at Marienplatz in the heart of Munich in front of the ‘Rathaus Glockenspiel’          L- R: Ms Loftus, Clara Bennett, Aisling O Donovan, Alison Devlin, Emma Sheehan, Niamh Busby, Lea Bennett, Kornelia Bukowska, Olivia Savage.

The group enjoyed their first experience of the sights and sounds of Central Munich before visiting the famous landmark church the Frauenkirche (Our Lady’s Cathedral), with its famed “onion towers” where Sunday morning mass was celebrated. The group lit candles in this beautiful church which was restored after World War II. This visit was followed by a trip to the famed Hofbrauhaus restaurant in downtown Munich where the group sampled traditional Bavarian fare for a delicious lunch and marvelled at locals dressed in customary Bavarian costume of Lederhosen and Dirndl. In the afternoon, ice cream was enjoyed in a nearby trendy ice-cream parlour boasting amazing flavours ranging from traditional to experimental. These must be tasted to be believed!

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After the refreshment of lunch and ice-cream, the group set off to the Deutsches Museum which is one of the largest science and technology museums of its kind worldwide.

Visiting exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum

Visiting exhibitions at the Deutsches Museum

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The museum contained outstanding displays on several floors. A warm evening meal and relaxed evening followed as the group prepared for their special journey on day 3.

The third day commenced with a very early start as the group set off by bus to visit the world famous 19th century Neuschwanstein Castle which is located near Füssen in Southwest Bavaria and near to the Austrian border. Beautiful views of Germany’s largest state Bavaria were enjoyed as the bus journey of approximately 2 hours from Munich deep into the heart of the Bavarian countryside provided ample opportunity to enjoy the landscape throughout the region. Excitement gathered as the alps came into view and the group was thrilled to experience snowfall upon arrival at the fairy tale castle.

Arrival at Neuschwanstein Castle

Arrival at Neuschwanstein Castle

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This was followed by a lovely tour of the special castle which is full of weird and wonderful decor and pervaded by a sense of mystery as it was never completed due to King Ludwig II’s untimely death in mysterious circumstances in 1886. The Disney Cinderella castle was inspired in part by Neuschwanstein.

Beginning our tour of Famous Neuschwanstein Castle

Beginning our tour of Famous Neuschwanstein Castle

Surrounding countryside at Neuschwanstein

Surrounding countryside at Neuschwanstein

 

The group then set off by coach to travel to Zugspitze which is the highest mountain in Germany.

Views on ascent to summit of Zugspitze

Views on ascent to summit of Zugspitze

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This was an outstanding experience and represented the pinnacle of the tour for many in more ways than one!The group ascended to the summit of the mountain on a special cogwheel train followed by the glacier cable car. The mountain is 2962 metres high and ears popped on the journey upwards to the peak.

Almost at the peak of Zugspitze

Almost at the peak of Zugspitze!

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it was a very special feeling to be surrounded by a combination of snow and sunshine as we raised the Mount Mercy flag on the summit of Zugspitze.

At the summit

At the summit

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This was the first time the MMC flag has ever been raised on Zugspitze and was a fitting tribute by our pioneering group to mark both the 50th anniversary year of MMC and our trip to Germany. A celebratory atmosphere was enjoyed throughout this expedition to the mountain peak. Our group then returned to Munich and enjoyed a hearty evening meal at the hostel following an exceptional and unforgettable day.

The final day of our stay arrived and the group set off by coach to Dachau Memorial Site. A very moving experience, visiting Dachau leaves a lasting impact and we were led by an excellent tour guide. The aim of survivors of Dachau concentration camp was to ensure that, by opening it to the public and informing the world of atrocities committed there, that such events would never be allowed to happen again. Sadly, this had not been the case as concentration camps have also arisen elsewhere in the world. Visiting the site of such tragedy makes us think deeply and question ourselves as human beings, however easy answers are not found in relation to this very sad topic.The group returned to Munich deeply affected by this experience.

Upon return to Munich City Centre, the group enjoyed lunch and a few hours shopping around Marienplatz and Central Munich. Trips to famous German department stores and the famed Viktuallien Market were greatly enjoyed. Shopping in Munich is an experience in itself and offers a wonderful range of quality products for every pocket from postcards, souvenirs and trinkets to high end shopping. There was a lovely atmosphere in autumnal Munich and the start of winter was evident in Christmassy trinkets available in the market and in stores. After a fun-filled afternoon, the group returned to collect luggage in the hostel before setting off for the final part of our journey – returning to Munich International Airport.

MMC Group pictured at Munich International Airport for return flight to Cork.

MMC Group pictured at Munich International Airport for return flight to Cork. Teachers Ms Loftus on far left and Ms Coughlan on far right.

A pleasant flight home to Cork ensued. Our group returned home happy and filled with wonderful memories of a special stay. The trip proved to be an exceptional experience and provided for many students both an introduction to Germany and an excellent chance for immersion in the German language and culture. The MMC team spirit, sense of fun, involvement and excellence were clearly evident throughout and the group left a wonderful impression on everyone encountered throughout the trip thanks to their exceptional behaviour. Well done and sincere thanks to all who participated.

In conclusion, and to give you a bite-size flavour of the trip, you will find below a list of keywords and phrases used by students who went on tour to describe their highlights of the trip.

Leaving Cert students of German Alison, Julie, Kornelia, Aisling, Lea and Clara created the following list of highlights using their personal memories, impressions and experiences:
” SKATING – conga line, skate off, walk to ice skating rink, meeting Ms Loftus’ friend (and each receiving gift of German Xmas decoration from her), falling on the ice, making new ice skating friends. HOP-ON HOP-OFF – overview of city, seeing all important sights, Michael Jackson shrine, walking man statue, cylinder ads, architecture. HOFBRAUHAUS – food & traditional dress. ICE CREAM PARLOUR – Euros and Times. DEUTSCHES MUSEUM – ship models, measuring weight in Newtons, hot air balloons, measuring our strength. NEUSCHWANSTEIN – snow on arrival , taking picture of Korean man, classical Memes paintings, meeting Irish Americans. ZUGSPITZE – train up mountain, view, snow, new American friends, MMC flag being raised at the peak, cable car back down. DACHAU – educational, important to learn from the past, black cloud. SHOPPING – selection of shops, souvenirs, Rathaus (Townhall), Marienplatz , cathedral, people stopping to watch the figures in Rathaus Glockenspiel dance, photo shoot of wedding couple. FUNNY MOMENTS – running through U-Bahn, pizza machine, disco, munching food together in the rooms, Lea buying glass cleaners in every shop, Julie’s love of Pretzels, night we stayed up til 3am, scary stories, public transport everywhere, playing pool, playing Fussball, seeing Allianz Arena, paprika chips, german man asking about the ‘times’ i.e. the economy, Lea on ice.

A Trip to Germany

Eine Reise nach Deutschland 

Larisa Sabou, a 5th year student of German at MMC, travelled to Germany during summer 2015, on a 4 week scholarship awarded to her by the German Government. This international scholarship was awarded because of her outstanding Junior Certificate result in German and her interview in German at the Goethe Institut Irland in Dublin in March 2015. In the article below, Larisa describes her trip to Germany.

” Hallo Leute! My name is Larisa Sabou and last summer I travelled to Germany for a month as part of a scholarship programme organised by the German Embassy and P.A.D. ( German Pedagogical Exchange Service).

 Zugspitze : Larisa is pictured in front row 2nd from the right


Zugspitze : Larisa is pictured in front row 2nd from the right

Induction Period
Students from all over the world including Chile, Guatemala, Holland, Estonia, Greece, Armenia, Ireland, Vietnam, Indonesia and Mongolia met in Bonn for a 5 day induction course. Bonn welcomed us with open arms and there we toured ‘das Haus der Geschichte’ (a history museum) . On the first day we also played games to get to know each other and we all became friends so quickly it seemed as though we had always known each other.

We took a day trip to Cologne on day 2 where we had a guided tour. We also climbed the 533 steps of the ‘Kölner Dom’ (Cologne’s world famous gothic cathedral) and the view from the top made it worthwhile !

The next day we took a boat trip to Drachenpfelz where we learned about the legend of the dragon who protects the forest and went hiking. We then returned to Bonn and further explored that city.

On the 5th day we had an ‘international evening’. This was a cultural night where each student presented his/her country’s traditions and folklore. This is one of my favourite memories from my trip to Germany because it was so interesting to see all the traditional food, music and dance from all over the world.

 International Evening: Larisa is in the back row 2nd from left.


International Evening: Larisa is in the back row 2nd from left.

 

Celle

The next 2 weeks were spent in Celle where we lived with host families and went to school every day. I became very close with Lisa, my host sister, and I’m sure our friendship will last a lifetime. My host family were extremely welcoming and made me feel completely at home. They organised so many fun activities such as barbecue parties, shopping in Celle, kayaking on the river, cinema in Hannover, funfair, Heide Park, lazer day and many others. I could not have asked for a better host family!

Attending a German school was a very interesting experience as German schools are very different to Irish ones. Whilst attending school we also took day trips to ‘Autostadt’, a car museum in Wolfsburg, and to Hamburg, where we took a boat trip around the port and visited the ‘Miniatur Wunderland’ museum.

Berlin

The following week was spent in Berlin! Berlin was my favourite city due to its rich history and colourful atmosphere.

Larisa 2nd from left pictured with Brandenburg gate in background

Larisa is pictured 2nd from left with Brandenburg gate in background

Whilst there, we visited the ‘Brandenburger Tor ‘ (Brandenburg Gate), did a city tour, visited the Eastside Gallery and had a guided trip of the Berlin Wall. Our tour guide was a history teacher, who, at the time of the fall of the wall was our age i.e. 16-17. His tour was the best guided tour we did as he spoke about his own experience at that time in recent history.

We visited one of Berlin’s top universities, the T.U. Berlin. We also took a day trip to Potsdam where we visited 18th century castles which are immaculately preserved.

Back in Berlin we visited the Reichstag building where we got the special opportunity to stand in parliament and see Angela Merkel discuss the Greek Crisis with other MPs.

We went to the ‘Museum Insel’ – a unique collection of museums – and visited the Egyptian museum where we saw the bust of Nefertiti.

We saw a musical called ‘Hintern Horizont’ performed by the official Pankow Orchestra and the Berlin Theatre.

We also took another day trip to Lehde where we had a boat trip on the small lake and fed the ducks.

Munich

We spent the next week in Munich. There we went to see Improv Theatre whilst having dinner at a restaurant. We did a guided city tour and enjoyed taking pictures with waiters and waitresses dressed in the traditional costume of ‘Lederhosen’ for men and ‘Dirndl’ for women.

We visited the concentration camp at Dachau. This was probably one of the saddest, and yet most eye-opening, experiences I have ever had.

We enjoyed contemporary dance performances.

We also visited Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain where we had a snowball fight whilst wearing shorts! This was followed by lunch in Austria!

On our last day we visited the famous football stadium Allianz Arena and had a farewell party in a restaurant.


In Summary

This trip to Germany has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life to date. The amount of knowledge I acquired during this trip – not only about the German language, culture and history – but also about friendship, teamwork and about myself is invaluable.

The Germans organised everything down to the last detail and as a result our trip was filled with adventures and discoveries every step of the way, from the moment we awoke each day to the time we fell into bed exhausted each night. The days were filled with a wide range of balanced and varied activities. In short, this amounted to perfection!

The international group of friends I gained through participating in this trip will always be my family just as they were for that month. The friendship we now share cannot be described in words. As we all hugged each other on the last day, tears spilling from our eyes, it was obvious that each of us was leaving a part of our hearts in Germany, a part which we will have to return and reclaim one day!

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European Day of Languages celebrated by 1st year Students of German

1st year German class celebrate European Day of Languages 2015 Flags of the 47 member states created by 1st year students of German in honour of the European Day of Languages in September. Each member state is named in German. Can you identify the 47 member states ?

1st year German class celebrate European Day of Languages 2015 in Mount Mercy College. 
Flags of the 47 member states created by 1st year students of German in honour of the European Day of Languages in September. Each member state is named in German. Can you identify the 47 member states ?

Europäischer Tag der Sprachen

26 September 2015

The 47 member states of the Council of Europe are represented by the flags created by 1st Year students of German in the picture above.

On the European Day of Languages which is celebrated every September, the millions of Europeans represented in the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are encouraged to learn more languages both in and out of school.

Knowing different languages helps us to understand each other’s cultures and heritage. The Council of Europe promotes plurilingualism throughout Europe.