Archives for February 2012

First impressions of a Waldorf School

School blackboard - ©iStockphoto.com/kyoshinoLast week our local Waldorf school held an open day – an “open classroom day” to be precise.  The Waldorf education method differs from the normal state education in Germany, even though it was developed here in the first half of the 20th Century.

Now admittedly this was not my first contact the method, having previously had conversations with teachers at both this and other Waldorf schools and learnt, for example, that the teachers are expected to prepare the lessons themselves – in most cases without the use of text books.  But it was a chance to experience the lessons first hand, as the classroom was opened up for parents of the children and anyone else interested to sit in on them and watch.

I spent the morning observing year 5, [Read more…]

Where have all the ties gone?

A blue tie - ©iStockphoto.com/terexLast week I attended a computer trade fair, and was almost shocked to see that during the first presentation, I was the only member of the audience wearing a tie!

It certainly got me thinking.  Many people had turned up in casual dress, and others were wearing a suit with a waistcoat, but without a tie.  During the rest of the day I observed that most of the people in the hall with a tie were actually working on one of the stands.

On reflection, it’s a trend that has been going on for some time. [Read more…]

Why Oberursel’s Hessentag deficit is larger than expected

The big wheel at Oberusel's station

Last year the Hessentag in Oberursel took up quite a bit of the town’s resources and also was covered quite extensively on this blog.

Today the day arrived when one of the key questions after the event was answered: “how much did it all cost?”, or to be more precise – how big was the loss that the town’s finances have been left with.

The original budget was for a loss of 3½ million Euro.  In the end, it turned out to be 4½ million.  An addition €836,000 were spent by the town’s own service department (BSO) and €503,000 on personnel costs.  However these are not included in the deficit as to a certain extent they would have been spent anyway on the normal day-to-day running of services in the town.

So what went wrong? [Read more…]

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