Jan 2018: The story of Princeton Huang and his love for German Cars
Or: how a student at German-American school got his article published in Germany.
We should really say: “German is for not just for German” – because that is what this story is about: a story of an Asian child, his love for cars, and his desire to get to know the people who make the cars he loves:
But it might be best to let Princeton tell his own story, and how, now in our 8th grade, he already published an article in German in Germany. (see link at the end) Rather than summarize his essay, Princeton has given us an English version of it:
“The little boy looked at me. He asked me: “Why do you learn German”?
I think that he asked that due to my unique circumstances. My name is Princeton Huang, and I live in America. I am currently 15 years old. I have been going to the German-American School in New York since I was 7 years old. My mother is from Malaysia, while my father is from Taiwan. We are a Chinese family—one hundred percent, in fact, because we have no German blood.
When I was 5 years old, I had to learn Chinese. It was because “I am a Chinese person”, but I found Chinese to be quite boring. Thankfully, I pursued the learning of this language: now, I can speak, write, and read Chinese fluently.
Learning German was my choice. At 7 years old, my reasoning was somewhat strange: I liked German cars. When I was a little older, I found this reasoning extremely immature. At that point, when I was asked why I learned German, I did not know how to answer. I feared this question, and my parents often answered it for me.
However, in 2014, I flew to Germany with my family. We went to Frankfurt and Munich, and we stayed for a few days. In Germany, I spoke with the people. I ate local food. I visited buildings.
This trip was not just “a trip”. No. It was an amazing experience for me, because I saw Germany with my own eyes. In the classroom, we had learned about German culture, but once could not understand the environment in this way. German is more than a language. Passionate speakers and modern architecture accompany this language… it is truly another world.
Yes, when I was a small child, I learned German purely because I liked German cars. However, today, I have persisted in learning this language for the culture, the people, and much more. I think that my devotion can be seen through my small successes. Since my 1st Grade in German, I have won awards every year. From the 1st Grade to the 4th Grade, I have won 3rd Place, while during the 5th and 6th Grades, I won 2nd Place. This year, I have won 1st Place, and I am quite happy about that.
I looked at the little boy once again. Then I said, “I learn German, because I like German cars.”
If you want to read Princeton’s article in German, click here.
“Within it, you can find around 300 submissions from worldwide—many from Germany of course, as well as some from France, the UK, Poland, Macedonia, Africa, and India. It is amazing to see how many international submissions there were!
Something I found surprising was the fact that, including my work, merely two of the hundreds of submissions came from the USA.
You can find my essay—“Warum Lernst Du Deutsch?”—on page 193 of the eBook. I’m extremely glad to finally see it complete with so many other great writings in this eBook!”
All of us at German-American School are very proud of Princeton and of all the other students in our school who are learning German. We hope to publish more success stories like this in the future.
December 2017: A NEW ERA BEGINS FOR GERMAN-AMERICAN SCHOOL IN RIDGEWOOD
The question is: “Is the glass half full or half empty?” That is what German-American School is asking itself these days. After 50 years at 70-01 Freshpond Road, Ridgewood, NY, 11385 the Ridgewood location is being merged with the other three schools of German-American School Association. The few families that still had children at the Ridgewood location have been successfully migrated to the Manhattan and two Long Island locations of the school. Both children and parents are excited to be in their new surroundings in Manhattan and Long Island. The migration to our other locations was mandated by the changing demographics of the neighborhood and the fact that attendance in Ridgewood had dwindled down to 7 children by the Fall of 2017. We were particularly disheartened by the fact that even signs in Polish and Spanish, as well as German and English did not result in an increase in enrollment, which would have ensured the continuance of the school at the Ridgewood location.
German-American School Assn is a not-for-profit, once-a-week after-school German language program where children of all backgrounds can learn German. The school is sad that it had to close its Ridgewood location. And yet, at the same time, we are excited to continue offering the best in foreign language learning to our students, many of whom are as young as six. Thus, for our school, the glass is half full – we are optimistic that our students will enjoy their new surroundings, make new friends, and continue with their German-language education so that they can finish with the New York State Regents (FLAC) and, perhaps, even take our Advanced Placement courses. We are sad to leave the Ridgewood area, where we have roots and many friends.
Our office is now:
Liederkranz Club, 6th floor,
6 East 87th Street, New York, NY 10128.
Our school in Manhattan is on East 77th Street., between 2nd and 3rd Avenue.
For those who want to know more please go to German-American-School.org or call us at 212 787 7543
Children and parents enjoy Steuben Day Parade Sep 16, 2017
Sept. 16, 2017 was a great day for a parade: parents and children participated in 60th annual Steuben Day Parade by sitting on the float of German-American School NY (and Long Island).
The school, parents and their children, grandparents and extended families are no strangers to this colorful event, in which our school has participated since 1985. The children sat on our float and waved enthusiastically to the spectators lining Fifth Avenue. Parents sat on the float with the children and encouraged them to wave to bystanders. Other parents volunteered to walk with the float whose theme is “Die schwaebische Eisenbahn.” Mr. and Mrs. Beutell, attired in authentic Bavarian Tracht (regional costume) walked in front of our float carrying the schools banner, followed by teachers and other parents – also in regional costume. Tobias Everke and his children Lena and Otto brought black, red, and yellow balloons and festooned the float with them. The Guarin family, attired in splendid regional costumes, walked with our float, while other children, such as Eric Hartmann, Andrew Mains, Mayumi Beutell, Ella Veith, Marcus and Mia Kreuzer, Sophie Cavalcanti, Alexandra and Elizabeth Roe, James Guarin waved to the crowds. Mr. and Mrs. Niebergall and their five children (Friedrich, Astrid, Ingrid, Heidi, Oswald), also wore regional attire and engaged with the crowd.
Of special interest was Margaret Eckert, the Kindergarten teacher at German-American School in the Franklin Square location: Margaret, a former Miss German-America had the honor of being on the Steuben Day Parade float for past holders of that title. Another student of German-American school, Denise Manukian, also held that title and was also on the float for formers title holders.
German-American School NY is very grateful to its children and their parents – all of whom gave up a Saturday to participate in this event. All of us hope that next year’s parade and float will be even better – perhaps with music on the float- and snacks for those who have a snack attack! Below are a few pictures from this year’s parade. (German-American School teaches German as a foreign language and is proud to say that parents and children from our three districts (Manhattan, Garden City and Franklin Square) participated in this year’s event.)
Why is it named Steuben Parade: here is what Wikipedia would say:
Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben (born Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben; September 17, 1730 – November 28, 1794), also referred to as the Baron von Steuben, was a Prussian and later an American military officer. He served as inspector general and major general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is credited with being one of the fathers of the Continental Army in teaching them the essentials of military drills, tactics, and disciplines. He wrote Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, the book that served as standard United States drill manual until the American Civil War. He served as General George Washington’s chief of staff in the final years of the war.
8/30/17: Linda Zimmerer Completes Advanced Placement German exam with distinction
Linda Zimmerer is currently 17 years old and a high school senior on Long Island. She began German classes in 2005 with Vorschule II and successfully completed the 8 year German after-school language curriculum in 2015 with FLACS (same as the NY State German Regents exam. ) After graduating from German-American School she returned to our school and successfully completed the additional 1 year Advanced Placement in German program and exam in 2017. Linda concurrently completed the Spanish curriculum with Regents in her Sophomore year of High School while continuing to attend other AP classes. She has always enjoyed studying foreign languages in addition to music, dance, and cross country running. This Fall Linda will be applying to colleges and universities, in the hopes of pursuing her interest in Finance. We wish Linda great success in her future endeavors!
August 17, 2017: Good news again
German-American School is thrilled to announce that three of its graduates were the recipients of the 2017 Inaugural German-American Committee of Greater New York Scholarships. The German-American Committee of Greater New York awards the academic scholarships on the basis of essays written by the applicants and awards the scholarships to “deserving German-American students in the Metropolitan New York area who take an active interest in their German heritage and culture.”
Our school is proud of Krista Handler and Sofia Khalek who competed with 15 other applicants for the $ l,000.00 award. Both Krista Handler and Sofia Khalek had attended German-American School’s after-school German language program for eight years. We are not only proud of our students – but also of the teachers who taught them over the years.
We also congratulate Nicole Dahlquist, who also was a student at German-American School’s after-school German language program. She received a $ 2,000.00 scholarship toward her studies at Washington & Lee University.
The teachers of our school, its administrators and its Board of Directors congratulate our students and their parents.
To all of our parents and students:
Welcome back to the new school year – all of us hope that it will be as successful as last year!
2016-2017 was a great year at our school: our graduating class received grades between 97 and 99!
Three of our graduating students won prestigious scholarships (more about that in the next post), one of our current students wrote an essay about why he is learning German and won a prize for that (more about that in the next post!) Why the “more about that later in the next post?” you ask? Well, in this message we want to focus on the fantastic achievements of our Advanced Placement class, – who took the AP exam May of 2017.
The students are: Michael Davide, Victoria Dunn, Harrison Ernst, Julia Heghes, Sofia Khalek, Veronica Rich, Linda Zimmerer, Nikolas Costello, Lindsay Ostroff, Mark Koch, Annie Serkes, Krista Gliszczynski, Katrina Gliszczynski, Victoria Manuel. Our grades were excellent: Two students got the highest scores, a five. Five students scored a four, another 4 students received a three and three students received a two.
One of the students who received a “two” took the placement exam at her university and was able to skip two years of German. The pictures show our AP class at our graduation ceremony at the Plattduetsche Park Restaurant. Mrs. Waltraud Leitner is shown with her AP class. Everyone is all smiles – and with good reason! Mrs. Leitner demanded a lot of them and the students worked diligently– and all of our efforts (including the efforts and dedication of the student and their support systems) were worth it!
In the pictures below Annie Serkes and Nikolas Costello are the flag bearers. Share the joy!
German-American School, 212 787 7543
120th Graduation Ceremony 6/21/17
On June 21, 2017 German-American School NY had its 120th graduation for its 10th grade Regents class. (Yes, 120th – the school has taught German in its after-school German language program for children since 1897). The graduation took place at the popular Plattduetsche Park Restaurant in Franklin Square.
This year’s class was small, but excellent. Henry Gundlach, Hamilton Gundlach and Lea Lang graduated – all three from the Manhattan school. Lea Lang was the valedictorian for this year’s graduating class. In her speech she spoke about the long hours dedicated to learning German and the support she received from her family – support that helped her succeed and excel in learning German.
Lea Lang, 11, is a native New Yorker of Austrian and Chinese descent and loves music, reading and traveling. She has been participating in international piano and violin competitions and has performed at Carnegie Hall. Lea is a regular student at United Nations International School in New York and speaks English, Chinese and German. She learned most of her German in the after-school German language school at German-American’s School in Manhattan.
All the teachers (and our school) are very proud of the achievements of its pupils and we wish everyone a lovely and relaxing summer.
The photos show Lea being introspective before giving her valedictorian speech, giving the speech, and receiving her diploma.
Viel Spass im Sommer!
Congratulations to our 2017 Graduates and Medal Award Winners! See you in the Fall.
A Visit at the German Consulate General in New York
On April 11, 2016, Kai Tomzig, Vizekonsul for Cultural Affairs at the German Consulate in New York, hosted 18 students from the German-American-School.
The students from Mrs. Perlman’s 4th and 7th grade in New York spent the afternoon with Mr. Tomzig. Initially, the German-American-School and Mr. Tomzig had planned a basic introduction to German life and society, but within the first few minutes it became clear that the students had more in mind.
Sitting in the impressive conference room with its splendid view of the East Side – and in close proximity to the microphones – the students soon lost interest in the view: After Mr. Tomzig gave an informative overview of Germany, the students turned on their microphones and peppered Mr. Tomzig with interesting and frequently challenging questions: “How does Germany maintain its social net?” “Who pays for all the benefits that Germans get?” “How are Germans taxed?” “How does Germany maintain population growth?” “How does the refugee/immigration situation impact Schengen?“
These were just a few of the stimulating questions, all of which Mr. Tomzig answered to the students’ satisfaction. The two hours went by quickly. As the students left the meeting, they asked when they could come back: This time to get a tour of the Consulate itself — and to engage in another exchange with Mr. Tomzig.
German-American-School is very grateful to Mr. Tomzig and the Consulate for having hosted our pupils.
How To Practice Your German When School Is Not In Session
One of the simplest methods — and one that we have recommended earlier — is to make use of all of the free educational sites on the internet. Parents can supervise their children as they go to youtube.com to look up: German for children, German songs for children, the ABC in German, Counting in German. Another site is called Duolingo. Yet another one is Deutschewelle.tv For children with more advanced knowledge of German, Deutsche Welle TV also offers “Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten” (News spoken slowly.) All are worth exploring and these activities can even be enjoyed by the entire family.)
Another activity the whole family can enjoy is going to a German festival — many of them are held throughout the summer at Plattduetsche Park Restaurant at 1132 Hempstead Turnpike (visit their website; they have a calendar of all of the German festivals from now til autumn). Some of the most popular are the Schuhplattler festivities. And, don’t forget the gigantic German Festival at Hunter Mountain (German Alps Festival), which takes place early in August at Hunter Mountain.
And, let us not forget the grandparent factor: If you have grandparents or friends or next door neighbors who speak German, why not ask them to speak German to your child? If you are going to Germany or Austria — or another German-speaking country — we hope you enjoy your vacation and get to practice some German in the bargain.
AP (Advanced Placement) Announcement
What is the benefit of AP German? Students who get a 4 or 5 on the exam can probably be exempt from further study of German in College — or they might be exempt from taking the Intermediate level of German at college (those decisions depend on the particular College and we cannot give you a definite answer what a College will decide). It has been our experience that students who achieve a grade of 4 or 5 usually go on with their studies of German in College.
If you want to educate yourself on what is involved with the current AP exams, please visit http://media.collegeboard.com/digitalServices/pdf/ap/ap-german-course-and-exam-description.pdf