Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gerard Presents at Gerrit's Kindergarten

Dropping Gerrit off at Kindergarten

I am married to an amazing man. NASA Man, or err... I guess I should call him ESO or PRIMA Man now (though NASA Man is a way cooler name if you ask me). Gerrit's entire kinder/school was exploring a space theme last month. They were learning about the planets and the solar system and a bit about stars, etc. Gerard used to give space-themed presentations to our third grade class when I was teaching in La Canada, so he's somewhat familiar with talking to kids.... in English anyhow. This time, I offered him up to Gerrit's kindergarten to do a presentation for three to five year olds... using a bit of German. Amazingly, he pulled it off.

He spent hours preparing a mini-presentation for the kids, using Google Translate to help translate his slides from English into German. Then we went to our German friend's house to run the slides by her and make sure they were somewhat correct. We figured that Gerard would show the slides (with titles written in German - and attempt to read them in German, since the little kids aren't yet of reading age), and then he would go into a bit more detail in simple English. The teachers had said they would help translate the simple English into German. This is what we were banking on.

Unfortunately, when Gerard began to speak about the slide in English, there was dead silence. He looked up at the teachers and would pause now and again for them to try to explain further. Nothing. Blank stares. Yikes! So... Gerard switched to using even simpler German and when he didn't have the vocabulary, he either looked to me for help (between the two of us we know slightly different words, so together our German is only slightly better). When all else failed and we didn't have enough German vocabulary to further explain a slide, he just read the title of the slide in German and then paused long enough for the teachers and kids to take in the pretty picture. When we started using more German, however, the teachers chimed in and started to elaborate on the slide presented. I guess our crappy German was enough for them to figure out what we were TRYING to convey, and they were then able to help out more.

Gerard only had one minor slip up. He was trying to talk about shooting a laser (shiessen- pronounced SHEE-sen). Instead, he used a form of the word scheissen (pronounced with an "I" as in the word "shy" like SHY-sen (this word means "to take a crap")). Before the presentation Gerard kept reminding himself to say SHEE instead of SHY and he did well in three out of four presentations. Once, he slipped and basically said the laser sh*t in the sky. Fortunately, I think his overall German pronunciation may have been awkward enough that no one caught it.

Gerard wasn't thrilled with his performance, but in light of the fact that he knows only a little German and did almost the entire presentation IN GERMAN... I think he did an awesome job. How many other people would get up in front of 75 kids and their teachers, and present something when they don't know the language very well at all? Truly amazing, if you ask me. We even passed out mini muffins at the end of the presentation, topped with little stars. I figured if the performance was a complete bust, bring treats for the kids and all would be forgiven. Despite our yucky language skills, I think the kids still got something out of the presentation and I'm very proud of Gerard for stepping up and doing such a good job. There is no way I'd have the courage to do that. Gerard, you are my inspiration. :)
Waiting for the kids
Talking About Galaxies
Willem is thoroughly engaged

I love this video. The kids think that they are looking at Saturn, and even though Gerard is explaining that a star is formed from dust and gas, the kids see the photo and pay no attention. The teacher has to clarify that they are looking at a star surrounded by some planets, and NOT Saturn. Saturn and Mars... always the kids favorite planets, eh?
video

Talkin' About Planets
video


For the kindergarten's Fasching Party, the kids were asked to come dressed as something "spacey" to culminate the end of their space theme. Most kids came as aliens, a few as astronauts. Gerrit wanted to be a rocket. So... with the help of Regina, we fashioned a rocket costume together for Gerrit and he blasted off around kindergarten. Of course, after he insisted on dressing as a rocket, I'm quite sure he only actually wore the costume for about ten minutes before deciding it was too cumbersome and pulled it off. :)
Ready to blast off!
Gerrit with one of his super cute kindergarten teachers

2 Comments:

At April 1, 2009 at 6:39 AM , Blogger Gerb said...

What a cool dad!! And you know I loved the bit about the laser crapping. That is too funny!

 
At April 1, 2009 at 7:19 PM , Blogger Smith said...

shiessen/scheissen taekes me right back to high school German class. Hehe.

 

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