Interview with an old potato

A few years ago when I was teaching English students at the LMU Munich, my students told me how in a creative writing class, Gill Woodman, head of Sprachpraxis there, had given them a bag of potatoes and told them to select one and imagine its personality, and then write its biography. Such a great idea. Imagination + humor.

Remember Mr. Potato Head? My dad bought me the game when I got my tonsils out, at about the age of 5.  He would have giggled with me about this silly video – could be a take on Gill’s assignment for Very Young Learners: interview a potato.

Compare and contrast

Anne at Lago di LedroSteiff bear in Giengen

Thanks Helmut.

There’s a personal story that goes with this, as you can well imagine. My first present from my husband was a…

Blog challenge! Please join in and add two similar but different pictures to your blog!
Brad Patterson
had the nice idea after I’d posted this.
Looking forward to seeing your pictures.
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Proverbs by first-graders

First-graders were asked to complete well-known proverbs. This is what they came up with. (Thank you, Joan, for the giggles.)

  • Don’t change horses… until they stop running.
  • Strike while the… bug is close.
  • It’s always darkest before… Daylight Saving Time.
  • Never underestimate the power of… termites.
  • You can lead a horse to water but… how?
  • Don’t bite the hand that… looks dirty.
  • No news is… impossible
  • A miss is as good as a… Mr.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new… math
  • If you lie down with dogs, you’ll… stink in the morning.
  • Love all, trust… me.
  • The pen is mightier than the… pigs.
  • An idle mind is… the best way to relax.
  • Where there’s smoke there’s… pollution.
  • Happy the bride who… gets all the presents.
  • A penny saved is… not much.
  • Two’s company, three’s… the Musketeers.
  • Don’t put off till tomorrow what… you put on to go to bed.
  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and… you have to blow your nose.
  • There are none so blind as… Stevie Wonder.
  • Children should be seen and not… spanked or grounded.
  • If at first you don’t succeed… get new batteries.
  • You get out of something only what you… see in the picture on the box.
  • When the blind lead the blind… get out of the way.
  • A bird in the hand… is going to poop on you.
  • Better late than… pregnant.

The above were sent to alphaDictionary, which is a treasure trove, by Susan Lister. She also contributed the beautiful definitions below:

The Sciences

  • “Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.”
  • When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire.”
  • “H20 is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.”
  • “The body consists of three parts—the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five: a, e, i, o and u.”
  • “The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects.”
  • “The alimentary canal is located in the northern part of Indiana.”
  • “Equator: A menagerie lion running around the Earth through Africa.”
  • “Germinate: To become a naturalized German.”
  • A myth is a female moth.

Hello Kitty arrested

  • Hello Kitty ArrestedWhat’s going on here?
  • Where is this scene taking place?
  • What time of day is it?
  • Who’s being arrested?
  • How much do you know about ‘her’?
  • What else do you imagine about ‘her’?
  • What do you think ‘she’s’ being arrested for?
  • What exactly do you think happened? How? Why?
  • What could the officers be thinking?
  • What could ‘she’ be thinking?
  • What do you think is going to happen next?
  • What would you like to ask the three people in the picture?
  • Could this happen in your town? Why or why not? If so, would anything be different?

“Hello, Kitty.” “Hello, officer.” (…)

© seymour templar 2009

  • Thank you for this great picture, Barbara, and for the Japanese sweets below, including the Hello Kitty sticks. My husband wants the green tea chocolates!
  • Hello Kitty home
  • Also see Hello Kitty Hell

Barbara's package of Japanese sweets 2Barbara's package of Japanese sweets

Second graders

Joan sent me a presentation with quotes from German second graders. Most of them are mondegreens that won’t work in English, but I’ve translated some of the others into English for fun:

  • Garden gnomes have red hats so they don’t get mowed down.
  • Men can’t get married to men because then who would wear the wedding dress?
  • Life insurance is the money you get if you survive a fatal accident.
  • Daddy won the prize for best rabbit at the animal show.
  • My parents buy the grey toilet paper because it’s already been used, and that’s good for the environment.
  • Adopting is actually better. Then parents get to choose their own kids and don’t have to take what they get.
  • Adam and Eve lived in Paris.
  • During the week God lives in Heaven. On Sunday he goes to church.
  • The northern and the southern hemispheres turn in opposite directions.
  • Cows have to walk slowly so they don’t spill their milk.
  • Worms can’t bite because they’ve got tails at both ends.
  • A peach is like an apple with a rug on it.
  • If you eat mad cows, you’ll get ISDN.
  • Fishsticks are long dead. They can’t swim.
  • I haven’t been baptized, but I’ve been vaccinated.
  • When people stopped being monkeys, they became Egyptians.
  • The train came to a grinding halt and the passengers emptied themselves onto the platform.
  • The whole world listened when Luther posted his 95 prostheses on the door of the church in Wittenberg.
  • Spring is the first of the seasons. In spring chickens lay eggs and farmers lay potatoes.
  • A circle is a round square.
  • The Earth turns 365 days a year. Every four years the year takes an extra day to finish, and that just happens to be in February. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because it’s so cold in February, which makes it a little harder.
  • The pig is one of the most useful animals there is. You can use everything from the pig, all of it front to back for meat, its hide for leather, its bristles for brushes, and its name for a bad word.

German originals: “Erkenntnisse aus Schulaufsätzen” on