Promo Gallery Winter
Our trip to Rome
On October 15th the journey started. The trip had been planned for a few months and we were all eagerly looking forward to it. We just could not wait to be able to translate the inscriptions of all architectonic masterworks we would come across.
When we finally arrived at the airport in Rome, the first thing we noticed was how slowly everything in Italy works. We waited forever and a day for our luggage. The second thing was that it was really nice and warm outside, much warmer than we had expected.
Our apartment was not too great, but still not totally bad and in a perfect location near St. Pete's. So, of course, that was the first sight we had to check out and in an instant, we all fell in love with the beautiful buildings (and some of us with the Swiss Guardsmen as well :) ).
The next day started with a shock when we left the apartment: Mr Knobloch was RUNNING. Not walking, running. We could barely keep up with him and just had to try not to lose sight of the cloud of dust he left behind. Sometimes he stopped and tried to motivate us to follow him at his speed but we just could not do it. We came to the conclusion that he is inhuman. As a contrast, we were snacking every 30 minutes, had to take breaks regularly and still were exhausted from walking from one end of Rome to the other. That way we got to see the church Il Jesu, the Trajan's Forum, the Forum of Augustus, the Forum Romanum, the Palatine, the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain in just one day.
The Forum Romanum was really impressive since everything was so huge. It seemed nearly unimaginable that people in ancient Rome were able to build this without the help of machines like we have them today. Actually, we learned that their building skills were much better than ours are. All the temples and houses still last to this very day whereas modern buildings are very fragile and get destroyed easily from natural disasters. Even ancient cement was of better quality than today's is.
The hill next to the Forum is called Palatine. It is the area where all the rich people used to live. Even some emperors' houses were located there, for example the one that belonged to Augustus. Did you know he lived in a small, plain house, not in a huge palace? He lived amidst his people as if he was one of them and not the (probably) greatest emperor of the Roman Empire. Also, there is a hut which is said to have been Romulus and Remus' home one day and lots of temples for different gods. It was interesting to get to know how daily life must have been back then.
For most of us, the Colosseum was the most splendid of Rome's sights, which is no wonder because it is much bigger than we had imagined. We felt so tiny inside of it. Even the stairs were huge; actually, they were so tall that it was hard to take them. Massive events, which sometimes had a certain theme, used to take place. Take, for example, the theme “Africa”. Then, all kinds of different African animals and plants would wait inside the basement for their appearance and - when their moment was finally there - just pop up from a hidden trapdoor in the ground. Of course, the fighters were dressed in an African way then as well. A fantastic spectacle for the visitors! It is even said that it was possible to flood the Colosseum and fight naval battles there.
Our third day was all about Vatican City. This was my personal highlight. First, we went to the German Cemetery. Only Germans are allowed to enter it. In order to do so, you have to ask a Swiss Guardsman for permission. He will be able to tell if you are German or not. Next, we went into St. Peter's Basilica. I do not know how to describe it. Everything was so detailed, so impressive and tall! It all consisted of both artistic and architectural masterpieces. You just did not know what to look at fist. There were so many impressions at once; it was breathtaking. I wish we could have seen all of it.
Nonetheless, I have to admit that all the corpses of long dead Popes in showcases were a little scary.
When we were done inside, we ascended the dome. The view was great. You could see all of Rome, the Vatican Gardens and Saint Peter's Square.
Then, of course, we could not leave without visiting the Vatican Museums. That part was exhausting. It took a long time to get an overview and take a deeper look at the most interesting exhibits. We got to see so many of the paintings, sculptures and frescoes we learned about in arts class. I guess it is quite easy to tell that the most impressive one was Michelangelo's fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Unfortunately, you were not allowed to take pictures or even look at it for a longer period of time; the staff was rushing all observers to move on.
After that, we got to see the Pope. I still cannot believe I saw the head of my religion with my own eyes. A beatification took place and the “Ave Maria” was sung. It was overwhelming.
When we had finished our tour through Vatican City, we went to the Castel Sant Angelo. It used to be Caesar Hadrian's mausoleum, but when Christian faith became widespread and the Popes appeared, a massive wall was built around it, so it could be used as the Popes' fortress whenever they were endangered. A bridge leads from the Pope's chamber directly into the Angel Castle.
Our fourth day was quite relaxing. We saw the national monument and the museum inside it but did not stay there for a long time since it is all about war and we were not too interested in that. After that, we got to see the Pope again when we went to see his Angelus prayer. And then our real program for that day started. First of all, we left Rome to see St. Paul's Church. Inside are frames for paintings of the Popes, some are still empty, for all the Popes who are to come. There is a myth saying that when no frame is left, the world will come to an end. Not many frames are left...
Next, we made our way to an ancient city at the coast, Ostia Antica. That really gave us an impression of how life must have been. All of the buildings were so well-preserved, not like in Rome where you only get to see a ruin here and there most of the time. You could see the necropolis, thousands of years old wheel ruts, mosaics inside of thermae showing river gods with wagons pulled by sea horses, ancient fast food restaurants an so on. There were tons of things to see.
And when we were done with our sightseeing there, we went to Lido centrale, to the beach. The weather was nice and warm, it was sunny and we were so happy to be able to relax a bit. One of us went swimming, some searched for sea shells, some sat at the beach and soaked up the sun, some drew pictures in the sand. So, all in all, it was an amazing afternoon.
The following day was busy, though. The first thing we went to see were the catacombs where Romans and Christians had their dead buried. We learned how the catacombs were built and used. Many Popes and saints had had their tombs there before they were moved to cemeteries or St. Peter's Cathedral. It was interesting to see the different shapes and sizes of graves and their decoration, too. Each one of them must have been so pretty.
After seeing the graves there, we visited a NS memorial of the Ardeatine massacre, which was very depressing but still important for us to see. Back then, 335 Italian civilians were shot in a cave and then just left there. Now each one of them has a tomb of his or her own and there is a list with all the names on it. In my opinion, everybody visiting Rome has to go see it, so we can all learn from the past to be better people and to never let anything like that happen again.
The next stop of our sightseeing tour was St. Giovanni's Church; it is the one that belongs to the Pope. Here too, the inside is very magnificent and impressive, especially since there are tall sculptures of all Apostles with their attributes. After that, we visited another church, the one next to the Spanish Steps. I cannot even remember how many churches we have been to. Then our marathon led us to the hill where Nero is supposed to have watched Rome burn while singing a song about Troy's decay, to Piazza del Popolo, Augustus' mausoleum, Piazza Navonna, Pasquino, Campo de Fiori and finally the Trevi Fountain once more. Even though it is quite mainstream, no-one can deny its beauty. No matter how long you stare at it, you can still detect something new all the time. It is beautiful. The only deficiency is that it always is far too crowded.
On our last day, we did not have much time before our flight, so the only thing we got to see was the Capitol with its museums. It was huge though, so it took its time and we still learned a whole lot that day and got to admire ancient sculptures and history.
All in all, we did have a great time and enjoyed ourselves very much while still learning many new facts about history, art, Latin and architecture. We are terribly sorry we did not do a better job in translating all the inscriptions :)
Thank you Mr Knobloch for bringing us there and broadening our horizons.
Vegan Lifestyle – Why and How?
What does it mean to be vegan?
Here is a short summary to give you a little impression of vegan lifestyle.
Vegans are not vegetarians. Vegan generally means that you decline any food by animals like eggs, milk, meat etc., whereas a vegetarian only abstains from meat and fish (some even eat fish). People often ask vegans why they live like this. I, being vegan myself, find this question really simple: I am vegan because of the animals. In my opinion we are literally robbing animals of their lives, which is not fair. Humans nowadays seem to think that they can just cage and then use them, acting like they rule the word and can do whatever they want to them. The other reason that I am vegan is because of the environment: The industry of production animals emits lots of greenhouse gases, which is very bad for our environment, something that you, most likely, already know.
What do vegans eat?
The most popular alternative to meat is soy. There are a whole lot of things made of soy, for example milk, steak, sausages, yogurt, ice cream and so much more. However, this is not the only alternative and it's not very healthy anyway. It can cause a lack of iron and problems with your digestion. I, for example, prefer to drink rice milk instead of soy milk. The other alternative I want to mention, is „quorn“, which is a mixture of mushrooms and egg white, which leads to the fact that this is rather an alternative for vegetarians than for vegans, just because of the egg white.
As a vegan, it's important to vary a lot with your food. It's a common prejudice to say that a vegan lifestyle is boring or unhealthy. Of course you have to pay attention to your health a lot more than omnivores. We have to take a lot of pills to keep our body healthy, for example iron pills or pills containing vitamin D. Many people probably think it's stupid to live like this, but most of the vegans don’t mind making these sacrifices because they can't bear watching animals suffer and eat what they have produced.
Vegan food is on the advance. There is a large selection that you can choose from, even if you are in a regular supermarket, but the greatest selection, of course, can be found in health food shops. Additionally, book stores sell a lot of vegan cookbooks. There are cookbooks for baking, cooking, barbecueing and so on. It's really not easy to do without all those non-vegan things, like sweets, milk, cheese and yogurt, but the vegan options are getting better by and by and everyone can try to be vegan for one day. And if you like it, just choose one day of the week, where you'll just eat vegan, or at least do not eat meat, because your body will thank you for this. It's been proved that vegetarians are fitter and slimmer than people who eat meat, so it's not only good for the animals, but also good for you.
Finally, I want to tell you that it's not necessary to do completely without meat. People should just reduce their meat consumption and try alternatives from time to time.
The Child Thief
Release Date: 27.08.2010
Genre: Dark fantasy
Special Features: A map, illustrations in colour, black and white, Author's Note
"Wickedly poetic, The Child Thief makes me want to believe." - Kim Harrison
"A gruesome and darkly fantastical twist on a classic tale. Brom injects pure horror into fantasy." - Holly Black, NY Times
"Brom has always been an artist who gave us his nightmares fully realized, but with The Child Thief, he paints in words. A wonderfully nasty Peter Pan reboot that tands on its own as a dark, twisted adventure." - Christopher Golden
Gerald Brom, born March 9, in 1965 in Albany, Georgia is an American fantasy artist and illustrator. He is known for his artworks in novels (e.g. R.A. Salvatore, Michael Moorcock), roleplaying (e.g.TSR, WOTC), comics (e.g. DC,, Dark Horse), Games (e.g. Diablo 2&3, Dungeons & Dragons) and films (e.g. Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, Van Helsing). Brom then decided to write books on his own with some of his drawings in it. His books always have a dark and frightening atmosphere.
The Book "The Child Thief":
"If the girl could only have spoken to the other boys and girls, the ones that had followed the golden-eyed boy before her, she would have known that there is always something left to lose."
The novel starts with a prologue of only three and a half pages and yet creates such a dark and mysterious atmosphere that you only want to continue reading.
At the beginning of the book you can not possibly imagine where the story could lead to.
"The Child Thief" is about an immortal boy, called Peter, who "collects" children to fight for his war. He takes them to a promised land where they never grow up and live a magical life. But they have to fight against evil beings that want to destroy the magic that keeps them from aging.
The main protagonists:
A 14-year-old boy from New York City who would have been killed by some drug dealers had Peter not saved him.
He follows Peter to Avalon and joins the "Devils" in their horrific battle against the "Flesh Eaters", but soon realizes what is really going on.
An immortal boy form the magical island of Avalon who leads a group of bloodthirsty children, the "Devils" and who does everything he has to do to save Avalon and its magic.
His dark past is to be revealed throughout the book.
"Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief – and like all boys, he loves to play games, though his games offen end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland." (Peter as described on the cover of the book)
The main antagonists:
A "Flesh Eater" that once was a preacher.
He led his community to Avalon and to insanity because of his belief that magic is evil and has to be extinguished.
Once a settler and the captain of a pirate crew that helped the other settlers on their search for a new home.
He is now fighting against the "Devils" and Peter's archenemy.
Ulfger: Introduced late in the book. A mysterious character who is the most powerful of all of Peter's enemies.
The Land of Avalon:
An island that once was a lush, enchanted paradise full of magic and magical creatures, now gray and imparadised by the "Flesh Eaters".
Avalon is protected by The Lady.
A mystical white woman full of kindness and love.
Protects Avalon with her magic.
A group of bloodthirsty children who would even sacrifice their lives to save Avalon and The Lady from the "Flesh Eaters".
The "Devils" don't age just like Peter who is their leader.
Every child was once "stolen" from their world and freed from their age by Peter, but they admire him like he was their Messiah.(See the bookcover where Peter is shown in the "Jesus pose")
The "Flesh Eaters":
Evil creatures that destroy Avalon and its magic.
Once christian settlers on their search for a home in which they can practice their beliefs.
Turned evil by the affection of the magic on human beings and by the Reverend, who led them to insanity and to the belief that everything that contains magic is evil.
Similarities to "Peter Pan":
The plot reminds of Peter Pan, where an immortal, never-aging boy called Peter takes children to the Neverland, in which they never grow up and have to stand against Captain Hook and his crew. The author Brom intended that similarity because he was fascinated by the original story of James Barrie's Peter Pan.
The original Peter Pan was not like you know him from those children's books, he was bloodthirsty, dangerous and cruel what the following quote from the original Peter Pan approves:
"The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two." So Peter gets rid of those children who grow up.
But not only that is a point where the original story of Peter Pan is depicted as cruel: Children are taught to kill adults without any conscience or remorse and enjoy that.
These are the thoughts Brom used to create "The Child Thief", in which he did not want to only retell Peter Pan, but to create his own Peter and to place special emphasis on the violence and cruelty behind the story of Peter Pan. Brom created a horror version of Peter Pan.
Brom also uses a lot of referrences to folklores, mythologies and sagas.
There are many brutal scenes in "The Child Thief", so I would recommend that book only to those who like horror, bloody, brutal and somehow disgusting books. All in all "The Child Thief" is a greatly written book with a compelling plot and a lot of those "goosebump moments". You often have to stop reading to remind yourself that the "Devils" are still children which intensifies the dread of the whole book.
I personally liked the idea of a children's story retold as a "nightmare story" and the fact that there is no happy ending as you may expect it.
Yesterday, when I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine by using my mobile telephone, I, ironically, mentioned not to say something radical and politically critical. My friend answered with a friendly laughter to that statement. But, now seriously: Every person on the planet should be aware of being tapped when they use free electronic comunication such as mobile telephones or internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. Despite the fact that this absolutely unexpected revelation leaves us an imagination of the state as the Soviet Union, the GDR or Oceania from George Orwell's masterpiece “1984“, if you are not planning a massacre on a marathon or an assassination on the president, you should not be aware of being arrested for the ideas you express on the phone or post on the net as a normal person. The current German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is not a normal person. In spite of that, I can suspect that Mrs Merkel is not planning one of the things mentioned above. So what is the reason for Mr Obama to read the text messages and listen to the phone calls of the German Chancellor. Especially, if he calls Mrs Merkel a good friend. In my opinion, the public should not react as shocked as it does. Maybe Barack Obama is not spying on our Chancellor for political or economical reasons, like the current German relationship to other countries like Russia or China. Maybe Mr Obama has a very strong interest in finding out the recipe for the tasty potato cream soup Mrs Merkel is cooking? Or maybe he is listening to Merkel's dirty messages to her husband and tries to get some new inspiration for his own bedroom. Incidentally, both protagonists have other troubles to deal with which are not less important for the world as this espionage affair. Mr Obama, for example, is not only an amature spy, he also is the president of the self-proclaimed country for bringing democracy to everyone who has become rid of their dictators. What succesfully succeeded in Yugoslavia, South Korea or Western Germany, now is stuck in the Middle East. However, some days ago, the Archangel himself, John Kerry, presented the Divine Light Mission of making a conclusion that Assad will give away his whole arsenal of chemical weapons. Then again, the USA will be incapable of doing anything if Assad - an absolutely unrealistic thought - changes his mind and does not reduce the number of his chemical weapons. On top of all, due to Obama's unclear statements about bombing the hell out of Assad in case he uses C-Weapons and his lack of action allow his "friends" Israel and Saudi Arabia to ignore resolutions from the White House as well. It seems that the whole world is being king all over the Keeper of Democracy. Hard times are on the way for the President in his second and last period in office. Definetely, he has not expected that this job will be so difficult when he announced his candidature in 2008. With wars, healthcare, espionage, he expected it only happens in Hollywood movies. Now he has to be like a hero in these movies. And the solution will sound louder than the trumpets which brought the Walls of Jericho to fall. Amen.
The Pe@ is our school's first online newspaper. It is supposed to be a school magazine from students for students and, of course, teachers and parents, too.
So, first of all, we – the editorial staff - would like to introduce ourselves to you.
We are a small group of only five students, all from the 13th grade: Katharina Hollstein, Mareike Meyer, Grigori Lifchits, Melissa Morrison and Lukas Wasem.
Our “assistants” are Mrs Cicolelli and Mr Schäfer.
- Descriptions -
Since all of us have so different hobbies and interests, we tried to design this newspaper in order to be appealing to all kinds of people. So our group of themes will be very versatile. It will include:
politics: the elections, descriptions of politicians etc.
sports: latest results and comments on matches
music: introduction of different genres with examples of artists, latest releases etc.
computer games: reviews, latest releases (GTA, Fifa 2014,...) etc.
book and movie reviews
food and drinks: including vegan and vegetarian meals
events: concerts, mutual briefing sessions on ideas of what to do after school
interviews: teachers, students
We want this to be an interactive kind of magazine; so you can always comment on our articles, ask whatever question you may have, and request an article on a certain topic you are interested in.
Also, it is not too late, if you would like to join our group. To sneak a peek into our room or maybe even writing something yourself doesn't commit you to anything. We are always happy to see some new faces, because the same rule as for everything goes here: more people, more fun.