All posts by Sebastian Reimann

It’s Campaign Season – So “Keep the Ball Rolling”!

By Sibylle Machat

Have you ever heard the expression “keep the ball rolling” and wondered about its origins?

An antecedent of the phrase stems from the British “keep the ball up,” but the phrase itself is only 180 years old and originated during the 1840 presidential election between Democratic candidate Martin van Buren and Wig candidate William Henry Harrison. In this election, Harrison’s presidential campaign introduced so-called victory balls – globes made from tin and leather, about ten feet in diameter, that were pushed from one campaign rally and from one town to the next. Photography was not around in the 1840s, of course, but according to illustrations from the time, these victory balls looked something like this:

Credit: “1840 Victory Ball illustration” in Carr, T. Turn out! To the rescue!. G. E. Blake, Philadelphia, monographic, 1840. Notated Music. Retrieved from the Library of Congress.

 

But this is only the beginning of the story:

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German American Day – Celebrate 336 Years of German American History

By Sabrina Völz

Photo credit: “Herr und Frau” by Phil Davis NY

Although the United States has greatly impacted politics and popular culture around the world, it should not be forgotten that German immigrants have also influenced American culture since the founding of Germantown, now part of Philadelphia, 336 years ago. October 6, 1683, marks the first German settlement in North America. Instead of celebrating the popular holidays familiar to most students, such as Halloween or Christmas, perhaps it is now more than ever important to remember the close ties between our two nations. I have put together a few ideas for a lesson on German American Day.

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Some Things Never Fade

By Rebecca Lüps

o here I am in famous Montmartre next to 50 other unknown artists who all do the same thing – draw famous people. Ironic, isn’t it? It’s October, and the leaves are fading. I call it fade, not fall because when you stand on this mountain all year long, you see how everything fades away. The view is fading, the heat is fading, the customers are fading. What can I say, you get used to it.

The first years, I still shaved and kept my hair short, but you let go of those vanities after a few cold winters out here. And you realize: Nobody cares. The only thing your customers care about is that you’re wearing a beret. I guess they think it’s artsy and French. Hypocrites.

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Yay! People love her!

By Bobbie Kirkhart

photo credit: Jamie Smed @ flickr

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe has a twin sister, but everyone recognizes that they are fraternal twins because Megan certainly is one of a kind. She’s unique from her bright pink hair to her red hot feet. It’s her feet that made her famous, starting in 2005 with her role in the NCAA championship win for the University of Portland; she made the U.S. national team the next year.

In the 2011 World Cup, she played in all U.S. games. After one goal, she grabbed a microphone and sang Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” At the 2012 London Games, she scored directly from a corner kick, making her the only player to have done that in Olympic competitions. In this year’s World Cup, she scored six goals, one of only four players in the tournament to achieve that. She was the only player in this year’s tournament to score two goals each in consecutive games.

Off the field, her mouth and her heart are as active as her feet.
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The American Dream Reconsidered: The Outsiders (1967)

By Kai-Arne Zimny

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/theeerin/3319626950

14-year-old orphan Ponyboy Curtis lives with his older brothers Darry and Sodapop in a city somewhere in America. They are part of a greaser gang which means they smoke, they fight, they swear. The author was only 16 when her novel The Outsiders hit the bookshelves and disturbed America’s sense of decency. Afterwards, Susan Eloise Hinton’s life was never the same, and the attentive reader might wonder if the opponents of The Outsiders feared something more than improper manners.

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