A Night of German Language and Culture: A Recap

John Montagno

German Night is a night to show parents that the German students actually DO learn how to speak German, and the results are often very impressive! The night also serves as an incentive for the school to continue funding many of the German extracurricular activities, such as the German Club and the Gingerbread House Competition in December.

German I, II (of which there were only two presentations), III, and IV (of which there are only two students) showed up at the WHS auditorium at 7 pm on May 7 to partake in this night of events.  The entire German III class opened the night with an a Capella song in German that was both very beautiful and fluent. The German III students proved that they can not only speak the German language, but they can sing it too.

Frau DeMartino, who has taken the place of the regular German teacher Frau Pierce who left for maternity leave, was in charge of orchestrating the evening.  As the new, long-term substitute, she has aptly taken on all of her responsibilities as the sole German teacher.

Mr. George Watson, Head of the Foreign Language Department and Teacher of the Year, started the night off with a speech in German stressing how vital the German language is to the limited array of languages offered. With the German Exchange Trip with Ingelheim, which was offered to all German students, Walpole High’s German program has one of the most culturally engaging curriculum.

English teacher Mrs. Linden told a story in her ancestors’ tongue (German) about how her great grandfather and great grandmother met, married, and then moved to the United States where they sought new opportunities and wealth. Her narrative illustrated the reason why so many German Americans are alive today and what they can teach us all about valuing diversity and differing cultures.

Several videos were shown including German I students Eddie Keye’s and Cory McPhee’s Zombie video, German I students Dan Dubois’, Rebecca Norberg’s and CJ Romeo’s “Olaf” video and German I students Kevin Smith’s, Christian Crehan’s, Sean Wilson’s and Timothy Donahue’s very humorous and off-the-wall video called, in English, “My Fly is Down”.

Several German I students such as Nick Freiberger, Robert Gaye and Victoria Richardson took us through their family trees that they made earlier in the year for a project. These presentations were a welcome break from the overwhelming amount of videos played throughout the night.  The two German IV students the taught the crowd about how environmentally friendly Germany is and performed a skit promoting a cleaner and greener United States. Not only was this presentation persuading but it also served as comic relief.

Frau Pierce, longtime teacher of German and Latin, made an appearance with her new son for which she left for maternity leave. She explained that she will return to WHS next September to continue teaching.