Preview Subtitle for Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer


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THE FLYING CLASSROOM

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A Christmas story is not easy to write
in the middle of the summer.


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There are flowers in the meadow.

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The quaking grass
is bowing down respectfully,


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before who knows whom.

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And me? It's 38 degrees and I'm
describing the famous snowball fight


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in Kirchberg last December,
between the grammar school pupils


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and the secondary school pupils.

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In 39-degree heat!

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Now and then I look up at
the Zugspitze Mountain


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to get a more wintry feeling, but
not even the distant snow helps today.


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Anyway, Edward seems to be
heading on home already.


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Edward likes me to take him home.
We go the same way.


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He's not staying at my hotel,
but with the farmer around the corner.


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Edward is still a pretty little calf,
but the farmer told me recently


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that he'll surely grow up
to be a big ox.


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So, that afternoon
I walked to Kirchberg.


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Kirchberg lies 600m above sea level,
has 20,000 inhabitants


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and two upper schools.

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High above the lanes and marketplaces,
above the river and the bridge,


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a fort rises high against the sky.

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It recently celebrated
its 750th birthday,


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and so it calmly and wisely observes
the youngsters milling about


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at its feet.

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Young boys with wet, tousled hair
return after a swim.


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The church choir has been practising
hymns for Sunday mass.


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Sixth-formers are out walking
with their dance lesson partners,


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and taking them to the cafe.

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Ah! There are two of the heroes
of my Christmas story.


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The big one, Matthias Selbmann,
or Matz, wants to be a boxing champ.


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The small one is Uli von Simmern.

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It's curfew time now.
Only sixth formers may stay in town,


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and those who live at home,
rather than up at the school.


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This school is a boarding school,
a school-home ... a live-in school.


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It is noted down who is late.
Rules are rules. Also in school.


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Yet names are seldom noted down
because on the other side of the park


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t
[...]
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