Schreibprojekt Nr 2: Ein schlechter Tag 

This writing project will receive a letter grade and will be worth 2% of your final course grade. It is due on Wednesday, February 25.

We’ve all had bad days before -- you oversleep, there’s no hot water for a shower, and you twist your ankle heading down the stairs. For this writing project, imagine that you are writing an email to a German professor (me, if you like, or some fictitious professor) explaining why you couldn’t complete the project (das Referat) that was due today, since you had such a horrible cascade of bad experiences.

You’ll need to use some of the reflexive ‘morning-routine’ vocabulary we’ve been learning, as well as some of the ‘sickness’ vocabulary from this chapter. You should feel free to include other vocabulary from previous chapters or new words and phrases that you look up in a trustworthy dictionary. You will need to write mostly in the PAST TENSE (das Perfekt), so make sure to check the verb forms in your writing for accuracy. Feel free to be humorous and exaggerate all you like: I certainly don’t expect that you would stick to the bare-bones truth when making up excuses!

To help you plan out your thoughts, I’ve included some questions below that you should answer before you begin writing. Consider whether your day should include descriptions of some of the following experiences, and add whatever notes come to mind:

Aufgestanden: wann? 

Im Badezimmer: geduscht? Haare geföhnt? rasiert? 

Unfälle (=accidents): Bein/Arm gebrochen? etwas geschnitten? 

Krankheit: Erkältung? Durchfall? Grippe? 

Wetter: Schnee? Regen? Hagel (=hail)? 


     Probleme mit dem Auto/Bus? 

     Probleme mit Katzen/Hunden? 

     Probleme mit den Mitbewohnern/Eltern? 

     Probleme mit den Haushaltsobjekten (=household objects)? 

     Probleme mit dem Computer? 

You may want to reread the Anlauftext in your book (on p. 315-6) for other ideas as to what went wrong. To give you an example of what I might write for this assignment, here’s an excerpt:

Frau Stein, es tut mir Leid, dass ich mein Referat nicht geschrieben habe. Heute war ein schrecklicher Tag! Zuerst bin ich zu spät aufgestanden, weil mein Wecker nicht geläutet hat. Dann wollte ich mich duschen, aber wir haben kein heißes Wasser gehabt. Danach wollte ich Frühstück essen, aber mein Kühlschrank war kaputt und die Milch war schon sauer! Igitt. Ich habe mich angezogen und ich bin aus der Tür gegangen, aber es hat viel Eis und Schnee vor meiner Tür gegeben, und ich bin sofort hingefallen. Das Bein tut mir immer noch weh. Dann habe ich auf den Bus gewartet, aber er ist nicht gekommen ....

There are a number of things you may want to say that we haven’t yet learned, and I can’t anticipate all of them, but here are some things that come immediately to mind:

es tut mir Leid, dass ...I’m sorry that ...
ich wollte ... (gehen)I wanted to (go)
ich musste ... (warten)I had to (wait)
ich konnte nicht ... (finden)I couldn’t (find)
es hat X gegebenthere was X (past tense of ‘es gibt’)
es war kaputtit was broken
es hat nicht funktioniertit didn’t work, was out of order
ich habe mich beim (Rasieren) geschnittenI cut myself while (shaving)
ich habe einen Autounfall gehabtI got into a car accident
ich habe den Bus verpasstI missed the bus
alles ist schief gegangeneverything went wrong
der Computer ist gestürzt the computer crashed
ich habe vergessen, mich zu rasierenI forgot to shave
läuten (hat geläutet)to ring, go off (e.g. alarm clock)
fehlen (hat gefehlt)to be missing, not there
fallen (ist gefallen)to fall (down = hin•fallen)
schrecklichterrible, horrible

Format and Length: Like the previous assignment, I would prefer that this be typed: please DOUBLE-SPACE your paragraph so that I have room for corrections. It should be approximately 90 words in length (that’s about 14-16 sentences, depending on how complex your sentences are). As always, feel free to write more than that if you want to, although there’s no extra credit for longer work.

Grading criteria: clearly, vocabulary and phrasing is very important to this assignment, so try to use what we’ve learned, along with any additional things you look up. If you do look something up, be sure to double-check its meaning by cross-referencing it (look the German word back up to see if it really does match what you want). Many of your verbs will use reflexive pronouns (mich/mir), but not all of them will (e.g. ich bin aufgestanden is NOT reflexive), so make sure you know which verbs are which. Also, you will be writing in the past tense (das Perfekt), so if you need to refresh your memory of the past-tense forms, please review pp. 181-189 in your textbook, or consult the appendix verb chart in the back of the book. Finally, as always, spelling and word order are important, so do proofread your work carefully, and watch out for typos and missing umlauts!

Viel Glück und viel Spass!