To prepare for the the Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch Test, I took A1.1 and A1.2 classes at the VHS Düsseldorf with the great Nastassia Lutz. She was a great teacher who made learning German seem fun. Frau Lutz also knows what is like to learn German as she herself taught herself German from the beginning. In combination with the classes  I used the book Fit fürs Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1.Deutsch als Fremdsprache / Lehrbuch mit integrierter Audio-CD, 18.99€ at This book really covered every aspect of the text and subjects that will be helpful to learn/review. There are exercises and word training, but I highly recommend taking the practice tests in the book and also others available on the Goethe website. Writing the practice letters from the book and doing the exercises in the speaking section really, really helps. I scored a 96 out of 100 points on the exam. I was beyond relieved. I’ve also used it while getting to the B.1 level.

Good luck! Feel free to comment or ask any questions.

Last week I read two, albeit long, great articles one on Chris Rock and the other about Jon Stewart. Both are taking a worthy and challenging risk with the making of their upcoming films. Stewart has Rosewater and Rock Top Five. Both articles are super entertaining and great insights into decisions that come into play with their long careers.

Chris Rock Article in the New Yorker

Jon Stewart NY Mag Article

I want to see both films!

While searching for new podcasts at work. I happened upon a cool cookbook, Good & Cheap created by Leanne Brown while getting a Master’s in food studies. She didn’t like that people on SNAP, food stamps, and tight budgets had limited choices. I have been considering going back to being a vegetarian and possibly gluten-free. This book is chocked full of quick and cheap recipes that would be good for kids and busy people. Meals show total cost and cost per serving with a great variety. Example recipes include Peanut Belly Granola Bars, Mexican Street Corn, Filipino Chicken Adobo, Tofu Hot Pot, Roti from scratch, Caramelized Bananas, and Tzatziki Sauce. Most recipes include options and variations.

Free Book available online here. I am totally thinking about what I have at home to whip something up tonight. Let me know if you make anything and I’ll do the same.