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Identity. Diversity. Empathy. Awareness. Service. The IDEAS Club at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, Germany was born of the demand that in our time of crises, in our Age of Anxiety, when democracy is fragile, when intolerance is increasingly tolerated, we must intensify our efforts to create a safe but challenging space to discuss and celebrate diversity. IDEAS is about challenging stereotypes, grappling with our biases, and tackling tough issues.
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Welcome to the Speaksli Fast German podcasts. You can also watch fun and fast-paced Speaksli animated videos on our YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/speaksli). To keep up to date on new videos and podcasts, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Speaksli was formed by an American living in Switzerland who has created an entire language learning platform based on animated videos and easy-to-understand podcasts. She has experience working in Training and Development for Dell Europe, as w ...
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JK, We're Rolling!

Magical Hats Network

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It's time to enter a world of fantasy, wonder, and mystery as three students attend the most prestigious wizarding school in all of Germany! Three German improv actors will attempt to survive the gauntlet created by one American game master. While the cast explores the obstacles and rewards of being multicultural, their characters will have to explore obstacles and find rewards of their own. Listen as they have to delve deep into the world at Neudrachenberg Castle to uncover secrets, defeat ...
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Language unites and divides us. It mystifies and delights us. Patrick Cox and Kavita Pillay tell the stories of people with all kinds of linguistic passions: comedians, writers, researchers; speakers of endangered languages; speakers of multiple languages; and just speakers—people like you and me.
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China 411

Zheng Huang and Ken Wilcox

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Purpose: The United States and China are the largest and second largest economies in the world. President Obama calls the relationship the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century. Yet the relationship is fraught with mistrust and miscalculation, with the potential for catastrophic conflict. Many scholars have written about the complex reasons behind the agreements and disagreements by taking a particular narrative. What they missed is that, on every single issue of importan ...
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Two years, two months and two days! This is what forms the time line of one man's quest for the simple life and a unique social experiment in complete self reliance and independence. Henry David Thoreau published Walden in 1884. Originally drafted as a series of essays describing a most significant episode in his life, it was finally released in book form with each essay taking on the form of a separate chapter. Thoreau's parents were in financial straights, but rich intellectually and cultu ...
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How did Basque survive Spain's military dictatorship under Francisco Franco when speaking, writing and reading it were illegal? With more than six dialects, how did its speakers agree on a standard way of writing the language? And how has Basque thrived in the decades since Franco died? Nina Porzucki tells the story of Europe's most mysterious lang…
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JFK students have long debated gender segregated sports classes. At long last, bringing student voices to the forefront, JFKS IDEAS has taken up this issue. Our discussion was inspired by an article featured in the last edition of the IDEAS Journal. This podcast was hosted, produced, edited, and engineered by Josie Riemer. Special thanks to Nurcan …
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Netflix's lavish new adaptation of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem is the latest 'translation' of one of this century's best, and best-selling, sci-fi novels. In this episode, we track the role of translation—on screen and on the page—in the global rise of Chinese sci-fi. Our guide is reporter and sci-fi aficionada Lydia Emmanouilidou who talks …
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Why have Black History Month? How should it be celebrated? How can Black History best be celebrated while not overlooking the travesties endured by systemic oppression? We recorded one of our weekly IDEAS meetings to explore these questions and more. This podcast was hosted by our fearless Director, Merlina Vogel and edited and produced by the inim…
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The French language is replete with words borrowed from English, like 'weekend' and 'podcasting.' But French speakers' use of 'black' is in a category of its own: this one short syllable tells the story of France's racial and colonial legacies and how they stack up against U.S. history, from slavery to Black Lives Matter. Both countries are idealis…
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Irish is among Europe's oldest languages. It's a near miracle that anyone speaks it today. Patrick talks with online Irish teacher Mollie Guidera whose students include a Kentucky farmer who speaks Irish to his horses; also with Irish scholar Jim McCloskey who developed a love of the language when he spent a summer living with Irish speakers. Irish…
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Israel Jesus used to be ashamed of being from the Mexican state of Oaxaca and speaking the local indigenous tongue, Triqui. When he moved to Salinas, California, a kid in his high school told Jesus he was destined to work in the fields nearby. But it was his knowledge of Triqui that sent him on a different path. A hospital in Salinas recruited Jesu…
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Mastering six languages sounds like a slog, right? But in some corners of Europe, it happens—maybe not effortlessly, but more easily than in, say, Ohio. Gaston Dorren grew up speaking Limburgish at home, and Dutch at school. He fell in love in German and picked up Spanish in Latin America, all the while keeping English and French in his back pocket…
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Does the brain of an improv comedian or freestyle rapper function in a particular way? Is it processing language faster than a regular, lower-improvising brain? Or is something else also going on, something to do with how we judge ourselves? We asked our pal Ari Daniel to look into this. He found a group of researchers and a group of professional i…
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Jakob, Josie, James, and Ophelia discuss to what extent class participation should determine a student's grade. We refer to an article in our most recent journal, which we heartily endorse. If you are a JFK student and enjoy these conversations, please pop by B209 any Monday at lunch to take part. We'll be there. If you enjoy our podcasts and journ…
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Jakob, Josie, James, Ophelia, and Moss navigate some not-so-hypothetical scenarios, including whether students should feel obliged to interrupt racial (racist?) language...and if students should be able to wear mankinis to school. We refer to the data published in our most recent journal, which we heartily endorse. If you are a JFK student and enjo…
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Jakob, Josie, James, Ophelia, and Moss continue their exploration of academic stress and anxiety. If you enjoy our podcasts and journals, please support IDEAS! Make a donation, however humble, over here. We refer to the data published in our most recent journal, which we heartily endorse. Each guest recommended something related to our conversation…
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Jakob, Josie, James, Ophelia, and Moss explore academic stress and anxiety. We refer to the data published in our most recent journal, which we heartily endorse. If you are a JFK student and enjoy these conversations, please pop by B209 any Monday at lunch to take part. We'll be there. If you enjoy our podcasts and journals, please support IDEAS! M…
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A conversation with comedian with Samir Khullar who grew up speaking Punjabi, Hindi, English and French. He does standup in all those languages, sometimes mixing them up. He has toured more than 40 countries, but audiences in his native Québec perhaps see the best of him. That's where he performs a bilingual French/English show called You're Gonna …
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When a word first enters the language, it sounds weird to some, radical to others and comforting to just a few. Only later does it seem 'natural.' So it was with the honorific Ms in the 20th century. So it may be with the non-binary Mx. Today, British banks and utilities routinely give customers the option to use Mx. Will American companies follow …
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Merle, Yona, and Sina discuss how media might be pushing kids to chase a certain visual aesthetic that might (might!) be beyond their years. If you are a JFK student and enjoy these types of conversations, please pop by B209 any Monday at lunch to take part. We'll be there. Follow the IDEAS Pod wherever you listen. Share your favorite episodes with…
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This episode is a lightly edited recording of a recent IDEAS meeting where we explored if and how young people should interact with old media (especially books and films) that are teeming with racism, sexism, and/or homophobia. If you are a JFK student and enjoy these types of conversations, please pop by B209 any Monday at lunch to take part. We'l…
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American English and British English aren't different languages. But they're not the same either, even if they're getting closer. There are all those different words for things: diaper/nappy, faucet/tap and so on. More challenging are common words used in subtly different ways: sure, reckon, middle class. Who better to ask about these and other ter…
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Merlina and Sina share a discussion with Tolik, Anton, Eugene, and Polina, four Ukrainian students at JFKS. If you enjoy our podcasts and journals, please support IDEAS! Make a donation, however humble, over here. Check out Tolik's music on Soundcloud. Polina urges you to learn about Vitsche and follow them on Instagram. Eugene wants you to catch u…
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German used to be one of the most widely-spoken languages in the United States. A survey in 1900 listed 613 US-based German-language newspapers. Today, only a handful survive, and German is barely spoken at all. One exception is Cole Camp, Missouri. Our guide, Suzanne Hogan, hosts public radio station KCUR's podcast, A People's History of Kansas Ci…
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In our upcoming season, we have stories about voice clones, tongue twisters and small languages fighting back. We'll hear from comedians, bilingual lovers and badly-behaved grandmothers. Look out for the first episode on November 1. Music by Harry Edvino and The Freeharmonic Orchestra. Photo by Patrick Cox. Subtitle is a production of Quiet Juice a…
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The Shieldless face off against the ultra-powerful Barleysau pig-zord in a timed trial. Their first place spot in the Crystal Bearer tournament is on the line. Visit our Patreon! Check us out at jkwererolling.captivate.fm Our Magician Master is Michael Moore Sassly Naturespring is Nadine Kühn Erich Miller is Sebastian Kinder Jasper Kasper is Lukas …
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Michael Moore and Ashleigh Hoppe discuss their journeys as young, aspiring podcasters and game masters! Check Ashleigh and friends out at Horizon's Point: Allegedly a DnD Podcast! Thanks for listening and we'll be back next week. Have follow-up questions after today's conversation? Find us on social media and ask away! Visit our Patreon! Check us o…
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The Shieldless FINALLY talk to some horseshield students and the next challenge begins. It's maize meets maze for this next test - and medical staff are nearby to help! Visit our Patreon! Check us out at jkwererolling.captivate.fm Our Magician Master is Michael Moore Sassly Naturespring is Nadine Kühn Erich Miller is Sebastian Kinder Jasper Kasper …
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Moana moderates a discussion with two devoutly Christian JFKS students about the degree to which they feel they can be themselves and express themselves freely at JFKS. Is JFKS welcoming to ALL students? If you enjoy our podcasts and journals, please support IDEAS! Make a donation, however humble, over here. Follow the IDEAS Pod wherever you listen…
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The Shieldless face their first Crystal Bearer tournament challenge. Newton bears gifts. The group gets a statue. Visit our Patreon! Check us out at jkwererolling.captivate.fm Our Magician Master is Michael Moore Sassly Naturespring is Nadine Kühn Erich Miller is Sebastian Kinder Jasper Kasper is Lukas Fischer Our cover art is by Pascal Jounais JK,…
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