for content of role-plays and videos
want to encourage and not stifle your creativity,
but it is nevertheless important for you to bear in
mind that the content of your role play or video needs
to be something that is appropriate for the entire
class to see. In general, please ask your instructor
if you are in doubt as to whether something you're
planning to do is appropriate, and please be receptive
to his/her suggestions in this regard! Here are a
few more specific guidelines.
- Please do not break any laws; please be safe!!! For example, do not attempt to film in construction sites or other locations that are marked "No trespassing," or in buildings that are locked; if you are filming a scene involving motor vehicles, use seat-belts and be extra-vigilant not to endanger yourselves or others; don't jaywalk. If you're tempted to try any kind of "stunt" scene, please just "fake" the stunt instead. In all cases, it's much better to "fake" a dangerous scene in a patently ridiculous way for comic effect than to make it look authentic. It is absolutely not worth it for you to endanger yourselves or others for this project!!
content: Your role play or video must have some connection to German
culture and/or to the texts and videos covered in your German class(es).
It should not consist substantially of a translation of an aspect of
American or British culture into German. Concrete examples:
- OK (but possibly not very creative): a Jeopardy
episode with German-related answers and questions
- OK: James Lipton
(from Bravo's Inside the Actors' Studio) conducting an informed
interview in German with a German filmmaker or actor
- OK (but possibly not very creative): an episode
of MTV's The Real World set in Germany in which the characters'
behavior and ideas are closely based on the content of your German
class this semester
- OK: isolated
references to an American phenomenon in a role play or video whose
content is otherwise substantially "German"
- Not OK: a German
version of "Twas the Night before Christmas"
- Not OK: a German
version of an English song, poem or play,
- Not OK: a German
parody of an American advertising campaign or an American TV show
- American Politics:
Please avoid references to current/recent American politics in your role play or video.
References to the kind of absurd violence that occurs e.g. in Struwwelpeter
might be entirely appropriate (and quite amusing) in a German class,
but graphic violence is not appropriate in a classroom setting. Neither
is sexual violence of any kind, including stalking or vendettas against
- If your video includes weapons, these should very clearly be props and not real!
vs. inappropriate humor: The Holocaust and Nazism are not appropriate
topics for jokes in a German class. In general, please bear in
mind that what may be acceptable or at least permissible in e.g. The
Every Three Weekly or a Mel Brooks movie, which people can choose
to read/watch or ignore, is not necessarily acceptable in a classroom
setting where all students have a right to a learning environment in
which they feel comfortable.
- Racism, sexism,
homophobia: Please be sensitive to these issues. In particular,
your video/role play should not perpetuate hurtful stereotypes.
- Substance abuse:
Obviously drugs and alcohol can be funny and are a part of life, but
it would not be appropriate for your role play or video to turn into
a glorification of alcohol or drug use, given the serious substance
abuse problems on this and other college campuses. If your role
play or video includes scenes depicting drug use or drinking, it should
be clear that no laws are actually being broken, i.e. that it just looks
like you are drinking alcohol or using drugs, but that you are not actually
doing so. In particular, please note that actual drugs and alcohol
may not be brought into any classroom.