OK, this'll be the final organizational email...I hope! What follows looks long and boring, but it's actually a quick read.
1) General membership only $1.
2) Stammtisch and other events still IMPORTANT.
3) Beginner and Advanced study groups.
4) Moving forward.1)
Two inactive members have already quit the group. That's not too bad, given we had 197 to begin with. I set the fee to $1 (one dollar) every 6 months ($1 if paid in person or by check, or $1.34 if paid by PayPal from the Welcome page (PayPal charges 34 cents, but at least you'd be saving an envelope and a stamp!)). I hope I'm wrong, but my guess is that even a tiny dollar will probably cause the vast majority of you quit (or get dropped by me).... $1....just make that next venti coffee a grande instead, or make that next double whopper into a regular whopper. :-)2)
Although I haven't been around for your Denver events, I know from my participation in other language meetups and similar groups that the drinking and eating and conversing-as-much-as-possible-in-the-subject-language is fun and important! And I know from some private emails over the past couple days that some of you haven't attended due to being unsure of how your language level would fit in. But I say "Come on down!" The idea is to practice speaking German while hanging out, and there will always be a mix of levels in a group like this....even pure beginners should NOT fear that everyone else is near fluent and will snub their noses at you...that simply won't happen!
So I'm thinking about scheduling the next Stammtisch for about 2 and a half weeks from now, on Monday, February 18, 8:00 pm, at the usual place Wynkoop Brewery (and nothing says that we can't have a rotating location for Stammtisch (that is, other than the traditional definition of Stammtisch)).3)
I've uploaded 2 files to our meetups file area: http://german.meetup.com/388/files/
Each shows the table of contents, the first chapter or two, and the first reading passage...these are the books we'll be using in the beginner/intermediate and the advanced study groups. I figured that anyone interested could get an idea of what would be covered by the group and thereby see where you might fit in.
The beg/int book has 40 shorter lessons, and I would think we would cover 2 lessons per week (probably meeting twice per month and thus covering 4 lessons per meeting); so we would finish the book in about 5 months. Then we would move on to the advanced book, completing it in about 5 months.
The advanced book has 20 longer lessons, and we would cover 1 per week (2 per session). There might be enough of you who aren't as rusty as some of us and who would like to start with the advanced book. That would be terrific, and I'll help get that organized, of course, but I wouldn't be the leader of such a near-future advanced group, as I'm too rusty right now.
A short note on why I'm using these books. Well, I have a textbook from the '80's and I've looked at recent textbooks, and I don't think they're usable in a study group without a professor or a tutor present. Why not pay a tutor to be present? Well that's one way to do it, and perhaps that'll happen again (that's what Kate's study groups did last year). Also people can pay about $100 for a good quality 4-week class at the "free" university: http://www.freeu.com/classes/8051.html
But I think these books will work great in our groups for lots of reasons, and they're cheap too. Each book is about $15. And if you want listening practice too (not necessary of course), the book-CD combo is only about $50.
I propose the beginner-intermediate study group meet on the 1st and 3rd Mondays, except next Monday is too soon, so in February we would meet on the 2nd and 3rd Monday (the 11th and the 18th (after which we can attend the Stammtisch!!)).
I've also created separate mailing lists on yahoo for each study group. This way, the regular group members don't get bombarded with emails irrelevant to them!4)
So what needs to be done? For non-study group members, attend Stammtisch on Monday 2/18, pay me a dollar (or pay online via PayPal), and have a good time!
Members who've looked at the files showing the two books and have decided to do one of the study groups should join BOTH yahoo mailing lists, since many of you will at first not know which group fits best, so it'd be better that you're part of the initial discussions regarding locations, etc. Here're the yahoo groups:
Then you must obviously get a copy of the book from your library, bookstore, Amazon, wherever. Finally, whenever the first meeting happens, work through the first 2 lessons BEFOREHAND, show up, pay me a dollar, and let's talk, clarify syntax and diction, and talk some more!
Whew, long email. Probably nobody's even reading this far.