“Write a Christmas story or a Winter's tale! Be creative!" Dies waren einige der wenigen Vorgaben beim ENGLISH WRITING CONTEST der HAK Feldbach am 20. Dezember 2017. Die Schülerinnen und Schüler des 3. und 4. Jahrgangs konnten ihren Ideen freien Lauf lassen, bekamen anschließend Zeit, um diese Ideen zu sortieren und um wichtige Entscheidungen über Inhalt, Stil und Textsorte zu treffen. Individuell konnte jede/r im eigenen Tempo vorgehen und in einer angenehmen Atmosphäre einen Text verfassen. Die Schülerinnen und Schüler arbeiteten selbstständig, hatten jedoch die Möglichkeit, sich bei Fragen an die betreuenden Englisch-LehrerInnen zu wenden. Auch die diesjährige Englisch-Assistentin aus Amerika war an diesem Tag für sie da. Am frühen Nachmittag wurden die entstandenen Werke für den Wettbewerb eingereicht.

Am darauffolgenden Tag fanden sich die Schriftstücke ohne die Namen ihrer AutorInnen bei ihren ersten Lesern, der Jury, ein und wurden bewertet. Noten? – Nein!; Grammatik- oder Rechtschreibfehler? – Zählten nicht! Nach eigens für den Wettbewerb erstellten Kriterien (Originalität, Sprache und Gesamteindruck) mit Bewertungsskala wurde jeder Text von je gleich vielen Juroren aus dem Lehrerteam sowie aus den Abschlussklassen der HAK gelesen und erhielt Punkte, die für die Reihung entscheidend waren.

„And the winner is….“ hieß es dann am 22. Dezember 2017. Direktorin Edith Kohlmeier überreichte der Siegerin Lena Payer (4AK) eine Urkunde und den wohlverdienten Preis für ihre sehr gelungene Christmas story mit dem Titel „Cassandra the cup“. (Für Text auf "Weiterlesen" klicken!)

 Ex aequo auf Platz 2 landeten die Texte „Baby found in a stable“ von Stefan Hütter (4BK) und „Old cabin“ von Jakob Schöllauf (3AK).

Cassandra the cup

Sooo... hi guys… I’m Cassandra. It may seem a bit unusual to you but I’m a cup. Yes, you read right. A cup. To say it more precisely, a coffee cup, a really pretty one to be honest. I’m red with a white kind of flower pattern all over me. You probably don’t know why I’m telling you all this unnecessary stuff … well … you will probably need this basic information to understand the story I’m going to tell you. And yes, you read right again, I’m going to tell you a story today. The story of my first Christmas.

I came to my household about 8 months ago. They bought me in a little store for dishes in, I think, April. I was very happy when they bought me, I needed a bit of a change in my life. The cup next to me in the store was a good friend of mine, his name was Kurt the cup. For me, he was a good friend, you know, but he wanted a bit more, in fact, a serious relationship and I’m TOTALLY NOT INTO THAT so … okay I’m drifting away from my story. Back to the day my family bought me. They took me to their house, a nice house in the suburbs of London. Of course they have a big kitchen with a beautiful cupboard, that’s where I have lived a nice life for the last 8 months. Most of the time, Thomas, the father of the family drinks out of me, but sometimes Sally, their oldest daughter. There’s also a mother, Regina. Most of the time she’s the one who puts me in the dishwasher. I absolutely hate the dishwasher … but that’s another story. And then there are two more little kids, but they are just very loud and not important to me. You see, I’m living a very good life here. And there’s one thing which I was looking forward to since the day I have arrived here: Christmas! I have heard about it on the radio several times and I’ve seen a lot of things on TV (I love to watch TV with the other dishes if the family isn’t at home). “That Christmas-thing must be something beautiful”, I thought. But then there came the actual advent. It was not like I expected it to be. The whole family was completely stressed out. Thomas drank his coffee so quickly every day and in the evenings there was no time for tea. The children screamed louder, so Regina shouted even louder at them and that whole thing totally pissed me off. I thought that this time was very quiet, peaceful and full of love. At least it was like that on TV. So I survived the screaming, the hustle and bustle every day until Christmas Eve. But the last month was so stressful and loud that I wasn’t in Christmas mood at all. The Christmas spirit I had been looking forward to for so long was completely gone.

I spent the 24th of December in the cupboard. The whole family was away for the next two days. They celebrated Christmas in Brighton, where Regina’s parents lived. So all of us had nothing to do and a few very enthusiastic plates, cups, spoons, forks and knives organised a little Christmas party on the big dining table. At first, I didn’t want to go there but the other cups persuaded me. With the most not-festive-mood you’ve ever seen, I made my way to the kitchen table. All the dishes there were dancing to a song called “Last Christmas”, they were laughing and eating from the dirty plates which Regina forgot to put in the dishwasher before they left. Everybody seemed happy but no one talked about that story about the little child in the crib. I heard that story on the radio a few days ago and it was said that because of this story we celebrate Christmas. “If that Jesus was so important, why does no one talk about him?” I asked myself.

Suddenly someone was knocking on the big kitchen door. Some of us, including me, went there to see who it was. We opened the door and at first we just saw two shadows. Those shadows came a bit more closely and appeared to be pepper and an extremely pregnant salt. Pepper spoke “Hello! May we come in? We’re on a long journey to the next supermarket and don’t have a place to sleep.  

Lena Payer


Old Cabin

It was a cold day and the ground was covered with a thick layer of snow. A man stood on a small hill, he wore an old jacket, the warmest pants he could find and a red scarf that hid most of his face. He had to leave his vehicle behind and walk the last couple of meters up the hill. It could have easily continued, he had the old thing completely repaired and upgraded with the newest equipment. All just to make sure that he would reach his destination. Months were spent gathering all the things he required for his trip: food, water and warm clothing. This trip cost him a small fortune, but it would all be worth it if he could see what’s hiding behind this hill one last time.

As the sun slowly started to set behind him, he just stood there, on that hill. It was all still there. Covered in snow and ice but still there. The old tree that they used to climb, the frozen pond that they used for ice skating, even the old birdhouse was still hanging where they left it. And in the middle of it there was a cabin. Their cabin. It had seen better days but it was still standing, which was more than the man had hoped for. Seeing all this brought back memories he had long since forgotten. While carefully walking down the hill, the man thought back to the days when he used to race his sister on this same hill in sleds that his father had built. After reaching the door he pulled a key out of his jacket, but he quickly put it back in after realizing that the lock that used to protect the cabin from intruders while they were gone was now just a rusty piece of scrap lying in front of the door. Opening the door took more effort than he had expected, it was old and the ice wasn’t helping.

When he finally made it in, the cabin was a lot smaller than he had remembered it to be. Just one big living room two bedrooms and a small kitchen. Dust had gathered on the furniture, but other than that everything was in surprisingly good shape. The light from the setting sun shining through the old windows cast the room in an orange glow. After taking it all in for a moment, the man took a couple of pieces of wood from one corner of the room and tossed them into the fireplace, he then proceeded to pull a lighter out of his pocket. It took him a couple of tries but in the end he succeeded and the fire started to spread warmth throughout the cabin.

With this task completed he moved on to the kitchen. After looking through a couple of drawers, he found some tea. The brand that made it had died a long time ago. He grabbed a dusty metal cup from another drawer and started making tea. The generator was broken and without electricity the water heater was useless, so he had to use the fire.

While waiting for the water to heat, he started exploring the bedrooms. He remembered sitting next to the window with his sister while their mother had been reading them stories and he remembered crawling into his parents’ bed after having heard a scary noise when he was little. A familiar smell woke him from his thinking. The tea was done.

As he sat on the old couch, slowly sipping the hot beverage he thought about why they had stopped coming here every year. Was it because of his father’s promotion and because they no longer had time, or was it because the place slowly started falling apart. He never asked his parents and now it was too late. This cabin had been in his family’s possession for decades. His father had told him stories about how his father had taken him there and how his grandfather had used to live here, before he moved to the city. Being in the cabin again, it felt good. Maybe he’d come here every year from now on, like they used to. He had spent all that money on getting the vehicle running again, it would be a waste if he used it only once.

He finished his tea, thinking about the future and reminiscing about the past.

Jakob Schöllauf


Baby found in a stable – police and youth welfare office investigate

Carpenter from Nazareth and minor mother preliminarily arrested

Bethlehem, Judea | In the early morning, the public authorities were called by a worried citizen. He detected a young family which lives in a stable. On arrival of the social service officers supported by the police, they found a baby of a 14-year-old mother called Mary H. from Nazareth, wound in napkins and put into a feed manger.

During the arrest of mother and child, a man, called Joseph H., also from Nazareth, tried to distract the officers. Joseph H., supported by herdsmen and three foreigners, wanted to stop the slaving of the child, but he was stopped by the policemen.

Also the three foreigners were arrested. They told the police, that they are wise men from an east country. The interior ministry is already searching for their origin, because they are apparently illegal in the country. A police speaker said that they also had forbidden substances with them. They defied the arrestment and claimed that god had told them to go home immediately. The chemical substances were confiscated.

The current location of the baby is top secret. A fast clarification of the whole case seems very doubtful. On enquiry, the staff of the social service told us: The father is medium age and the mother is definitely not of full age. The relationship between the parents is being tested.

Mary H. was taken to hospital for a medical and psychological check. She can expect an accusation. She claims, that she is still a virgin and that her baby is from god. That is why her mental status is also being tested.

In an official message from the leader of the psychiatry he says, “I am not allowed to judge people by their thoughts, but if a baby is endangered, we have to classify her as a dangerous woman. But with the right therapy, she soon will be a normal member of our society.”

Last but not least, another piece of information: The attendant herdsmen claimed conformable, that a large man with a white nightshirt and wings (!) on his back ordered them to go to the stable and celebrate the birth of the mentioned baby. A drug squad officer told us, “That is the most stupid excuse from drug addict people I have ever heard.”

Stefan Hütter