Reversing the Personal Savings Rate of Americans


  • American’s don’t save: Too few putting away too little
  • American’s saving rate has been decreasing since a recent peak of 12% in May 2012.
  • Ideas to help Americans increase their savings.

Despite low unemployment and increased wages, America’s aren’t saving much or even enough money for their future. The personal savings rate in the United States in July 2018 was reported at 6.70% of annual income, according to Trading Economics. The personal savings rate for Americans in July 2015 was at 7.60% with monthly fluctuation. However, the personal savings rate every month for the last 5 years is below the historical average of 8.83% as measured from 1959 to 2018. Why is the savings rate of Americans decreasing? How can we reverse this ebbing tide and help it flow back in?

Scary Personal Savings Statistics

If the previous statistic of 6.70% wasn’t scary enough, according to, 19 percent of Americans don’t save any of their annual income. Even worse, even those who save aren’t socking away enough.

Savings experts recommend that you save 15% or more of your annual income for retirement. During a recent student done by, of the respondents who participated, only 16 percent are saving more than 15% of their annual income. That means that 84% of respondents are not squirreling away enough money to meet their future needs.


Percentage of Annual Savings Percentage of Respondents
None 19
5% or less 21
6-10% 25
11-15% 11
More than 15% 16
No income 1
Don’t know 7

What’s all this mean? It means there could definitely be a significant shortfall in the savings of people as they prepare to retire, according to retirement experts at Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A significant cash shortfall could spell trouble for our future selves. To solve this problem, Americans have choices to make, such as working longer, working a second job, downsizing their housing situation, doing a reverse mortgage, retiring on less, or another creative solution. Sometimes these choices won’t be easy!

Reasoning Behind a Decreasing Personal Savings Rate

According to a recent survey at Thrivent Financial, many Americans say that life gets in the way of saving. The Top 3 reasons Thrivent Financial found for workers not saving were expenses, not a good enough job, and people just don’t have the funds. These top three reasons accounted for roughly 74% of the response. The fourth answer was debt at 14%.


Reason for Not Saving More Money Percentage of Respondents
Expenses 39
Poor Job 18
Do not have it 17
Debt 14
No need to save more 6
Other 6


According to economists at Thrivent Financial, they recommend Americans start using a monthly and annual budget to help control expenses, allocate and understand where your household funds are flowing, and combat debt. A budget is the single best tool someone has to help them stick to the plan they set out for themselves.

Through a simple Google search, Americans can find hundreds of examples of budgets, meaning they can find a budget that is as simple or as complicated as they want. It is recommended by experts at Thrivent Financial to start out with a simple budget utilizing 8 categories or fewer, all of general nature, such as entertainment, food, travel, insurance, income, etc.

Another very helpful website is On Investopedia’s website, the “What’s a Budget?” page helps you understand the reasons why Americans don’t create a budget, how to build a budget, and ways to budget when you’re broke. Investopedia has a wealth of knowledge for every level of learner, so add it to your Favorites for future reference.

How to Improve the Personal Savings Rate

As this tide ebbs out, there are ways Americans can reverse the flow and increase their savings rate. For starters, Americans could downsize their home. This option isn’t possible for all Americans, but empty nesters are one demographic, who could start giving thought to downsizing. By downsizing the home, Americans could save on utilizes, maintenance costs, and property taxes.

Within the housing industry, Americans over 50 also have the opportunity to complete a reverse mortgage, allowing them to use the equity in their home as extra income for living expenses until their death or leaving the home, if selling the home isn’t an option they will consider. (Please be careful and read the fine print thoroughly on any documentation including a reverse mortgage. If it sounds to good to be true, it might be, so be your own best advocate.)

While downsizing or at other times, such as Spring Cleaning, Americans could utilize eBay and Craigslist to resell no-longer-needed items for a little extra cash. This serves two purposes: the item can be reused by someone else and it puts cash in your wallet. If you can’t sell the item, consider donating it for a tax write-off as another way to receive cash back.

Speaking of cash back, coupons and rewards programs at grocery stores and other chains can allow you to tighten your belt, thus giving you another opportunity to pay your future self. If you don’t already belong to a rewards program, examine the stores you most frequent and consider joining.

If you enjoy entertainment, consider joining a streaming service and cutting the cable cord. Nowadays, there are better options for streaming services, even for sports lovers. Over the last 10 years, it has become much easier to cut the cord. Remember, every penny counts when you are saving for your future and your goals.

Additionally, some Americans might be able to add income to their household through multiple avenues. We’ve already discussed the reselling of items on eBay or Craigslist. Other options include taking a second job, such as driving for Uber or Lyft, renting out a spare room or renting through AirBNB, while others might take on freelance work.

Some options are more plausible than others depending on the person and their situation, but all of these ideas are good starting points. The point of every suggestion is too increase the cash in your bank account, while reducing what you send out the door.

Whatever method/methods you choose to address your savings shortfall, consider your future self and take action today. Think of how your future self will thank you for having planned ahead, saving a little more today for a better tomorrow!

Marketing Proposal – Chateau Monticello

Table of Contents

Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Understanding the German Education System . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Breakfast and Beer . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Breakfast Findings and Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Beer Findings and Recommendations . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Expectations of German-Speaking Patients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Work Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11


Monticello Patio

Patio Life


Executive Summary

Education is essential to the success of any group of people. Food is also an innate need by all groups of people, German-speaking people are also no different than Americans in that respect, either. As with both education and food, deep cultural traditions exist that must be respected and honored. In researching the educational system, breakfasts, and beers of German-speaking countries, we determined that as we market to and engage with German-speakers, we must work to introduce them to traditional American education, foods, and beers, but at the same time, we want to honor their traditions. Based on our extensive research, we will provide for all staff members extensive German language lessons, lessons on the education system of German-speaking countries, adapt our breakfast menu, and enhance our all-important beer selection.

Monticello Patio1

Outdoor patient relaxation patio


The educational system in German-speaking countries is integral to the clients we market to and seek to treat at Chateau Monticello. German-speaking tourists are seeking to expand their medical travels outside of Europe. According to The Local (Julien, 2017), medical tourism is set to increase 25% annually. Medical tourism extends to treatments, such as Botox, which we specialize in at Chateau Monticello. Our competition comes from facilities in Central America and Southeast Asia, which is why we are implementing several enhancements for staff (to be announced). To better understand our new German-speaking clients, we need to understand three important aspects of German culture: education, food, and beer. We will focus on their education system, so as to develop a deeper understanding of their background. We will implement mandatory German language classes and tutoring for all staff starting in August 2018. We seek to make these classes engaging, exciting, and you will be paid for your time. Pivoting to food and beverages, our focus here will center around breakfast and beer. Our findings (problem and solution) in both of these areas will be spelled out in detail.

Management’s desire at Chateau Monticello is to provide a welcoming, world-class environment for all guests. We especially want to make our new German-speaking guests welcome as we market a new treatment regimen to them, where they will stay 3-5 days after treatment during which they can work the gardens, enjoy the extensive grounds, partake in Midwestern activities, and relax, if so desired.

Understanding the German Education System

Education is central to our future as a person, family, and society. We value and promote annual learning goals at Chateau Monticello for both staff and family members. If your travel itineraries have primarily focused on domestic U.S. travel, you might be unfamiliar with education systems, foods, and beverages outside of the United States. The education system in the United States is fairly uniform with some variations, such as homeschooling (which is forbidden in German-speaking countries) or the Amish, who usually stop schooling after the 8th grade. For the purposes of this report, I will concentrate on the education system of German-speaking countries.

Here we will focus our discussion on the grading system and the overall basics of the education system in Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria as compared to the United States’ education system. The education systems in these four German-speaking countries are very similar to each other but pose significant differences when compared to the education system in the United States

Let’s start with one grade all German-speaking students and students in the United States participate in, Kindergarten. Kindergarten is a German word meaning “children’s garden,” [1] where children are allowed to start their intellectual growth. In German-speaking countries, Kindergarten can start as young as 1 year of age. In the United States, Kindergarten doesn’t commence until ages 5 or 6 and before it is called Pre-K or pre-Kindergarten. In German-speaking countries, attending Kindergarten is optional; however, in the United States it is compulsory.

Following Kindergarten, age 5-6 in the United States and age 6-7 in German-speaking countries, attending school in all five countries is compulsory and students follow a similar path until either the 4th or 5th grade. Before the 4th or 5th grade, students in all five countries take placement exams but notable exam differences exist. These exams in German-speaking countries determine intelligence and a future educational track. The exams could determine the student’s entire future beginning with secondary school and eventually their job, pension, and even retirement. As a result, considerable attention is paid to these exams. At the end of the 4th or 5th grade, parents and teachers meet and evaluate the student’s academic achievements. This meeting along with exam results helps decide the academic path of the student.[2] Students in the lower education paths, if they show academic promise, can receive opportunities to test into a higher education path. Each of these exams varies on the student’s desired goal and typically occur on a pre-set schedule. Additionally, even after finishing secondary school a student can take additional exams, which can prove their intellectual capacity and ability to keep up with other smart students in a university setting.

To understand the secondary education system in German-speaking countries, let’s break down the three main paths in more detail. (Yes, there are other paths, which will not be discussed in this article.) First, there is Hauptschule,[3] which prepares students for a trade, such as electrician, and finishes after the 9th grade. In Hauptschule, one’s education is focused on the vocation of choice and less on book learning. Second or the middle track consists of a combination of Hauptschule and Gymnasium (which will be covered next). This middle track is called Realschule[4] (a.k.a., Oberschulen or Sekundarschulen) and as the name implies, it is “real school.” Realschule continues until 10th grade, where students typically learn one foreign language, usually English, and a vocation with an apprenticeship after secondary school finishes. These students are average to better-than-average students. Very good students in Realschule are encouraged to attend Gymnasium. Gymnasium, [5] the final and highest level of secondary schooling, is the most academically rigorous with an emphasis on university preparation. Typically, the final year, Year 13, of Gymnasium fully prepares you for your university studies. Just like the other two secondary education tiers, all students must take a final exam to graduate. In the case of Gymnasium students (known in German as Gymnasiast(en)), their final exam prepares them for placement into their university of choice, just as might happen with the SAT or ACT exam in the United States.

With all this discussion of exams and placement, how do the grading systems compare? In the United States, students are usually graded on an A-F system with A being the highest and F being the lowest. In German-speaking countries, the grading system spans from 1 to 6 with 6 being the highest grade and 1 being the lowest grade.[6]

The secondary education system for German-speaking countries is more complex and diversified then is found in the United States. As a student who has experienced both systems, I think the United States might benefit from a deeper understanding and use of the German secondary education system, especially for vocational students.

Breakfast and Beer

Because of your diligence and hard work, we’ve created a world-class Botox institution, which is spreading our reputation around the world. Because of your diligence, we are beginning to receive European patients, primarily from Germany and Switzerland. As such, Drs. Kammer, Marketing, and I are working proactively to welcome our patients to the facility and continue to increase business.

The problem we are starting to face with German-speaking patients is two-fold, centering around the 2Bs: breakfast and beer. First, German speakers are accustomed to more simplified, smaller meals including breakfast. Second, the American beer selection will need to be expanded in order for our patients to relax on the porches, walk the gardens, and play with the cats. Beer is serious business in Germany with a “German Beer Purity Law.” According to Wikipedia, this law has existed since 1516 in the German state of Bavaria.

Breakfast Findings and Recommendations

Many patients stay 3-5 additional days after their Botox procedure to enjoy the scenery, relax, and continue with their follow-up appointments. Patients don’t eat on the day of their procedure but desire healthy, filling meals on the remaining 3-5 days and breakfast is no exception. German breakfasts (das Frühstück), the most important meal of the day, is both similar to and different from a typical American breakfast.

  1. Breakfast is our most costly meal of the day. It is included in the cost for all patients. However, with the increase in our menu selection, we suspect possible increases in cost and food waste. So, to combat these two issues, we request your help in finding places to cut costs, breakfast items we can scale back on or delete altogether, etc.
  2. A traditional German-style breakfast, according to a website called, can include bread (das Brot), cheese (die Käse), sausage (die Wurst), marmalade (die Marmalade), butter (die Butter), honey (der Honig), cereal (das Müsli), hard-boiled egg (das Ei), yogurt (das Joghurt), milk (die Milch), and fruit (das Obst).
  3. What you see missing from this list are warm dishes, such as bacon, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, etc. Traditionally, only the hard-boiled eggs are warm.
  4. Concerning our selection of breads, we will need to revisit who our suppliers are, their ingredients, the taste, etc. Bread is serious business in German-speaking countries. In essence, we must get this one right! Breads are baked, purchased, and consumed on the same day by many households. The selection of bread in German-speaking countries varies mightily and as such, we must increase our bread selection. For example, Jewish Challah bread is close to Swiss Zopf/Zupfa bread, but we will contact the New Glarus Bakery ( in New Glarus, Wisconsin, to handle our new need for European breads. Additionally, we will search more extensively throughout Wisconsin, where many German-speakers settled, for other traditional breads, such as pumpernickel (der Pumpernickel), five seed bread (das Fuenfkornbrot), sunflower seed bread (das Sonnenblumenbrot), etc. Concerning costs, loaves will cost between $4 and $6/loaf not including overnight shipping.[7] With the need for 50+ loaves weekly with an average loaf price of $7 and shipping equaling $150/week, we will run a deficit on bread alone of $500/week. With these costs, we cannot sustain them for that long unless our sales increase dramatically. Thus, we will most likely need to learn to make the breads ourselves. So, if any of our current bakers would like free schooling in the art of European bread making, we will happily pay for you to attend a German-bread making class(es). Please inform Dr. Kammer or me as to your interest.
    1. The cost of one bread-making class is roughly $110. We expect our chosen chef will need to attend 10 classes ($110 each) along with travel and lodging. The total cost should run roughly $1,500 (Vincent, 2017)
  5. What can top bread? Well, many items including honey, marmalades, jams, butter, cheese, and sausage. In German-speaking countries, these products are purer, more organic. To address each item, we will take the following steps:
    1. Concerning honey, we will increase the number of beehives on our property.
    2. When it comes to marmalades and jams, we have a robust 2-acre farm consisting of black raspberries, red raspberries, blueberries, red currants, rhubarb, peaches, apples, pears, and Rainer cherries. On this front, we want to add another ½ acre of growing land, which means buying land from our neighbor, planting, cultivating, and nurturing these plants. At this time, management thinks we have enough staff to work the property. As always, your children are welcome to come out during time off from school to work on the property to earn a wage. The costs of the land purchase, plants, and resources needed to grow these new plants/trees will be roughly $14,250 spread over this year and next. Some of these costs will be offset by the projected increased sales of our marmalades and jams at our farm stand.
    3. We will source butter and cheese from two regions: the Amish in central Illinois will supply our butter and the dairy farmers in in New Glarus, Wisconsin, will supply our cheese needs. The sourcing of these materials, we project, will increase our costs by roughly $100/month for butter as Nicholas’ parent’s farm in Arcola, Illinois, has agreed to supply our additional butter needs at a discount. However, our cheese costs will increase by approximately $500/month, but we think we can save money on shipping by combining some cheese with our twice weekly bread shipments.
    4. Sausages will also be supplied by Swiss firms in New Glarus, Wisconsin, and Amish butchers in Arthur, Illinois. Thank you, Nicholas, for offering to pick up our weekly sausage orders from Dutch Valley Meats ( Additional Swiss-style sausages from Ruef’s Meat Market ( will be shipped weekly along with the bread and cheese. Monthly sausage costs will rise significantly from $745/month to over $3,250/month due to the specialty meats that must be ordered.[8] By sourcing from the same town, we estimate we can save $50-100/month on shipping costs.
    5. Once a month, I, as head of management, will drive to New Glarus to personal pick up a shipment or two of breads, cheeses, and sausage. I will also sample and hopefully bring back new items for staff and patients to try.
    6. Concerning variety, we want to change out our selection every 3-4 months to keep it fresh, inviting, and exciting. So, if there are any breads, cheeses, or sausages you think our patients will enjoy, please tell management. We truly appreciate that we are a team, thank you!
  6. Thankfully our selection of organic milks meets German-speakers’ taste requirements. This means we are blessed to keep using our current supplier, but we will need to increase our purchasing from 200 gallons per week to possibly 400 gallons per week.
  7. Our afternoon snack will not change at this time. We have gone to great lengths to discuss in our Marketing material that the afternoon snack is a way for patients to learn about traditional Midwest American fair including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  8. We actively compost at Chateau Monticello. Two new composting bins have been ordered to further reduce our ecological impact. To dovetail on this issue, 20 new rain barrels have been ordered to gather water for our 2.5-acre farm.
    1. Concerning the farm, we will offer patients tours and opportunities to work on the farm for fun in the beginning and possible, in the future, to reduce the cost of their visit. This last idea is only a trial balloon, so please tell us what you think.
  9. Costs for the Food Department will increase, especially for fresher, more unique cheese as well as sausage. For example, our cheese costs will increase from roughly $3,000/month to over $4,500/month as we will need source products from farther regions then just the Midwest. Sausage costs will increase from less than $1,000/month to over $3,250/month. Additionally, our bread costs will more than quadruple as we must find more European-style bakers or start baking these breads ourselves, which means adding new equipment, chefs, and signage.
  10. Fortunately, our coffee selection is on target as we serve Jamaican Blue Mountain, Kenyan AA, and Kona coffee from the Big Island of Hawaii.

Management’s goal for breakfast is to make breakfast profitable again within 6 months. To accomplish this, management needs your help, as stated previously, to understand what is consumed and wasted.

IMG_0892Fresh Vine-Ripened Tomatoes

Beer Findings and Recommendations

German beer is governed by laws in Germany called Reinheitsgebot. Beer and wine beverages are serious business in German-speaking countries, so we will be upgrading and diversifying our current selections at Château Monticello. Here are some German beer facts, current problems, and solutions you need to know about.

  1. According to the Reinheitsgebot, German beers can only contain three ingredients: water, hops, and malt.
  2. In 2017, according to a recently published article in the Telegraph by Oliver Smith, Germany ranked fourth in the world in per capita liter beer consumption behind The Czech Republic, The Seychelles, and Austria at 104.7 liters per capita.
  3. Our current beer selection only consists of American domestic options, many of which German-speakers find alcoholically weak and unappetizing, even those these beers were started by German immigrants. (If you’d like to read more about this interesting history, please inspect the article titled German Immigrants in the United States Brewing Industry (1840-1895) from Several of our domestic German-style beers will meet our German customer’s expectations, such as Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss and Sunset Wheat (
  4. There are four main types of beers in Germany: wheat, pale, dark, and unfiltered. Within these four main types, you will find many different brands with devout followings. We will add beers that complement each of these beer types as well as add in one domestic cider brand. The total cost of this venture could increase our monthly budget by over $2,000, but we anticipate making three times that sum monthly.
    1. Wheat: We will continue to supply Blue Moon ( & Goose Island 312 Wheat Ale ( Before adding or reducing, we will survey German-speaking patients. We want to open them up to new options, while still making them feel at home.
    2. Pale: We currently serve bottles of Goose Island India Pale Ale, Founder’s Brewery Dry Hopped Pale Ale (, and Bell’s Amber Ale We will add Bell’s Two Hearted Ale from Kalamazoo, Michigan, and one new German import, Wiesbadener Pale Ale from Wiesbaden, Germany (
    3. Dark: We currently only offer Guinness from Dublin, Ireland ( As this is very popular, we will keep serving this offering and add Weihenstephaner Tradition Bayrisch Dunkel from Freising, Germany (
    4. Unfiltered: Hefeweizen is an unfiltered beer. We currently offer Fort Collins Hefeweizen from Fort Collins, Colorado ( We will add Spaten Franziskaner Hefeweizen as well as Schofferhofer Hefeweizen both from Frankfurt am Main, Germany (
    5. Cider: A new Illinois-based cider company opened in Evanston, Illinois, in 2018. North Shore Cider Company ( brews small batches of cider for their clientele. We plan to purchase 3 cases of cider for a total cost of $325 to measure its reception amongst staff and patients before continuing the partnership.
    6. Shandy, Radlers, and Panache: These beers combine beer and a flavored soda, such as lemon, lime, or grapefruit. The most well-known is an Austrian Radler (known in Switzerland and France as a Panache) named Stiegel from Salzburg ( We will purchase Stiegel Radlers and seasonal Leinenkugel shandies, including grapefruit, orange, and summer.
    7. As a result of the increase in beer purchases, we will decrease our purchase of Bud Light, Stella Artois, and Beck’s by 80% from $2,000/month to $400/month. The consumption of Bud Light and Beck’s have been on a significant downturn over the past 4 months. [9] Concerning shipping costs, to reduce or eliminate shipping costs, theoretically we could purchase small batches from local vendors, such as Binny’s Beverage Depot in Champaign, IL (, to test out beers and survey both staff and patients. This latter option is most practical and logical path at this time.
  5. Our need to import some beers is expected. For example, many German-speakers enjoy a typical drink called a Radler. A Radler is a beer-based lager that tastes like a sweetened sports drink with alcohol. The drink is roughly half beer/half soft drink, usually with a lemon, lime, or grapefruit soda. The cost of this beer will start at $7/bottle. Another example to consider importing is Hefeweizen. The yeast used in Bavaria to make these beers is unique to the region and as such, is hard to mimic. The Leinenkugel Honey Wiess will be sold alongside a Weihenstephaner, one of the oldest beers in Germany with an original brew date of 1040 AD. By having to import this beer, we will keep the cost around $6/bottle. With these beers, we will need to have additional oranges and lemons in stock.
  6. We cannot forget to discuss our wine selection. We currently source our wines from Midwestern vineyards in an attempt to increase their name recognition. We will keep purchasing all varieties, when possible, from Midwestern vineyards.
    1. Wines that we can’t purchase from Midwestern vineyards, including Pinot Noirs, Malbecs, and Rieslings, will be sourced from reputable vineyards throughout the world. For example, our Pinot Noirs will source from the Willamette Valley of Oregon, while the Malbecs will originate from the Mendoza region of Argentina, and our Rieslings will come out of either Oregon, New Zealand, or Germany.[10]
    2. A new sweet wine called Torrontés will be introduced from either Norton’s or Gouguenheim in the Mendoza region of Argentina. This wine’s sweetness is similar to a Riesling and should be very popular, very fast, possibly challenging Riesling as our #1 seller. [11]
  7. Alcoholic beverage costs, additionally, are going to increase due to the need for new beverages as well as suppliers. Currently, our alcoholic beverage costs run roughly $5,000/month, but we expect this cost to increase to almost $9,000/month for reasons stated previously.
  8. In addition, since we are on the subject of alcohol, we need to improve our wine selection since it is currently American domestic, and namely Illinois and Michigan wineries as we aim to promote local products. For example, we currently only offer one local Riesling wine from Michigan. We will be searching out two additional Rieslings with one being sourced from Germany.

Concerning the purchase and sale of these alcoholic beverages, management’s goal is to break even in 2 months on our new selections, weed out poor purchases in 3 months, and be profitable in 4 months.

Expectations of German-Speaking Patients

Like most travelers, most German-speaking patients are understanding and friendly about the change in diet, beer, and surroundings when traveling to a foreign country. However, some patients will want to try traditional American cuisine and others, especially after the procedure, will feel better with some home-style food. These patients are traveling to Monticello, IL, for world-class treatment before, during, and after their procedure. We should all expect that there will be some bad apples in the bunch, so please feel free to direct them to me as your Property Manager.

Monticello BackyardFields and Farm


With increased knowledge of the EBB (education, breakfast, and beer), you can start to research on your own the differences between education, breakfast, and beer in the United States and German-speaking countries, mostly focused on Germany. This knowledge tied in with your weekly German classes will help you better understand, converse, and make our new patients feel welcomed.

The education system in the United States or a German-speaking country is neither superior or inferior, but the rigors and thoroughness of the education system in German-speaking countries leads to a better prepared student, who is ready to find their place/path/mission in this world. This benefit would enhance the education system of the United States and its students.

Concerning the 2Bs, breakfast and beer, many changes are coming, but they are exciting changes that will stretch our wings and encourage us to grow as individuals and an organization. Challenging ourselves is healthy and let’s embrace and conquer this challenge head on!

As a reminder to all staff, you and your family can come enjoy a Launch Party in two weeks to introduce all staff to the new breakfast and beer options. So, please save the date of August 20, 2018, for a night to celebrate and learn!

Thank you again for taking the time to read our memos the last few weeks and where possible, provide feedback. If you every have any suggestions for improvements, please don’t hesitate to contact your manager or upper management as we are a family and thus want to continually keep improving.


Works Cited

Julien, M. (2017, March 11) Patients Take Flight as Medical Tourism Booms. Retrieved from

The German School System. Retrieved from

Kindergarten. Retrieved from

Caitlan Reed, The German School System Explained. Retrieved from

Vincent, I. (2017, March 10) Up Your Baking Game with This New Bread-Making Class. Retrieved from


[2] Young Germany

[3] The German School System 2018

[4] The German School System 2018

[5] The German School System 2018

[6] The German School System 2018

[7] New Glarus Bakery

[8] Ruef’s Meat Market

[9] Binny’s Beverage Depot

[10] Binny’s Beverage Depot

[11] Binny’s Beverage Depot

Living Generously

Generosity is a deeply personal commodity, implemented differently from person to person. Before diving deeper into one’s personal relationship with generosity, let’s explore the technical definition. Generosity, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the quality or fact of being generous.” Another way to define generosity is living abundantly by both humans and corporations. People should live generously and give back to their community when possible.

One example of generosity spreading throughout the United States and around the world started in Hudson, Wisconsin, by Todd Bol in 2009. Free Little Libraries foster reading, build community, and spark a love of learning and creativity through welcoming neighborhood book exchanges. They come in all shapes but not all sizes. Many designs are fanciful, whimsical, and inviting. Ever wondered how to use out-of-date #2 pencils. Make them into the door handle of your Free Little Library. Each library provides access to books where none might exist. Books inspire reading, which in turn can galvanize someone to change the future! Motivate yourself, your neighbors, or your community to install a Free Little Library in a needy community, such as the southside of Chicago desperately in need of hope and motivation.


Generosity is not limited to people. Corporations have obligations beyond profits for shareholders including treating employees with respect, while also positively impacting the community they work in and the world at large. Known as part of the triple bottom line (TBL) (social, ecological, and financial) or conscious capitalism concepts, generosity enables corporations to broaden their focus beyond the financial bottom line to social and ecological responsibilities. When business professionals make financial decisions, they must consciously seek to deploy financial capital such that it provides both a positive social and ecological impact. For instance, when CEOs ignore the pollution of their factories in favor of profits, they risk damaging the ozone layer. To rectify this situation, CEOs can team with factory works to reduce pollution and increase their TBL. TBL is measurable in the attitude, work ethic, and efforts of employees. TBL clearly is an initiative gaining significant traction amongst companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, with more joining the movement yearly.

How do you live generously/abundantly? How does your company help you live generously? How does your company exercise the triple bottom line? Please provide me your feedback with examples.

The late Mrs. Barbara Bush said it best, “(n)ever lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people — your family, friends, coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”

Where do you find beauty?

Beauty is all around us! A happy smile, deep belly laugh, loving embrace, dark green corn field, colorful multi-angled city skyline, growing garden, reimbursement check, etc. are all beautiful experiences/sights/sounds that I enjoy. In a world overrun with unpleasant senses, we must all band together to stop and smell the roses. Turn the other cheek and walk away when someone hurls insults your way. Take time to compliment someone on their happy smile. Grow a garden and give some produce away to a neighbor in need. Be the beacon of light/hope in your neighborhood that you wish others were!

Wherever and whenever you find beauty, keep searching it out and passing it along!

Garden Porches and Their Produce

Even without land to grow a garden, you can still have a garden. Think outside the dirt, or in this instance, think inside the pot, clay pot that is! Clay pots can be for more than just flowers. Think about using clay pots to create a multi-tiered porch garden. For years, my mother has raised tomatoes, basil, Swiss chard, parsley, lettuce, cilantro, green beans, and zucchini on her back porch, out of the reach of hungry animals. Her back porch is over 200 sq. feet. No one needs that much space to grow a productive garden. My 35-square foot porch is exceptionally conducive for raising grape tomatoes, rosemary, basil, flowers, and lettuce plants. With over 12 clay pots in multiple tiers, I can produce over 200 tomatoes yearly, bags of rosemary for presents or cooking, bunches of basil to make pesto, lots of lettuce for fresh salads, cilantro for garnishment or guacamole, and flowers. Why include flowers? Flowers attract pollinators and as such, keep the constant blooms producing until from May until October.

Living in Chicago shortens my growing season, so I start seeding my pots in my condo basement in early April. This early start allows me a longer production season.

I grow what I enjoy eating and giving away as presents. Everyone likes something different. Grow what you love and it should love you back.

Please share your porch garden ideas in the Comments below.



Fresh Red Currant Sauce


1 pounds of red currants

12 Splenda packs

1/2 cup water

Destem and clean the red currants.

Combine the red currants, Splenda, and water into a sauce pan. Cook on medium for 15 minutes. Then turn down to low to simmer for 15 more minutes before removing from the heat and letting the red currant sauce rest/cool before storing.

You can freeze this sauce for use throughout winter.


Lightning, Turbulence, and Their Interconnectedness

24027486-4DF2-48CE-A921-E8BFE2206BBF_w1023_r1_sDid you know that there is about 10 times more lightning happening inside a cloud than you  can actually see because it’s hidden by the cloud?

Do you remember a time when you saw a thundercloud off in the distance lit up from lightning? As a kid growing up in the farm fields of central Illinois, I remember seeing thunderclouds filled with lightning and staring in awe as they rolled in. During this time, the late 1970s, lightning was little understood and feared. Scientists throughout the United States are working to better understand lightning, predict it, and describe how lightning can fill a thundercloud.

Did you know there is an interconnectedness between turbulence and lightning within a thundercloud? To understand this interconnectedness, researchers are studying how lightning fills a thundercloud, but more specifically how the turbulent motions in the cloud wind up making very small flashes when it’s really turbulent and vice versa (very large flashes when it’s a smoother cloud). Scientists state that they understand the conditions under which they expect turbulence to happen, but they do not yet understand the internal structure of turbulence nor how it is connected to lightning.

p1828649853-4By studying lightning, scientists hypothesize that they can better understand when a thundercloud is intensifying or weakening. Thus, we can relate things we understand in the meteorology of the storm to how the lightning behaves.

To more deeply understand this interconnectedness of turbulence and its influence on patterns of lightning, teams of scientists are researching how turbulence might predict where a lightning flash could happen. This is a challenging question since turbulence is such a complex problem and has yet to be clarified and illuminated in detail, how can scientists understand lightning? In a thundercloud, there are all these whirls and turbulence, but where is the next whirl going to form and stir things around? Once scientists can understand when the next whirl may form, they surmise they can paint a better picture as to where lightning could happen, which means they might better be able to understand the progression of possibly dangerous thunderclouds. Scientists admit that they are faced with a challenging problem on multiple fronts. Perhaps by attacking both turbulence and lightning together and separately, these problems may become simpler to solve.

purple-lightningResearch may better help meteorologists understand turbulence and how it influences the formation of less or more dangerous thunderclouds, thus keeping the public safe.

To better understanding lightning is to better understand how thunderclouds evolve and thus which clouds meteorologists should pay attention to for public safety reasons.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Video Script


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Lesson Objective
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L1: The History, Enjoyment, & Making of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Have you ever heard of or tatsted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, better known as a PBNJ?
After completing this Lesson, you will be able to:
– Explain what a PBNJ is.
– Demonstrate how to make a PBNJ sandwich.
– Enjoy your first PBNJ sanwich.
Icon of America
The United States of America is a diverse country. Not everyone grew up here or eating traditional American food. So, let’s introduce them to a great American sandwich, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Do you like trying new food? What kind of foods do you enjoy? Before we make a PBNJ sandwich, let’s learn more about this icon American sandwich.
History of the PBNJ Sandwich
In 1901, the first recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is published by Julia Davis Chandler in The Boston Cooking School’s magazine.
That means the PBNJ sanwich is over 115 years old. That is one old sandwich!
At this time, the PBNJ was a delicacy and as such, it was served at fine restaurants in New York City. Seriously? That seems so weird nowadays, doesn’t it?
Now that you know a little of the history, which is sometimes fun trivia, let’s learn how to make a PBNJ sandwich, shalll we?
Spoiler Alert
Before building your first PBNJ sanwich, be careful! Depending on your tastebuds, this could become your new favorite sandwich!
Before you can make the proper PBNJ sandwich, you must have the right ingredients. Now, specific ingredients depend on your taste. Do you prefer smooth versus chunky peanut butter? Do you love raspberry over grape jelly? Do you prefer white or wheat bread? Do you prefer your sandwich with or without crust? Each decision will make your sandwich unique to you!
Time to start making your PBNJ sandwich.
To make the sandwich, you will need two pieces of bread, a container of jelly, a container of peanut butter, a clean cutting board, a plate, a paper towel, and a knife.
To be safe, please do not use a sharp knife. Additionally, please handle any object carefully.
Break out steps for cutting the crust off bread. To do this, please have a hot link to the term “crust” in this screen.
Cutting off the Crust
Lay out the two pieces of bread on a clean cutting board.
Making Your PBNJ Sandwich
Let’s assume you love grape jelly, white bread with crust, and chunky peanut butter to make your sandwich.
Taking the knife, carefully lay the sharpest edge at the point where the the crust and the inner bread meet.
Now, slowly cut off the crust from each side. Go slowly! You want to keep as much of the inner crustless bread as possible. That way, you’ll have as much surface as possible for your peanut butter and jelly.
Lay out your two pieces of white bread flat on the cutting board.
Take the knife and dip into your peanut butter first. Lather on either a thin or thick layer of peanut butter onto one of the pieces of bread. This is your sandwich. Make it how you like it!
Only put peanut butter on one side of the bread. You will leave the other side untouched.
Now one piece is covered in peanut butter.
Clean off the knife with your paper towel.
Dip your cleaned knife into the grape jelly container. Again, lather on as much or as little jelly as you want on your sandwich.
Clean off the knife again with the paper towel. Place the knife to the side as you will need it one more time.
Let’s join the bread pieces together.
Pick up the peanut butter bread piece and place it on the jelly piece with the peanut butter facing the jelly. The untouched bread sides should be on the outside of the sandwich, while the peanut butter and jelly are on the inside of the sandwich.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Danger
Caution: The more peanut butter and jelly you use, the messier your sandwich will be. So, you might want a few extra clean paper towels around to wipe your face off and put on your lap!
Cutting the Sandwich
To make it easier to handle, take the knife and carefully cut the sandwich into two equal pieces.
You can choose to cut the sandwich at a diagonal so both pieces are in the shape of a triangle, or you can cut the sandwich so the pieces are in the shape of rectangles. It’s your sandwich, so you decide!
After cutting, clean off the knife again and place it in either the sink or the dishwasher. Also, please throw away the dirt paper towel(s). We don’t want to leave any messes!
Bite in and Enjoy!
Now the fun begins. Let’s eat!
Pick up one piece at a time and enjoy! I’ll not instruct you as to where to start eating because all of it will taste good.
Whichever peanut butter, jelly, or bread you prefer, have fun making your PBNJ sandwich, a truly American sandwich!