Wednesday, September 2, 2009
First Day of School - Tuesday, August 25
So I was planning on waking up at the early time of 5:45 to get ready for my school (Unidad Educativa Santa María), which starts at 7:10. I ride with Uncle Fernando and my cousin Caroya (real name - María Dolores), and they leave at 6:30 for school. I happened to fall back asleep after my alarm went off and woke up to my madre saying "Buenos días" at 6:22. I rushed through a shower, brushed my teeth, and dressed. I ran downstairs and grabbed a sandwich Mamá made me (two pieces of bread with cheese and a slice of ham, toasted, is a common food here). I chugged a chocolate milk (not completely mixed) and she ran upstairs and grabbed a jacket for me (it was kind of cold and rainy). I have a jacket for Santa María (part of the uniform) but she grabbed my black one - I didn´t get into trouble for having it instead. During this whole ordeal, Tío Fernando is honking the horn. What a hecktic morning. I ran out of the front gate, hopped in the cab of his truck (I sit in the back seat because Caroya sits up front), and off we went. Now, because of this first morning, my family all checks on me and asks me if I got up on time (every other day I HAVE).
After a 15 minute drive through town, Caroya and I got to school. She showed me the campus. It´s a reeaallly small school (I am comparing it to JCHS) and has maybe 30 classrooms.
I met Caroya´s cousin, my second cousin, Tita. Luckily, they helped me find a principal, and then he showed me to my class. There were 2 other foreign exchange students in my class (Julia from Denmark and Lara from Germany - both in Rotary), but now there are 4 other exchange students (another Lara from Germany - with Rotary and Soli from Germany)!
School was completely crazy. First was math with some satanic, devil-worshipping (thank you Mr. Hermann) signs - matrices. I don´t mean to toot my own horn, but when it comes to math, let´s just say I´ve got a full box of crayons. Well in this math class, I couldn´t figure out a single thing they were doing. They were doing a complicated way to find a system of equations. The students are friendly and helpful if I don´t understand something. They asked me a lot about the U.S. and things there. They like to joke a TON, telling me different "joke" names for people. I acted skeptical and got the truth out of them in the end. They do all (nearly all) have nicknames so I had to learn at least 2 names for everyone. The teachers talked and cycled through (we have 4 classes each day, but the classes change everyday). The students talk a lot so it´s pretty fun and borderline getting-in-trouble. The classes seemed so complicated because they´re in Spanish, and Joffre told me that they take notes when the teachers speak! I guess that´s like the U.S., so we´ll see what happens. We had homework in Physics (already!). Apart from that, we did absolutely nothing (except talk) in all classes because the students took exams the week before and the teachers were grading them. We do have "Recreo" twice a day, every day, where we go outside and can buy food, play sports (basketball that morning), or just talk.
This day some teachers took all of us into another classroom and handed us some song sheets. On the song sheets were Catholic songs and prayers. We listened to a tape then we all had to sing along. It was especially funny because I had no idea what was going on, but I still sang out. The other students said that they don´t do that very often. At the end of the day, we all lined up in the central area outside. Someone was talking over the speakers (barely audible) and we lifted our hands every once in a while. I still don´t know what that was all about. We were then dismissed, and I went home with Caroya and Tío Fernando.