So, my mom told me I should try doing my blog another way. I've kind of just been doing this chronologically so far. But I decided she's right. I think all my days are interesting, but also its a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what to write about. So I think I'll try to write my posts a little shorter, more often, and about topics.
My first day at Colegio Alborada de Curauma was Monday the 8th. My first week of school was only half days. Which was nice, easing into it.
On the first day, there was an assembly for all the students and their parents. So after getting dressed in my first-day uniform (this is more than the normal uniform, since it includes a white button down, a blazer and a tie for girls), we ate breakfast and walked to school ("we" meaning my mom, sister and me). We walked into the gym, which kind of doubles as an auditorium, since it has a stage. We said "hi" to some people, and then Gaby walked me over to where my grade/class was standing. I met all the girls, and they were all very friendly. But there were so many new names, I didn't think I'd be able to remember any of them! Anyway, the assembly started, so it was time to be quiet. However, everyone, including the parents continued talking. So I tried to listen to whoever was speaking(a couple teachers/administrative people talked) but it was pretty difficult for me to understand much, because of the Spanish and all the background noise in Spanish. Eventually, the parents were um, dismissed, by one of the teachers.
Afterwards, we all went to our classrooms. In each grade, there is only one class. And most everyone has known each other since kindergarden, so they're all close. In my grade, there's 22 of us in total. I met our homeroom teacher. That's not what she really is, but that's the best comparisson I can think of. I had to intoduce myself to everyone, which was pretty awkward, but I knew it was coming. And at least I only had to do it once, not for 7 different classes like in Duxbury. Then, we all went around and said a goal for the school year. I know this sounds like a bad and unoriginal answer, but I said get better at Spanish, because at that point I was already insanely confused. Then, our teacher gave us each a lollipop. And each one had an inspirational saying on a paper attatched to it. We each had to read ours aloud and then give it to someone else. I was really nervous about who to give it to, but luckily a kid named Pablo(who is now my friend) gave me his, so I just gave mine to him.
Then I had my first history class. We made a big list of events in Chilean/world history. By the end, it had about 40 events, some I had previous knowledge of and some I was totally clueless about. For homework, we had to find the dates for all of these and put them in order on a timeline.
Then, at 1:00 I found Gaby and we walked home and ate lunch.
But this post isn't supposed to be chronological, but rather about school in general. So my schedule is like this:
School starts at 8:00. I have one class for two hours, then 10 minutes of changing time. Then two hours of another class before recreo, which is kinda like recess, for 20 minutes. Then a class for one hour. Then lunch at 1:55. Most kids eat at school, but I live on the same block as the school, so we walk home and eat with my mom. At 2:45 we have to be back at school for another class for an hour and a half.
Monday I have lenguaje (language arts, like an English class in the U.S), Philosophy, History, and Consejo de Curso. I'm still not quite sure what Consejo de Curso is. It seems like student goverment with the grade, maybe? And Mondays are half days, so we don't have to come back after lunch.
Tuesday I have history, math, languaje and orientacion. Not sure on that one, either. Then after lunch I have one of my electives. At first I chose debate. I figured that I would learn some other real Chilean opinions there, different from the U.S. And I wanted to take advantage of that. But I changed becuase of a few reasons. When I went to the class, I was the oldest person there, by a long shot. And it didn't seem like anyone was too excited to be in that class; I think some kids were there because it was the only available class. Also, I realized debating with my limited Spanish will be a realll challenge. And I'd totally be up for it if I weren't being graded. I need to pass all my classes, and I have to admit I'm the teeniest bit nervous. Granted, its only the begining, but its so hard learning in Spanish with advanced vocabulary and using analytical reasoning, etc. So I changed to gym. Here, gym is an actual class where you really exercise. It's intense. And in Chile I've been eating a ton and would really rather not gain weight, so I figure gym is a good choice. I'm kinda embarrassed to admit that I made this decision. But I think it's for the best. I hope.
Wednesday I start my day with Gym. Then, I was able to choose an extra history or an extra biology class. I chose History for three reasons. First, because science is really hard for me, and I'll have to take 2 science courses here anyway. Second, because the history here won't be the same U.S. history I'll be taking next year at DHS. And lastly, because I think Biology is probably taught from pretty much the same point of view and in the same way all over the world. Its pretty much straighforward facts. But history is facts with opinions built in. I think its nearly impossible for anyone to teach/record/learn history without some point of view. So in Chile, it's probably taught differently than in Duxbury. It seems like it will be interesting. At some point we're going to Valparaiso to learn some history in person, as a class. Then, after history I have Biology, then philosophy. And in the afternoon, lenguaje.
Thursday I start with my Music class, which is an elective. You choose music or art. Thusfar, its a pretty basic class. A little theory and a little playing. Learning rythms and whatnot. Then, I have chemistry. That ought to be interesting, since I didn't do too well in that class when learning English.... Then, Religion, in which we so far have not talked about anything religious. Then, another math class. And in the afternoon, math.
On Friday I have math, math elective (never thought that would be something I'd choose, but I'm actually enjoying math here), English and math. Then my afternoon class is orchestra. I realized just how much I miss Wind Ensemble during my first orchestra class. It was on the same day as the All State Festival. Bittersweet.
So all in all, school is really hard in Spanish. But my teachers without exception, are nice and helpful. And the same goes for most of my classmates. So I'm sure it will get better as time goes on and my Spanish improves.
Hope you're all doing well. I love comments =]