Atlanta Blog 2015
Liebe Leserinnen und Leser,
auch in diesem Jahr sendet die Gruppe der Atlanta-Austauschschüler viele Grüße aus den Gebäuden der Brandon Hall School. An dieser Stelle werden wir versuchen, regelmäßig unseren Blog zu posten und über unsere Erfahrungen und Eindrücke zu berichten. Alle zehn Schüler und Schülerinnen werden jeweils über zwei Tage ihres Aufenthalts bloggen. Einige von ihnen wohnen in Gastfamilien, manche sind dieses Jahr aber auch im Internat untergebracht, was für den Blog sicherlich zwei sehr verschiedene und interessante Perspektiven auf das Leben hier darstellen wird. Best regards from Atlanta
Steffen Teigelack und Erik Riemer
Yesterday we had the opportunity to have a chat with Brandon Hall School’s interim headmaster Johnny Graham. We talked about the future of our global partnership and agreed on extending our communication on different levels, such as through e-mail and skype projects between different groups of students from both schools. Mr. Graham is looking forward to visiting Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium and is determined to send a delegation of BHS students to Germany around February/March next year.
The picture was taken in his office when we handed over the little present for our host.
Warm regards form Atlanta
Steffen Teigelack and Erik Riemer
My flight to America was on the one hand very interesting, however, on the other hand, it was also really boring since there was not much to do on the plane besides watching movies or reading. The only good thing about it was that I had a gorgeous view of Atlanta when we approached our destination. As we landed in Atlanta Mr. Aykut picked us up with school buses and brought us to the school. As we arrivedwe first had to pass a security guard in a little guardhouse. The whole bus was completely surprised by how big and pretty the Brandon Hall School terrain is. As we got our baggage we went into the dorm to wait for our host families or to meet our roommates. When we entered the dorm, a large group of people were welcoming us. The students at BHS are very kind and welcoming. After I got upstairs I met my roommate Travis. He helped me find everything and introduced me to some of his friends. After I unpacked some things, I went downstairs with some other people to get into the school bus. Then we were driving to a nearby mall and did a little shopping tour. I really like the malls in America, because they are very big and you can get nice clothes for a low price. As we were driving back, the bus driver started playing music and everyone in the bus was dancing. In the evening I was playing some videogames with Travis and his friend Skyler.
It’s 6.30 in the morning. The door opens up, the lights are going on, a man yells „get up, it’s Monday morning!“ My first schoolday in Atlanta. The weather is rainy but warm. After I put my normal clothes on I went downstairs to have my breakfast in the cafeteria. It was really delicious and there is a big difference between a German and an American breakfast. For example Americans eat sausages for breakfast. At 7.30 I wanted to go to my first class, but Mister Aykut stopped me and told me that I would have to wear a school uniform. After I’ve put my uniform on I went to my first class, Modern World History. The lessons are completely different compared to a lesson in Germany. The students at the Brandon Hall School work a lot of the time with their notebooks and their books are digital. From my point of view it’s really interesting to see how you can combine new technology with school. The second period was US History. At 11.16 the students went to the cafeteria to get their lunch, this time it was fish, potatoes and salad. At 15.00 the school was over and I went to the dorm to change my clothes for my extracurricular activity. After I did some sports and had my supper in the dining hall I went to my room and just fell asleep because of my huge jetlag.
My second day started exactly the same like the day before. The alarm clock rang at 5.15 a.m. I got up and prepared my things to leave at 5.45 a.m. punctually. Although I left home very early, school did not begin early. I have to drive with the bus 1 ½ hours every day because my house is on the other side of Atlanta. After getting on the bus I had the chance to catch up on the sleep I didn’t get at night. Sadly this was not so comfortable because these buses stutter a lot. After arrival I had breakfast in the dining hall. We are not allowed to use our smart phones there, which I had forgotten on the first day. If I hadn’t been an exchange student, I would have had to give my smart phone to the teacher. At least the scrambled eggs were good.
Then, after getting treated like a slave by a teacher of a certain class who ordered me around and yelled at me for not having tucked my shirt into my pants, I went to strength training which was in the gym. There I had to lift heavy weights and sweated a lot which was really bad because I had to stand this smell the whole day. After strength training I had US history and then Spanish. During the Spanish lesson I was really surprised of the students because some of them have no respect of their teacher. Right in the middle of the lessons some students opened YouTube and started to play songs loudly. Only after the fifth request they stopped it, but the teachers never got mad. In contrast he even stayed very friendly. But this was not the only thing that surprised me. The tests were really easy. Every question was multiple choice and questions were like “Which of the following figures is the nearest to 85? A) 89; B) 87,5; C) 83; D)100”. Teachers treat the students in 10th grade like students in 2nd grade. Then the bell rang and it was lunch time. After having lunch I had to go to any club like Travel, Sci-fi, Wellness or others. So on this day I went to travel club. There we just talked to our friends and host brothers, but did nothing which had a connection to the word “travel”. So my next class was British Literature. The teacher talked about beast fables and rules the people had to follow in medieval times. This was really boring, but luckily we were allowed to use our tablets and laptops so we could chat on Skype to the other exchange students in this room. After that I had to go to geometry class and to P.E. Sadly the supply teacher was Mr. M., the man who treated me like a slave in the cafeteria. But then, finally, the bell rang at 3 p.m. and I walked down to my bus. 1 ½ hours later I was back home and relaxed in my bed until 8 p.m. when I had dinner. After it I went to bed and fell asleep directly.
At 5.15 a.m. my alarm clock rang again. So I did exactly the same like the days before and went to all classes of the first four periods. After 4th period we left the school together with ten other students of Brandon Hall School to visit The World of Coca Cola. While we were leaving the cafeteria with our lunch packets and a drink some of us were again crushed because we were not allowed to take some drinks on the bus, which surprised us. This school has really strict and also some unnecessary rules. When we arrived at The World of Coca Cola I learned some interesting things about the history and foundation of this Coke product which influenced the whole world. After going through the safe containing the secret formula we entered the room where we could try more than 50 tastes coming from each different continent and country. When we left this room we all felt very bad because we drank too many drinks containing sugar and caffeine. Then we watched a 4D movie and visited the souvenir shop. We all were really disappointed because we really had to hurry to be at the bus punctually. At least most of us were not able to buy nice things for their family. After getting back to school I got home with my host family. At home I relaxed on my bed, took a shower and ate the typical American food: chicken wings, French fries, nachos and a Coke.
The following pictures provide an impression of Mr. Riemer’s and my visit to Chamblee High School, another high school to which we were able to establish contact. We had an appointment with Mr. Neuhaus, a native of Hamburg who teaches different grades in German, and he showed us around, introduced us to his students and had us present our transatlantic program to them. Most of the Chamblee students have been learning our language since elementary school (which is exceptional for an American school) and thus are fluent in German and able to engage in very deep conversations and discussions about different topics. We were quite impressed by their skills and appreciated talking to these open-minded, motivated and interested young people. Hopefully some of them will be on our internship program next year.
Warm regards from Atlanta
I am one of the students who is living in the dorm together with Cara, Celina and Sebastian.
I do not have a roommate but she’ll arrive on Monday. 50 percent of the students at the school live here so we are always in contact with them. They all are very friendly and show us a lot of things. Every morning we have to get up at 6.30 a.m. and eat breakfast. The breakfast is really tasty and there are many delicious things we can eat like omelets, pancakes and other typical American food. The school begins at 7.45 a.m. with Forensics (Gerichtsmedizin). This is one of my favorite subjects because we do not have something like this in our school. After this I went to US-History and we watched an interesting movie about the American Revolution. In third period I had algebra and we took a quiz that presents part of the mark. Funnily enough, after the quiz the students put out there computers, listened to music or watched Youtube videos instead of doing math. The school is very different to our school in Germany and moreover the subjects are very easy for us. Everyday after the fourth period we have lunch and today we ate chicken and pasta salad. After the break we could choose between different clubs e.g. debate, wellness (sport), documentary and other clubs. I chose ASL (Gebärdensprache) because I think it is a great opportunity to learn how deaf and mute people communicate without speaking. It was 12.22 so I walked to the auditorium were we built a wardrobe for drama. In sixth period I had “government” where I could not do anything. Sit and wait. At 3 o´clock we had to pick an extracurricular activity. As I just mentioned I really enjoyed ASL with the consequence that I choose it one more time. It was great fun and I would love to do it again.
The day starts at 5.30 am, because at 6:30 am my host student Mason and I drive to school. A really cool aspect is that Mason is 18 and has his own car so we don’t have to drive with the school bus. At Brandon Hall all students have breakfast at school and not at home so at 7:00 am we arrive at school and have breakfast with the other German and American students. The breakfast is okay but I eat only bagel J every day because I don’t like hot food in the morning. School starts at 7:45 am, they don’t have a big break after every second period like in Germany. After every period there are 4 Minutes to change the room. And after the 4th period you can have lunch in the dining hall. After lunch we have to do a club about 30 minutes. I do the ASL club. It is fantastic! It’s the best teacher of the whole school. He is deaf but I never met such a friendly teacher. You can see that he loves his job and is so happy to be here. He even took a selfie with the class. He is amazing. After the club I had 3 more lessons.
Generally Brandon Hall School is very different to our school in Germany. And honestly I don’t want to go to school here for a year or something like that. The two weeks are an amazing experience but the school is very strict, there are many rules that don’t make sense for me and I really hate the school uniform. Also the teaching is very different because in one class there are only 2-6 people and it’s very easy and slow, sometimes it was a little boring because we did all the stuff in Germany last year.
At 3 pm school is over but normally I have an extracurricular activity, I took acting, but on Friday there aren’t any extracurricular activities. The other days acting was cool, the school has a big theatre and it is lots of fun to act with the other American students. Normally the extracurricular activities end at 4:30 pm and Mason and I leave the school. But on Friday we went to the dorm after school because Mason had to talk to a teacher and I chilled with the other German people in the lobby of the dorm. After a couple of minutes we left school, drove home and ate with Mason’s Family. I love my host family, they are very nice and lovely. I got worried when I thought about Saturday, when we fly back home. After eating we dressed up because on this evening there was a dance in school with a DJ and lots of food. At 7:00 pm the dance started. The dance took place in the lunch hall and everybody had a lot of fun. We danced, ate and met new American people who live in the dorm. At 11 pm I and Mason drove home and I immediately fell asleep after I got home.
Hey readers, on Saturday the most of the exchange community went to the Georgia Aquarium and CNN. You hopefully now the Georgia Aquarium because it is really famous. We all went to a dolphin show which was incredibly breathtaking. It was so beautiful how the dolphins were able to swim with the humans. They were literally riding the dolphins. And also the show was really complex, it was amazing how the dolphins remembered every move and the time when they had to do their move and all that.
What is special about the Aquarium is that it has whale sharks and beluga whales, which is pretty rare.
The CNN tour afterwards was also very interesting because we got to see how the broadcasting station looks behind the scenes, how the speakers read their text and how the green screens for the weather forecast work. After CNN just some of us (Martin, Alina, Jona and I) went in a revolving restaurant on a skyscraper from which you could see the whole city. There we drank some expensive as hell cocktails.
When you have read the blogs from before I think you already know enough about the daily routine and the school, even though I think you got some wrong impressionx about it.
For example, the school isn´t really easy here. They have to work every night. When the teachers give the students homework, they say: “Tonight’s homework is gonna be…!”
I personally think that the school life at Brandon Hall school is pretty tough and I also noticed that the most students are able to build a friendship with their teachers, which is probably possible because the classes are so small. Most of the teachers at Brandon Hall are pretty funny and have a lot of humor, they are not as strict as in Germany.
Except for the one teachers you already got to know in Matthes` Blog…Mr. M! We call him:
I don´t want to talk about my daily routine because it would probably be boring for you.
I would rather like to talk about the American life.
So the first thing I noticed in the US is that they do not have Paprika Chips here. I went to a grocery store and there was literally every chip flavour that exists except for paprika.
Interviewed 4 American people:
“What´s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Germany?”
2. FC Bayern München
5. Volkswagen cheating on the emission standards
My Expectations about American
– fat people
– a lot of guns
I must say that I was positively surprised, because the most people I encountered were really nice to me. Some of the stereotypes I had were disconfirmed, e.g. I discovered that the black community in Atlanta is not as discriminated as I thought it would be. Back in Germany I only had a very biased presentation of discrimination in America.
I expected the Americans not to be open-minded about their history and that they would not talk so openly about it, however, when I went to my modern world history class at Brandon Hall they talked about the dark sides of the American history.
My host family is so helpful and interested in the German culture. We talked a lot about the differences in culture and they also told me something about America.
For example at our first dinner together we noticed that we use fork and knife differently.
I must say that the food is not so different from the one we eat in Germany.
Now to the language.
We speak English…obviously.
What I noticed is that after some days of mostly speaking English, my tongue got a little weird. For example after speaking so much English I misspoke some words probably because I wasn´t used to speaking so much English. After those first days I caught myself dreaming some words in English. Mostly I dreamt of Andrew (my hostbrother) speaking to me or calling my name.
Even though we might have had some complications it is still a once in a lifetime experience.
Thanks mom and dad for making this possible!
Me in a school uniform.
Hi to everyone who is reading this blog 🙂 Greetings from Atlanta!
My blog entry is about October 4th, which was our Sunday in Atlanta, but I will also tell you something about our life at school / in the dorms in general. I am staying at Brandon Hall’s dorm together with Celina, Svenja and Sebastian, which is great because we can do many things together so none of us is alone.
From my point of view living in the dorm has both advantages and disadvantages, but it is definitely an experience. One of the big advantages here in the dorm is that we can sleep quite long (maybe you have read before that some of us have to get up really early) because our way to school is only a on- minute-walk. Usually we are woken up by some other students that are staying in the dorm (I think everyone who’s living in the dorm has to do this for one week and after this they change again), they are coming into our room at 6.30 am, turn on the lights and tell us that we have to get up. At about 7 am we leave the dorm and go to the dining hall for breakfast where we meet most of the other exchange students who are staying in a host family because they also have breakfast here at Brandon Hall.
The breakfast is really tasty and so are lunch and dinner. We also eat lunch together with the other exchange students after the 4th period and dinner is at 5.30 pm (really early :D).
On the weekend there is no separate breakfast and lunch, there is only brunch which means there are only two meals a day which is not really convenient because the brunch starts at 11. So it happened that we left school on Saturday as well as on Sunday before 11 so we did not get food here.
After dinner we usually meet in one of the other girls’ rooms or go to one room where we can play table tennis 🙂 At 21 pm during the week and at 22 pm on the weekend we have to be in our room and go to bed.
So as I mentioned before, staying in the dorm has advantages as well as disadvantages, in contrast to Celina and Svenja I am sharing my room with one of the American students which means that I’m never alone.
To conclude you could say that residential life at Bandon Hall it is definitely really different compared to our day school life back in Germany. It opens up a completely new perspective on American boarding schools.
So as I said in the beginning of this entry, my blog is actually only about our Sunday in Atlanta, meaning only one day of our weekend here, but there is not that much to know about my Sunday and I wanted to give you a chance to get to know our typical life here, so as I do not want to bore you I will just briefly tell you what happened.
On Sunday morning at 6 am I woke up because my roommate got up very early. As I would be picked up no sooner than 10.30 I had plenty of time so I took a shower, relaxed in my room and when the others woke up, I went upstairs to hang out together with them.
After that Annika’s parents came to the dorm to pick me up and drive to a shopping outlet which was really nice of them:). I was looking forward to this since I knew that we were going there so I was really happy when we arrived in the outlet, everything was much cheaper that in Germany. After shopping we went to a burger restaurant and had really delicious, typical American dinner. At about 20.30 pm we drove back to Brandon Hall School, where I hung out with Celina and Svenja and we played table tennis( lots of fun :D). At 10 pm it was time to sleep so we went back to our rooms. Lights were turned off and sadly at 12 pm also the WiFi :D.
I got up really early in the morning. It was my first day with Matthes and Sebastian, who moved in with my host family. After I put on my school uniform, I took my backpack and went downstairs to the car. While we were sitting in the Buick, we had time to sleep because we were stuck in traffic. Many of the traffic jams are caused by the ignorance of the American Government letting 16-year-old children drive.
As we got to school, we realized that we were too early. So we had to wait in front of the cafeteria for 10 minutes. After we were allowed to enter we sat there for over half an hour nearly freezing on the chairs. It was mostly 10° C in there because Americans love to turn on the AC for the whole day although it was like winter outside. While we were eating Mr. M., like Matthes already wrote, was watching us to find something to yell at us. Then we went outside to get to our classes punctually. My first period was Modern World History with Mr. O.. The first lessons all of us thought he would be a really cool, friendly guy, but then he turned into a guy that really has sides. Still the cool side, but also a side we didn’t expect. When I was sitting there, my head lying on my arm and my hand, bored of doing nothing because he didn’t integrate us into his lessons he told me to sit with an erect back. Later I found out that Matthes and Celina were kicked out because of looking surprised at each other because of a really bad presentation in Mr. Oden’s class. When the bell rang I went at first to Computer Science, then to Probabilities and Statistics and then to World Literature. These three classes were sadly the only ones on my seven-period long schedule I could participate in. After that I had advisory where we were allowed to do anything we want to. Then in 6th period the fire alarm was triggered by a burning beamer with the consequence that all students had to go down to the soccer field. The firefighters were coming and we waited outside the whole period. After that I went to my last class: PE! This was the period which was the most fun because Matthes and I were both in one class with some other funny students. I was really looking forward to this lesson, but then the headmaster came into the gym with all the other students of the school telling us that they weren’t able to stop the alarm so the whole school was allowed to go home 40 minutes before school actually ended. We had to use the bus to get to the place where we would get picked up. When the bus came we finally were allowed to go home. When we were in the bus we slept because we were so tired of school.
The bus took about a whole hour to get to the place where we would get picked up because of the bad traffic. When we got to the place we had to wait for another 30 minutes to go home. At home we had time to get changed into casual clothes and then we went straight to Krog street market. Krog street market is a place where you can get lots of different kinds of food. Here we got us some really fatty bacon cheese burgers but this burger at the same time was the best burger I ever had. This burger was so good because of the carefully chosen ingredients that were in the burger but also the meat was very well made. The only thing that I did not like about this burger was that the fat was dripping down from it. After we ate we decided to take a walk to a supermarket which was about 30 minutes away. At the supermarket we walked around and had a look at the different things they sell. One major observation that we made was that there were lots of fatty things or there was lots of sugar in it. After buying some groceries, we walked back to where we parked the car at Krog street market. Having got back to the car, we drove to a pharmacy, which took us about 30 minutes. After going to the pharmacy we drove another 20 minutes to get to the house. While driving we noticed how big the streets were because in America there are four lanes and six lanes on motorways but in Germany there are only up to four lanes on motorways. We also noticed that the city of Atlanta is very big. When we got home we drank some tea and at 11 o’clock we went to sleep still thinking of how big the city of Atlanta is.
Hey readers, I am one of the students living in the dorm together with Cara, Svenja and Sebastian.
I was looking forward to this trip since the beginning of the year, and I was really curious about the daily life at an American high school.
I have Journalism at BHS and my task was to point out the differences between THG and BHS so they could use it for their school magazine.
Part of my blog is consisting out of the newspaper article and the other part is about how the daily life of andorm student looks like.
There are many differences between our public school in Germany and Brandon Hall School. The first big difference is that our hometown public school is not as structurally unique as Brandon Hall.
Moreover, we have noticed that there are only a few students in one class. This is completely different in Germany because there can be up to 34 people in one class.
Furthermore, we do not use laptops in the classroom, which would be unthinkable at Brandon hall school. Teaching without using laptops is not realizable at this school. They do not use books in class anymore, they use “textbooks” which the students can find on their laptops.
In addition we, the German students, are supposed to wear uniforms at school just as the other students. The school has strict rules when it comes to clothes.
The whole school system in America is different than Germany’s system. In Germany, we have a three-class system, which means that the students are divided into three different tracks (Gymnasium, Realschule, Hauptschule).
This is different in America because there the students are mixed together in high school. This means that it doesn’t matter whether one student is better in school than another student. They are put into the same school/class anyway.
In Germany we only take classes together with students who go into the same grade. In America freshmen ( 10th graders) can take classes together with seniors ( 12th grader) which s a bit confusing at first.
On top of this, we do not have the same lessons every day like at BHS. Our schedule in Germany is different on a day- to- day basis, but here at Brandon Hall they have the same schedule everyday for each semester.
The last main difference is the amicable relationship between teachers and students. In Germany we see teachers more as a teaching staff and not as a friend like the students at BHS.
In Germany, we do not have a boarding school, so nearly every student comes from the surrounding area.
As I mentioned I am living in the dorm for these two weeks. I experienced that a life in a dorm is way different than the life at home in Germany.
The main reason for this is that there are always people around you. This brings advantages and disadvantages with it.
On the one hand it’s cool that you can hang out with friends all the time but on the other hand you do not have time for yourself if you have a roommate.
You are not allowed to just leave the campus in order to have a little walk or time for yourself. There has to be someone who picks you up at the dorm to sign you out. This person has to be the one who is supposed to bring you back to the dorm.
This means that the dorm is like a little “prison” because you can’t get out of it without the permission of someone.
One day is like the other day: Someone wakes me up at 6:30 am, after that I take a shower and get ready for school. We have to leave the dorm at 7:15 am and eat breakfast in the dining hall together with the other exchange students. After that I have school until 3 pm. Then I have to choose an extracurricular activity that I would like to join. I mostly pick theater until 4:30 pm. I go to my room in the dorm until dinner at 5:30 pm.
Next there is a so-called “study time” where the students are supposed to do their homework or learn for their tests until 8:15 pm. Usually I do not have any homework just as the other exchange students and as a consequence we play table tennis, watch movies or do other things during this time period. After study time we meet with other students who are living in the dorm or continue the things we did during study time.
As you can imagine there are not many deviations in the daily routine of a student who is staying in the dorm when you are not allowed to leave the campus on your own.
In my opinion life can get really boring if you do the same things every day without some sort of change.
I could never live in the dorm for longer than two weeks because of the reasons I mentioned and because it looks like a youth hostel.
The bathrooms are dirty, the bedrooms somehow too. I cannot open my window, I cannot turn off the air conditioner and I do not like it that there are people around you the whole time.
Living at the dorm is like a never ending summer camp and for people who are in favor with summer camps, the dorm is the best place to stay for them.
To put it in a nutshell, BHS and the THG do not have a lot in common and so it is a great opportunity to experience high school life in America and dorm life somehow too.
The alarm clock rung at 7:35 am this morning. One hour later than normal because this Wednesday was a special kind of day for Mrs. Mei´s daughter Athena. Once in a month she has school one hour later than usual, because of the teacher´s conferences, so we need to wake up later. After waking up and getting ready, we had a blueberry muffin and a yoghurt for breakfast in the dining room. Afterwards we went to the garage to start our quite long drive to school. It took about one and a quarter hour. After overcoming the traffic and dropping off Athena at the Westminster School, we arrived at Brandon Hall School. I had already missed the first and the second period, so I hurried myself to come punctually to the third period. As the other students have already written, the schedule is also the same for me every day. My third period is the Astronomy class. This subject is very instructive for learning something about space, planets, gravitation and tides. The next subject was World Literature which features English grammar and writing essays, and the class was taught by Mr. O’ Sullivan, an Irish man. He is really funny. Martin, Svenja and I taught him some German phrases. At the end of this lesson, all German students and their host brothers and sisters came together to drive to the Lennox Mall. Mrs. Mei, my host mother, is the Mandarin (the main dialect of Chinese) teacher at Brandon Hall, she was so friendly and sacrificed her time to drive us to the just mentioned Lennox Mall. There we were allowed to go shopping for about two hours. Inside of the Lennox Mall, there are many shops of different famous brands i.e. Rolex, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, etc. It is bigger and much more luxurious in comparison to other malls. Unfortunately, the Mall was very expensive and confusing and Svenja could only buy some presents for her parents and I did not buy anything (to my parents: except food of course 🙂 ). Nevertheless, Svenja and I found the way back to the bus. Half an hour later, we reached Brandon Hall again. Then Mrs. Mei and I went home. During the week, Mrs. Mei and her daughter live in a modernly furnished flat. Athena and her mum moved into this flat one month ago, because it is closer to Athena´s school. They both are very kind, cooperative, courteous and try their best to give me a nice time in the US, so talking to them is very easy for me. We often talk about everyday topics while eating some snacks and having a nice day. I enjoyed this evening together with them. We went to sleep at 10 pm.
This morning we had some Oreo cookies for breakfast (I could get used to it :D). After breakfast we drove to school. Anyway, the lessons were shorter than normally, because the teachers had a parents meeting later on. In the periods the teachers told us that they are going to miss us. Cara and I arranged a dancing period during our gym period to teach the other kids the traditional German carnival dance also known as ‘Tanzmariechen-dance’. We showed them step by step the single dancing steps. All were really fast learners and at the end of the period we had created a complete dance together. Our teacher Mrs. Greenway was very excited about learning about new dances from other nations and asked Cara and me, if we wanted to send her some videos of our dance, to learn about this new kind of dance. After this period some girls came to Cara and me and thanked us for the exciting and well-prepared instructions. Cara and I were very grateful for this feedback. When the school ended Svenja, Viktoria, Franzi and I sat in the backyard of the school and waited for our hosting families. Two hours later Mrs. Mei finished her parents meeting and we picked up her daughter and drove to a steak restaurant. The steakhouse was called ‘Long Horn’. The facility of the steakhouse was half modern half rustic. The furniture was suitable to the name of the restaurant, i.e. the cattle horns were distributed all over the house. The dish I ordered was fantastic. First I got a mixed salad with honey-mustard dressing. The main meal was a steak with a baked sweet potato. The service was very nice, and because it was our last evening together she took a commemorative picture of us. After leaving the restaurant we drove home to start packing our clothes because we will move to the bigger house tomorrow.
Yesterday we visited Dr. John Singleton, former headmaster of Brandon Hall School, at his current workplace in Asheville, North Carolina. He sends his best greetings to the THG staff and students.
Us in front of the Grove Park Inn, President Obama’s favorite hotel in Asheville.
Today Kacey Michelsen, my host in Atlanta, gave Mr. Riemer and me a tour through his school, the Holy Innocents‘ Episcopal School. This state of the art facility features an upper, middle, lower and elementary school. The name might be misleading since there is no affiliation to the adjacent church anymore. Mr. Michelsen and I are currently pondering an exchange program between our schools, which could be established after the department chairs will have re-evaluated their current programs.
Friday was our last school day at BHS. Well, it was not as usual as the days mentioned in the previous blog entries. Why? – Because there were parent conferences (Elternsprechtag), which makes the day a half day. That means the lessons are only 30 minutes each and school ends at 12.00 o’clock. Everyone could get home early. Except from some students at BHS who helped the teachers with the parent conferences. For example my host sister Lilia. She had to stay at school till four o’clock and because I had a lovely host family, I got picked up at 12.30 on my own, having the opportunity to pack my suitcase.
But however, this was my Friday:
Lilia’s dad drove us to school every morning at about 6.45 so we could have breakfast in school, it was a 20-minute drive with normally Lilia cracking her knuckles once in the car and because I cannot stand that noise and it is a really bad habit, her idea was to give me a dollar every time I hear her doing it. It cost her eight dollars in six days. Besides that it was a pretty quiet drive. After our arrival at the school we got into the cafeteria. I was still full from dinner on Thursday, so I could not eat anything. During breakfast we talked about how happy we are to fly home on Saturday because we were all exhausted from school and wanted our own beds and finally to have holidays!
After a bit of complaining, we went to our classes. For me, it was Mixed Media. We took a big piece of paper and everyone was doodling till the bell rang. Next was World History by our beloved Mr O., I do not need to say more because the others wrote about him before. But there were only three students in that classroom: Celina, Matthes and me. So Mr O. asked us some questions. One of them was, which German film is worth watching, of course we showed him the trailer of Fack ju Göhte (with English subtitles), we never saw him laughing so hard before! I had PE afterwards, but we did not do anything, which I was really pleased with because the days before we were always walking and jogging and those are some of the worst things you can do to me! Geometry was my following lesson. Cara and I were in the same class, so that was pretty cool. We played a game, boys against girls, for sure the girls won. Afterwards I had British Literature and we watched a film. And after that I had Literary Genres and we played a game again. My last lesson at BHS was Physics. The teacher asked Cara and me what we liked about BHS and what we disliked.
After the bell rang, Lilia and I went to the cafeteria and ate lunch. I was still not hungry but I ate a salad. Well, as I said before Lilia stayed in school and I went back to my two week dwelling ( my new favourite word :D).
At about seven o’clock all the German exchange students came to Lilia and we had a little goodbye party with ping-pong, pool and dart games and of course pizza and soft drinks. That was pretty cool and everyone had lots of fun. Afterwards some of the exchange students, excluding me, went to a café/ bar/ whatever.
Lilia and I watched the new Cinderella film after we cleaned up and then went to bed.
Saturday was our last day. I could sleep in which was good, because I was really tired. Lilia, her dad and I went out for lunch at Cuzi’s, it was really good and no fast food, because they do not just have fast food in America!
At two o’clock our little group met at the dorm, took some group pictures and was happy and sad at the same time that we had to leave. We had no problem with leaving the school, but we made friends and leaving them behind can be hard. However we had no other choice. We packed the school bus with all our suitcases and left. After we arrived at the airport, we directly went to the security check and after a short time we were flying back to Germany.
Thank you to everyone who was part of the exchange! It was an experience you only have once in a lifetime and I am happy that I had the chance to be part of it!