So glad to see you again! Are you ready for the next trip around my school? If you are curious about the American school life, just keep reading! In the today’s post I wanna introduce you some interesting school activities that one can get involved in as well as tell you about my semester schedule. At the end, I’d love to share with you my best memories from the Homecoming week that I personally think was the best time so far! Let’s start!
The school provides you with multiple after-school activities. I noticed that the school in the USA stresses the physical activity and sports play a great role in students’ school lives. There are various seasonal sports that you can take during the school year!
- Cheerleading (definitely my fav so far!)
- American football – it differs from European football (Americans call it soccer here), the rules are really challenging and you have to be really fast and strong to push players back with the ball and score touchdown! This is the cherry on the top of all American sports 😀
A little throwback to cheerleading;)
- Dance team- really advanced class that keeps the dancers disciplined and demands stretching all the body, our school team specializes in jazz
- Wrestling- sport that encourages mostly boys, high physical condition required!! It’s interesting because it’s not arm wrestling but the players grapple with each other with the whole body!
- Basketball (I’m excited to see first games soon!)
- Baseball/ softball- the difference is that baseball is for boys and the size of the ball smaller than in softball which is the light version of baseball for girls
- Track & field- athletic disciplines such as run, discus throw and steeplechase
Many students get involved in these sports and stay about 2 hours on average after school to practice certain disciplines. I really admire this attitude and suppose that’s the answer why the USA perform so well in international sports events! 🙂
At the end of the season the best players are awarded during the annual Sports Award Night with certificates, sports yearbook and special prizes.
I got a highlight video with all the games of our players and cheerleaders from my host dad! I’m so happy that I will be able to keep good memories of cheerleading with me for a long time!
What is more, you can participate in other extra- curricular activities such as:
- Theater- there are seasonal plays organised
- The Fall Play
- The One- Act Play
- The Musical
- Knowledge Bowl- general knowledge about current events, math, history, pop culture let’s face it, it’s very challenging! There are 3 competitions during the school year, challenge accepted!!
- Earth Club
- Student Council- people who organize some major events at the school for example food drives
- Band- people involved in band play various instruments at important school events such as Pep fest- school cheerful celebration!
- Choir- people practise singing Christmas songs!
- Gym- opportunity to work out a bit;)
Okay! Let’s talk about school subjects and my daily school routine;) In the American High School there are not typically profiled classes. Each student can freely choose subjects which seem to be interesting for him. Some of the courses are labelled as honor classes or AP classes (Advanced Placement) that means you can get be prepared for further college education. These classes are generally more difficult but worth your extra effort because they are accomplished according to higher educational standards. One class which lasts the whole school year is equal to 1 credit point (or 0.5 if it is one semester). The required # of credits in the high school in Minnesota amounts to 21.5. The total depends on the State. If you meet all necessary requirements, you are allowed to get Diploma on the graduation ceremony.
In the US high school you don’t have a typical class with the same people all day long but there are different people attending different courses. Before the school year starts, you should go to your school to meet the School Counselor and fill in a special form about your subject preferences. The school lasts two terms and you have two schedules for one year. Every day looks the same, there are 8 classes- 45 minutes each. It sounds like overwhelming daily routine but in fact the whole day goes so quickly and everyday brings completely new experience because teachers don’t let you be bored and come up with plenty of funny didactic games as well as projects!
My academic day:)
- Spanish II
- Pre- Calculus
- Anatomy/ Physiology
- Prep College English
- German II
- Study Hall
- US History
I do like my school day!
My day starts with sociological analysis of society which lets me widen my general knowledge about American people and reveal secrets of human’s mind;) We talk also about crimes and deviance as well as environmental issues and try to face stereotypes and prejudice. Our classes are accomplished by WWYD (‘What would you do?’) videos and sociological movies such as ‘The Village’ and ‘Hotel Rwanda’.
Spanish course is very relaxing and I noticed that Americans learn Spanish that is practically used in Mexico. For example I was surprised that in conjugation we don’t learn ‘vosotros’ form or letter ‘z’ is voiced whereas in Spanish used in Spain it is soundless.
Pre- Calculus is a quite challenging math course because it covers the material of advanced math including slopes, solving various equations, synthetic divisions and generally speaking graph analysis and finding necessary coordinates. I value this course for the ability of finding quick and effective strategies to solve mathematical problems specially helpful for SAT tests.
Anatomy & Physiology is very interesting because you have a chance to study body structure and its functions in depth and learn new specific vocabulary. For example, currently our topics concentrate on the skeletal system and we had 3 quizzes to label every single bone of both axial and appendicular skeleton! Although it was challenging, I feel now equally satisfied that I’ve faced it successfully! Sometimes we practice in the lab and conduct scientific experiments or do the research that help us to understand more anatomical issues.
Prep College English is an honor course which prepares for studying at the university and focuses on a logical analysis of the sentence (grammar) and improvement of English vocabulary. We were given a book ’30 days of powerful vocabulary’ and every day we took a short quiz with the words used in the book. I must say that most of the words were unknown even for Americans but they were in fact helpful to build your linguistic knowledge! I recommend that book as I really feel that I widened my ‘vocabulary bank’ in maybe 40%. It helped me to find more accurate words for expressing my thoughts. The words were quite sophisticated so learning them by heart wasn’t the easiest task! 😉
German II is obviously the funniest lesson during the whole day! I love it and my German teacher is the most creative teacher I have ever met:) Although most of the material that we cover this semester is a review from my middle school, it is a good opportunity to refresh my memory. We learn German by playing bingo cards, translating simple theater plays, watching German videos with daily-use conversions and many other entertaining games.
During the study hall, we meet with my friends to do our homework together and just to chill out and talk a bit:) Some people even decide to have a short nap on a comfortable sofa in the school library;)
My last lesson is US history and this course is a great chance to study the development of the USA from scratch. I got to know that although history of America is much shorter than the history of Europe, it is as interesting as ours and gives an overview on the legacy of American presidents.
Finally, I would like to tell you about my best time at school that I’ve experienced so far! Our school organizes Homecoming week every year. This is the special time when when people have a good time and the school schedule looks a bit differently. There are lots of funny activities arranged that involve students from the whole school to build school spirit as well as make up relationships. Throughout the week, students vote for the Queen and the King of Homecoming. I would like to show you how my Homecoming week looked like:
- MONDAY (September 25th)- Fake Injury Day & Coronation
- TUESDAY (September 26th)- Twin Day & picture day and Volleyball Tourney (teachers and students played volleyball together)
- WEDNESDAY (September 27th)- Denim on Denim vs. Groutfit Day & water balloons after school
- THURSDAY (September 28th)- Old Person Day
- FRIDAY (September 29th)- Cobra Pride! Pep Fest and walking parade around the school with a school band handing out candies & Homecoming football game in the evening
- SATURDAY (September 30th)- Disco Theme Dance at school!
I think that the dance was definitely the high point of the Homecoming week. It was an amazing time I got a wonderful poster from my Homecoming date and we had really great fun dancing for a couple of hours in the rhythm of top chart songs! I will never forget ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran it was my fav on the party! Aw, I remember that I got experienced my first Cupid Shuffle dance. At the end of the post I placed a link so that you can listen to the music and take up a challenge to learn the dance!:D It was really fun when all of the stood in straight lines one by one and start to take steps to the right and to the left in the rhythm of the snappy music! It is very popular dance in America especially on parties after weddings, birthdays and some other big events!
Thank you for being up to date with my posts! I hope you liked it! And now I’m preparing for Christmas time which is very soon! I’m very excited and looking forward it! I wanna wish you amazing time with your family full of warmth and love during this Christmas. May the New Year 2018 be successful for all of you and filled with happiness and the wonderful atmosphere of mutual understanding be with you through the whole year! Stay warm! Lots of hugs!
Cupid Shuffle music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h24_zoqu4_Q