I meant to write an update last week and I was really excited because I had a specific story I wanted to tell you all, but I didn’t have time to write it until Saturday, which is my unofficial “designated writing day”. And then on Saturday I forgot what all my excitement was about. But I had a lot to say. I just forgot it all.
Anyways, I am back again, and I (think that I) have remembered which story it was that I was so excited to tell you about.
In grade ten in Hamburg, Germany (I honestly have no clue how it is in the other states here in Germany – every state has its own education system), every Gymnasium student has to write a series of exams, and how well they do on these exams determines if they are given entrance into the next level of Gymnasium, so that they can get an Abitur, similar to a high school diploma. I did not think I needed to take these exams, since I won’t be here next year to go to the next level of Gymnasium anyways, and after talking to my class teacher I thought that it was certain I would not have to go to any of the exams, except for maybe English. I apparently misunderstood the entire conversation (what else is new, haha). So I didn’t study at all for the exams, and when there was an exam, I would go to my German Learning class instead. When it was the day of my class’s math exam I went to my German Learning class, as usual.
When I got there, I got surprised with a vocabulary test that I did not know we would have, and therefore had not studied for. As I was sitting there, sweating my way through the first page of this test, my math teacher came into the room, a little out of breath.
He told me that the math exam was starting in ten minutes, and that he thought I was going to take this exam. Then he asked if I wanted to take this exam. My reply was basically “YES THANK YOU!!” as I grabbed my pen, white-out, and borrowed my German Learning teacher’s calculator, practically running excitedly off to take this math exam that I had not studied for.
I was actually quite happy for the first little bit of the exam (I got out of a German Vocabulary test, after all) but then when I reached the halfway point I realized what I had gotten myself into. The exam did not go well, to say the least – but I got better than a passing mark, which is the important thing. And I got out of the vocab test.
Now for an update: not much has really been happening with me, but I have been feeling really good lately. At the beginning of this week the desks in my homeroom at school got rearranged, which really doesn’t change much of anything for most of my classes. But in Religion, which is probably one of my least favourite classes - sorry, Herr Religion Lehrer (Mr. Religion Teacher) – it actually made a big difference. We all had to pick new seats for this class, since students from all of the grade ten classes can take this lesson with us (one of my host brothers is in this class with me, which is cool). And in result, I got to sit with about 8 or so friends. We don't really do much outside of class, but we hang out at school which is always fun. We’re all just sitting in this big clump on one side of the room, and although we don’t talk to each other much during the lesson (since we are listening to the teacher), it still makes it a whole lot more fun.
On Tuesday or so (I can’t remember exactly when) I did a book presentation in my English class, recommending 4 English books that I really like, and that I thought my classmates could read easily if they wanted to. It was hard to pick books for this, because there were so many I wanted to talk about, but couldn’t since I needed to pick books that would interest them. I also wanted to choose a variety of different types of books, so I chose one Young Adult Contemporary book, Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher; an autobiographical/adventure book, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed; a historical fiction book, A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly; as well as an autobiographical medical mystery book, Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan. All of these books are really good, and I would recommend them - I just also wanted to recommend so many others. Hopefully I will have another chance to do another book presentation.
That actually reminds me of something big that I have noticed: with the exception of my Theater class, I don’t mind giving presentations in front of the class anymore. I actually like it, sometimes. Before I came to Germany, whenever I had to do a presentation for school, I would be really nervous before, during, and after, and would sometimes feel almost sick. Now, I still feel a bit nervous, but it is not as bad, and I actually enjoy these presentations (like I said though - usually). I have no clue why that is, since it is not even like I have been making more presentations than usual since coming here. But it is an interesting note.
Last weekend, I went to a local museum, BallinStadt, which is an immigration museum that shows the stories and typical life of people who emigrated from Europe to New World countries in the eighteen and early nineteen hundreds. It was fascinating and informative. I really enjoyed myself there – and I am a bit proud of myself, because the museum is mostly German, and I was able to do all of what was in German! Maybe I didn’t understand every word, but I understood the points. Occasionally there were parts that were English, and I would do the English parts then, but still.
I was literally about to write one last thing, and then end this post, but then I remembered about the museum and did not want to forget to write about that. So I wrote that paragraph – and now that it is time to write the last paragraph I have completely forgotten what it was about. Whoops. Oh well - I don't think it was that important.
I hope all is well with you guys, and I will hopefully talk to you soon!