Christmas Break was probably right up there as one of my favourite, if not the favourite, times of this exchange year so far (by the way, I have now been in Germany for more than five months - crazy, if you ask me, because it feels like nowhere near that long at all). After I wrote my New Years/Christmas post, I had another few days of Christmas Break, and let me tell you that I did not want for them to end.
I have always had a love for school, but just spending time with my host family, my second family, was so nice that I could not bear the idea of dragging myself out of bed at 6:17 every morning (that is when my alarm is set for - 6:15 is too early and 6:20 just seems like such a ordinary wake up time) and getting ready for school which starts at 7:50 am.
Every. Single. Day.
Technically, I could get up later. I could. I am in no way rushed with the amount of time I am setting aside right now, and my school is only a five minute walk away from my house, but in a way that is the way I like it. And it really isn't the time that I am having to get up that really gets at me - I have always been an early bird - it's going to school. I have come to often dread it after a Ferien (vacation from school), which really saddens me, but I have no idea how to make it different.
I think I will go through a typical day's routine, and then I will continue on with this post.
I'll use today as an example day - it is actually my second favourite day of the school week, aside from Thursdays, which is tomorrow.
So let's kick off the day. It is 6:16, and I am lying in bed, willing for the next minute of my life to be the slowest minute of my life - it seems that lying in bed in the early hours of the morning is one of the most amazing things a person can do. And when my alarm goes off at 6:17 in the morning, shaking my bed (it is a special alarm clock for deaf and hard of hearing people), I reach over and shut off the alarm and hop straight out of bed, taking my time getting dressed and checking my phone, and by the time I get downstairs it is already 6:35-ish, which is right on time for me. I am really quiet in the mornings, as I just like to think and relax my way into the day, so when I see my host parents we say a friendly "Guten Morgen," and then I sit down at the breakfast bar in the kitchen, eating breakfast and preparing my lunch for the day. Then I head back up to my room and listen to music, pack my backpack, and finish getting ready for school, all at a really nice and slow pace - relaxed and unhurried, which I the way I like it.
Then I head downstairs once more to put on my shoes and coat, and am out the door five minutes later.
I arrive at school in time for first bell to ring and head to first period - art! I love art class - the teacher is really nice, and even though the projects are fairly specific, they are still always really fun to do. Normally I share this class with my host brother, who is in the same grade as me, but he is away on a ski trip with the school that people could sign up for if they wanted to.
(On a side note: a lot of people in my school here in Hamburg say "Our school is really poor, we never have the funding to do anything" and so on, but the school goes so often on class trips or travel trips with it's students. I am not seeing what they mean, since for example I haven't been on a school trip in Canada for my last two years I was there - and never have I ever been on a school trip to the magnitude of which they seem to go on every few months or so, which is travelling for 3 or 4 hours on a comfortable bus to go to an entirely different place in the country, or travelling for sometimes 15 hours to go to another country. And they seem to take it for granted, and think of their school as poor. I just find it interesting, especially since I don't think of my past and present schools in Canada as poor, but there is no way we would have been able to do any of those with them.)
Today in art we had to finish up a project in which we think of a character - either one of our own creation or a famous one - and then take a small box and put in items that would represent this person's life. It is actually a much more complicated project than it sounds, because you have to put a lot of thought into every part of the project - from the box that everything is in to the way the contents are arranged within the box to of course the actual contents of the box.
Halfway through German Learning is a break for lunch time, Mittagspause, and that is just what we do - we eat lunch.
Then, German Learning Class comes to an end, even though the class that I have to go to next is just as hard as the others as far as comprehension goes - Religion class. I can never understand what is being spoken about in Religion class, and I always leave really tired, hungry (because it goes for a long time), and to be honest a little bored. It is kind of sad, because I feel like if I understood the complicated words and terminology I would possibly really enjoy this class. I mean, maybe I wouldn't, but maybe I would. I don't know.
By the time Religion is over, it is 3:10 pm, which means that is the end of the day - the absolute latest time that school can let out. Sometimes it lets out earlier for me and my class (1:30 pm is the earliest), but not on Wednesdays.
Afterwards I come home from school and have supper pretty soon afterwards. Then I normally work on my normal classes homework for a while (about half an hour to an hour), and then I usually also have to dedicate an hour or so to German learning homework (it used to be only half an hour, but now that I have graduated to level B1 of German learning, there is more homework, and it is also much more difficult). If there is time left after that I generally hang out downstairs with whoever from my host family is there, and/or I go for a walk through the area, listening to music.
And although my school schedule varies greatly from day to day, that is basically what each school day is like for me.
I think I am going to end my post here. I have a whole lot more to say, but after writing it all out (it IS already written, so it will be posted soon) I pasted it all into a Microsoft Word document, and it was 7 pages long, not including the photos that I am hoping I will be able to include (if everything goes according to plan). It was written between this one late night, and today, which is why this post was not posted shortly after my last one. And anyways, I don't really want to cut the post down to a smaller size, because everything is stuff that I want to tell you all about.
So please stay tuned - later today or tomorrow I will have another post up, about the happenings of my last week or so.
Hopefully all is well with you, and I will talk to you soon - really soon!