A little update on my American life…

I remember writing that time flew by. It did and it unfortunately still does. It is incredible how fast everything goes, but also how intense every single day is.

I reached the end of my fifth week at Canterbury and everything is different again! We started rehearsing for the absolutely hilarious musical „How to succeed in business without really trying“ and let me tell you: the cast knows how to succeed in a musical. It is amazing to see them block the scenes and work on the songs – and to be among them for a few scenes!

But as we started the rehearsals, Golf season ended as fast as it had begun. I had been learning golf for four weeks and played in two matches. My best score is a 66 with a par on the hardest hole 😀 . You can’t imagine how happy I am about that!

The first Art Club meeting is scheduled today, followed by an international students meeting. I had tryouts for Model UN – no results yet. I am officially in the Canterbury Speech Team. We had our first French Club meeting a few weeks ago – with absolutely fantastic food! And I would absolutely love to join the debate team too (I didn’t ask yet). And I decided that I would write an independent project about Marc Chagall’s „White Crucifixion“, which can be found in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Where we were with the sophomore class. It was impressive! We took a boat tour through Chicago and had lunch on that boat. Afterwards we visited the Art Institute of Chicago and had lectures from faculty members of Canterbury. It was incredible. I loved that day! Afterwards we went to this Greek restaurant. They just kept bringing more food.

Bad thing about the trip: half of the sophomore class was sick after that. E coli. But almost everyone is better now. Still: Get better soon!

New friends, new experiences, new opinions, new ideas, new techniques, new projects, new inspiration. I couldn’t be happier. My life feels like a piece of art!

Alice

Link

“Looking for Alaska” by John Green

John Green was an Indian Springs School student some years ago. He is a writer and one of the books he has published is based on his experiences on Indian Springs School. The name of this book is “Looking for Alaska”. If you want to read a book about a boarding student’s life, I can recommend it (although don’t do everything he did…)

Not Like the Movies

Hey guys!

I want to share with you a little article that I had written during the Writing Lab. It was supposed to be about what I think about America, but it turned out to be more like a personal reflection.

I have always wanted to live in the United States. It’s been my dream for the past few years. In the beginning, I was mostly influenced by those Hollywood movies with happy families, sunny days and people living idyllic lives. As time went by, I started to realize that life in America is not like the movies and with that I was leaving the Czech Republic. To be honest, I don’t know what I was expecting. However, what I know now for sure, after living here for almost a month, is this is not it. I am not disappointed though.

When I went to Italy or France, I wasn’t expecting anything. Yes, I was looking forward to finally seeing those famous countries, but it hadn’t been my top dream to go there. However, when I returned home, I was enchanted with thinking about what I experienced there. I was enchanted with the nature, people, food and lifestyles. I wanted to go back as soon as possible and live there. This is not what I feel about the United States now. If I ask myself this question about U.S., the only reason I’d like to come back is the permanent good mood of people. The important fact, however, is that the feeling I had about Italy or France is probably linked to nostalgia I experienced after coming home from every trip. It means (and I am almost certain of it) that once I’m back at home after 10 months of living with Americans and almost becoming one of them, I will want to come back and I will miss everything.

As I think about it, I probably still have this movie idea of American life. And as I think about it more, I am starting to realize that maybe this is really it.

Same thing is with the orientation – I’m not there anymore so I freaking miss it. hope you all have fun. I do. It’s more like up and down though. Just as Bob said it would be.

My first vacation trips…

Hey!!!

Now we are almost 3 weeks in the U.S. and I still have vacation. It is so great, but I’m also looking forward to the time when the school will start.

After the ASSIST Orientation (Thank you ASSIST it was such an amazing time!!!) my host family picked me up at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA and since this time I have been living in Northfield, MA. My host family is pretty nice and I am very happy to stay with them. Thank you so much!!!

In the last days we tried to visit all of the 6 New England States and we were definitely in almost every of this states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachussetts & Connecticut.    Rhode Island is the only state which we didn’t visit.

New Hampshire: On 26th August my host family and I visited the Meadowbrook concert in New Hampshire where Train, Andy Grammar and Mat Kearney performed songs like “Drive By”, “Miss Me” or “Ships in the night”. Andy Grammar ran through the audience and was very close to us and the light show (when Train was on the stage) was incredible. All in all it was such an awesome concert and an amazing day!!!

Vermont, Massachussets: One evening my host parents and I did a little bikeride through Vermont and Massachussets. My host family lives in Massachussetts and very close to the border to Vermont, so it was very easy cycling to the next state.

Connecticut: Last Thursday we were in Connecticut for watching a “real American Football Game” in which UConn played against UMass. I only understand a few rules, but watching this game and all the other things, which happened there, were quite great.

Maine; New Hampshire: On the Labour Day Weekend we visited relatives of my host family in New Hampshire, where we stayed the last 2 days. On Saturday before we went to them, my host sister and mother and me went into an amusement park which was called Canobie Lake Park. There we drove with almost every rollercoaster and I  have never thought about going into a rollercoaster in which you drive vertical down. 🙂 But it was great and a lot of fun…Later, when it was dark outside, we did a camp fire and ate Smores, which were good, but very sticky. Funny was, the marshmallows were bigger than normal: like XXXXXL marshmallows. On Sunday we went to Maine to the coast and we only took some photos there, because the weather was not so good. So we drove to Portsmouth,NH where we ate some bagles and sandwiches for luch. Delicious!!! After the little shopping tour in a shopping mall, we went back to Dover, where we played some funny games. Today we finally were on the beach. The weather was so nice and the water soooo cold… But is was lovely. 

Now I am enjoying my last 2 vacation days until I will move to my room at Stoneleigh-Burnham and next week the school will start…

Have all a  great time and enjoy it!!!

Janine

Two weeks of America…

… and I couldn’t love it more!

It has gotten calm over here (in the blog), Labor Day weekend is almost finished (2 hours left) and two weeks have gone by since we left the Orientation Camp (which I still somehow miss). Not everyone has been to school yet, but I have been in school for two weeks now. The drop/add period has ended and we’re now ready to fully start into the new school year.

Which is going to be the best of my life (so far – you never know 😉 ). I absolutely love my schedule, which has the incredible power to wake me up, even if I could fall asleep right this second, and keep me awake and busy until 10 p.m. Then everything gets even harder. The homework load is ok, but it’s a lot more than back in Austria.

My schedule:

  1. Period: Creative Writing (simply love it!)
  2. Period: Theatre (always wanted to try it – there couldn’t be a better place to do so. It is simply so much fun!)
  3. Period: AP Calculus (I always liked Math, but this is the best class ever!)
  4. Period: American Literature (what shall I say? I love reading and this class is just perfect for me!)
  5. Period: AP French (since I’m fluent in French, this class is just amazing. It’s easy for me and I love getting back to using French!)
  6. Period: Lunch 🙂
  7. Period: AP Statistics (I just recently added this class, but it looks like a lot of fun)
  8. Period: Honors Visual Arts (I love arts, and I never had a teacher that is so good and responds to my skills and tries to push them farther)
  9. Period: U.S. History (I wanted to switch to AP U.S., I am glad I didn’t. The approach is different from everything I ever saw. And it is great!)

I you asked me which class and which teacher I liked best, I would answer you that I liked them all. While I could tell in Austria, I am unable to do so here. Every class, every teacher is special and fantastic in ist very own way.

My first day was very confusing, I couldn’t find my classes (I actually came late to all of them, but one. That class was in the same classroom as the one before.) and I definitely couldn’t remember names. I am still having a very hard time with that. But I liked this school from the first moment on.

Now I know why. The teachers are fantastic! The classes are incredible! The support is indescribable! End of my vocabulary (perhaps)… And (after several other hymns of prise) last but not least: the sports.

Coming from a school, where I had 2 hours of physical education a week, I arrive here and start learning how to play golf, and that 2 hours a day (at least). It is definitely not as easy as Tiger Woods made it look like, but I still love it. It is so good to have something to do, to be active and just switch the brain off for some time (well not completely, but still let it rest for a bit). I just played my first match (I won’t mention the score) and it was a lot of fun!

The hardest part in doing all of this is… fitting everything into the schedule. Model UN, Speech Team, Musical, Golf, Volleyball, Art Club, Art Workshop. Those are only the fall activities I would love to do (and there would be more I’d love to do, this is the short version!). I just keep feeling like my time here is too short.

I meet new people every day. All of them are so nice! I feel really good around here. My host family is just so incredibly nice! It already feels like a second home and I haven’t experienced any homesickness yet (some Orientation-sickness probably…). I talk to my parents every Saturday and they sound like they were ok too. It is a big change for everyone who is involved…

The thing that probably helps me most: Keeping busy!

Good luck to everyone (and keep writing 😉 )

Carpe diem, you only get the chance of working with ASSIST once.

Alice