school. Part I

the first real day of classes was pretty simple, and easy, as the first two periods were spanish, which I'm not taking, considering everyone else in my segment (we have segments here so that instead of picking individual subjects, you pick a section, literature, math, science, or economics, and then everyone who picked that section, or sometimes there are enough students to split up into two, are put in a segment. You then have all your classes with that same segment of 12-14 students), is in Spanish IV and I haven't taken Spanish since third grade, when for 30 minutes twice a week before school we made calendars in Spanish and learned the colors. Also, luckily enough for me, English and Spanish are almost always the first class/classes of the day, which means, I almost always have the morning off! On the down side, the meaning of free period here is vastly different from the free periods of Santa Fe Prep. Instead of going to the over heated, well lit, cushy library, with which we have been well spoiled, to talk with friends or do homework together, everyone goes to the building at the back of the old part of the high school, designated for free periods. This building reminds me greatly of detention, as it is a long hall with small windows along the top of one wall four rows of desks with little chairs for working. At the front of the hall there is a small platform with a desk for the teacher charged with watching us all, any real form of conversation is forbidden here, though there is a constant swirling of whispers, which is tolerated, Also at the front of the hall is a large clock, which dolls away the time. The entire hall save for a cheerful mural that reads 'hello, friends' at the back is painted a drab light blue, and this includes the cement floors. WHile the whole things is designed I'm sure to be a productive study hall, I can't help picturing nuns with rulers!
The rest of the campus is generally more up-beat. Everyone here thinks the buildings are awful eye sores, but while I find the interior of the classrooms a bit drab the exterior architecture is actually quite interesting. Its very French, by which I mean the entire thing is brick, with white-washed windows surrounded by large white brick trim. At the top is a row of arched turrets, just beneath a black slate roof, and there is a large arched door to enter the middle school, in which a small rectangular section opens. It's really kind of iconic and stereotypical, which I have to admit, I love. However the buildings where we have most of our classes are not quite so attractive, while they have windows, they always feel a bit close and dark to me.
Well buildings aside, the classes themselves are very nice. I really like all of my teachers and for the most part I can understand them. Economy and French are by far the hardest subjects. Economy, which I have never taken before, but which I now have everyday save wednesday, which is just a half day, is hard because the terms are not to be found in my beloved French/English dictionary as they are terms for... you guessed it: economics! Luckily for me however, most of the words are practically the same in English, so I can understand the concept of the lesson. When it gets hard is when we learn a concept centered around a word I cannot translate. I usually have no problem taking notes between what the teacher writes on the board and what I can copy from Thomas's notes, when I can't spell a word or I miss a pronoun in a sentence. However, when the teacher dictates notes, or we simply have to listen and pick out the important stuff for ourselves, then I have a really hard time keeping up. Thank go Thomas has every class with me!
French is even harder than Economy because I have a hard time understanding the teacher when she lectures us, and its hard for me to write anything remotely interesting or dynamic with my limited knowledge of French adjectives and phrases. The good thing, though, is that as I mentioned earlier she is also my homeroom teacher so she is very helpful and has told me that I can come seek help any time I need it, which I am assuming will be often.
Math is pretty easy for me which is nice, because, while the word problems (yes, there were word problems, dictated to us, no less!) were a bit confusing on the first day, the math itself is fairly simple, so I shouldn't have to great a problem with that class, though undoubtedly it will get harder. History/Geography hasn't really picked up yet either, but so far it has been simple enough for me to understand everything that's going on without a problem. Biology, which we only have twice a week, seems to be a kin to what we did last year at Prep, inasmuch as they seem to have taken the Bio I course Prep offers and split it into two years, this being the second year. I believe we are just starting a unit on genetics, and I should have no problem in doing well in that class.
I know my "easier" classes out number my "harder" classes, but the hard classes are hard enough to make up the difference, and they're all hard as they're all in French! The other problem is I'm very afraid of having to take a test in which I have to explain a concept or something in French, as I'm not sure I'd really be able to adequately describe anything in French.
This is a really long post and its late so I'll split it into two parts
to be continued . . .


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