Friday, November 27, 2009

All About School

I realized on a skype call with the brother and Dad that I've completely failed to say much of anything about school here in Germany (Sorry guys, I have selective memory!). Therefore, I shall explain what I think of school but firstly, here's why my school might differ from others:

- It's an oberschule, not a gymnasium (please don't ask me what this is)
- It's in Berlin
- Everyone in my school is foreign (exaggeration but I don't care)
- I thought I had more reasons, but I'm drawing a blank. So yeah

Every period (Stunde) in school is 45 minutes. After every two periods there's a 20 minute break. That being said, here's my mighty fine schedule:

1. No class, thereby I sleep in another hour.
2. English
3. French
4. French
5. History
6. History


1. AP English (its actually called Profile Englisch or Englischleistlingscoarse)but for your sake I'll call it AP cause its the same deal)
2. AP English
3. Music
4. Music
5. French
6. Physics
7. Physics

Wednesday: (aka Death Day- possibly the worst combination of classes possible)
1. AP Bio (God heard me all those times I thanked him for letting me be done with Bio last year and decided I deserved one more year of my least favorite class ever- OH and to top it off, he made it in German! Fabulous)
2. AP Bio
3. German
4. German
5. Math
6. History
7. Gym
8. Gym

1. Biology
2. Biology
3. Math
4. Math

1. English
2. English
3. Chemistry
4. Chemistry
5. German

Explanation. In German schools you have to pick two Leistlingscoarses/ AP classes. For those classes, you take part in the basic level of the coarse and then have extra classes in that subject that are harder. Thereby, I take part in regular Biology and English and then go to harder classes as extra.

Now I'll explain my subjects:

English (Basic): My teacher claims she speaks with a British accent, but I'll be damned if I ever hear a brit speak anything like her. Truth is, she just can't speak English very well. If it's puts it into perspective, she's also my gym teacher. She told me my grammar isn't perfect, but she said "more worster" so I let it slide.

French: Why am I taking French? Last time I checked I have enough trouble with German. This subject goes along the lines of Biology. A class I hated, voiced it, and now am being punished for trashing its reputation by having to take it again. The teacher gave up on my French after two days of me responding only with "I don't speak French"--glad I remember that phrase! But I'm trying to learn it again and take part in class.

History: This class actually isn't that terrible. I mostly sit there translating, but the teachers really chill and young. I think he get's that these are words I'd obviously be clueless on. He's even letting me do my projects in English. I learn a lot of useful vocabulary through translating history worksheets.

AP English: Half the kids in this class I am curious as to why they are in there. They never talk and seem to hate the class. Then again, I suppose thats like me in Biology. But yeah, the teacher has a lot better English here. We read a book called Arranged Marriage. I don't talk at all in this class cause I get a face from my teacher every time I talk, I believe it's cause I slur my words and don't have a British accent ( Sidenote: Not only does everyone think I'm an au pair, but apparently I am from England too? Cool? yes I think so)

Music: This class is do-able but the kids in the back of the class are so annoying it makes me want to stick pencils in my eye sockets. I get my neighbor to help explain things and I'm hoping to at some point take the tests along with the other kids.

Physics: The teacher refuses to admit I am in his class, which suits me just fine. He won't put me on his rollcall and when the girls go, 'yeah and claire's here" he ignores them. Thank you.

AP Biology: Hello least favorite class ever. Worst part is that the teacher thinks I have fun translating (do you know how much I want to burn my bloody German-English dictionary in a bon fire?) so she's always asking me what the words for stuff are in English. But, uhm did you learn the word for nucleotide, catabolic, plastid, or anaerobic in your German 2 class? No, pretty fucking sure you didn't.

German: Hate to say but this class is pretty pointless. I've become a master doodler due to this class alone. Reading German Shakespear aloud in this class knocked out, shot, killed, and ate my confidence.

Math: I own this math class. The teachers really tough but I like him cause he realizes I can understand this stuff with a little translating so he actually grades me and makes me do the homework and stuff. It's nice not feeling like a total idiot in at least one class.

Chemistry: The teachers definitely not my favorite, but the other day she called on me and i knew the answer. 10,000 points for Claire's ego.

Differences Between American School and German School:

- Teachers just don't show up, and then you don't have class. There's no such thing as substitutes.
- Homework 99% of the time isn't checked and is absolutely never handed in
- This being said, work done in class is graded very often and you are put on the spot in class all the time
- You can talk while the teachers talking and they don't get mad, they just keep talking.
- Failing a test is more common (perhaps thats just my school)
- Tests usually aren't announced
- You have a couple (maybe 4 or so) major tests in a subject a year called Klausurs
- There's no government transportation to school
- You are with the same 16 or so people for every single class

So yeah. That was really boring to write but I guess I can't ignore the fact I go to school here forever. It's not that bad, it's just frustrating not being able to understand yet being expected to. It's especially stressful due to the fact that I am a junior and thereby need grades this year.

And for something a little more not sucky, here's some useful German vocabulary!

1. Milchboobie- Directly translates into "milk boob" meaning a man who looks like a little kid or someone who looks like they still suck from... yeah.

2. Guile- Directly translates to "horny" but is used to say somethings really cool.

3. F-k-k- Doing something nude, for example "I went f-k-k for my Grandmas 80th birthday party"

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