Another week, another post. I’ve been living in America for almost a mont now but it still feels unreal to me. This was my dream. A dream that came true. I’m still trying to comprehend what I’ve done to deserve to be here. Living my desired life as an exchange student, not knowing what’s to come next but adoring every second of it.
Last Saturday I hung out with my friends, we wandered around Walmart for around an hour and then had a picnic with sandwiches and lemonade in the park. The rest of the weekend I spent mostly at home with my host family but I also managed to call my parents, grandparents, and friends back in the Czech Republic. I’ve been struggling with homesickness a lot less than I thought but seeing and hearing the people I’ve known my whole life was heartwarming anyway. They bring me comfort even though they’re not here with me. They don’t have to be in the same time zone for me to know that they care for me. We have each other like we’ve always had, regardless of the distance. It brought me joy to see some of their faces light up as I popped up on the screen and started telling them how life was going on this continent. 😀
My second week of school went by in the spirit of standardized NWEA testing and although I was given hopes that this duty might not apply to me as an exchange student, I started the week off with a reading test on Monday morning. Despite all the disadvantages associated with English not being my native language, I tried my best and I think I am able to say I did a pretty good job. At least out of the six exchange students our school has this year, I understood the texts the most and got the highest score of us.
On Tuesday we took the Math test and maybe because it was mostly only numbers which, of course, are the same in my country, I was able to answer a majority of the questions, and all in all, I did better than most people which I’m quite proud of. 🙂 The testing was not the only thing happening at school that day, though. It was picture day, so we all took our photos both for school and then sports later in the day. So, we all wore our volleyball jerseys and nicest spandex shorts, did our hair and makeup to look all nice and neat, posed with a ball for the picture, and then immediately changed into our actual exercising clothes and put our hair in ponytails for practice.
Wednesday brought the last NWEA test – science. And again, some questions I didn’t understand but I still did a pretty good job and beat both of my host siblings and almost everyone in our class once again. 😀 In the end, the feeling of smartness thanks to the pleasantly surprising test results and entertaining volleyball practice after school made my day much better than I expected it to be.
The first two hours of Thursday morning were dedicated to finishing incomplete testing, however, for most of us, it was just free time that we used to study. I had a note test in Choir class on that day and three quizzes scheduled for Friday, so I appreciated the opportunity to read through it all again because I was honestly slightly stressed about my first actual American high school grades. That way I was able to study during school time and then spend a lovely evening with my host family.
Right on Friday morning, I expected to be given a quiz on sewing tools in my first-period Fashion Design class, nevertheless, it turned out to be a normal class since the teacher forgot we had it planned for the day. I did take a Math quiz the next period, though and I was sincerely surprised by how everyone else was struggling as I found it objectively easy. 😀 The last quiz for the day was in American History and it was the one that I feared the most. In the end, it was not as hard and I realized that I simply underestimated myself and my ability to answer questions in English which I know the answers to, I just had to switch from thinking about it in my language to another and write it down like that on the paper in front of me. Ultimately, I don’t think this very first graded task is bound to be the one I fail.
At the end of the school day, during my open period, I joined the Spanish class that I originally took, merely because I had nothing to do, and listening to Spanish songs with the rest of the class without having to do any work but only to sit there and be quiet seemed more entertaining than sitting (almost) alone in the commons doing nothing.
After school and volleyball practice came the interesting part of the day. Something I’ve been looking forward to experiencing in America. High school football game. Insomuch as it was the first game of the season, the whole school went and the spirit was enthralling. The cheerleaders, students, parents, and other fans, everyone tensely watching the football team running across the field, tussling for a ball. Maybe if I were familiar with the rules and whole concept of the sport, I would enjoy it even more but no one seemed to be able to really understand it either, let alone explain it to someone else. 😀
In any case, it was an incredible and powerful experience and I’m thrilled to see more of the energy of people during football nights, whether our team wins or not.