I have a best friend from my class. Couldn´t spell her name for ya, but it sounds similar to Greece (I have this joke in my head that my class is like the United Nations because her name sounds like Greece, mine Jamaica, and this other boy´s sounds like Israel). She is conversational in English, so she helps me with Spanish, and I help her with English. She was the same girl that I sat next to on my first day who also shared her toilet paper with me. On Wednesdays we have PE. My first Wednesday I didn´t have the athletic uniform, so she brought an extra pair of pants to school for me to wear- she is too nice. My experience in school would be really different with out her. Also on Wedneday after school, a bunch of girls invited me to go play volleyball in a park with them, which I gladly accepted- my first time being out of the house without a family member!
As the days have gone by, I have noticed and learned more things about this school that is SO different from my former. In fact, I will go as far as to say that it is the exact opposite. It reminds me of a military function sometimes... some examples: at the beginning and end of PE there is a roll call where everyone has a number, not a name (for it, I was nameless and numberless), and when your number is called you have to stand and make yourself present. When we´re done with PE in the courtyard, we have to do this salute thing while the coach screams "1,2,3,4" (in english too), we have to do different body motions corrisponding to each number. It´s simple and easy, I learned it the first time (after having my bff show me). Not to mention, when ever we have to make a line, we have to make two, boys and girls. When a new teacher walks into the room, a student yells "attention!" and everyone has to stand next to their desk and greet the teacher. Eventually, when the teacher decides, they tell the kids to sit back down. Last thing that I can think off of the top of my head: If the teacher is in the room before you (usually happens after lunch, before class even starts), you have to wait in the doorway and ask for permission to enter the classroom and then they will wave you in. I learned this the hard way after lunch one day. I was with my group of girls that I always hang out with, and upon approaching the door, I kept walking and they came to an abrupt hault. My bff grabbed me by the shoulder of my sleeve and yanked me back as hard as she could. When I was back at her side, she was still holding tightly on to me, and in a stern whisper, she explained this rule. Finally when the teacher let us in, we laughed while I rubbed my arm.
I have 20 classes: Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Arithmatic, English, Spanish, Universal History, Peru History, Literature, Logic, Philosophy, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Politics, PE, Religion, a class that´s like advisement I think... ? A class period on every Monday dedicated just for taking exams for all of the classes, and some other math class that I don´t know what it is in English. 7 of these classes I have twice a week, and the rest is just once.
On Friday, my 2 hour english class was cancelled. When I found this out from my friend, I screemed "noooooooo!" and turned and started banging my head and fists on my desk. After my fit, I sat up and looked around the classroom. The WHOLE class, including the teacher that had just walked in, was in complete silence and staring at me. My mouth dropped open from pure embarassment and fear that the teacher was going to yell at me. I turned to my friend and as soon as we made eye contact we busted out laughing, and continued for the rest of class. Near by kids started laughing and other kids wanted in on the laughter... the teacher just started talking with other students about me because she didn´t know who I was- talk about a good first impression.
The language barrier has been really frustrating at times, but more often than not, it usually ends in laughter. For instance, one of my books that I write my spanish words and phrases in was being passed around in class (this happens every day). I had a sentence in it that had the wrong word for what I meant. The sentence said "no hablo español, pero estoy molesta". I was trying to say "I don´t speak spanish, but I´m trying", but the word for trying was wrong, instead of molesta, which is angry, it needed to be tratando. My friend who read it gave me a strange looking expressing that she was confused. I didn´t know the correct word so she was trying to describe it to me through cherades by making an angry face, clenching her fists and "grring". We both started laughing like hyenas and I said "no entiendo", because it looked like she was constipated. She finally used my dictionary and we resolved the problem, I was saying "I don´t speak spanish, but I am angry". Since then, we have made constant jokes about the words molesta and tratando. I have many more spanish/english stories to share some other time.
Odds & ends: I have come to a conclusion- when I can´t say something in Spanish and need to say it in English, I will speak with a british accent. I will come home knowing three more languages, sign language, spanish and a proper british accent. I cracked myself up with this theory.
I bought my first lunch today by myself (my friend used to buy it for me)! This is huge! The scene is soooo chaotic, hungry kids crowding around the small window to a tiny hut containing their stomach´s desires, screaming at the women who are serving. You have to wedge your way to the front and first get their attention "Señora, señora!" Once they look at you, you have to quickly say what you want (as they have hundreds of mouths to satisfy), and money ready in hand. I had what I had to say written on a piece of paper, which all of my school friends laughed at me for, and I pushed myself up to the front, saying "Señora". apparently I wasn´t being assertive enough, so my friend screamed it for me. Finally, I got my reward: a chicken sandwhich! I am looking forward to doing it tomorrow, with out the piece of paper.
My name is still a popular topic of discussion.
I am looked at as the "wierd American" because I don´t like Hannah Montana, Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers.