American School from the inside
Categories: ChildrenBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/american-school-from-the-inside
Picabushnitsa neeshkotov told about her experience of studying at an American school. This is an inside look from a Russian girl who moved with her mother from Izhevsk to Seattle. You will learn about the training system, extracurricular activities, sports, cheerleading, parties and much more.
Disagreements in the family led to the fact that my mother met an American on some website. Then several events happened, and in November 2013 we boarded the Izhevsk—Moscow—Houston—Seattle plane. November in Izhevsk is a rather cool month, we were in winter down jackets, and the first impression was Blacks, since I was already more or less used to Asians, in shorts.
They were also impressed by our costumes of the peoples of the Arctic, well, or just the Urals. We arrived at the Seattle—Tacoma airport, where our future stepfather met us safely, and left for his house somewhere in the suburbs. After three days of vaccinations, certificates and the like, I went to school. Of course, the first days I went with crazy eyes, but the ELL (English Language Learners) class and a Russian-speaking friend helped a lot.
The education system.
I moved from my Russian eighth to the ninth, because it roughly corresponded to the level of knowledge. This was greatly helped by the stepfather, whose house was in an area with good schools, and his knowledge of this very system. Actually, the system: in America there are 12 grades (grades), which are Elementary school (1-5), Middle School (6-8) and High School (9-12). In my class, most were born in 1998, they went to the first grade at the age of 6. There are no kindergartens here, but there is a Preschool, where many children go when they are 5 years old. I'll tell you about High School, I didn't have the opportunity to be in others, I just heard.
Still to finish school, you need to pass tests:
People at school.
Teachers: simple, educated people. There are many very eccentric personalities. Due to the lack of a dress code, they dress as anyone wants. Usually — T-shirts and jeans. The relationship with the students is simple, they call the teachers Mr. / Miss / Mrs. * surname*. Many students do not know the name of the teacher. Some teachers are simply called by their last name, usually those who are "their guys".
Students: There are different types and with different positions on the hierarchical ladder of the school. I already realized all this in the second year, before that I was in the astral, stress due to embarrassment about the accent and differences with Americans.
Freshmen, or ninth graders, are usually not held in high esteem, mostly communicate only with each other. Most don't go to parties or sporting events yet. The status rises if you play sports or go to clubs of interest, where you get to know new people and become part of a group.
Sophomores (10th grade) are already in groups and communicate with each other, athletes. Nerds, anime lovers, losers, all this is really there at school. Oh, yes, many more unite on a national basis, those who did not pass into any of the groups. For example, there is a group of Chinese people with whom I sat for a while, listened to anime and how they got A- instead of A on the test and how bad it is. Athletes usually unite in groups according to their sport, in which they are engaged together, about sports below. In this class there are rich people who hold parties. Usually people standing at the top of the school hierarchy, like cheerleaders and athletes, are invited to them.
Juniors (11th grade) are the busiest in the whole school. They take AP classes and they need to write SAT and choose a profession, because in the 12th grade applications are already being submitted to universities.
There are also activist leaders, everyone knows them, but usually they are those who could not achieve recognition in the usual ways. There are groups of students who are friends because they go to the same church. We have Mormons. They go to prayer and Bible reading every day before school. Hours at 5-6 in the morning. I talked a lot with such people and sat with them at lunch. But they didn't really accept me, because I don't go to church. My friends are those who did not get into other groups, they seemed to me the most adequate people. This is a Russian girl who was born here, a Korean, a girl from the Gaza Strip, and, oddly enough, an American, white. Thanks to that Russian girl for her help, without her I would have huddled in the library or would have gone the other way: smoked marijuana, the sale of which is legalized in Washington state. I have a lot of different acquaintances now and on Snapchat I often see photos and videos from parties where everyone drinks, sits in the bathroom with guys and smokes there. But this is the 10th grade, many will grow up and stop.
Clubs: They gather after school according to their interests, a teacher is assigned to each club. If there are anime and Japanese fan clubs, robot builders, culinary, ping pong club, volunteers, etc. I went to a club where we did chemical experiments. They are accepted everywhere favorably, especially if you attend meetings.
Events: Held during the pre-holiday weeks, or on the occasion of special wins, like the win of our girls at the state Football Championship. There are days with a dress code, for example, there was an ugly sweater day. And 4 times a year we are gathered in the gym in the stands, cheerleaders perform there and generally talk about pressing matters, for example, about graduates or about an environmental meeting. In general, environmentalists pay a lot of attention here, but only in words, students carry their lunch in 10 plastic bags, each cookie separately. And a bag for a plastic spoon, which they will throw away anyway. School lunch is on a plastic rectangular plate you are usually given fried potatoes, a burger, milk in plastic and fruit in a bag. It costs $ 3-4, few people buy it.
The school itself is being built, for each lesson we move into a new comfortable house, shaped like a barn, but from next year everything will be new and decent, with lockers.
Probably everything about school.
About people: There are a lot of Russians here, a lot. Since Microsoft's main office is located in the Seattle area, there are many Russian programmers working here. There is also a Boeing factory here. And the very first Starbucks, if we talk about the sights, appeared here.
I used to do rhythmic gymnastics, my parents tried to find a club here, they found it, but gymnastics is not very developed here, so I graduated, went to help the coach. Since it's outside of school, I communicate more with people from there, almost all Russians, and almost all fathers work at Microsoft.
Of course, it's good to live here, but I really miss Russia. The adult Russians here (whom I know) either don't want to go home, or can't, or left in the 90s and are afraid to return. Plans for the future — to get an education and go to Russia.