Make the Bad Things Go Away

June 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

So, it is extremely hot here.

It’s been over 90 degrees the past few days and while that might not seem so unbearable, you have to keep this in mind: this country is almost completely devoid of the modern convenience known to man as air conditioning.

The houses don’t have it, the stores don’t have it, but worst of all, the schools don’t have it.

A lot of people here also seem to have yet to discover the wonders of deodorant, so that’s a pretty nasty combination.

Monday was Biology. I’ll give you a second to brace yourselves.


It wasn’t that bad, I guess.

In the first period the last group did their presentation and we started a new unit on alcohol. The second period consisted of sitting at our seats and copying out a chart while the teacher called us out one at a time and talked about each person’s grade with them. When it was my turn she told me that she doesn’t know how she should grade me and she was going to talk to my homeroom teacher.

Yesterday my class was nowhere to be found for gym and so I waited until the next class and asked where they were. Apparently, there is another gym building that the school uses. Since last week during gym I was on a field trip with my other class, I wasn’t there when this announcement was made.

Then there was one more period of  school. Usually there’s two after gym, but since it was so hot they let us off a period earlier than usual.

Today I had two periods of Math, one period with my (clueless and extremely tactless) homeroom teacher, and then two periods of substitute. There’s not much to report for Math, except that I sort of got a grade for the class. The problem is that I’m not there half the time, so the teacher is really confused as to how she should grade me.

So I got sort of a B/B-. I’m not really sure how to convert the grades from Germany to America, since they use a different system here.

Before I start talking about the period with my homeroom teacher I need to mention something. There is a class trip to a big theme park. And this is with the German class, by the way, not the Polish class.

OK, so basically, the last time I was on a field trip it was absolutely not fun and just really awkward, not to mention the fact that that’s when I met the psycho popular dude from one of the other trips. He still recognizes me.

So I was not super jumping-out-of-my-seat excited about this field trip thing.

But it’s kind of a given that everyone will be going, so the permission didn’t even have a space to say that you weren’t going. Dad then had a correspondence with my teacher, explaining that the last field trip wasn’t super enjoyable and I was just not going to go on this one. To my remembrance, my teacher wanted me to go anyway and said to think about it more. Then he and Dad had a conversation over the phone and as far as I was told, my teacher was told that I wasn’t going.

Then today in class he said, in front of the entire class, that he still needed my money for the field trip. I then had to reply that I was not, in fact, going.

By this point, no one is so much as breathing, because, watch out, CLAIREiss is talking, and we can’t miss any of that. So they were dead quiet and openly staring. This is basically my whole life.

Then he said, “Yes, actually, you are, I talked to your dad on the phone.”

Then I got irritated because I’m pretty much permanently one inch away from irritated at school and it takes virtually nothing to set me off. So I said (fairly forcefully. And loudly. Which is rare for me when I’m speaking German. I tend to whisper when I speak German because I’m embarrassed. But whatever), “Yes. And he told you I’m not going.”

Then, he felt the need to ask me why I’m not going.

Now we hit an awkward point since I can’t exactly say, “Because being with you is awkward. Due to the fact that I never know what any of you are actually . . . saying. So yeah.”

Because that’s rude and awkward.

So in real life I just shrugged and frantically tried to come up with a plausible excuse that I can actually say in German. Fabricating is so much more difficult in a foreign language, let me tell you.

Then he started listing the people who had specifically requested me in their groups. Granted, it was only two people, and they’re in the same group. But whatever. The point is that he was totally guilting me in front of the class and he had me backed into a corner.

He then proceeded to say that he, “thinks it would be a great chance for me to get to know people and get social contact.”

This is such a pervasive theme in my life that it probably is breaking some sort of record. On a bit of a side track, I feel like basically every class has someone who’s kind of removed from the group and quiet. In my experience, they also usually have no good excuse for this behavior besides that it’s simply their personality. I have an excuse, people. I can’t understand you, and when I can, I can’t formulate a response. Why can’t people acknowledge that this makes “social contact” a bit difficult and just give it a couple of years?

Anyway. We were at the part where he was humiliating me in front of the whole class and they were staring in utter quiet. Yes.

He just continued talking about being more social and talking to people for an absurd amount of time until he finally moved on to the topic of my not being in Gym yesterday. I blanked on the words, and couldn’t explain to him that I didn’t know there was another gym and I couldn’t find them, so I just had to sit there and nod dumbly as he lectured me on being responsible and thinking about my grades (most of which are all failing to begin with) and how he “simply can’t understand how I would be there.”

All of this taking place in front of the entire class.

Pardon me while I research relocation programs in the area.

I just can’t believe I’m going back to this personal kind of hell next year.

The only reason I’m going is because I want to learn German, so all I have to say is that I had better freaking learn this German business next year, or else I’ll probably just go into hibernation for a couple of decades.

Actually, at this point, I will hopefully be going into hibernation no matter the outcome of next year.

So that happened. I was actually about to lose it and start screaming English crap about how people are stupid and why doesn’t everyone just speak one single flipping language and why why why why. But I didn’t. Guess why!

Because, of course, I had a presentation.

Thankfully, it was in English, or else I really probably would have started screaming. Probably also crying, although I have a deep and passionate hatred for crying in class. It always lands me into trouble.

No, it was in English, the language of the free and the brave. I would say it went pretty well. It was on America, but more specifically where I’m from and my life.

Most of them seemed to get the general idea, but one of the girls asked if my American best friend goes to our school. I feel like if that were the case she would have found out about if before now.

Also, one of the boys came away from the whole thing thinking that New York City is located in Pennsylvania.

So overall, a success.

Those were the only two major confusions that I found out about, but who knows what else people think about America now.

One thing that did shock them (even the teacher) is that homeschooling is perfectly legal in America and the person who teaches you doesn’t even have to be certified.

This is pretty mind-boggling to the German person, since homeschooling is completely illegal here and they’re very fond of their systems over here.

After the class was over, the teacher came over and had yet another long talk with me about being social and how I should go on the field trip and “there’s really nothing to be afraid of!” and other such fully untrue things. Yet again, the entire class was present and listening. A few of them even offered their own opinions on the situation.

Tomorrow, thankfully, is a much easier day for me, since I only have two periods of German class and it’s a pretty simple class.

The problem that I’m facing now is the field trip. After being cornered in front of everyone multiple times, I feel like it would be awkward to still not go. At the same time, as my beloved mother puts it, I do so many things I don’t want to do as it is, that if I really don’t want to I should probably take this as my only chance to get out of something, since pretty much everything else is mandatory.

I edited my mom’s quote there a bit, but that was the essence of it. I probably have until Friday to decide, which is the next time I will see my homeroom teacher.

I feel like on the one hand, I fully give up my sanity. On the other hand I lose at least part of the very little progress I’ve made with my social life since we’ve been here.

I wish it was over.


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