More Americans

June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment


I did it. I went.

I went on the field trip to the theme park yesterday. I was social-ish. Shall we discuss the experience a little bit?

OK.

I had to be at school at 7 am to catch the bus that was taking us to the park. Then one of the girls asked if I would sit with her and so for three hours I was with her on the bus and it was awkward, so I fell asleep.

Once we finally got to the park it was also awkward because I realized after about 15 minutes that none of the girls in my group actually like each other for various reasons, so we spent a lot of time being annoyed at each other.

Actually, I just don’t particularly adore social contact right now, so I pretty much kept my mouth shut and just followed them wherever they wanted to go.

The actual rides were really fun, and there was one roller coaster which I stupidly rode that was so fast that I actually could not scream. I wanted to and I tried to, but no sound would come out. Of course, this was the particular moment that  they chose to take my picture, so I look slightly deranged. Not that I’m not slightly deranged, but you know. Now there’s more documented proof, I suppose.

All in all, I would say that I would like to go back either with people who I actually like or simply alone. I think that would be fun.

The teacher was a little embarrassing, because he likes to talk really loudly to me so that everyone can hear, and he doesn’t even have the decency to speak English so no one else can understand what he’s lecturing me about. This is so he can get the largest audience, one can only presume.

I was gone from 7 am to 7 pm. For those of you who are bad at math, this is roughly two gallons of ice cream and four pounds of gummy bears.

If not more.

Today. Oh my goodness. Today. I know every day is described as weird and bizarre, but this day truly takes the cake, at least as far as recent days go.

It’s Thursday, so I have the first four periods with the Polish class and the last two periods are religion with the Germans. As I was walking to the Polish class, one of the Italian girls came and told me that the teacher wasn’t there for the first period, and we had to wait until second period for her to come. All of the kids from the Polish class then had to figure out what to do for first period, so I went up to the library since I’m kind of lame.

As I was going up, a bunch of the boys from my Polish class saw me and followed me in and so we hung out for the period in the library. One of the Bulgarian boys started reading an English book but gave up after he saw how much progress I had made in my book versus how much he had made in his. Then they started teasing me about how I read too fast.

We’re all super close.

Then once that period was over, we all made our way down to the classroom where our Polish was supposed to come, but after fifteen minutes we determined that she probably wasn’t coming so I started hanging out with two of the Polish girls. We then walked bu the cafeteria, and as we passed the window we heard a great uproar. We started glancing around for the source of the noise, when I happened to glance into the cafeteria. It was, of course, my whole class banging on the window trying to get my attention. They apparently had the first two periods unexpectedly off, so that worked nicely for me.

I spent the rest of second period with the German kids playing hangman.

Then the real craziness began.

After second period everyone met back at the Polish classroom because we weren’t sure if our teacher was just coming later than we thought and we generally like to decide all together if we should just go home or stick around.

We’ve been in this situation often enough that we now know the procedure.

At that point, we had break, so we were just hanging out in our little hallway and goofing off, I guess. I was with the Syrian girl and I happened to glance over at the classroom at the other end of the hallway. There were a few teenage boys sitting in the room writing English words on the board. I pointed them out to the Syrian girl because she speaks really good English.

I was content to just sit there and creepily watch them, but she wanted to go in and ask them if they spoke English. She dragged me into the classroom where we awkwardly stood against the wall and watched them for a few seconds until one of them broke the silence by saying hi.

The girl from Syria then started asking them if they spoke English. They then told us that they were all American and I remembered a flyer that I had seen last week about an American exchange program (I say this so casually. When I saw it I started jumping up and down and then I took a picture of it. It was kind of a big deal) and so we started chatting. They’re all from Minnesota and they were greatly interested in the Minnesota stereotypes I was aware of.

It took them a while to figure out that I actually live here and am not just here for a year or two. They’re leaving on Sunday though, so they really aren’t sticking around.

Then for the next two periods the Polish kids (this includes the entire immigrant class, for the record. This is not good. I’m lumping myself in with the Polish. What is my life even coming to) all hung out in our classroom and waited until our next classes started.

I had Religion with my German class next and we had the first period normally but then for the last period we got ice cream. Let me just say really quickly that it is 50 DEGREES IN THIS COUNTRY and it will be July in about three days. Just so you’re aware of the conditions we’re operating under here.

So yes, the teacher thought it would be genius to take us out for ice cream in this weather and so we all got hypothermia and I’m missing half my toes. Not really, but I was so cold. Not to mention the fact that it was raining the entire time. Germany doesn’t mess around, let me tell you.

Before we left though, we all were congregated in our classroom and after a minute or two, I noticed that a few of the kids were hanging out the windows and I kept hearing the word “America.”

Now, being an American, I needed to check into this situation.

I looked out the window and lo and behold, all the exchange students were gathered outside right under our classroom. My class then started yelling things like, “YOU ARE ALL COMING FROM AMERICAN?!” and, “SHE ALSO IS COMING FROM AMERICAN!” while violently pointing at my head.

I then stuck my head out and yelled to the one boy I could see who I had met before and said hi.

This was my mistake.

I will try to order the questions that immediately followed in order from least asked to most.

  • Do you know him?
  • Is he your brother?
  • Does he speak English?
  • Is he American?
  • Does he live here?
  • Was he your neighbor in America?
  • Is he your boyfriend?

I’m so glad he wasn’t in the room to hear any of it.

Then we left, but he had to walk by the whole group to leave the school. I then saw the other two boys I had met and of course, the questions came again. I think I’m most confused by the neighbor one. I mean, there are over 300 million people in America and there weren’t even thirty Americans at school. Why is there any doubt in their minds that we did not know each other in America?

Whatever.

Then one of the girls came over and asked all these questions plus this one, “Why would you want to talk to exchange students?”

Perhaps, and correct me if I’m wrong, because we actually speak the same language and can understand each other when we want to communicate coherent thoughts?

Could that be it?

Probably.

On the way back from ice cream I saw the Random Popular Dude who still says hi to me.

One would think that he would eventually fizzle out and leave me be, but it’s actually gotten worse. He’s managed to learn my name, although I’m almost 100% certain that we have no mutual friends. This is not such a hard bet to make, considering the fact that I have basically no friends in the first place, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is that this person continues to be a nuisance.

Why do people insist on being nuisances?

After school I had Spanish, and as I left, the whole group of Americans walked by and I said hi to them one more time. I think they were slightly creeped out that they had seen me again.

The hilarious part of this whole exchange program thing is that the German kids are being sent to Minnesota in January. January in Minnesota.

I almost feel sorry for them.

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