Monday, August 16, 2010

Church and School

Last night I went to Church with my family. They happen to be Catholic and being a Catholic myself made the mass a little easier to understand, and it gave me something to compare it to. First of all their church was packed full of people and mass started at 7 p.m. as compared to 8 or 10 a.m. with only half the church filled. It was more full than my church on Christmas or Easter, and their church was a little bit wider and about the length of my church and a half. It took us forever to find a seat for all four of us to sit, we ended up sitting in folding chairs. Now if you don't have kneelers in the churches I've attended back home, you don't kneel you just remain seated, however even on the hard tile ground, you kneel. They likewise had the stations around the church but didn't have stained glass windows, however they had a huge cross window (stained-glass style) on the ceiling. They have no booklets but do have a projector that shows the song lyrics and readings on the front wall. However these differences weren't that big of a deal. However they sing and dance for almost every part of the mass, my brother joked about how it was like the high school musical of masses. I only knew what part of mass it was because of a phrase or two I could translate or the actions being made. Everything was animated and being as I have NO experience in dancing in church, I awkwardly copied everyone else. I do that a lot here, copy other people, they could easily do something wrong just so they could laugh at me when I do the same action. Anyways in church there were ushers with "construction" type vests, who helped people find seats. All went well because mass pretty much followed the same pattern as it does in the United States. However at the end of mass before the final blessing, they call up all the new people or guests to the church and they are blessed and are supposed to give a small introduction, nonetheless I turned that down for this week, perhaps next week.

Today while everyone was waking up to start Northfield Sports, I started school. My mom woke me up around six and I showered, ate yogurt, and left my house about 5 minutes to seven. School was interesting. First we had a meeting where I had to stand up and introduce myself in front of the entire school, that was lovely. But it really did go over fine. In my school there are 15 other students and we all stay in one class while the teachers move around, we are in 3rd year B. I went with my brother to our class where I was reunited with Daniel, a brasilian who was an exchange student to our district in Minnesota this past year. It was nice to finally have someone who spoke fluent English and could explain almost everything. We had math first. I didn't do much during math because I didn't have any books, so I read my portuguese dictionary. They were learning about mean, median, and mode. As easy as that sounds/is, it is far more difficult in a different language. After that class was over we had spanish. Spanish class insisted of this laid back young teacher who talked had us read one section aloud, it looked similar to the ACT Reading areas, (once I again I didn't have books to participate), and then he spend the rest of the time talking to one of the girls in the front of class. I was expecting myself to at least be able to do something in Spanish class, but most of the time they spoke in Portuguese anyways and then when they switched over for a sentence or two I was confused because I wasn't expecting it. Then we had lanche "snack". We all went outside to the little snack stand and I got passion fruit juice, it was good, but I don't eat much in the morning nor drink so I just sipped it here and there. After that was over we went back to our classroom and started chemistry. I got interrupted to go receive ALL of my material, this consists of one master book, 16 other books, and 4 pamphlets. In chemistry they corrected a test and then we worked on problems. Everything looked familiar from my Wiebe Sid the Science Kid days, but I needed a small refresher on how to do somethings, so I watched and had a very nice girl and guy explain in portuguese how to do it. After a couple times of explaining, I remembered. By the end of that class they were checking my work with theirs to make sure they got the right answer ;). [more or less]. Then we had the much anticipated, English class. I had been warned about my English teacher and how she was awful and wouldn't like me, but I thought well I've yet to meet a teacher that hates me before they know me or once they get to know me, now I have. She spoke above me and told me that we learn proper english not that coloquial stuff we speak everyday, she thinks I'm an idiot. About 20 minutes in she asked me some questions in portuguese and my brother responded for me, she got mad because she was talking to me not him. Then later she was writing examples of the present perfect on the board "Lisa has read Harry Potter". But before I could figure out where the lesson was going she was yelling at my brother for using my dictionary. I still am confused. Where the other teachers didn't care that we talked and goofed around the entire class, she was the strict "Mrs. Neibuhr" type, except I get along and enjoy Mrs. Neibuhr. So she kicked my brother out of class and then she followed him for the rest of the class. Once the teacher was gone EVERYONE was all over the room doing whatever they wanted. Some kids were sniffing chalk...yuck, but it seems to be a popular habit among the guys. I visited with the more quiet studious people, the ones that helped me with my chemistry, one said I could swim at her pool whenever and the others helped me carry my books when I needed to go. Also in English class, even with the teacher there, the most common phrase in actual English (because it is mostly in Portuguese) was "mothafuckas"...pardon my French. Many times someone would be saying something and one person would yell "mothafuckas" and everyone would repeat shortly after "hahaha mothafuckas". They really enjoy using our swearwords. During lanche one of the kids went on an English rant pertaining to nothing using the 'f' word. "I'm gonna go to my f'ing home and sit on my f'ing couch and watch my f'ing movies and...." Overall though I was greatly entertained and I'll slowly start learning names I'm sure. School ended at 12:00 and we had about a 15 minute walk home.

Tonight I might go to the gym with my brother and then an English class with him as well. My mother and I are also going to go buy flip-flops which I happened to forget.

All is well here! Hope everyone is having a great time, be it at home or somewhere new!

Beij√£o :)


  1. Sounds like you are adjusting well. That is great to hear! Send me your address when you have a moment. :)

    your 'favorite cousin' Steph

  2. It's wonderful to hear how everything is going.
    -Love Mom

  3. You at the gymm i can see it now haha...and ya i wore your flip flops to the air port and as we were leaving clair pointed out that you probably wouldve wanted to bring them..sorry dear love you lots have fun:)

  4. Oh ale your adventures make me laugh :D
    Miss you SOO MUCH! xoxo
    p.s. I can't wait to get the BOOTS

  5. Their knowledge of English swear words will serve them well in there careers as kidnappers.