remember this place?
In the summer, it seemed imposing and absolutely enchanting with a prospective of a fairy tale. Nothing had changed, only that it was more of the former and less of the latter.
My first day of school was probably one of the most scariest experiences of my life.
Usually when I am nervous, I flutter and cry and talk anxiously. My stomach turns loops, I can't feel my hands, my fingers quiver, and my mind floods with "what if...?". But I felt nothing. I was absolutely calm and numb. It was a death march to school, walking silently amongst the mist and trees that I got to know so well during the light of the summer...only then, they seemed menacing and somber.
I met up with Anna, a girl from my class, and she led me to class, introducing me to many Austrians along the way, many who did double takes after our retreating figures. "Ein Amerikaner? Ich glaube es nicht!" We finally made it to our class, 7c, and at the door were students. I was so tempted to turn back but Anna grabbed my arm and marched me to the door "Nein!" and began introductions again. Only this time, they were incredibly important because they were my classmates for the rest of the year. I didn't remember anyone's name. We went into the class and thus it began... All of my classmates had been in the same class, together, since they were 11. They instantly knew their seats (which had been the same since they were young) and so I was left with the only open seat which belonged previously to a AFS French foreign exchange student. I sat down...and imdediately the two boys near me struck up a conversation with me auf deutsch. I was completely dumbstruck and tongue-tied. Before I could muster up an answer, Anna saved me with a "Sie sprecht nur English!". All heads whipped around and stared. Staring was probably the most common thing of the day. Everywhere I looked there were...eyes. Curious eyes, disapproving eyes, blank eyes, friendly eyes.
I've had a week of school now and I believe I'm settling in quite well. I've had victories and failures, as expected. Somedays I come home from school incredibly discouraged because I understood nothing in physics, and other times skipping because THEY talked to me and invited me out for coffee. On Friday, when I was greeted with a bright "Gute Morgan, Leeebee!" and the European kiss, it was the *ultimate* victory. My classmates are slowly getting used to their chatty American addition. My teachers...not so much. I have a few teachers that don't speak English at all, and communication is difficult. My classmates always post disclaimers on their English, but truly they are amazing. We get into the most hilarious discussions about America, and the questions I get asked are...umm, interesting. I laugh and cry and groan on a regular basis. Stereotypes regarding Austrians are false; Austrians are warm, friendly people. And not because of a hidden motive, no, they truly are there. When they ask how are you, they mean it. They also have quirky senses of humor. It's hard to keep up; they are so dry and sarcastic yet absolutely genuine. I truly don't understand how people can come out of this without Austrian friends when they are so willing.
School is very lax. Sometimes teachers are up to 30 minutes late; students can leave at anytime; they can pull out their cellphones in class and answer calls/text while the teacher is talking; the environment is subdued. For anyone who thought I should receive grades here...that is now ridiculous. My teachers don't expect me to do anything. I sit in silence, listen to my ipod, journal, and do page after page of elementary German grammar. I understand little, and then on top of that they are way more advance than what high school in the USA has to offer, even AP or IB. The only class I receive homework in is English and German, thank goodness...! I love English, because everyone regards me as the authority, even above the teacher. It's a lovely change. I am taking some of my German classes with the class 2d...which is for the 11 year olds. They are adorable and so eager to learn English and practice with me; it's probably my favorite class.
Chemistry, AustrianHistory/EuropeanHistory, English, French, Architecture, Philosophy, German, Math, Art, Vocal Music, Current Events, Religion, Physics, Sports. Worst class? Math and Physics are killer. English bores me to tears half the time. In Religion, I can understand the teacher, who speaks high German. Everyone laughs a lot, which is...slightly awkward, especially if they mention the word "Amerikaner".