Yes, I do actually go to school

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     I think I have always had a love/hate relationship with school. I love learning and am so thankful that I have access to education and know that there are so many people in the world who do not have the same opportunities as me. Also I understand for most of history women have not had equal opportunities as men and am glad I have the privilege to live in a place and time that I have the chance to learn just as much as any male. But sometimes when I wake up at 6 am in the morning I forget to remind myself of this. I would rather crawl back into bed than read Shakespeare and learn about covalent bonding in molecules.  I have found out recently that this feeling comes even when you’re living in another country. It took awhile, but the trill of the school being new and exciting eventually wore off. I have learned that Mondays usually suck wherever you’re at.

Many people have asked me about my school here, so I have decided to dedicate this post to school. There are may differences between the school I go to here in South Africa and the one I go to in Oklahoma. So here is a little list…

  • Here I go to an all girl private school, in the U.S. I go to a co-ed public school. The all girls thing has taken some getting used to, but I really enjoy it.
  • This year I get the chance to wear a uniform (a flowered sun dress) that makes me feel like a five-year old girl.  This uniform makes getting ready in the morning about ten times faster, so I have grown to love it.
  • My school here is pretty strict, especially when it comes to appearance. For example you cannot wear makeup or jewelry, your hair must always be tied back, but not in a bun. A few days ago I even got in trouble for not having the correct colored hair tie. Lets just say when I get back I will never complain about the no tank top rule.
  • I get a twenty-minute “tea” break everyday here!
  • The students here pick their subjects in grade 10 and then continue with those subjects for the rest of high school. So other than the required Math, English, and Life Orientation I have chosen to take Biology, Science (physics and chemistry), History, and Afrikaans. These are pretty similar to the classes I would be taking in the U.S, except for maybe Afrikaans.
  • Since you take the same subjects for several years here the teachers go a lot more in depth than what I am used to.
  • Tests are the only grades that matter here, which I really appreciate since I have always hated busy work.
  • Here chapel is part of the school day twice a week.
  • The students here are required to show a lot more respect to elders. This means that if you are a younger student you must wait at a doorway to let an older student go through first. Also every time a teacher enters the room we are expected to stand up and greet them.
  • This term I am attempting to play squash, and next term my sport is netball (similar to basketball, but you don’t dribble) which are both very different from volleyball, the sport I am used to.
  • Every student gets put into a “house” and then the houses compete against each other in different things. This is awesome and it makes me feel like I go to Hogwarts.
  • My favorite part of school is that corridors and lockers are all outside. So every time I change classes I get fresh air, see the sun, and maybe even spot a monkey. This is going to make going back to the crammed hallways of my school back in Oklahoma a little hard.

  

    School is one of the things that is the most different about my life here. I compare the differences between schooling a lot, and am always trying to decide which one I think is better. I have come to the conclusion that both are good though. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but I really like them both. I am so glad I have the chance to see a different way to handle education. I get another perspective, and I think that it has been extremely beneficial for me. I value education a lot and am thankful I get the chance to experience two great, but very different ways of learning!

~Grace

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