Mittwoch, 28. Januar 2015

End Of Exams *-*

Hey ho,

IT'S OVER, my first semester is over and my exams as well. However, it also means that half of my time here is already gone :'( Yesterday it was exactly 154 days since arriving, and 154 to go.

My exams went pretty good I think (at least for not studying a lot), they weren't too difficult and I certainly won't fail (at least that's what I hope xD). The only one I really prepared for was English, as our teacher had given us the theme for the essay in advance and also some hints about the short story we were going to analyze ("The Sniper"). My final exam was 13 pages long, and my hand was hurting a lot afterwards ^^

Now we got the rest of the week off, before the second semester of the year starts on Monday :D
Hope you're all doing fine,


PS: On the weekend my host family and I went to the dedication of my host mum's niece, and the church was very, very different from any other church I know! Firstly, it was in an old, renovated storehouse. Then, the walls were decorated with flags from almost every member country of the UN, they had a rock band and two huge flatscreens on the stage ^^ It was all just so much less traditional and strict, they didn't even have a pastor :) (and no altar, candles or water for the dedication).

Freitag, 16. Januar 2015

Toronto Trip

Sooo last Tuesday (which was the Tuesday after Christmas break) I went on an International trip to Toronto :) It's been my 4th time going there (including the night I arrived at the airport), and it was defintitely fun!
We visited the CN Tower in Down Town, which is about 1.815 feet high and was therefore once the world's tallest free-standing building (until it was replaced by Burj Khalifa). There's also a glass floor at 1.122 feet, and it's absolutely awesome to walk across and look down to the streets underneath :D

After the CN Tower we went to Ripley's Aquarium (if you look closely, you can even see it on the second picture with the glass platform ;) ) and visited the SHARKS (wohooo).

And then after that we had three hours of spare time to spend in the Toronto Eaton Center, where I finally got new winter boots xD *yaay*

That's it for now, exams start next week and in two weeks the first semester is OVER! I am so looking forward to the timetable change, I'll have:

1. Understanding Canadian Law
2. Media Studies
3. MSIP (which is basically study hall, or a period to do your homework and get extra help)
4. Lunch
5. Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology & Sociology (in French)
6. Functions University Preparation, Grade 11

See ya

Donnerstag, 8. Januar 2015

Christmas and New Year's Eve

Heeey there,

I apologize for being such a terrible procrastinator and for not writing over the holidays -.-

School started again on Monday, and Christmas has already been over since two weeks O.o
During the holidays I did lots of fun stuff, we went skating quite often and I taught my hostsiblings how to stand on ice skates (it was their first time *-*). I also had two sleepovers at a friend's place, and it was just so much fun!!! We were watching movies all night long and then sleeping in until 12, and believe me I haven't slept longer than until 8:30 in the time that I've been here. Actually, 8:30 is pretty long for me already, usually it's more like 7 :(

For Christmas Eve we had friends of my hostparents over, and it was just a nice evening with lots of food and cookies. We followed Santa with the "Santa Tracker", a webpage that shows you where Santa is right now, and even though the quality is pretty bad, my hostsiblings totally fell for it xD It was so cute to watch them getting all excited for Christmas morning. Later on, we mixed some Reindeer food and spread it in the grass in front of the house (yes, grass... it was the warmest Christmas since 1945, so no snow anywhere :'( ) so Santa's reindeer would see it and come to our house... and not to forget, the cookies and milk for him in the living room ^^

Christmas morning the kids "woke me up" (I was actually just pretending to be asleep and tried really hard not to smile) and we opened our presents. I'm not sure if I ever got so much for Christmas before, it was huge! First the stockings that are typically filled with small gifts and treats, and afterwards the "big" presents. Then we had breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, english muffins...) and our neighbours came over for a short visit. In the afternoon we drove to my hostgrandparents (or however you would call it :D) and had a nice turkey dinner with the whole family. I made some potato dumplings, because somehow everybody loves them here. Anyone going to Canada next year should definitely learn how to prepare them!
December 26th was not as exhausting, but again we had family and friends over and a nice Chinese dinner. And that was basically  my Canadian Christmas experience. I really liked it, and I wasn't homesick at all :)

For New Year's Eve I had a sleepover at a friend's place. She's French Canadian, so we watched "Moulin Rouge" and "Les Misérables", followed by a French Bye-Bye, kind of like a show that's talking about all the stuff that had happened during the year, but in a funny way.
Midnight was a little bit disappointing at first, as the countdown started only 10 seconds before and we didn't have any fireworks at all. But then in the end it was just so nice, her mom had bought sparkling wine without alcohol (cause everyone knows what happens to exchange students if they drink ^^), we ate some Chinese and French Canadian snacks (that mix...) and made the absolutely best, amazing, and freaking awesome DEEP-FRIED OREO COOKIES *-*
Can't say that 2015 didn't have a good start ^^
At three o'clock, we decided to go for a walk. Problem was, it was cold, the Canadian country-side is dark (!), and the flashlight we had brought had distinctive similarities to the one used in Slender Man. So after about 15 minutes we just turned around and set on the front porch to watch the stars ^^

New Year's Eve definitely wasn't what I would have expected, and if I could choose between the German and the Canadian one, then I'd really prefer all the fireworks etc. But it was also a really nice evening and a great experience, a really important one for my exchange year.

Which is, btw, almost half over O.o Where did all the time go?? It's been 4 1/2 months already, exams are coming soon, and then the second semester starts... this is going by way to fast :(

So, if anyone actually read the whole post until hear, congratulations. This is a really long one, and I'm sorry once again for not writing earlier. I hope to post something about my trip to Toronto and the CN Tower this weekend. Or tmrw, in case it is a snow day.

See ya!

Dienstag, 23. Dezember 2014

Last Week Of School

Hey you all!
Last week was my last week of school before the Christmas break (*yay*) and after 16 weeks of school, it's something I really, really needed.

Wednesday was the Food Sharing Project day, which is apparently kind of like a Christmas tradition at my High School. Every class is assigned a less fortunate family, and each student brings something to fill a box for them, for example food for a turkey dinner on Christmas Day, presents for the children, or just something small to make them have a nice Christmas time. I brought a dozen eggs and some German chocolate, and I hope that our family can enjoy their Christmas break :)

Thursday we made gingerbread men in foods and decorated them with icing and sugar sprinkles. After foods I was allowed to skip English class, my hostdad picked me up and we went to the Holiday Extravaganza at my brother's school. His class was singing "12 days of Christmas", and by now I know it by heart, just as all the other Christmas songs that are played constantly on the radio.
Btw, Frosty the Snowman is my new favourite xD

On Friday was my very last day of school, and actually there isn't much difference between German and Canadian schools regarding the last day before Christmas break:
Running around looking for friends to give them presents, watching movies (Christmas version of Madagascar, Home Alone, the Polar Express...), playing games (les loups garous in French class; we haven't been doing anything else for the last two weeks... somehow, our teacher managed to combine the werewolf game with the use of past tenses).

And of course, OUR Holiday Extravaganza :D
I was so impressed by the school spirit on that day!
The whole school was kinda acting like on a concert. A lot of people were waving their phones during the performances, and cheering really loud, even if someone didn't do so well.

One of my friends was asked by the principal to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and to screw it up on purpose, as an experiment to see how students would react. So she "forgot" the words, but the whole school just started to sing the song for her.

Afterwards the principal told us that it was fake, and the reason for the experiment. He said that there's still a lot of bullying and discrimination at Canadian High Schools, and he wanted to see if this concerns Bayside as well.

Seriously, the schools here have so many programs against bullying and intolerance, but they are still concerned about the issue even though, at least compared to German schools, the kids here are so much more open and tolerant towards each other.

There's no complaining about stupid teachers (at least nothing serious... not more than complaining about too much homework etc.).
Nobody is excluded because of the clothes he wears, the things he likes, or the friends he has.
People can openly say that they like books and join the Book Club, without someone making fun of them. Also, joining the "Gay Straight Alliance" at our school doesn't automatically mean you are gay, but just that you want to do more for the rights of homosexuals and against intolerance in general.
Students with a disability are completely integrated into the school life, and I have never, ever heard anyone joking about them for sitting in a wheel chair or looking different.

I bet that in Germany, people would have at least talked about them being different from the others, but that's not the case here. These students are treated exactly like every one else, and I think I'm actually the first person right now to write about these differences, because basically, in our daily school life, they don't exist. 

Anyways, I just wanted to show you how the issue of bullying and intolerance is treated here compared to German schools, and also that the effort put into such programs can actually change something about the situation.
German schools are definitely not doing enough, or if they are doing something, it's not persistent enough. I think that a good school spirit can actually help solving the problems, but unfortunately this is something that I have only really experienced here, on a Canadian High School.

So, I hope you all have nice Christmas Holidays, I'll write again when they're over :D

Montag, 15. Dezember 2014

You know you're missing something...

... when you spend your evenings watching youtube videos of people baking bread O.o

I need bread. Immediatly.
Tomorrow I will check out the Global Food Store, and if they don't have it, I'm going to buy special flour at the Bulk Barn and bake it myself.

Some International Students at my school actually bring "real" bread for lunch ("real" meaning no toast, but still nothing compared to fresh bread from the bakery), but they don't know where their hostfamily buys it.
If I succeed in baking my own bread, I will bring a whole loaf to school. Everyone will be so happy *-* (an exchange student's dream).

Update - this is what I made a few days later:

It was perfect :D Well, not exactly. In fact, I forgot to put salt in the dough xD But still, I enjoyed my bread so much, especially as nobody else really liked it, so I had it ALL for myself :)

Montag, 1. Dezember 2014

Reindeer Hunt 2014

Hello here I am again,
with lots of news:

Some of you might be like "What? Hunting?", but this kind of hunt is actually just a game at my school :D Everybody gets a card with another person's name, and that person gets your name, too. After that you have three days to find your target, follow it, and tag it when it's not looking.
The winners' names land in a box for the next round, and the game will continue during the next three weeks until Christmas break. I think the final winner will get some money and a huge reindeer trophy or so.

Here's the link to a video that explains this year's reindeer hunt a bit more in detail:

If you don't know the person you're supposed to hunt, you can go to the learning commons and pay a quarter to the librarian, who will then print off your target's timetable and yearbook picture. *stalking*

The whole school is going crazy about the game, and you see people hiding under tables, in the washrooms, waiting in front of classrooms for hours, or just running from one place to the other.

I was really excited for reindeer hunt because I think it's an awesome game and it should definitely be brought to German schools. So last week during lunch I spent a huge amount of time working on strategies (like for example spinning around constantly while walking through the school, or wearing sunglasses with mirrors in the edges so you can see in both directions), and this morning I even went to school in my runners and without socks, because people told me that boots are actually the most dangerous thing to wear during the hunt (no fun, with - 4 degrees).

I got the name at the end of period 1 (I didn't know the boy) and while I was still wondering who "Evan" might be, he had already tracked me down and was like "Can I have your clip, please?"
I mean, seriously?? I had prepared myself for hours, and then, five minutes into the game, I was out! xD I didn't even get to walk out of my classroom...
I was a little disappointed by myself, so now I just started to help others catch their reindeer.

Tomorrow I might change my strategy, though, as I saw others randomly walking up to people and clip them when they're not looking, even though they're not their real targets, but it's just funny to see their faces when they think someone got them xD
I'm becoming mean :D


Sonntag, 30. November 2014

Montréal Trip

Bonjour à tout le monde,

OUI, on a visité Montréal ^^
We went there for two days, with a huuuuge groupe of international students, and it was awesome!
Although we didn't see much of the city itself, because we only rushed from one thing to the next and did lots of stuff inside (like museums, a bagel factory, the cathedral...)
But the only thing I really remember from all the museums is that Montréal was founded in 1642 xD

During the trip I tried to use French, but actually Montréal is probably the worst city in the world to learn that language... everyone's bilingual and as soon as you make a small mistake, they know you're a tourist and switch into English :/

The two dinners we had were pretty awesome, although the first one was really embarrassing for me -.-
It was in a "pirate restaurant" in Montréal and we were kind of watching a show while eating. Each table formed a crew, and you always had to send one member to do a task. The person who won would get a card, and in the end the group with the most cards won. Their prize was to choose one person from each table to come up to the stage and dance (a really, REALLY embarrassing dance), and the moment the guy announced that, I knew they would choose me -.-
Firstly, because the winning group's captain was one of my friends, and guess what, I think I was the only person at our table whose name she knew.
Secondly, because it's ALWAYS the person sticking out that's being chosen, and unfortunately I was sitting with my friends from Korea and Japan, so I tried really hard to disappear behind one of them while eating my apple pie (I think I've never stared so intensly at a white plate).
It was no use though, so two minutes later I had to perform the "drunken bear dance".
And YES, there were (of course) those friendly people who video taped it, so I would always have a memory of this amazingly embarrassing moment of my life :'(

The second dinner was on the way back home, when we stopped at the "Sugar Shack".
It's a place where they produce maple syrup during spring time, and the one we went to had a restaurant too, so we got to eat dinner there.
The food was amazing, they served pea soup, eggs, sausages, bacon, pie, baked beans, pancakes and fresh bread.
And a bottle of Maple Syrup.
Sooo we put syrup on top of everything, and especially the bread tasted so good *-*
Just spread some butter on fresh bread (still warm) and then dip it in syrup, you'll love it!

That's basically all I did on the trip. Eating, museums and more eating xD
On the weekend I tried to do some of my homework, but it's just so much and my marks don't really count anyways, so I gave up after an hour.
And the Canadian Super Bowl game was on, which I had to watch, too ;)

Next week's going to be a lot of work then, with three tests, a literary discussion in English and two presentations :(

See you later

Typical houses in Montréal, they have their stairs outside xD might get slippery during winter :P

Notre Dame in Montréal - a pretty church, but the plastic floor kinda destroyed it...