Family, Football & Feng Shui
Mit einem zweiten Besuch der Landeshauptstadt Boston (hier vor der renommierten Havard University) geht für 20 Austauschschüler*innen der Austausch Westford, Massachusetts langsam dem Ende entgegen. Die Teilnehmer*innen berichten vom Schulalltag und Ausflügen...
I woke up at 6pm, as usual. I had some cereals for breakfast before we headed to school. School always starts at 7:35am. My first class was 'Intro to guitar'. Over the past 3 weeks, I learned how to play Ode to joy. After that, I went to 'play lab' where we read a play called 'People, places & things'.
My third class was Westford History. We went to the library, where Mascha and I looked through the yearbook of 2017. That was very interesting. For long block I had ceramics. I glazed my little plate which I made over the past few days. That class had fourth lunch. We went to the cafeteria at 11:38am and ate pizza. That's a very common lunch at school!
After lunch, a lot of Germans went to the German class of Mister Welch because WA had an ALICE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) drill that day. That means that students and teachers practice the emergency situation if a shooter walking through the school. We talked about the following procedure and waited for the alert. I was very scared but also excited to see what was going to happen. As the alert came on, we had to pile up all the tables in front of the already locked up door. We all stood in the corner of the room and waited for more information given by someone talking through the speakers. The 'shooter' was far enough so we made the decision to evacuate and jump out of the windows. We had to run all the way up to the soccer field where all the evacuated students and teachers met up. After everyone has been evacuated or at least safe, we listened to some announcements and were allowed to go back to class. We talked about things that need to be improved in a real emergency and things that already went well.
After that, the school day was over and my host mum picked my host sister Avery and me up in front of school. We then headed to Boston. We walked down Newbury Street and went into the Prudential Center to get something to eat. After finishing the pizza, we walked down the street again and stopped at some shops but I didn't buy anything. We wanted to eat some deserts and found a place called 'Max Brenner'. They sell different kinds of chocolate and more snacks and drinks. We ordered a chocolate fondue. It was very good!
We decided to go to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace because I wanted to buy a certain sweatshirt. It was my first time taking the subway. The ride was about 10 minutes long. When we arrived, I bought the sweatshirt and we got some drinks and headed back home because it was already late. In the car, we listened to a lot of music and sang along. We always have a lot of fun during car rides!
I went straight to bed because I was super exhausted but all in all it was a very interesting and fun day!
Today was the last monday of the exchange, so the last time coming out of the weekend. This week was a bit different than the others during our stay in the US:
Every single day has a different topic, so the students could dress themselves according to the daily motto. Today, starting the annual ‘spirit week‘ (that is how the students at WA call it), a lot of students wore a pyjama because of ‘pyjama day‘.
Moreover, we didn‘t follow our schedules today: Every German exchange student went with a freshman (9th grader) to their classes for the entire day. My freshman was a really nice guy.
First, we went to his English class where he had to write an exam. Afterwards, we had a pretty funny intro-to-business lesson and in third block, we went to his engineering class where the students tried to build a small rocket out of a plastic bottle. In my opinion, this class was very interesting because I have never seen an engineering class in Germany, especially I didn‘t expect that the students at WA get the opportunity to pick this in 9th grade as a school subject.
Fourth block, in history class, me and two other Germans worked together with the American students analyzing texts about Napoleon and France before the French revolution. Besides, we had lunch in that block ( 4th block is always ‘long block‘ including lunch) too. After finishing 4th block, my freshman and I went to his Math class in 5th and German class in 6th block. German class was very interesting because the students learned about different German cities and added their knowledge into one presentation per city. Honestly, I learned a lot of new things about Dresden and how German as a foreign language is taught at WA.
After school, I went home with my exchange partner and we chilled out at home until 4pm. Then, together with my freshman from school and one of his friends, we went to ‘The Mill Works‘, a huge sports complex in Westford, to play basketball.
At the end of the day, my host family and me ate dinner at home and I went to bed.
by Benjamin Bialas
It’s an exchange tradition to go apple picking as Westford used to be an area with a lot of farms and orchards. You can pick apples, pumpkins and even peaches in the summer. After a morning without any activities everyone used the chance for a lie in and a relaxed start into the day. In the afternoon we met at Drew Farms which had a big stall at the bottom of the orchard where you could buy already picked apples or pumpkins, cider and most importantly apple cider donuts. We then formed little groups and every American-German partner team received a bag for the apples. On a small tractor we were driven up the hill (although one could easily walk up the hill but where is the fun it that?!) and then spread out to pick our most favourite apples while trying different types. The weather was on our side again so we could enjoy the sunshine one more time before autumn arrives.
By Bonnie Puelm
October, 6th: Family, Football & Feng Shui
SUNDAY means FAMILY DAY.
You can sleep as long as you want, so I did exactly that. I got up at 9:45 and went down for Family Breakfast. My family has a tradition that every Sunday their grandparents came over for breakfast. After a long and good breakfast we went to MARSHALLS. The market that is well known by the Germans and one that most want to vist. It is like a store you can get everything, from clothes to decoration for your home. After 3 hours of shopping we felt ready for a snack, so right after we got home we made an apple crisp. It's a real American thing where apples are baked and you have a crisp on top, and the apples with cinnamon taste like heaven! Now, with our apple crisp in our hands, we were lying down on the couch, watching Football. PATRIOTS. It is a huge thing in America, and also a tradition of my family that you have to watch Football on Sunday. So now dressed up in Patriots fan clothing, the support has started already. Atfer the game we all must have burned like 1000 calories after screaming at the TV screen, so the Patriots can hear us. We changed our outfit to a more casual one, because we are went to Feng Shui with the whole Family. Also the aunt and uncle. It is an amazing restaurant where you can see how the chef cooks the food right in front of you. Looking back, I am blessed to get these experiences and to be part day of whole family!
Sunday was family day. A fun time and good food were on the to-do-list. Finally, my exchange partner and I had the opportunity to sleep as long as needed and started the day with a delicious typical American breakfast. As we were ready to go, we decided to spend the day in Boston, Massachusett's most popular and biggest city. Singing in the car and making a plan we had a lot of fun during the drive. Having arrived in Newboury Street we went to a great cupcake shop named Georgetown cupcakes. I was told that it is only located in Boston. Afterwards we were strolling through the street and went inside a few shops such as Lush, the North Face and brandy Melville. As we arrived at the end of Newboury street, my host family decided to get their favourite food from a food truck on the way, TACOS. Actually, my first taco ever. Right after the quick lunch break we took the subway to the center of the city. We passed the wonderful public garden and took pictures with the famous ducks. My host mother explained to move from duck to duck in every picture that you have a picture on every duck which is traditional for Boston and their family. The day turned towards its end so we went back home and got Starbucks coffee to go. All in all, it was a nice day which I really enjoyed, and am glad to have spent quality time with this family.
This Saturday my exchange student and I finally had time to sleep as long as we wanted to because we just had apple picking planned with the group in the afternoon. But we didn't participate because my exchange student's cousin got married.
So, after a little breakfast we left at 10ish to drive to Cape Cod. The car ride was about 3 hours so we got there at 1pm. As soon as we arrived, we went to a Mexican restaurant to get something to eat and drink like Tacos and Nachos. After the meal we all got ready for the wedding which started around 4pm. Then we were picked up by a yellow school bus at our hotel with the other wedding guests to get to the wedding location.
When we arrived, I was impressed by the location because they had set up a big tent for the ceremony and the following after party which had a beautiful view on the ocean because it was on the beach. The ceremony was held by the groom's sister which was pretty emotional because it felt very intense. While the couple was taking pictures, we all got appetizers and drinks to celebrate until the tent was redecorated as a room with tables to eat and a dance floor. On the served menu which we got at our tables was a typical New England soup (clam chowder), a salad, two main dishes to choose from, fish or prime rib, and a dessert.
As soon as everyone had finished their meals, the DJ started playing music and the crowd was either on the dance floor or at the bar.
Our evening ended around 10pm when all the older guests headed to a club to go on with the celebration. It was an awesome evening with a lot of emotions and new impressions. One example is that the Americans wear their wedding rings on the left hand instead of the right hand.
It was our second Friday in the US and our second trip to a big American city: Boston. The day started like all the other days: In the morning my exchange partner, me and two other exchange students, we carpooled with, arrived at Westford Academy. Today we only had 4 blocks to go to, because we had to depart at 12.15, so we could spend a bit more time in Boston.
After our 4 blocks we met at the German room with all the exchange students and the German teachers. When everybody was ready to go we took a typical yellow school bus to Boston. Like every time we took a bus, people talked until we arrived at our destination.
At first Mr. Welch told us what we were going to do on our trip; We would see a Holocaust memorial, a market, the Boston town hall, Faneuil Hall Market and finally we could find a place to have dinner. The first thing to see was the Holocaust memorial, a walk with six glass towers, which have 2,280,960 unique numbers listed on them. The second thing was the so-called Haymarket, a market where you could get fresh fruits and vegetables for little money. I got some grapes for one Dollar, which I shared with my friends. Two of my friends got pineapples, which are important later. After this we went to the Boston town hall, a bunker made of cement (no joke), where a guy from Boston gave us a tour, where we learned a few things about Boston. The most special thing was a smaller, wooden replica of Boston, which made me feel so big. After this tour we could spend some free time with a small group. Some of them went shopping, my group went to a market at Faneuil Hall Market, where we got something to eat and gifts for our families. When our free time was over, we met the big group again and walked to the bus. On our way we crossed the Boston Common, the famous park of Boston, where we saw a lot of squirrels.
The bus took us to a mall at Newbury Street, a popular place to shop expensive clothing. The teachers told us to find something to eat, and to be back at 8pm. I went to Fire and Ice with my exchange partner and some friends. It was unbelievable. You could put some vegetables, meat and/or seafood in a bowl to let it be cooked in front of you. It was so tasty and all of us had fun. After we had dinner and paid, we left Fire and Ice at 8pm. Too late. I grabbed my friend’s pineapple and her backpack and all of us ran through Boston. At night. Screaming. It was perhaps the funniest thing at the exchange. Fortunately, the group waited for us and we could finally go back to Westford.
By Christina Hillebrecht
3rd October 2019
This day wasn‘t a normal school day. It was teacher’s- parents day, so parents of the American students were able to talk to the teachers about classes. Nobody had to go to school.
However, we had to get up early: I stood up at 6.30am. I got ready and went downstairs to my host family and we had breakfast together. There were many fruits, pancakes and bread. Also juice, water and milk. After we finished, my host mother drove me to school at 7.40am, because all Germans went on a trip.
So we left school at 8.05 and drove around 1,5hours to Plimoth Plantation. This is like a museum, but outside. It was about the beginning of America, when English settlers arrived there.
The Plantation has many parts. There was an information center, a craft center, a Native American Homesite in which real Native Americans talked to people and the village of the settlers. The most interesting was the village of 18th century, I think. We had three hours to walk around the plantation, before we had lunch.
After that we drove to an outlet and had three hours to go shopping or do whatever we wanted to do. At 6pm it was time to drive home. We enjoyed the shopping trip a lot. The trip ended at 6.55pm and my host family picked me up from school. At home I had dinner, talked with my hostfamily about the day, what I would like to do an Sunday and my Exchangepartner and me choosed any classes for the next day.
When It was 10.10pm it was time to go to bed.
This was a very interesting day. I‘m happy to have a great time with my family.
By Katharina Böhnert
Today we were witnesses of a really strange situation: two hairdressers had an argument with 3 policemen and an old woman about who might have killed a famous pianist. It was our first time in Boston so we didn‘t expect that to happen at all.
Well to be honest with you: That was a joke. Because we actually watched a play in a theater in Boston that is called „Shear Madness“. Shear Madness is one of the longest-running nonmusicial plays in the world. The actors interact with the audience, so during the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the crime. Furthermore, the ending is never the same because it depends on the outcome of the audience’s vote who committed the crime. So, lots of people return to this place over and over again. So we met at 5.15pm next to our school and went to Boston by bus. After a short admission we took our seats on the chairs and enjoyed the exciting show. Then after 2 hours we drove back to Westford Academy.
By Lisa Rodin
As always the week started with school and now I’m actually starting to adjust to the new school system.
This Monday was a so-called „G” day, that means we started with the block „G”, during that we went to art class and after that we had a meeting in the cafeteria with all the German exchange students. We’ve talked about our weekend and if everything is fine with our host families.
Fortunately, this is the case
Thereafter, three of my friends and I went to a bunch of different classes, first Mandarin („B” block) then V=Ceramics („C” block), Spanish („D” block) and Image Editing („E” block). In my opinion it’s interesting to try out as many different courses as possible.
Afterwards we went canoeing in Concord at 3:00pm with the Germans and Americans from the exchange group.
Frankly, I was pretty skeptical in the beginning because I’ve never been canoeing before and I didn’t think it would be fun but surprisingly I had a lot of fun. There were always three of us in a canoe. While we were trying to figure out how the canoe was working, we often drove in the wrong direction or didn’t move at all but that was actually the funny thing about it.
In fact, we kind of tried to hold on to other canoes because we wanted to move together.
Two boys got pretty wet but luckily nobody fell completely into the water.
Therefore, it was a really good day and now I’m sitting on my bed trying to get this blog done because I’m really looking forward to eat something
Greetings from Westford <3
Today we had a family day. I got up around 10am, because we had a very long day in NYC yesterday. I went downstairs, ate some fruit salad and played Wii with my exchange partner. After her parents came home from church, I got ready for the day. We drove abut an hour to a small island called plum island. We spent some time at the beach and visited a lighthouse. After that, we drove back to the city Newburyport, where we spent the rest of the day. First, my exchange partner showed me a 25ct hot dog. While we ate it, we walked around the city and did a break at a bench. We watched the boats, which were shipping through the river right in front of us. We saw a shop which sells antiquities, but it was not opened. We also went in another shop, with a lot of small things, like decoration and stuff. It's one month until halloween but I see sooo much halloween stuff everywhere, that's a bit weird but also funny. It was a little bit cold today, so my host mother went back to the car and got the jackets of my host father and my exchange partner. We waited for her at another bench in the center of Newburyport. Afterwards we went through the city again until we stopped at a restaurant to eat something. The food was very delicious, I ate sweet potato fries. At 6pm we drove home and I went to bed early because I was really tired.
To put it in a nutshell, it was a very cool and fantastic day with my host family. I'm very exited about the next days.
by Sophia Heinze
We had to wake up super early today since we were going to New York City.
Me and my exchange student had a small breakfast before we left for the bus.
Although the ride was 3-4 hours, it was really fun and it didn't feel too long.
The first thing we saw was the Bronx. Everything looked kind of shady, poor and old, but you could already see some of the Skyscrapers above the big red houses. After a quick group picture in front of the famous glass box Apple Store and the Trump Tower we could walk around Midtown in groups and enjoy the City. Especially on 5th Avenue, you can find a bunch of well known and expensive brands. We went into a couple of stores and saw the Empire State Building, Time Square and Central Park. Afterwards, we took a ferry trip and saw the famous Statue of Liberty and had a breathtaking view of the downtown and especially the One World Trade Center. Before driving back home, we went to Ground Zero, the memorial of the Twin Towers. The monument had the name of every person who died that day on it. After that, we headed back to the bus and saw places like China Town and the Brooklyn Bridge on our way back to Westford.
By Sascha Opolka
It was a normal school day for me. When my exchange student and I arrived at school we went to a spot where we met other Americans and Germans. We go to this spot every day before the school starts. After that we went to our individual classes. My host family picked me up after school at 2pm and we went home.
Originally, we wanted to go to an American Football game of Westford Academy with our exchange students. Westford Academy against Haverhill. But the game had been moved to the 28th September because in Massachusetts there is a virus called "Triple E" (EEE). This virus comes from mosquitoes which is why the school doesn’t want the students to be outside at dusk. So, we couldn't watch the game but Westford Academy won the game against Haverhill on the next day.
Instead, I will write something about my personal day after school: I was at a big ice cream shop named Kimball Farm. It is the biggest ice cream shop in Westford and the people from Westford say that Kimball is the best ice cream shop in the whole city. So first my host family and I played Mini-Golf on Kimball Farm but there are much more activities like Bumper Boats, Pitch & Put and exotic Animal Adventures. After that we ordered some food from the grill and then we bought a cup of ice cream. The ice cream was delicious but very expensive. A normal cup of ice cream costs $3,50. After that, we went home and I packed my backpack for the next day because I was looking forward to the New York trip.
By Hendrik Johannes
Today I had to wake up at 6am like every morning. It was tough today, because my exchange student and I were awake till 11pm last night! So, we got some breakfast and went to school... over there we did nothing interesting, except the physics class, because there, we had an unbelievable teacher who’s name is Rafael. He‘s so funny and sometimes you can‘t understand what he‘s saying because of his Spanish accent. Well, after school we took the bus at home, ate some snacks and played ping-pong. It was fun! After some crazy games, my father arrived. He stayed in Boston for some nights because of his job, and decided to visit us. So Sam, his parents, my dad and I talked a lot and ate some crackers before he had to go back to Boston. The last thing we did this day, was more eating. Bob, Sam‘s father, is an amazing cook and made steaks for the whole family. I think that was one of the best things I ever ate!!
by Tom Heiduck
The day started of pretty normally:
First, I had breakfast with the exchange family and when everyone was ready we went to the bus to go to school. At school we hang out at the bell lobby for a few minutes (it’s called the bell lobby because there is a huge bell propped up on a big wooden base) and then we broke up to go to our own classes. At first, I had personal finances, then psychology, then P.E., then German because me and some other Germans wanted to do sociology but we found out that this class is only on in the second semester, then intro to movie making and then another German lesson which is the German lesson we normally went to.
After school my exchange student Declan and Paul’s exchange student Alex had soccer practice. So Declan’s mom picked Paul and me up to drive us to rock climbing where we spent some time with the other Germans and a few of the Americans.
After that Alex's mom picked us up and Paul and I hang out a little until the soccer practice ended because it was raining which is why we didn't watch the soccer practice. Then all of us went to Chipotle and had some Burritos which was really good.
All in all, I would say it was a really good day because we always had something to do and started getting used to the American school day.
by Niklas Koch
On September 23 we had our first day of school at Westford Academy. The first lesson started at 7:35 am and I was in the classes of my exchange partner so we had gym first and we went to the sport field. It was really fun but it also was very different to the German P.E. lessons because most students didn’t wear any sports clothes and just stood around doing not much than talk. The other classes were also different to the ones I know from Germany because the students are on their phones without the teachers caring about that and each student has their own laptop to work on. Overall, the school system is different to the German one. At Westford Academy the teachers stay in the rooms most times and the students have to change the room. The students in the classes change too because they take seven classes, which they have every day by a block system, in at least half a school year. That’s why the students, which are around you in class, depend on the classes you take. In the second and third block we had a meeting with all the people included in the exchange to get in touch. It was fun! After school, which usually ends at 1:55 pm, the exchange group got a bus tour through Westford, where we learned about the place we’ll live in for 3 weeks. It was very interesting even the bus was filled with stuffy air because of the warm weather. In conclusion, it was a very nice and interesting day and I got excited about the coming weeks.
Made by Lia Zaigler
First in Westford:
I woke up at approximately 8:30 am.
I went into the bathroom, washed my face and brushed my teeth.
Afterward, I went downstairs and said "Good Morning".
We ate breakfast and talked to each other.
I had bagels, an apple and a muffin.
I also drank a glass of milk.
Everything was delicious!
After breakfast, I helped my host family set up for the welcome party.
We put together the volleyball net, hung German and US flags and put out the chairs.
Next, Alex, his brother Cam and I played a small game of FIFA.
Then, the first guests arrived.
We ate a lot of delicious food and also played basketball and soccer.
It was a very nice party and everybody had a great time!
After the party, my German friend Tom stayed at the house because our exchange partners had to go to ice hockey practice.
We watched football on TV and played basketball and football outside.
When Alex got home, we ate steak with potatoes, salad and bread for dinner.
It was very delicious!
After dinner, I gave my exchange family the presents that I bought for them in Germany.
They were happy and really liked them.
I was very tired from the day so I took a shower, said "Good night" and went to bed.
It was a fantastic day!
Seit fast 40 Jahren existiert die Partnerschaft zwischen dem Corvi und der Westford-Academy in Massachusetts, USA. Auch in diesem Jahr besucht wieder eine Gruppe von 20 Schüler*innen aus den Jahrgängen 10 und 11 begleitet von Daniel Busch und Bonnie Puelm für drei Wochen die amerikanische Schule...
Nach einer problemfreien Anreise am Flughafen Boston erwartete die Corvinianer*innen ein großes Empfangskomitee der amerikanischen Austauschpartner*innen, die ihre Gäste mit einem großen Banner herzlich begrüßten. Mit einem echt amerikanischen Schulbus ging es dann nach Westford, wo sich alle zunächst in ihren Gastfamilien erstmal ordentlich ausruhten. Gleich am nächsten Tag waren dann Gäste und Gastgeber*innen zur "American explosion"-Brunchparty eingeladen, die bei strahlendem Sonnenschein und 28 Grad im Garten einer Gastfamilie stattfand.
Die ersten Schultage waren erstmal einigermaßen verwirrend, denn sowohl das Fächerangebot als auch die Stundenpläne sind hier ganz anders als in Deutschland. Psychology, Anatomy, Playwriting, Criminal Minds usw. sind Fächer, die besonders viel Interesse auf sich ziehen, aber dazu können die Schüler*innen bald mehr berichten. Es gibt also noch viel zu entdecken und zu erleben. Samstag steht erstmal New York City auf dem Programm!
Text, Fotos: Pülm