Monday, January 31, 2011

Banska Bystrica

Ok. So I have so much to say, and this is gonna be super random (as if everything else I write isn't...hahaha). But I'm sure you all have noticed, I don't really go back and edit these yes.

Friday Ernesto and I took the bus to Banska Bystrica for our Rotary Weekend. We arrived, and checked in and stuff. Hung out with people. Then once everyone was there, we went to a concert. It wasn't exactly the type of music we all prefer, so we spent the time taking pictures, and after we talked more, haha. During dinner, "the Australian" arrived. His name is Lewis, but everyone just called him the Australian. He was surrounded by like 15 girls, and Jenn and I just laughed at all of them. After dinner, we heard announcements. Then went in this other room, and talked with the rebounds, and had this competition thing. My team came in like last, but it was fun. Then all the Rotarians left (haha!) and we all talked, and played baseball with apples, and danced on the table, and choked on water, and laughed until we cried...well, we didn't all do all of that, but all of that happened. And we were all in our rooms by midnight.

Saturday after breakfast we went into town. We had a tour of the city hall, and spent like 3 hours taking pictures, cause we're sweet like that. Then we split into two groups and went on a tour outside around the city. Our tour guide, at one point said to us, "If you want to see the homeless people here, just look over there." It was quite funny. Rosa (Mexico) and Lewis were playing in the snow, and were completely covered. Good times. Then we were all back together as a group for lunch. We went to a restaurant that was owned by a Slovak pro hockey player. He played on like 3 teams in the NHL, but I don't know his name. We all got signed stuff by him though, so that was cool. During lunch, at my table we were all playing music with our water glasses, probably annoying everyone else..too bad. And asking Lewis to say things, like "wombat", and "koala", and "kangaroo". And asking him a gazillion questions about Australia. Then we found out we could get virgin cocktails for 10% off, so of course we had to get them(: But then we found out, because we were ordering them from the regular drink menu, and just having them made virgin, they would be full price. But we still got them anyway. I had a strawberry daiquiri, but I also tried Rachel's pina colada, and Jenn's raspberry daiquiri, and "love you" (very fruity, yum) and Lewis's something-or-other. I don't know what exactly it was, but it had banana and red bull, and was good. And I tried Megan's drink, but it was nasty. (And we were all sharing drinks, I wasn't just being a mooch, FYI.) After lunch, we went to the mall. I hung out with Jenn, Ramiro, Crystal, and Lewis for the most part, but our group changed as we ran into other people and stuff. We didn't spend much time shopping, mostly we were just walking around and making jokes about the "Erotic City" store. (And no, we didn't go in it. At least, my group didn't...haha) And then we all got ice cream at a shop in the mall, and ate that while listening to Lewis talk about the gypsies. And he said Jenn and I were immature, but we explained that in a few weeks he will be just like us. (By the end of the weekend, he was. Win!) We all went back to the hotel and had dinner, then a ping pong tournament. The guys were separate from the girls. Myles (America) won the guys, and I won the girls. It was pretty fun. After that, we had a disco! That was fun, crazy dancing...and I'm not gonna go into a lot of details. But I danced with a bunch of people. And we were all back in our rooms by 1:30.

Sunday we went to a museum after breakfast. It was about Slovakia in the World Wars, and it was chilling. I don't think this group of kids has ever been that quiet. After that, we went back for lunch, and then everyone went home. I already blogged bout my traveling issues, so I won't repeat that, haha. I hope you enjoyed the pics, and come see me in person in July to see the pics I refuse to post online(:

And I am having picture issues, so they are all just below. Gah.
Lewis and his girls
Girls Bracket
Teague and I at the "Disco"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I HATE Public Transportation

OMG. I miss having a car.

So, to get home today, Ernesto and I took a bus to Trnava, and then were supposed to get on a bus to Piestany, about 40 minutes later. Well, we were in the wrong spot, and missed the bus. And then tried to make the train that was leaving in 10 minutes...yea, that didn't happen. So he called his host dad, who said the next bus was in 20 minutes. So we waited for that one. And then like 2 minutes before it was supposed to be there, this bus pulled into a different spot. So I said I think that was our bus, but Ernesto wasn't sure...we checked anyways. Thank goodness we did, cause it was our bus. So we finally made it home, but I don't like public transportation. At all.

Side note: A post about my Rotary Weekend in Banska Bystrica will be up soon, but I'm tired right now. Check my pics on Facebook if you want to! (:

Monday, January 24, 2011


So I got a request a while ago to do a blog on how school is different. Sorry that I'm just getting around to it now, but I have been busy. All of this is to the best of my knowledge, so if I get some facts wrong, it's because I'm not sure, and I apologize.

To start with the very basics. We don't have "high school" here. After elementary/middle school, you take a test to choose where you will go to school. There are sports schools, and academies, and where I go, gymnasium. The difference between gymnasium and academy  is that you go to gymnasium for four years, and academy for five. Also, at academy you learn a trade. (Think "Career Tech Center") As far as I know, Piestany has a sport school, Gymnasium Pierra de Coubertina, and Hotelova Akademia Ludovita Wintera.

I'm in class 3.A  This means I'm in the third year (like a junior) and the "A" part is my actual class. I don't change classes. Like, I'm with the same group of people all day, every day. And they have been together for the past three years. So they are all really close. We also don't switch classrooms (much). For the most part, we stay in our classroom. And also, they have been in the same classroom for the past three years. We have a "class teacher" which basically means, she is like homeroom teacher. (She is also our math teacher.)

For most classes, we stay in our classroom. Although we (obviously) go to the computer lab for computer class, and the gym for P.E. But we also have to go to a different class for Biology, and Chemistry. And half of our class is taking German, and the other half (me too!) takes French. So half the class goes to a different classroom for that class. And sometimes, for reasons beyond me, we have to go to a different classroom because other students have to go to our class. I have no idea why.

I have the same schedule all year. However, I have different classes everyday. Also, on a different time frame. Meaning I have to go to school at 7:50 on Tuesdays, but on Wednesdays I don't start until 9:50. (Yes, I love Wednesdays!) I have a regular schedule, not a changed one because I'm an exchange. Meaning I take English, French, Slovak, History, Geography, Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Art & Culture, Computers, P.E., and a class that is similar to Psychology, I think.

Our Classroom
We don't have desks. We have tables that each seat two people, and out teacher also has a table, but there is a nicer chair for the teacher. (See front left desk and chair in picture.) Our lockers are very small, and we only use them to store our books and gym clothes and stuff. We just keep all our things in our backpacks, which we have in the classroom, and carry with us. We also hang our coats in the classroom. We carry our boots with us. Well, boots and other shoes. We have to wear "school shoes" during the day. They can be like sandals, or crocs, or other shoes that you don't wear outside.

We have at least a ten minute break between classes, and between second and third hour is a twenty minute break. During that time, most kids stay in the classroom and talk, although we can leave if we want to. Some people leave to go smoke. There are no teachers in the classroom during break, they are all in the teachers lounge, I think. (Which is why I am able to get so many crazy videos of my class. Check my youtube if you want to see some of them.)

If our teacher is not there for some reason, we get free time, because we almost never have subs. Which is nice. Also, sometimes our teachers will trade classes with each other. Like, we will have History instead of Biology and then vice-versa. But it's not often. During breaks and free time, the blackboard has to be cleaned. Each week a different student is in charge of this. They use a wet sponge to clean it, but it usually just results in wiping chalk all over the board. If they don't have it clean when the teacher gets there, they get in trouble, and sometimes have to clean the board the following week, also.

We do not have many textbooks. For the most part, the teacher will lecture all hour, and the students take notes. In math class, our teacher reads the problems, and has kids go to the board to do them, while everyone else does them on their own. In English and French, they have workbooks. I like to read the English one and help out my classmates with the answers when they ask. Also, I find it funny that they have to learn all the perfect grammar, some of which confuses me. Like past perfect, and junk like that. I mean, I know how to use it, I just can't explain it. It just sounds right, you know? (This is apparently a bad explanation, which usually results in my classmates laughing at me, and not asking for more help. But really, I don't know how to explain all the pointless grammar rules English has.)

So, I think that's pretty much it about school. Any questions, feel free to ask(:

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Family Number 2

So today I moved into my second host house.

I now have a 19 year old host sister, and of course my new host parents. My room is awesome. Its green, and has a really fuzzy carpet in one part. And a black and white cheetah blanket on the bed. I love it. The rest of the house has mostly orange walls, which might sound a little odd, but it's really pretty. Also, bunches of art and little elephants everywhere. It's definitely my style.

I don't exactly know my address yet...but I think I know how to find my way home from school and stuff. I think. I'm not sure yet...we shall see.

I'll keep you all updated with new things(:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Last night, I was walking to my dance class, and to get there I have to walk through a not-well-lit parking lot. As I was walking (alone, mind you) a guy came up to me. At first I was like, "Who is this creeper?" and then I realized he was pretty young and kind of cute. So he started to ask me something, and I thought, "Oh crap, I don't understand him." But then I realized, I did understand enough of what he was saying, that he was asking for directions to Indian's (a local bar). Even more exciting than understanding him, I could actually give him the directions he wanted! Mainly by pointing, but still. The point got across. As he walked away, he said, "Danke" For the unfamiliar, that would be "Thank you." In German. (:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


...shipping me things. I am moving this Saturday, so hold on for a few weeks to ship things. Once I know my new address, you can email me for it. Until then, put a hold on packages and letters, because I definitely want them, but I won't get them if you ship them to the same place you have been sending them.
If you have sent me a package or letter, and I haven't acknowledged that I received it, please let me know so I can watch for it. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

An Unintentional Explore

So today I went to Austria.

We (my host family and I) went shopping in this ginormous outlet mall. The shopping was good, I got a few new things. I'm still looking for a good winter hat but I got gloves for skiing today. Yay(:

But...we got to go on an explore. Apparently we took a wrong turn or something...but I don't mind, I love going on explores. I got to see an extra hour of the Austrian countryside today. It was pretty cool.

Ok, so this was just a really quick update. Comment on what you want to hear about!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Yay, it's 2011!

So, for New Year's Eve...I went with my friend Sofia to watch her dance performance. She is in a folk dance group, and they are REALLY good. It was fun to watch. Then after that, we had food and stuff with some more of her friends. And then went to watch fireworks. They were awesome. Plus I felt popular because I saw a bunch of people that I know(: After talking and seeing everyone, we went to a bar. (I'm not sure what the name was.) Dancing, laughing at drunk people...One guy was like passed out. His friend was trying to get him out the door. Right as he got out, the drunk guy came to a bit, and I think he tried to punch his friend...I'm not sure, but it was pretty hilarious. Sofia's parents picked us up around 2am, and took me home. It was a super fun New Year's Eve.

Stastny Novy Rok!