Pupil Exchange to America, Blog #2

Pupil Exchange to America, Blog #2

Rob is also blogging about his time in America here.

Day 3 - Thursday 17 September

Today was the first day of Chapel that I encountered at Groton. Chapel is every day except Wednesday and Saturday, so following breakfast, the whole school filed into the rows of wooden seats to listen to the talk. On the outside, the chapel is very similar to College's, with the same style windows and embellishments, but it is quite a bit smaller. Inside there are rows of chairs facing the altar, instead of benches facing inwards. The service is similar, with two short readings, a talk from a pupil or member of staff, a prayer and then a hymn. The hymns are similar to those of College, but the singing is not quite as deafening, more of a subtle lilt. 

Lessons pass as usual, with Biology first, then Algebra. At Groton (as, I think, in many schools in the US), Maths is spilt into two separate lessons, and you are expected to only take one. I am also taking Environmental Studies, a class not available at College that is a combination of Geography, Biology, Chemistry and Economics. It focuses on patterns in the earth’s environment, as well as the causes, effects and measures taken to stop or continue these patterns (such as river pollution or deforestation).

Latin is with Dr Reyes, a teacher that the students at Groton like to say ‘chirps’, which is an American slang version of the more commonly known ‘throws shade’ or ‘has banter’. Other words I have picked up are ‘yeet’ (an exclamation similar to ‘psych’ which is shouted after fooling someone with a false statement to prove it was, in fact, not true), and ‘low-key’ a phrase meaning that something is casual or subtle (though known in England, it is not as commonly used). 

We actually got ‘yeet-ed’ today, by another boys’ dorm. They shuffled in, giggling, and stood awkwardly for a few moments, before shouting ‘YEET!’ and running out. We looked at each other, equal parts bemused and indifferent, as we were already married, so the joke was on them.

The day finished with yet more homework, and the nightly ‘feed’, when the member of staff of duty sometimes brings food to the dorm so we can get hyper before bed. Tonight it was ‘monkey bread’ a cake/cinnamon roll/bread hybrid that is unfortunately not available in Britain, which is a shame, as it is delicious. 

Day 4 - Friday 18 September 

Friday is affectionately known by pupils as ‘Fat Kid Friday’. This is due to the excessive choices and amounts of food at dinner, including pastas, chips (or ‘fries’) and at least six flavours of ice cream. Food is a very important part of the Groton community and culture. In English, as we listed off vocabulary meanings from the passage we had been reading the night before, many example sentences were centred on food.“When is an instance that you might be ‘sullen’?” asked our teacher. "When you have to wait a long time in line for lunch!” was one of the eager suggestions.

To read Abby's first blog post click here.

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