Just how simple are AP classes

Report # 3 - The American School System and My Experiences in School

Now I would like to tell you a little more about my schedule and everyday school life. First I come to my schedule:

1.      Human Anatomy & Physiology: This class is a lot of fun for me, but also a little tricky as I learn all the body parts, muscles, organs and bones in Latin and I don't even know many of the words in English.

2.      English 11: This is the normal English class that any student who does not have an English Honors or AP class must take. Similar to German lessons in Germany, we read books there and learn how to write essays. Still, I have to say that it is nowhere near as demanding as I expected at the beginning, as the books are not written in Old English and I can understand them relatively well.

3.      Algebra 2: In the US, the math class is divided into different classes. There is geometry, algebra 1,2 and calculus. This is only the case in high school, however. In middle school and elementary school it is called a normal math class. Every high school student must have completed at least Algebra 2 to graduate. Most students have Algebra 2 by 11th grade.

4.      Spanish 1: To graduate, each student must have completed a language for at least 3 years. In my school there is a choice between Latin, Spanish, German, French and Korean. I have Spanish because I never learned it in Germany and I thought it would be interesting to learn a new language.

5.      Psychology: This class is one of my favorite subjects here. We learn how the human brain works and why we react differently to certain things. Psychology is also one of my electives that I chose at the beginning of the school year. That means I have this class with 10th and 12th graders.

6.      Criminal Justice: It's a class that doesn't exist in Germany. In my case, this class is being taught by a former police officer, who teaches us the American legal system and can also draw on personal experience, which is very interesting. Sometimes it feels a bit like doing the theoretical part of a police officer training course.

7.      American and Virginia history: Since I live in Virginia near DC, I am surrounded by American history. In this subject we learn all about American history from the Native American era to 9/11. I find it very interesting to learn about the history of another country as I have only learned European history so far.

Since you have now got to know my schedule, I would now like to introduce you to my daily routine. My school day starts at 8:10 am every day and I have 4 hours of school every day. Depending on whether I have an A or B day that day, I either go to Human Anatomy or English for my first lesson. On my A days I have all of my odd subjects (1, 3, 5, 7) and on my B days I have all of my even subjects (2, 4, 6) and Algebra 2 (3) as I do this class every day have.

Since my school is so big, there are 4 different lunch times, which are divided into lunch 1, 2, 3 and 4. On my A days I have lunch 4, which means that I only have my 3rd lesson (psychology) complete and then go to my lunch. (Each lunch is 30 minutes long). On my B days I have lunch 2, which means that I go to my 3rd lesson (Spanish) for 30 minutes, then have lunch for 30 minutes and then go back to my Spanish class and have another 60 minutes of lessons. After my last and 4th lesson, I finish school at 2:55 am.

Sometimes I have a club meeting or training after school.

Which sport I do here and which club I joined, I'll tell you more another time.

I hope I was able to introduce you to some of the differences between the German and American school systems and I'm looking forward to sharing my New York experience with you in my next blog. Until next time.

Your Laurentien