Wednesday, October 20th, 2004

At last the day we had all been waiting for had come. We met early in the morning at Karlsruhe Hauptbahnhof to start our journey to Minnesota. We were all excited and a bit nervous. When we arrived at Frankfurt Airport we checked in our luggage and were asked a lot of security questions. Some of us even had to open our suitcases. On the plane I was lucky to get a seat at the window. What impressed me most at the start were the high speed and the sudden take off when you have a strange feeling as if your balance turned the wrong way when the plane changes direction. It was a pity that it was cloudy. But above the clouds it was sunny and the sky was really blue. When the clouds broke over Canada, I liked the emptiness of the unsettled countryside. The landing was the best part of the flight. The plane went down into the thick snow-like cloud floor, through foggy white clouds into the grey sky of Chicago. When you saw the runway getting closer and closer, you really felt the speed in your body. It was great. It was my very first flight and I LOVED it.

At customs they didn't only check our passports but also took fingerprints of both index fingers and a photo. After more security checks we went on to Minneapolis where we were welcomed by our hosts with a huge banner. It was great to see our friends again and we almost forgot how tired we were. We had been up for almost 24 hours by then..... but some of us still had the strength to go to a party! When I arrived at my host family's house, I went to bed straight away and immediately fell into a deep black sleep.

Alexia Mappes 10c

 

Thursday, October 21st

Our first day in Litchfield. Luckily there were no lessons today, so we could stay in bed a bit longer. We met at midday in the German room at Litchfield High. Our host students has prepared a scavenger hunt for us so that we could get to know Litchfield. We had to find buildings, a certain book at the library and ask people question. We weren"t allowed to take the car, that would have been cheating. At the end we all met at a coffee shop, Necola's, before we went back to school to meet the mayor of Litchfield, Vern Madson. He welcomed us and read out a proclamation: October 21st was proclaimed "German Student Day" in Litchfield because it was our first day there. In the evening we had fun at our welcome party, a potluck dinner at Ashley's house. All the families brought food so there was a lot to eat. Afterwards we watched a scary movie at Kevin's.

Ayke Sieben 12

 

Friday, October 22nd

Today we went to Minneapolis on a real yellow school bus. This was really exciting, I felt like one of the Simpsons. Afetr riding on the bus for 1 1/2 hours we arrived in Minneapolis and went on a boat tour on the Mississippi. It was quite interesting. but unfortunately the weather wasn't very good so we had to stay inside most of the time and couldn't see very much. We still enjoyed it though. Right after the boat trip we went to the Mall of America, the biggest Mall in the world! I was very excited when we got there because I LOVE shopping!! We all split up into groups of 5or 6 and walked around in the Mall. It is HUGE! There are some big malls in Germany but this one is bigger than I coud ever have imagined. Of course I bought some clothes and shoes. Before we left the Mall we rode on one of the rollercoasters in Camp Snoopy - that was awesome! Then after 6 hours of walking around, shopping and rides we went back to Litchfield on the yellow school bus - very tired, but Happy.

Shuo Yang 12

 

Saturday, October 23rd

For most of us Saturday started on Friday night. While some of us went TPing ( decorating trees with toilet paper - a custom at Litchfield High at Homecoming) Frau Orbeck's house, I showed my exchange partner who is better at bowling. No kidding! Nearly everyone used Saturday morning to sleep in. In the afternoon and evening we spent time with our host families and realised that life in Minnesota is not half as boring as one might think. Everybody tried really hard to show us new things many of which we had not experienced before. After dancing at "Aftershock" a day day full of new impressions came to an end.

Cyril Grether 12

 

Sunday, October 24th

Nearly everybody got up early to go to church. Before the service started we attended Sunday School. We saw a part of the movie "Remember the Titans" and talked a lot about our devotion to god. Ithink that all of us loved to see what church is like in America and everybody agreed that it's more fun. Most German students spent the afternoon with their host families. Cyril's host parents took him to a museum about Minnesota, Silke's family took her to the theatre in Minneapolis to see the play "Pygmalion". In the evening my host family came home from their hunting trip and I finally met all of them.

Anette Strauss 12

 

Monday, October 25th

Today was our first day at Litchfield High (LHS). The first lesson started at 8.10. After the meeting in Frau Orbeck's room, most of us had a con.choir class. We don't have a choir like this at the OHG, so it was an exciting experience for us. We all liked this lesson, because the teacher was so crazy. For the next 3 lessons we stayed with our exchange partners, e. g. in Video production where you have to make your own movie. Others had a free period, English or German etc. After period 4 we had lunch, which we ate at school (in the cafeteria). The food was good and quite interesting: mini corn dogs, potatoes, milk, toast and peaches. The next class was German with Frau Orbeck. We introduced ourselves in German and told the students a bit about ourselves. After this we talked about what we would do after school, which was playing golf at Litchfield Golf Club, another new experience for us. We all liked golfing and had a lot of fun. We played some holes in small groups, and some of us were really good at it. All German students spent the evening with their host families or met each other in someone's house to sit together and talk. Having experienced a lot of exciting activities we were very tired. It was a really good day.

Jana Keller 12, Andrea Schoppe 11a

 

Tuesday, October 24th

We met at Frau Orbeck's room at 8 am to register for classes we wanted to take part in during the next two weeks. There are a lot of differences between the German and the American school system. They have only 6 or 7 different classes and they have the same schedule everyday. There are lots of classes we have never heard of as regular school subjects like "know your car", "band", "choir", "weight training", "basic foods" or "health". There is even one class in which the students build a real house! Each of us chose 4 classes, which we went to on our own, without our exchange partners. It gave us the opportunity to get to know more students from Litchfield High. After lunch we went to the GAR Museum in Litchfield, which is a museum about the American Civil War. It was very interesting to learn more about American history. In the evening we all went to Melrose ( about 45 minutes from Litchfield) to watch a football match between the Dragons ( the LHS football team) and the Melrose team. It was really good to see a football game and experience the atmosphere of such a game. Every team has got its own cheerleaders who sing, dance and shout to cheer their team on. But our group shouted just as much and sang songs to support the Dragons. But we obviously didn't shout and cheer enough. Dragons lost 32:30. We didn't understand much of the game but we had a lot of fun.

Marius Emnet 10d, Ann-Kathrin Kuester 11d

 

Wednesday, October 27th

Thursday, October 28th

In the morning we attended the lessons we had registered for. After lunch we started working on our presentation. We worked all afternoon and half the night. At home we had made a video about the OHG and Karlsruhe. As we weren't happy with it, we wanted to improve it and get a comment on the tape, as we didn't want to repeat the same comments over and over again. A lot of teachers at LHS were interested in our presentation, so we were asked to show our video 14 times !! After working for 3 1/2 hours we exported the files from the computer to a tape and shut the computer down. Unfortunately the files were not exported properly and they were not saved. So we had to do it all again. Mrs Bates, our Video Production Teacher, was very nice and helped us. Our video was finally finished at 9.30 pm. Some of us still had to wait for our exchange partners to come out of play practise, I had to wait even longer because my partner was at a school volleyball match at another school. I spent some time with a member of the musical group who also had to wait till the volleyball team came back. I finally left school at midnight. So I spent 16 1/2 hours at school but all in all it was worth it !!

Klaudia Prill 12

   
© Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium Karlsruhe, Gymnasium mit naturwissenschaftlichem, sprachlichem Profil und Sportprofil