Back to High School

I’ve spent the last two days in school with my host siblings. Yesterday I was with Ruth in her junior class, and today I was with Pedro in his senior class (they graduate at 16 here; Ruth and Pedro are 14 and 16 respectively). I mostly went to absorb more Spanish, but they also wanted me to sit in on their English classes so that I could tell them how well the teacher spoke.

The teacher was shy at the beginning of class yesterday, but by the end she had no problem asking me to check everyone’s homework. Today she had me read the selection so that they could practice correct pronunciation.  The same students who had unabashedly yelled out the windows at me earlier because suddenly shy when called upon to speak English with me, but I laughed and told them it was okay since I don’t speak much Spanish either. We had a blast!

All the students (and some of the teachers) are incredibly interested in American culture… every aspect of it.  The following are some of the questions they asked me, translated directly and without embellishment. It’s quite a humorous (and somewhat sad) commentary on the image other parts of the world have of the US.

  • Do you live near Hollywood?
  • How does college work there? Do you have to go to school for 8 years to be a doctor?
  • Want to come up to the board and show us how to work this chemistry equation? (aka… my worst nightmare come to life, in Spanish.)
  • Have you met Justin Bieber?
  • Have you been to the school from High School Musical?
  • Is it true that all the teens there do drugs all the time, and no one cares?
  • Your parents really let you come alone?
  • Have you met Selena Gomez?
  • Will your brother be my boyfriend?
  • Are you married?
  • Why won’t you come in? (said by a boy washing his hands IN THE GIRLS BATHROOM, while I stood in the doorway politely waiting for him to leave before doing my business)
  • Do all those black people in pictures do steroids? (After much discussion, it was determined that he was referring to 50 Cent. This from was the chemistry teacher, a man of about 45 years old. “Politically correct” isn’t a thing here.)
  • I saw on American Pie that at college people just have sex all the time, is that true?
  • Have you met the president?
  • Do you know ANYONE famous?
  • Do you have a car?
  • Can you drive?
  • Is your house air-conditioned?
  • Have you ever been to Miami?
  • What does it feel like when you’re in an airplane?
  • Do you have a boyfriend?
  • How many hours were you in the airplane to come here?
  • How’d you get your eyes to be blue?
  • Are you single?
  • Have you been to Las Vegas?

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