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 Culture & Traditions

¡Qué Onda! News from a Mexican School

Literature and Language are in English. For Literature, we read stories, novels and short stories, and in language we study grammar, communication and spelling. The Lit. teacher is from Kansas, and the Language one is from Houston… We have read 3 novels in literatureThe Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which wasn’t bad, but after that, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, was hard to understand. Now we’re reading My Brother Sam Is Dead, which isn’t awful, but it doesn’t thrill me, either.

The grading system in Mexico is based on a scale from 0 to 10. Zero to 5.9 is failing, and 6.0 to 10 is a pass. Almost everyone gets between a 6 and an 8 average; mine is 9.

We have 5 minutes between classes to get to our room.

During recess almost everyone eats “molletes” (a bread roll split in two and covered with beans and cheese). Anyone at Sierra Nevada who hasn’t had “molletes” is missing out on something delicious, or else he doesn’t know where the “Cafe” (cafeteria) is.

We also play soccer at recess and “gorreamos” – sponge – potato chips off our friends.

In the afternoon you can stay after school and work on the computers, play soccer, work out on the basketball team, or if you’re having trouble with a subject, there might be a teacher around for private classes.

School is kind of hard, but it’s fun, too. Sometimes you get a lot of homework, sometimes none, but it’s O.K. in the end.

The hardest thing for me is that there are a lot of exams; I have between 1 and 5 a week, and there’s a lot of pressure. There’s a good side to everything, though – there are no term exams or finals at Sierra Nevada, and you can be excused from taking the exams every two months if you have a 9 average.

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