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Andrei Serban's Memoir

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S: 9 Years of Knowledge

FC: 9 Years of Knowledge By: Andrei Serban

1: I believe education is an important aspect of life. Education is really important because you can learn a lot of things about life and understand how important it is. Education forms every one as a person because education shows you different situations in which you have to solve your own problems. There is a difference between school and education. School is a place where you have to do annoying and boring activities that impact people's lives and that makes us great.

2: Chapter 1: Kindergarten My first contact with education was when I first joined kindergarten at the International School of Bucharest. There, I learned to speak, read and write in English and Romanian and I learned the basics of Mathematics.

3: In Kindergarten I liked mostly the teachers. I had a teacher called Miss Laura who was really nice and she always understood us and read to us different stories in English. She also took us in different field trips around Bucharest which was very kind of her because she had to look over all of us and make sure that we didn't get lost or something happened to us. She was my favorite teacher. Another memory that I can very well remember from kindergarten was when I was named principal for the day. I was delighted. I considered that an honor and I remember that before that day, my dad dressed me in a suit. He wanted me to be formal that day at school and act like a true boss. The next day I was the most well dressed boy in the school and everyone admired me. Also, during that day, the principal of the kindergarten allowed me to play on his computer. For me, that was an experience of a lifetime.

4: At the end of the year in kindergarten I couldn't wait for school to come because I was excited to learn and all I wanted to do was do my job and have fun. | But, I had a few problems. I expected that the year was going to end well and that we would all say goodbye to each other and see ourselves in the new school year. But, there was a problem. I was one of the best students of my year and there were people who were jealous of me because of that. But, I wasn't bothered. I waited grade one to come with excitement and joy.

5: Chapter 2: Grade 1 I remember the first day of school. I didn't like it at all. I thought that somethings changed and that nothing was the same as before. I didn't see any of my friends and I felt as an outsider.

6: Then, I saw them heading towards the school. In that moment it was as if my soul lightened. I then began to feel a lot better. I looked for my name on the lists and I found out what classroom I was supposed to be in. When I entered the classroom I saw all my friends and I thought that the teacher was really nice because we played all those games and that made me feel a little better. In truth, after about an hour of games I didn't want to go home. I wanted to stay there as long as possible. Then, to my surprise this afro-American woman entered the classroom. I didn't know who she was and I was scared of her odd hairstyle. She had the hair put up and she was really fun to watch and enjoy. She immediately made me fit in and we started introducing ourselves through different really fun games. Afterwards we did some spelling and math games.

7: Then, we were split in groups and played a game. In this game we had to spell a few words correctly. These were all new words which we had no idea of and we had to do the best we could in order to spell them correctly. I remember that I spelled correctly the word doctor and everybody in my group jumped in the sky that I spelled it correctly and were praising me. In that moment I became one of the most popular kids in my class. In that moment I felt really good and I just loved the way people were actually talking to me as if I were their god.

8: I can also remember from 1st grade that I loved English class. I had the afro-American woman as my teacher. She was called Miss Jeanette. I remember that she always taught in a funny manner through which everybody in the class could understand. She was really supportive and she never discouraged us in any way. She was caring and understanding. Whenever we had plays I volunteered to perform because I had a good memory and I could easily learn my lines. In every play I took part in, I was the main character. The most important memory I had from 1st grade was the night of the play. We performed it somewhere in the city because at that time we didn't have an auditorium in the school. So, on the night of the play my mom gave me a black shirt to put on, with black pants and black shoes. My character was a thief so the teacher told me to dress in black. When I arrived there, I was the most cherished boy from my class. Everybody said that I looked terrific.

9: Chapter 3: Grade 2 Grade 2 was an important year in my life because in that year I realized that change occurs and that I have to adapt to the times of change.

10: In grade 2 I had this math teacher called Miss Claudia. Everyone who was older said that she was mean, but in truth, she was amazing. I loved her class. Whenever I went in her class I was the happiest person in the school. She was so cool because my favorite activity was to work individually. We had these books from where she would give us some exercises to work from. The reason why I loved those exercises so much was because they were in the shape of a bubble. She was really nice to all of us and she especially encouraged me to excel in Math even though I wasn't the best in Math. Because of my desire to learn and my excellent results in tests I managed to finish with an A in Math at the end of the year.

11: Another memory which I can think of is during PE class. We had this teacher called Mr. Mihai who was really cool. We used to play all these sorts of games and he always joked around. He was really cool and he didn’t even give us different things to work on or be tested on. He would always just give all the people in the class an A.

12: Chapter 4: Grade 3 Another memory that I can remember back from my school days was when I was in 3rd grade. At the beginning of that school year I had a new teacher who was from England. But there was a change brought to the school. We were divided by potential and by grades. Some people who weren’t t doing good at school were in a class, the others who were medium in another, and the people who had the biggest grades were in another class. I was in the smart class. But, there was a problem. All the people in the class were people who I didn’t like at all. The teacher seemed nice but the thing that made me so mad was that I didn’t have any of my friends in class except Michelle but she wasn’t at school that day. I also remember that the class was kind of big in the sense that we could fit in there but the problem there was that there were a great deal of boring math tables.

13: We then had break time. I went to my mom who waited for me to finish the first day of school because it was a short day. | I told her that I didn't like the class and that if it's possible to switch me to another one. We went to the principle and we discussed this matter with him and he said that if it's possible we will make that move. Anyway, break ended and I went back to class. After about 15min the principle and my mom came and I moved in another class. The class I moved to was the medium class.

14: It was something different about it. All the people over there were really cool to be with and plus most of them were my friends so that kind of gave the boost to work harder and harder. The teacher was this woman called Miss Andrea who people said that she was really strict and all that. But, when I met her she seemed really nice and that’s what she was. She acted really cool with everybody even if she had some moments in which she shouted really badly. I felt really good and I aced the year without having any kind of trouble what so ever. That year was so fun that I thought that I will make a heart attack while laughing.

15: Another memory that I had in 3rd grade was when I went to Canada. We were 6 kids who went to Canada. It was Michelle 4 other kids and myself. We went for two weeks in Canada with Miss Jeanette who was our English and History teacher. We stayed at her parents’ house in Toronto where we met all her brothers and it was so much fun because they had two Play Station 2’s and they had every game anyone would want. It was so good. There, we saw the Cien Tower, we drove to the Niagara Falls, stayed there at a hotel, ate dinner in the city, spent a night at their caban in the woods. It was really cool because we watched a movie, ate pizza and spent a night without the girls. That was the best moment in 3rd grade.

16: Chapter 5: Grade 4 Then, times changed. Because there were too many Turkish people at ISB, they isolated themselves from the Romanians. That was the main reason for why my parents accepted to move away from ISB. They moved me to FIBSB. These initials meant “Fundatia International British School Bucharest”. This school was considered as being the British School. This was a small school which had a soccer field that surrounded the courtyard. There were two small buildings which composed the Elementary school, Middle School and High School.

17: At the British school the people were a bit odd. They were either acting as if they were the bosses and everyone else was stupid people. It was a really annoying situation. Also, the teachers didn't have that much control over the students because they needed the people to not get mad and leave that school. They were obliged to let them get away with a lot of things and that really gave the students a great amount of power. Also at the British school I remember that I wasn't doing that well in school because I was preoccupied with soccer and I somehow started to lose concentration. Also, I remember I had this music teacher who's last name was Angel. He was this weird type of guy who didn't quite encourages students like me or like others in my class who were beginners at playing the recorder. He didn't allow us to play in the concert alongside others in our class who had a year or so of experience.

18: Chapter 6: Grade 5 When I moved at AISB in 5th grade, I was thrilled because the person who introduced us to the woman with the application for the school was Michelle's mom. . Because we were friends, our parents became friends and still are.

19: On the day we saw the school Michelle and her mom came with us and we visited the woman who made the applications. She toured us around school, showed us the classrooms, the cafeteria, the playgrounds and all cool stuff that you can find around campus. I felt really good because even though I didn’t know anyone from this school, Michelle was here and I felt better knowing that I have an old friend here with me. That was really good for me. In 5th grade I was really excited because I wanted to fit in really well and play a sport which I had a really good passion for, soccer. The first person I met at the school besides Michelle was Stefano. We were in the same class and the first thing we spoke to each other was what soccer team each of us supports. We spoke English but he realized that I speak Romanian when I saw Michelle and we spoke in Romanian.

20: That was a revelation for each of us. We then headed towards the football field where I met Alex, Yann, Oliver and this guy Marcus who left. It was really cool and we started the game. I was the goalkeeper for our team and I saved a few really important shots which kept us in the game. We scored first, and then we conceded a goal. We then had to eat so we entered the cafeteria. After lunch we had about 15 more min to play so we ended the game with penalties. I remember that we won that match. It was so cool. I enjoyed playing football so much that in that year I asked my dad if he could buy me some different football shirts from different teams. I recall that I had a whole wardrobe filled with soccer shirts.

21: Another memory from 5th grade was when we had a major project. It was a PSA in which we had to teach the students in our grade upon some different types of energy. I worked with Stefano for that project. I did geothermal energy and Stefano did natural gas. We made a super cool power point. When we presented our project to the grade we presented it in the form of a debate. At the end, we asked everyone in the grade to vote which energy was better to use. I won. I felt really confident in that moment that I could excel without having any problems at all. I think that the moment I kind of stepped out and did a major project was when I had the exhibition in grade 5. The subject of my exhibition was cocaine. I had the cocaine project which was really cool to study about because I had the opportunity to work on a major assignment which could basically form me as a student.

22: It was really good that I had the chance to research on my own through books and Internet and another amazing thing was that I could actually build up a big presentation and get used to present it in front of my parents and in front of other people. I worked on this project for about 2 months and I was really proud of it because in the night of the presentation I saw my dad that he was really happy and that we felt proud of my and that made me proud. The last memory which I have from 5th grade was at the end of the year. In that time we were taken to the middle school so that we could see where we were going to study and how the building looks like. In the middle school we saw the different classes and we met some different teachers who we were going to interact with. It was fun because we saw how these people worked. On that day we found out that on the report cards these people received grades from 1-7. In that moment I realized that grades started to count a lot and that progress is shown in grades.

23: Chapter 7: Grade 6 Grade 6 was one of the darkest times that I’ve lived since I’m in education. I hated grade 6. It was a period in which I either didn't reach my potential, or I was under constant pressure.

24: At the beginning of grade 6 I started really well and got some pretty high grades and got the honor roll. I was pleased with myself because I knew that I could do a lot of things. Then, when the year progressed I started to go down. I didn't focus that much at school and I thought that I could get grades really easy. Well, that wasn't the case. On the semester report I got 5 in English, PE and Math, 4 in Science and Romanian and 6 in Band and Art. These were my grades. It was really disappointing for me and for my parents who expected a large number of things from me. Well, after a while I started focusing a lot more and I tried to lift my grades up and I did that in a way. I managed to switch my Romanian grade from a 4 to a 6 and my band grade from a 6 to a 7. But that was it. Then, I continued to struggle in Math and Science where I had the same teacher who in my opinion was one of the most terrible teachers who have ever taught me. I didn't like her at all and she didn't like me either.

25: I remember this one project at the end of the year in math where I worked a lot but she didn’t grade me correctly. She gave me 2 out of 10. I got so mad and I confronted her and she said that I didn’t do the project when I actually did it. Anyways, the next day I discovered the project in the HS drop box and I realized that she graded the wrong document. I told her about it but I had a triangle misplaced and so, she didn’t even want to look at the rest of the shapes and change my grade. I thought that was as unfair as it gets. In the last day of school when I got my report card I had 3 in Math and Science, 6 in Romanian, Humanities, Band and Drama, 5 in English and in PE.

26: Grade 7 is the year I loved most since I am in education. I had a lot of fun; I had good grades and spectacular classmates. If I were to think of three classes I enjoyed most those are Humanities with Mr. Esteller, PE with Mr. Brown and French with Madame Negoescu. I loved these classes especially because those teachers were both funny and serious in the same time. I liked Humanities class with Mr. Esteller because he was the funniest teacher I’ve ever had. The thing that I liked most in his class was that we laughed and fooled around in his class but that also we studied. He taught in a funny way through which most of the people would like. He never gave homework except the reports which were given on a due date of 2 weeks.

27: Those reports were really cool because in them you introduced all of your knowledge of the unit. It was fun because he would have different discussions and activities which made people work easily and without having to stress out a lot. I remember that at the end of the year, he gave us a power point which had to be presented without text and only pictures. I recall that I worked really hard on that power point and I got a really good grade on it because all the class loved the way I presented. I also loved the French class last year because it was really funny. It was so funny that our teacher, Madame Negoescu was teaching us different things in French and that we made some different skits that were really funny and cool to learn.

28: I also liked the French class because sometimes, when we didn’t do our homework Madame Negoescu would threaten us and say “If you don’t do your homework, I give you zero!” The funniest thing was the way she said it. She was really cool and nice to all of us. She was really good to everybody and she tried a lot to fulfill all of our needs in French. Another aspect of grade 7 that I enjoyed was when I participated in the football (soccer) tournament in Warsaw. It was a great experience for me because I had the chance of getting into contact with some different people from different schools. I liked Warsaw because it was a nice city which you could enjoy really well and it was so cool because they had an amazing mall where you could do anything. You could shop, eat and watch some different movies. It was an amazing experience.

29: Another moment that I loved from 7th grade was PE class. My teacher was Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown was the type of teacher who would just joke around all the time during class. He was always really creative and was eager to try out different things. He accepted all these challenges that we put up for him and he put up to them. When we played different sports he played along side us and when I dribbled him for example in soccer he always laughed because he was having a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun in PE because I loved joking around with him. The thing I loved most in PE was when we were during the badminton unit when we challenged him and he beat us so bad! I think that was the most humiliating moment for me because I never thought that he was so good in badminton.

30: Chapter 9: Grade 8 This year in grade 8 I think that I had the best experience ever. I loved and I do love most of my subjects and I also get along with all of my friends.

31: A memory that I will always cherrish from grade 8 was when I travelled with the soccer team to Moscow in Russia. There I loved that I was able to compete against people from other schools and that I had the chance to win the tournament. It was a reallly cool experience because I played football and I had the opportunity of admiring a city such as Moscow. That was raelly cool.

32: Another memory that I enjoyed from 8th grade was the PE class. Mr. Bell was and is my teacher. When we always enter PE class he says to me “Hello Fata” which means hi face. And I reply to him in the same way. He is so funny. He always jokes around but he does teach us different sports and we get to play in a team with different people. When we sometimes make a mistake in a sport he says in your fata which means in your face! PE 8 contains spme of the best moments that took place during grade 8. Something else that I will remember from 8th grade is French class. This year I had Mr. Emanuel as my teacher and he was and is a funny and serious teacher. All year long I felt as if I was the stupidest kid in the class. I think I thought this way because all the other students in the class learned French for 2-4 years while this was my 2nd year.

33: Last year I was really good in the beginner class and so, I was promoted to the advanced level of French. Luckily for me, I’ve studied and had a big desire to learn and because of that, I succeeded in gaining a 6 out of 7 on the report card. What I will remember most from French class is how Mr. Emanuel jokes around with us and then uses the amusement in order to get our attention and then starts writing on the board French things so that we can learn them. He makes the class fun and serious in the same time and I feel that in his class this year I progressed a lot. I have one memory from 8th grade when we had Math class. That day Miss Cacicovschi wasn’t at school and we had Mr. Chip as our sub. He gave some worksheets to work on in class. Stefan, Stefano, Gustavo, Daniel and I formed a group and we got a little distracted.

34: So, Mr. Chip took the following strategy. We took turns who got out of class. Stefano was the first one to be sent out of class. Stefan followed up, Guga was next and Daniel and I after. After Stefano came back into class Mr. Chip expected us to resume to our work but we continued to be distracted so he sent the next person out and on and on. But after each of us had an experience out of class we stopped.

35: I think that education is something deeper than school. Education is both mentally and physically and every person has to pass through it in order to become a respected member in society.

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