S: My Experiences in Education -> Painful, Fun, but Long <- By: Alexandru Munteanu
BC: This is a short memoir on the education that I have had during my first 14 years. It slightly touches the important events from each year.
FC: My Expirience in Education ->:Painful, Fun, but Long<- By: Alexandru Munteanu | "A very organized piece of writing that creates pictures of what Alex's life was." Stefan Munteanu
2: “I believe that education is a necessity to accomplish ones life and dreams.”
3: I dedicate this memoir of my educative life to my whole family but also to the person that gave me the assignment, Mr John Guertin, my grade 8 English teacher.
4: Chapter 1: Kindergarten My school life memory all started with arriving at the front of the Building. It was a one story building but with windows. I remember that the building was very flat and it had a very vast garden. The school looked very scary and very tall being only five. I remember going in and arriving in the classroom. The classroom was very long and I didn't realize that I would be stuck in it for the rest of the year. I was very
5: reluctant to leave my parents even though I had gotten used to it during my time in the pre-kindergarten in Belgium. In the first weeks of school I made a really good friend whose name is Tsuf. The garden was very big and well equipped for kids my age. There were about 3 monkey bar cages. My friend and I were playing tag around them. It was a lot of fun to chase each other around the big playground. Tsuf was a smaller kid but very light. This made him very agile and fast. I was easily caught by him but it was very difficult for me to catch him. We would love this game and I would challenge myself to catch him. One day we were playing a d fate brought it to be that I was the catcher on one side of the monkey bars, and he was the runner on the other side of the monkey bars. Today I was determined to catch my friend. I remember thinking how I was going to get him because if I ran to the right he would run to the opposite sides of the monkey bars. I then realized that if I would run under the monkey bar cage I would reach him. As I ran under I saw my friend come to realize that he had nowhere to run. I rose victoriously
6: two meters in front of him. I felt a sharp pain on the top of my head. I realized that I had hit my head on one monkey bar. I hurt a little more than it should have because the hard top of my cap. I felt dazed for just long enough for my friend to run away without being caught. He laughed out victoriously and ii started to chase him for the rest of the brake. As we came back into the classroom at the end of brake, I started to take off my coat, then I changed my shoes for my inside shoes. Then when the teacher passed me he took off my hat and told me not to wear it inside. When he took it off he screamed d a high pitched and short scream mixed with a long gasp and then silence. Everyone was looking at me and I didn't know why. I think that most of the people didn't know what was going on except that I was the center of attention. The teacher hurried the kids to their seats and took me to the bathroom. Once I was in the bathroom he made me bend over with my head in the sink. He took the first aid kit and looked for a disinfectant. He dabbed a piece cotton cloth in to the disinfectant. As he put the cotton
7: onto my wound, I felt like screaming. I might have actually screamed, I’m not sure, I don’t remember. Then I remember that I asked my teacher if he could see my brain and he answered that he could. I then asked if he could describe it to me and he actually started to describe it to me. I remember that it didn't hurt at all. After he finished the disinfection, he called my mom. She arrived a few minutes later in a hurry with her heart in her throat. Every one could tell that she was stressed. She quickly took me to the Emergency Hospital of Budapest where they stitched me up. I don't think that they used an anesthetic but instead they told me jokes so that I would forget that they were stitching my head. I think I still hadn't realized the gravity of the situation. Now I do.
8: Chapter 2: Year 1 The British School of Bucharest I was still new at this school in Romania, but I already felt like I was accepted. I had a few friends and I liked the teacher. The best memory that I have from this school year was the one about losing my first tooth. The whole class was sitting on the carpet while our teacher was explaining that we would have a vocabulary test next week. I remember that I had a very loose tooth in the top front row. I always loved to play with the tooth with my tongue. It would keep me occupied when I was bored. Once she finished explaining she let us go to lunch. I ran out and looked what I had for lunch. I had a ham and cheese sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie for desert.
9: I took the sandwich and went outside to play football, I was lots of fun. When I finished the sandwich I went back inside to take my chocolate chip cookie. It looked delicious with the chocolate chips on the outside and even more inside. I couldn’t wait. I bit it. It was nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. I was chewing nice and slowly when suddenly I felt something very hard in my mouth, it was too hard to chew so I spat it into my lunch box. I finished eating my cookie just in time to arrive in class. As usual the teacher started to read something to us. I listened but this time the story was about a princess so I got bored. When I got bored I played with my tooth. Slowly I lifted my tongue to where the tooth was. I didn’t feel the sharp edges of the tooth’s roots. I screamed. I shouted out that I had lost my first tooth. I ran to the bathroom to see if it was true. It was. I then realized that I didn’t know where my tooth was. I wanted the tooth fairy to come but she wouldn’t unless I had a tooth. I wished that I hadn’t swallowed it. Then I realized something. I ran to my bag and looked inside. There was still that hard thing from my cookie that I had spat out. I grabbed it and washed it. Under all the slobber and chocolate was a bright shiny tooth. I was so proud that I had lost my first tooth that I was restless the rest of the day until
10: I arrived home and called my parents to tell them that I had lost my first tooth. I will never forget that day. It was really amazing.
11: Chapter 3: Year 2 The British School of Bucharest When I finally entered Year 2 my whole class stayed together. This year I would do the worst thing I could do in Year 2. It all started when we were told that we would have a vocabulary test in two days. I wrote it down but when I got home instead of studying for the test I went and watched TV. I wasn’t a very good speller so I really should have studied. But I was only 7 and I didn’t realize the importance of studying.
12: When I went back to school the next day the teacher reminded us again that we would have a test the following day. Again when I got home I went watched TV, ate something, did my homework and went to bed. I had done my homework but I had not studied for the vocabulary test because I thought of it as extra work. When I got to school the following day I realized that I hadn’t studied and that I was going to do very badly on the test. When the test sheet was passed out I looked at the paper. I looked at the definitions. I had no idea what words had those definitions. I looked for the teacher she was on the other side of the classroom. I quickly pulled out the study sheet and wrote the words on the side. When she said that we would do them as a class I was very nervous. She read out the first definition. I uncovered the answers with my arm and wrote down the answer for the first problem. I then continued doing it for the next six. When we were at number eight, only half way to the end I peaked for the next answer. This is when the teacher was walking right by me but I hadn’t seen her. She looked at me and told me to lift my left arm. When I did she was shocked to see the answers to the problems. She immediately took my paper and ripped it up. She also told me that I had a 0 for this and that she would talk to me after everyone else would finish writing their tests. I was very nervous being the only one not writing a test and everyone was looking at me between problems.
13: After the test everyone was told to sit down on the carpet. Every one sat down and there was complete silence. I was very embarrassed when the teacher announced to the whole class that I had cheated on the test. She then told me that this was bad enough o be written in the Red Book. The Red Book was a book in which teachers wrote about kids who did horrible thing s in school. I was very scared to be written in the Red Book because there were rumors that people in the Red Book would be expelled and I didn’t want to be expelled. I was a very frightened little kid. I was so frightened that I don’t even remember if my parents shouted at me.
14: Chapter 4: Grade 2 in AIS Budapest This was one of the most surprising years of school that I will ever have. When I got to the school back in Budapest I remember that I was scared because I didn’t know anybody. I also felt bad because I thought I was repeating a year because I moved from year 2 to grade 2. On my first day I stupefied to see a person that I knew was in my class. After 2 years living in Romania and then returning back to Budapest I was still in the same class with my best friend Tsuf. When I got home that day I talked to my mom and dad to bring them the news that Tsuf was in my class. They too were stupefied as much as I was. Then I complained to my mom about me repeating a year but she told me that the class systems were different in the two schools. It took her half a year or more to convince me that the class systems were actually different. I remember that also during this year my small brother started pre-kindergarten. I remember that I was so proud that I was in grade 2 that it wanted to teach him some of the things that the school was teaching me. So I started to teach him math like addition and subtraction. I think that I had a lot of patience and so he liked working with me. Once he understood what addition and subtraction was and he could do them fairly easily I started to teach him multiplication and division.
15: By the end of the year my brother who was only 5 could add, subtract, multiply and divide. When the pare teacher conferences took place my brother’s teacher told my parents that he was exceptionally smart and that he could skip Kindergarten if my parents wanted to. My parents obviously said yes. When I heard the news I wanted to be praise because I was small and so I went to them and told them that I had taught my brother a lot of math during the year.
16: Chapter 5: Grade 3 in AIS Budapest The AISB in Budapest is divided as follows: Lower elementary (Prekindergarten to grade 2) in a building in Budapest and Upper elementary (3-5) + Middle School + High School in a different building in a little village next to Budapest called Nagykovacsi. When I went to 3rd grade I felt really old because I had left the little kids in the Lower Elementary. When I got to my classroom I saw my teacher. Once she introduced herself she told us to meet the other teachers and so we all went. There were 3 more teachers and I remember going to the male teacher that was right next-door and he introduced himself and I traduced myself. He was a very kind teacher and so we talked a lot. Then I went to the 2nd teacher I talked to her but when I got to the third teacher she didn’t let me come in.
17: She said that the only way to enter the classroom was by holding her pet tarantula. I just couldn’t it was so scary. I talked to her from the door way and then I went back to my classroom’s safety. Our teacher really enjoyed science because she used to be a 6th grade science teacher therefore our class learned a lot of science. One of the funniest things that we did as a class was collecting praying mantises. We would go ever two or three weeks and look for 4-5 praying mantises in the school grounds. There were a lot of them. One time I found a praying mantis that was pregnant, you could see because of the size of her abdomen. I picked her up and started to go back to class. When I was almost there it started to move and it tickled. I started to run I was almost there but because of the air resistance it fell right under my feet about three meters away from the door. I remember felling really bad that I had stepped on a pregnant praying mantis. I thought I was going to cry because I loved praying mantises, they were my favorite insects. This other time we managed to catch a male and a female praying mantis. This was really awesome because we were expecting babies by the end of the year. One morning we all came in and went to look at the 2 praying mantises. The female was all fine but the male was missing its head. Nevertheless the male was still moving around like if it still had its head.
18: This freaked out the girls but our teacher said that it was normal because after the praying mantises mate the female will eat the male's head; this was very interesting for me. My favorite memory from Grade 3 was one to do with a sport because i love playing more or less any sport. I usually am very good at sports and i love moving around and playing. One
19: of the sports that i am exceptionally good a t is soccer. Because AISBudapest was part of CEESA, the school had a middle school and a high school team that would travel for CEESA. I remember that i was disappointed to hear that to join any of the teams one had to be in 6th grade or higher. Because I was only in 3rd grade I wasn't allowed to join. Then someone told me that there was a Saturday Soccer group that had practice every Saturday. I immediately asked if I could join and I was accepted. Saturday soccer was really fun and i remember that I loved playing. The good memory that i have about it was that I remember that I was the captain and so when we won one of the tournaments I was allowed to hold the trophy and every one cheered. I remember when we won one of the tournaments and the feeling that I had when i held the trophy and everyone else cheered. It was awesome. I also remember when we lost one game 8-1. The only good thing was that i had scored the only goal from our team. I remember that everyone was saying that I was the man of the match and didn't understand why they were calling me the man of the match because we lost. then they told me that I scored the best goal and the only goal from our team. I was very happy that i was the man of the match. My goal was actually a slide tackle from an amazing pas from my friend Jacob. He had crossed it across the ground in front of the goal and I had tackled the ball right through the goalies legs.
20: The bad memory that I have from Saturday soccer was that at tje end of the season the coach would give out some little trophies for the best players, the most improved players and other types of awards. My dad had grounded me on the exact same day and when my dad and brother came back they told me that my dad had won the best coach of the year and that they had called my name for the best player of the year but because I wasn't present they gave it to someone else. I was extremely mad at my father because the trophy looked amazing and i had missed my chance to win an incredibly valuable trophy that would have been all mine and no one else's.
21: Chapter 6: Grade 4 AIS Bucharest I didn’t want to move because I had really good friends in Budapest but once again my dad’s office called him to Romania. Once I got here and started school it was a really nice school. I liked my teacher there were some people that I wanted to befriend and there were the weirdoes of the grade. I remember that I wanted to befriend Oliver and Jackson. Jackson being a bully but he was very nice to me on the first day because he showed me around the school.
22: The first 2 weeks I was trying to befriend them and they were completely ignoring me but yet I insisted until they finally told me that they didn’t want to be my friend. When they told me this I went to my teacher and told her that they didn’t want to be my friends and she told them that they had to be my friend. I still can’t believe that I actually made the teacher tell them that they had to be my friends. Of course this only made them hang out with me not actually be my friend. During the year though we started to get along better and I know that when me and Oliver were talking about this, this year, he said that he couldn’t believe that he actually became my friend like that. As funny as it might be, in the end they weren’t my best friends but this other kid, Marcus became my best friend. I remember that Jackson always bullied me during break until I stood up and punched him. Oli and I being in the same class also had fun without Jackson. One time we started to put KICK ME signs on people but then we were caught. When we were caught it made me become the least trusted kid from the grade. That was horrible because I could never be a leader of something in my class and I have a natural instinct to be a leader and whenever I started to try become the leader I would get into trouble.
24: Chapter 7: Grade 5 in AIS Bucharest In grade 5 it is mandatory complete the exhibition. For a fifth grader it is a very complex project that takes a lot more organization than he or she is used to. I remember that I chose to do my exhibition on Habitat Loss, Deforestation because I loved tigers and I want to be able to see them in liberty when I am an adult. I was so
25: moved by this that I had a lot of research and information. I worked for six weeks on getting the research and putting it into a slide show. 2 weeks before we presented Mrs. Tellis asked me to show her what I had completed. I was very proud to shpw her what I had learned and I took great care in going into the details. I presented her all the information that I had. I thought she would be very impressed. She wasn’t she spent twice as much time as I spent presenting telling me all the things that I should improve. I was writing all of this down and with each comment my moral was dropping. In the end she made the comment that put me down all the way. She told me that all the information was irrelevant. I was so chocked that I couldn’t cry. O had spent all my weekends for the last 6 weeks researching information and putting it together and now I had 2 weeks to do all of that again just because she thinks that it is irrelevant. I was depressed. For the next two weeks I felt depressed and I had even more arguments with my parents. I was feeling as if no one was encouraging me, not even my parents. I now realize that this whole problem that lead even to counseling with my parents started with that stupid meeting with Mrs. Tellis. I now realize that it was all her fault that my relationship with my parents went worst during the time that I needed their support the most. I never realized that it was all her fault until I started to reflect on it while writing this memoir.
27: Chapter8: Grade 6 in AIS Bucharest I remember that I was really happy that I would finally be part of the rotating classes system. I also remember the day that the seniors were leaving and they had a prank day. The first thing that they did was that they put a chicken in Mr. Roaches office. I also remember that they started a water fight. This all started during lunch. They had a lot of water guns and they started to shoot everybody with water. No one fought back except for the sixth graders. | We overpowered a few seniors took their water guns and started to shoot back at them. We made water balloons and attacked. It was the best day of my life. It was nice and warm and we were wet. I remember that we made the Seniors just as wet as they had made us. I think I will never forget the people that were so into defeating and getting the seniors wet. I was really funny to watch them try and yet fail. It was all funny until the seniors started to attack me. Then I started to take it seriously. And that is when most of the people had the time of their lives. I loved getting wet because it was refreshing but it was really fun to get the seniors wet and show them that we didn’t care if they were older, we would still fight them as much as we can. I also think that it was fun to see the teachers react to being sprayed with water. I think it was the funniest school day of that year.
28: Chapter 9: Grade 7 and 8 in AIS Bucharest In seventh grade the most important and new experience that i had was probably the one that involved me in the School Play "Would I Lie to You?". In this play I was a secondary character but I loved the experience to act within a group and have a director that leads you. I enjoyed how we had to do scenes over and over again because they weren't good.
29: I also liked working with a choreographer and a crew. It was very interesting to act in front of a few hundred people. I think that the process through which a group goes through to create the play is complex. It was very interesting because I had to dance, something that I normally don't enjoy. I remember how I had to discuss with one of the other actors about how we were going to move on stage when we were no the focus of the scene. One of the things that I am most proud of that I accomplished during 8th grade has to do with sports. In the last CEESA sports season I made the volleyball team as captain. There were 8 people traveling instead of 10 because not enough people tried out. Only 4 poeple were tall, the rest were under 155cm tall. Everyone expected the team to get 6 out of 6 in the tournament. Even I was expecting to get humiliated because of our size and skill. In the end, the whole team played better than they ever had during practice and after a few tough games we ended up in second place. The whole team was amazed. I am very proud of this position that we got when I was captain becasue it is the best place that I ever got in a Middle School CEESA event and I've been in 9. I am also proud because it is the ebst score that the Middle School Volleyball Team has done in the last 3 years for which I played with them.
30: This year I think that the most interesting experience has not happened yet. The experience I am talking about when the 8th graders graduate to high school and there is a whole ceremony but I don't know what to say because i haven't experienced it yet but I am very excited.
32: About the Author Alexandru Munteanu is a 14 year old boy who currently lives in Romania. He is an 8th grade student in the American International School of Bucharest. Alexandru is a talented athlete and loves to spend his time playing different kinds of sports. He currently plays Basketball for the team ICED Bucharest but has played for ten years tennis. He has traveled and lived in many different countries that are Belgium, Hungary and Romania. He speaks Romanian, French and English and hopes to become a jet plane fighter when he grows up. He has a 1 year-old golden retriever named Spike.