S: My Memoirs - by Alexandra Andrei
BC: This book is dedicated to all the people I met during these 9 years who left a mark on my life. =) | by Alexandra Andrei
FC: My memoirs | 9 years of education, a lifetime of memories...
1: I don't think I remember exactly what I thought at that time of my future, but I think that anyway, it turned out well. | Right now, as I write these words, I am reminiscing on all my childhood memories and all those moments that were milestones in my life. I'm remembering those events that later on changed something, but I'm also thinking back on the little details that made me laugh and simply enjoy every moment. | my life :) | =)
2: My first encounters with education were in kindergarten. I switched three of them until I found the right one, and that meant good teachers, half-English programs and a lot of friendly little kids, just like me. I have to say I was quite an unusual child. I liked kindergarten very much and I loved learning stuff. Anything, really. I was pretty excited just to know how the world works, why there's night and day, the names of fellow countries, past events that lead to our current history... I loved learning a new language, too, and that's what made my parents consider a very bright future with American/English colleges, or bilingual/trilingual programs and a lot of education in general. I had fun learning with my friends and I think I was very happy in kindergarten. See, that's the problem now, I can't really remember what I felt back then. I think I was happy and carefree and I pretty much know that I loved my life during the first years of education. | But I guess that doesn't matter now. I know for sure that all the bases of my life were set back then and I know I wouldn't be who I am now if it weren't for the Cherry Tree Kindergarten.
3: So, after my early years of education, the day finally came when I got into school. I was unimaginably proud of myself because I was finally in first grade! It was the 15th of September; I was all dressed up in a uniform, with a bouquet of flowers in my hand and with a backpack full of books and notebooks. My first school was a Romanian public school. All the children were waiting in the schoolyard, all of them excited and glad to be back to school. The first graders were the feistiest of all the people there. We were very excited because we finally got to be called “students”. Now, we were cool .
4: So after a while of waiting and nervous chattering, the bell rang and the principal of the school opened the doors and came outside. She gave us a motivational speech, and I have to say, it made me feel a lot better because she seemed to understand what we were going through. After that, all the advisory teachers came out and starting calling out the names of the people which were in their classes. I was the first person called out in my advisor's class, since my name started with Andrei. I was beyond excited when my mom and I entered the classroom. She talked to the teacher for a bit, then reassured me and kissed me goodbye. I was very anxious and tense because I was scared of talking to all the children that were there and I was aware that I've never been in a situation like this. But the teacher finally finished talking to all our parents and she told us to have a seat in the classroom. I can't remember exactly where I was sitting, but I know it was next to a window. So the teacher started to talk to us about all the expectations and the program and all the stuff we will learn as students in 1st grade. We were all very excited to have a certain responsibility in doing our homework, in having good grades in all our subjects and in pleasing our parents.
5: Well, one day after another, first grade passed by pretty quickly. All in all, I have to say I didn’t enjoy my first year of school very much. It was quite boring, I didn’t learn anything much and I ended up having an English lesson once every month. My schedule showed that we were supposed to have English classes once a week, but the teacher ended up being sick or not coming to class for personal reasons every time she got the chance. My parents didn’t like the program at all and they figured I’m one step ahead of everyone and they decided to move me to Mark Twain International School. They had a very good English program and all the curricular and extra-curricular activities sounded very good.
6: When I came to Mark Twain for the first time, I wasn't as nervous as I was the first time I entered a school. The classroom seemed much nicer, warmer and welcoming. I almost instantly became friends with everyone and the teachers liked me a lot because of my politeness and good upbringing. I started getting very good grades and I actually felt like I learned something new and useful every day. I loved all my friends and I had a great gut feeling in my stomach every time I came back from school. | And thankfully, that went on for the whole elementary (from the educational point of view).
7: Unfortunately, the friends kind of went away since I started being top of my class. They proved to be fake friends and pretended they liked me only because they thought that will get them extra marks. At the time, I really cared about that aspect and I felt extremely sad about it because I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. At one time during 3rd grade, I actually started getting bad grades on purpose because I thought that was the way to go if I wanted by “friends” back again. But thankfully, my two advisor teachers talked me out of it and made me see what a mistake I was doing. Daniela and Irene were the best elementary teachers I could’ve asked for and I will always consider them the two people who helped me grow the most during those four years in elementary school.
8: During 3rd and 4th grade, my English really started to stand out from the rest of the class. Every time I went to a foreign country, I spoke English, and everyone asked me if I was American since I spoke with an accent and I spoke well enough for English to be considered my mother tongue. I learned more and more in school and my parents were more and more proud of myself. In 4th grade, besides school, I started taking French lessons as well. The teacher wasn’t great at teaching and nothing much stuck to me. I continued until 5th grade, and then my parents stopped. Also in 5th grade, more subjects were introduced. I started learning about the history and geography of Romania and math was much harder than before. But besides being taught more, 5th grade had its advantages. As the graduating class, we took a lot of field trips to different cities in Romania and we also started visiting the secondary school campus. Besides that, we got a new classroom, much bigger than before, with our own backyard as well. The friends issues didn’t seem to matter as much anymore and I started enjoying everything again.
10: My First Day of School in 6th Grade
11: Then, 6th grade came. Middle school. I was very proud of myself because I managed to get an average of 10 on every single subject until then. I knew middle school was supposed to be harder, but I had faith in myself and I knew that wouldn’t keep me from continuing what I started. The first month or so proved to be more like fun than like hard and tedious. I loved biology, which was new for us, and I liked geography and history much more since we learned about the whole world rather than just Romania. Math was indeed much harder, but I loved our teacher. Romanian classes were the toughest of all and that was a class I actually worked really hard in. Also, I felt like drama and music classes were more like recesses because I loved both subjects so much. Also, the friends issues were better, also because more people were in the school now and because even though I had fights every week with my girlfriends, they didn’t last more than a day or so. | ...
12: Well, 6th Grade started finishing fast, and I had no idea where all that time went. So many things happened; it seemed almost cruel to say that we had 2 more weeks until school ended. We had so many events that happened, like theatre festivals, holiday celebrations, activity shows At the time, I was really involved into theatre. My dream is to become an actress one day and my passion for drama and film always showed. I participated in many festivals at Mark Twain (in elementary as well) and I won many prizes for all the plays I’ve been in. These opportunities also gave me a jumpstart and for a while, I was also a registered actress of the Ion Creanga Theatre in Bucharest. Besides theatre, I also took guitar and dance classes as extra-curricular activities, and we had many performances under those categories as well.
13: In parallel with those, we had school going on. We had end-of-semester exams and a lot of assignments and tests hand-in-hand with those. Towards the end of the year I also participated in my first Science Fair. And above all these, I still had my piano lessons (I’ve been playing it for 10 years now) and simply relaxing with my friends. That year was busy, yet a lot of fun . But there were some downsides to it. First of all, the English program started its downfall again. And since I took French classes in school now, those had to suffer as well because we had the same teacher. We didn’t learn anything much in those two subjects and those were the ones that my parents were the most interested in. Plus, the fights with my friends were getting worse and worse, even though on the surface everything seemed just fine. So during that summer break, | my parents decided to move me here at AISB. At first, I was really against it, because I still felt tied back to Mark Twain and I felt like I was going to miss them a lot. But now, I realize my parents made the best choice, and I will always be grateful for that.
14: So, summer break was over quite soon, and I had to start school on the 27th of August. I was a bit nervous about it all because after all, it was a new school, and I knew it was much harder to adapt when you were “older”. But I knew that another friend that was in Mark Twain since 2nd grade also moved in AISB, so I thought it was ok. The first week was quite amazing, I have to say. First of all, pretty much everything related to education was different. The students didn’t have a classroom, the teachers did. We had a completely different schedule from what I was used to, and we had lockers (I love the lockers part!). Secondly, the teachers were so different compared to those in Mark Twain! The classes were different, and of course, we only spoke in English. I found that quite interesting and I liked it a lot. Thirdly, I seemed to fit in right away. There were a lot more people in my grade and I just felt that with people being so culturally diverse, there was much less play-pretend and drama going on.
15: I started getting along with many of the people in my grade and not even a month passed by, I already felt like I was in this school for ages. I started building a reputation as a good student in front of my teachers and I started building a reputation as a good, kind, sweet person in front of my friends. lly enjoying my time in AISB and every day I thanked my parents for bringing me here. We had an outdoor-ed trip, we had “Monday morning meetings”, we had a cafeteria and a café it was just so great, I was enjoying each and every moment. I kept getting good grades and I loved making the best of every assignment. Also, in January, I was part of the school play, “Would I Lie to You?”. It was the best play I have ever been cast in and the amount of fun I had with everyone involved was immeasurable. I loved this school!
16: Slowly, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, 7th Grade came to an end. I was happy, yet also sad. I couldn’t wait for summer anymore, I got goose bumps whenever I thought of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer I was going to spend by the pool, with my friends, completely relaxing and having pretty much nothing to do. I couldn’t wait for the days I would spend traveling around the world, having fun in so many ways, creating memories along the way. But I knew that I would still miss school, just a little bit, but I would miss it. I knew a few people were going to leave and I felt very sad because I wouldn’t see them again very soon. And I just knew I would miss those long hours spent with everyone, and those fun moments on the school hallways and those random conversations I would never forget. But 7th Grade came to an end. In my mind, I was already thinking about 8th Grade...
18: The 8th Grade Class of 2014
19: But gladly (and sadly), I didn’t have to wait much for 8th Grade, since school started on the 17th of August. I was kind of happy to be back and I couldn’t wait to start a new year fresh and focused. I was very happy to see all my friends again and I was curious to see what changes this new grade promised to bring. First of all, we had a new schedule. It was a bit weird to get accustomed with “Week 1” and “Week 2”, but now, I find it quite easy this way. Also, there were many new teachers that replaced the old ones we knew. We had new teachers in humanities, math, English, science, art and multimedia. Although some of them have been in the school and were relatively familiar, many were completely new and we were all curious to see their ways of teaching and their personalities in class. One thing was for sure though, no matter who the teachers were or what they were like, I still had my two best friends right on my side.
20: Right now, it’s almost the end of the year, only two more weeks to go and we will be out of middle school and in high school next year. Yet these 12 months or so were filled with so many memories, I don't even know where to start.
21: We had a unbelievable number of projects and assignments to do: for science, we studied the brain, astronomy, chemistry and electricity. For English, we read numerous texts and pieces of writing and we also studied the use of irony in literature, poetry, and Shakespeare. In humanities we studied India and China all year, from geography to history, from cultural aspects to religions. In math we learned everything about systems, fractions, Pythagoras's theorem, statistics and ratios. In French we learned about 5 new tenses, we did oral presentations every week and we read “Le Petit Prince” as a class. In choir we learned how to music theory and we sang many songs and we learned to sing in harmony, as an ensemble. We had about 10 units in PE, some of them including track and field, tennis, basketball, dance, gymnastics and softball. In art we learned to paint with twigs dipped in ink, we painted landscapes and portraits and we did clay masks of ourselves or of imaginary creatures. So from the educational point of view, we had plenty to learn and plenty to do. Sometimes, it even felt like too much work for only such a short period of time, but we coped with it and we managed to pull through so far. My grades this year were excellent and in Quarter 3, I got the best average I ever received in this school. So as far as education goes, I can't say I missed much.
22: But the real fun moments are just coming. We had an amazingly fun outdoor-ed trip when we camped out in the school backyard. We had the trip of a lifetime to Nice with our French class. We had a middle school production this year, “Alice in Wonderland”, which was incredibly fun. We had two concerts in school and a talent show. We had Earth Day and International Day. We had special celebrations for every holiday. We had countless bake sales and barbeques to support charity. We had special community and service programs to help the needy. And I can still go on and on, but as much fun as all these events were, without all those days in between, with priceless inside jokes and funny moments on the hallways, at the lockers, backstage, or at the cafeteria, all of them would seem blunt and isolated. I cannot express in words how much fun I had this year, even though it had its ups and downs. I made even more friends and I spent some times with them I wouldn’t trade for the world. And whenever I’ll look back on them, I will reminisce on those moments and remember how much fun it was.
23: The thought of so many of my closest friends leaving is almost unbearable, because I will miss them INCREDIBLY much and it will break my heart to watch them leave. And even though I’m absolutely ready for summer break to come and can’t wait for an escapade from classes and homework, I will miss this school year more than anything in the world. Because the memories created during these months will never be erased and whenever I’ll look back on them, I will reminisce on those moments and remember how much fun it was. And a melancholic little smile will show in the corner of my mouth, and only I will know all the moments gathered and hidden behind that smile. :)