Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 54

Donderdag, 29 September 2011

Actually went to school today, and it wasn't even terrible!  Had note learning my first two periods, which is basically easy AML.  The class (which is like 3 years younger than me?) has a bunch of nice kids, and they all were pretty welcoming.  I did the exercises with them (I understood everything!), and I felt confident.  I feel like this will be great for helping my Dutch as well since I know all things already (repeats, second ending, conducting, etc), so I can learn the Dutch term for everything while they're learning.  Yay!

Creative music, so worked on the pop song next.  Man, I suck at writing lyrics.  I could never be a songwriter.  Ever.  Then math, but since I'm only going once a week to the class and I still don't have a book, I just doodled in my notebook and made a checklist of things for the weekend.

Lunched with Santi and Marcela, got some stuff cleared up with my missing class this week, and then went to German.  I was actually supposed to go to Latin, but we had class pictures, so I had to miss it again.  :/  I'm so far behind, it's ridiculous.  But yeah, went to German, and like 10 minutes in we had pictures.  Got some classes switched around for school (like, my entire class did), so now I have to always miss Latin on Thursdays.  UGH.  Playing next, which was fun, even though I can't really do much besides play what's written (since that's all I've been trained to do).  Jazz theory next, where we just listened to like 6 versions of the same song.  It was great.  That's really all I can say.

Finished after that.  Listened to a sports podcast on the way home (listened to one on the way to school too!  Yay!).  At home, reddited a bit, napped, had supper, and then went to rehearsal (FINALLY).  Oh, and after learning about some circumstances, I can't play trumpet for the contest, but I can play bugel as one of the bugel players is sick!  Yay!  Well, not for the other person being sick; that really sucks, and I really hope I didn't give my sickness to them.  :/

Anyway, it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Also:  Thank you Collin for gifting me "The Binding of Isaac" - seems like a totally legit game, and I think I have some free time Friday/Saturday to play.  :3

Also also:  Today was a good day for webcomics.  Seriously, like all of the ones I read from today were great.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 53

Woensdag, 28 September 2011

And yet another exciting day!  Alternated between sleeping, practicing trumpet, studying Latin, and going on reddit.  Add in eating a few times, and that was my day.  Seriously.  Also, I finally realized how hard it's going to be to keep up in Latin.  For my flashcards, I need to memorize both the English and Dutch definitions, as well as some extra info (which changes depending on if it's a noun, verb, or other).  I'm still so far behind.  But there's just so much I can learn at one time, especially when it relates to languages.

Also, another comic as I've been catching up on my webcomics today.  Seeing as how the Twins utterly failed this season, I feel like this comic is appropriate.  Don't get my wrong, I still love the Twins even though they're terrible this year, but this is how I sometimes feel.

Oh, and after looking at my posts on the actual blog, instead of just on the little screen where I write them, I noticed that you can't really see commas.  Oops.  That probably makes me sound silly quite often - oh well!  Anyway, time for sleep, seeing as how I'm actually going to school tomorrow.  Slaapwel!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 52

Dinsdag, 27 September 2011

Another uneventful day.  Woke up with Marcela to go to school, realized I still felt terrible, and went back to sleep.  Woke up for a bit, went to the doctor and got some new meds, ate, back to sleep.  Woke up for dinner, read a few things online and talked to a few people, practiced trumpet, went back to sleep.  Then woke up for some pie (everyone else had went to Patrick's mom's house for pie, and they brought me back a piece), writing this, and going back to bed.  Seeing as how the doc said I was still contagious, it was best if I didn't go to rehearsal so I wouldn't get anyone else sick.  :/  Hopefully I'm allowed to go on Thursday; I hate missing rehearsals.  Even when my knee was all swollen and I couldn't stand, I still stayed at my drumline rehearsal for the last 3 hours.

Anyway, seeing as how I can't be at rehearsal and I don't feel like studying, time to go back to bed.  Slaapwel!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 51

Maandag, 26 September 2011

Woke up (or, as someone on reddit said, I roared into a state of wakefulness), went to school.  Listened to my PTI (Pardon the Interruption) podcast, and it finished as soon as I got off the bus.  Nice.  Apparently someone threw a banana at a player during a hockey game last week - hearing them talk about that made me just break out laughing on the bus.  I mean, seriously, a banana?  Had history first period where we watched a movie about Stalin, and then I went home right after that.  Then slept from like 1030-530, had dinner, did a few things, and now it's time for sleep again.  Yay!

Man, I'm so interesting today.  To make up for it, here's comic.  This is why I sometimes worry about people teaching me new words when they're smiling - I always think they're saying the wrong thing so I sound like this, just to mess with me.  :P


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 50?!

Zondag, 25 September 2011

Woke up, talked to Collin (brother) on skype for like 20 minutes to work on Latin pronunciation.  Whoo!  Then, we (Patrick, Truut, Marcela and I) left for Mechelen.  We took the train, so it gave me some time to go through my Latin flashcards.  Then, took a boat to an animal park.  It was really nice!  Way better than a zoo.  Much more open, less gates (a lot of the animals had only small fences, some didn't even have one), and not as square. Pretty fun.

Also, macro photography.

Took the boat back, and then walked around the city a bit.  Saw a cathedral, had a sandwich, watched people running a race.  Good day.  Took the train home, and then Marcela and I went to a fanfare concert.  It was so much fun!  I sat next to (and talked to) some people from my group, and just got to listen to good music for an hour or so.  Great way to end the night.  It makes me want to join even more groups so I have more chances to perform!

Anyway, back home, had Chinese.  Since it was only Marcela, Patrick and I in the kitchen when we were eating, there was a lot of laughing and joking around.  Then, upstairs to get ready for school (heh) and go to bed.  I was going to write some big thing on how it's already been 50 days, and talk about all of the differences and things I like about Belgium, but I feel like death, so that's gonna come another time.  Maybe on day 100.  :P  And on that note, slaapwel!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 49

Zaterdag, 24 September 2011

Woke up, had breakfast with Marcela.  We were eating at like 940, considering we thought Dutch lessons were 1030-12 today.  Wrongo.  The tutor called wondering where we were, because apparently they were 930-11.  Oops!  Hurried to get ready, biked to her house, did the lesson.  It was okay - we're finally getting to things that we don't know already.  But it's pretty slow progress.  :/

Back home, did some Latin, had lunch, and then studied Latin for like 4 hours.  Tried to translate parts of my book so I could understand what was going on.  Flashcards are gonna suck - Latin on the front, and then the 1st person conjugation on the back (since it differs from the rest sometimes), the Dutch translation (for writing it on tests), and the English translation (for me to actually understand what the word means).  And since I'm a lesson behind the class, I need to learn like 73 right away, while everyone else only had 25 new words for Monday.  Whoo. :P

Skyped with Mom a bit during the study session, so that was fun.  Then we had dinner, and I studied a bit more, and skyped with my oldest brother Kyle.  He totally helped me understand some things that didn't make sense, and taught me a few things I didn't know.  Man, I love how both of my brothers know Latin - makes it so much easier, especially considering no one in my class speaks English (they're 12, I can't blame them for not knowing it :P), and the teacher's English is pretty flaky.  But hey, the flashcards are helping with my Dutch too, so it's all good.

Watched an Indian Jones movie with Truut, Patrick, and Marcela, which was pretty fun.  Now, since I'm feeling a little sick again (yay...) and we're waking up early (aka: before 10) tomorrow, it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Oh yeah, if you like country music, check out Blaine Larsen.  Just found him today, and he's really good, especially considering he's only like 23 or something.  Yay for finding new artists!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 48

Vrijdag, 23 September 2011

Woke up, school.  Had to bike/bus by myself because Marcela was still camping with her class from school.  :(  Oh well, had time to listen to a BBC podcast on the Age of the Universe - very informative.  School, first period was Dutch, so I went to the library and studied Latin (aka, translated my Latin worksheets).  Then I was supposed to have Choir, but I think we have 5th years in the class, and see as how they were camping, we had extra music theory.  Yay?  I tried to pay attention, just to see if I could understand what he was saying.  Not really.

Then, went to the other school for Latin.  Apparently the kids were asking where I was yesterday since I wasn't there.  :)  They're fun kids.  Back to the other school for more music theory - I was like 30 minutes late because of the walk and having to talk to my Latin teacher after class.  Ah well, I can't understand it anyway. Tried to study with an easy workbook a different teacher gave me, but I couldn't read it since it was Dutch.  Gotta translate it this weekend.  Lunch, ate with Santi and then watched some kids from his class play football (so soccer to the silly American's reading this).  Tons of fun.  Makes me really wish I hadn't quit.  I know I hated the coaches, but I should have stayed with at least a rec league, even after my rec league team dissolved.

More Music Theory, which I just made my Latin flashcards during considering I wanted to do something productive.  For the next class, the teacher was gone, and since they don't have subs we had to go to a big room with other students who didn't have a teacher.  Luckily my class convinced the teachers to let us go to the music area to practice, which means most everyone started playing (really well) on piano, guitar, bass, and drum set, and then started playing when another girl sang.  I grabbed the cymbals and just messed around with them.  :)

Home, ate some soup, translated my Latin flashcards (so now the front is Latin, the back is stuff I need to know about the word [if it's an adverb, how it conjugates, etc], the Dutch translation, and the English translation.  Uffda).  Had dinner with Truut and Marcela, went back upstairs to do a bit more studying, cleaned my desk up a bit, and then watched a movie with Truut and Patrick.  Now, time for sleep seeing as how I have tutoring tomorrow morning.  :/  Slaapwel!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 47

Donderdag, 22 September 2011

What a day.  Woke up at like 530, obviously in a bad mood (I hate waking up in early morning unless there's a good reason).  Packed my lunch and everything, got the bus at 630 to Turnhout.  (I had to be at the school before 730am because that's when we were leaving for kayaking, and the bus after the 630 one would make me get to the school too late).

Got to the school a little before 7, walked around a bit, met a girl from another class (but has things like French and Geography with me), then left for kayaking!  Like a 3 hour bus ride on the way there (the Ardennes), so I got to listen to stuff on my ipod.  Listened to some podcasts I put on last night (Pardon the Interruption, one that was strictly about baseball and 40 minutes long, and a BBC thing about the Origins of Infectious Diseases, which was also like 40 minutes).  Slept some too.  Got there, ate, and kayaked!

We had to go for 2 hours, stop for a break, and then do 2 more hours.  It was really pretty there.  The sky was beautiful, a lot of trees and big rock formations - quite different than where I live in Lille.  Talked a lot with the girl I was kayaking with (obviously), and a few guys I kind of knew from some classes.  Pretty fun.  There were even little waterfalls (like, 2 meters at most, and not a straight drop), so that was cool.  Purposefully went over the last one backwards because we were bored.  I got so good at steering though - I really want to try in a single person kayak, or go with some people who knew what they were doing.  We got a rhythm at the end, but there were still tons of things we could have done better.

Anyway, after that, bussed home (listened to more music and a podcast about "Cogito Ergo Sum"), and got a ride home from a girl in my class.  Yay!  Truut made me skip rehearsal, even though I could have made the end of it.  Actually, she told me I had to skip it on Tuesday after my last rehearsal, but I was hoping I could convince her to let me go to it.  No such dice.  Because I'm sick and I would probably be tired when I got home from kayaking.  :(  Not terribly happy about that, but whatever.

Yeah, at home I just ate, went online, and now I may as well go to bed so I can attempt to pay attention in school tomorrow.  Slaapwel!

And yeah, back to me missing driving - I hate relying on other people to give me a ride home.  My last year of school, I would always be the one waiting with kids until their kids came, and then driving myself and probably a few others home.  Now, I have to ask for rides again, or set rides up beforehand.  Ugh.  Driving, I miss you~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 46

Woensdag, 21 September 2011

Okay, real update.

Woke up, school.  Didn't have to wake up early at all because I wasn't packing a lunch.  :)  First class was a music listening class I got transferred into (it used to be AML), which was GREAT.  I could understand what was going on!  Then I had to book to to Latin at the other school.  Was like 10 minutes late for that, and then I was a few minutes late for English after that.  Ah well.  Then, science, which I tried to follow but it was so incredibly boring.  Not because of the teacher or anything, but unless you are a really, really enthusiastic teacher, rudimentary cell biology isn't that interesting to me (especially since I've had it before - I just don't remember much).

After that, Marcela and I spent some time in Turnhout, and then bussed to Antwerp.  We split up, seeing as how she was going to shop/do her own thing for a bit, and meet us at icecream.  But, Jenna and Jose (our buddies from the last icecream day), asked me to meet them at the Forever 21.  I went then, and then spent an hour waiting/looking for them in the store.  And since I don't have a phone (still no rotary money), I couldn't contact them or Marcela.  Finally got fed up, got icecream, and bussed home.  Marcela came how a while after.

Uh, can't really remember.  I think I just studied some Latin and went to sleep, but I can't honestly remember.   Shoot.  This shows exactly why I need to update my blog every day - otherwise I'll forget what happened when I was here!


Oh shoot, totally forgot about writing this, and I need to go to sleep like right now.  I'll update it tomorrow when I get home.  Slaapwel!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 45

Dinsdag, 20 September 2011

Woke up (after a lot of convincing from Marcela), went to school.  I got switched out of all of my hard music classes (aka, the AML class), but I didn't really have a new class to go to now.  So, I ended up joining a choir class with an amazingly nice teacher, so that was fun.  Then was Dutch, which meant I just went to the library and watching TED talks with Dutch subtitles.  So fun~.  Break, and then left to go find where my Latin class was (3rd period is now a study lesson for me, 4th is Latin).

So, I don't think I've explained Latin yet.  I'm taking it with the first grader students (12 year olds), because that's where the first level of Latin is.  Thing is, it's at another school that I had never been to.  So I spent a good 30 minutes walking around Turnhout until I finally found the school (after asking a few people, in Dutch, how to get there).  Finally got to the school, but it was like a lot of buildings and a bunch of young kids (younger than 12 too, I think there was even a kindergarten there).  Found my way to the secretary office without getting too many weird looks.

After a few attempts, I managed to tell them how I was taking the Latin classes (they didn't understand at first, I had to keep explaining it in new ways).  They brought me to the teacher's lounge, where I got some tea while I waited for the Latin teacher.  And daaaayum, I would totally become a teacher if it was in Belgium - the lounge was AMAZING.  Big windows, lots of space and light, awesome couches; so much stuff.  Met the teacher, got the typical "I'll be teaching in Dutch, I hope you understand".  She copied pages from the book/workbook for me (I ordered them when I got home), and then we went to class.

The kids seemed pretty excited an American was going in their class, especially an old fart like myself.  They seem nice, not too annoying.  Hopefully I can learn some Dutch from them (as well as Latin, of course).  After the class, walked back to my school, which was about 12 minutes, and that was like powerwalking.  Oofda.

Had expression (semi-acting class) with my classmates, but I couldn't understand it, so I just sat there like usual.  AML was next, but I just went to the library and studied Latin.  Then a break, and French, but I was in the library for that too, so that was nice.  Bussed home, ordered my Latin books.  Did some reading online, and then it was rehearsal.  Truut almost didn't let me go, but I did the usual "Well, it's only 2 hours, and if I can do the 8 hours at school, I can do this".  Plus, I care more about music rehearsals than school (I didn't say that, of course), so of course I had to go.

Went, had fun, back home, ate, looked at some Latin stuff.  Now it's getting late, so it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

But before that, I just need to say:  I really, REALLY miss driving.  Getting used to public transit is a bit of a challenge I will say.  Last time I took the bus to school on a regular basis was like 3rd or 4th grade, so it's a bit weird for me.  So many people, everyone's pushing to get on so they can get the few spots where you can sit.  Loud, cramped, warm.  Not my style.  Plus having to wait for the bus in the morning.  Ugh.  Sure, it's nice when you go somewhere, and it's cheaper than a car, but it's really not that convenient.  And I like my space, and going at my speed, and picking the temp, and having my music (not in headphones, and not only there to drown out kids).  I'm going to be super excited once I'm able to drive again~ 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 44

Maandag, 19 September 2011

Woke up, school.  Really didn't want to get out of bed this morning - so much so that I just decided to sleep in a bit and not pack a lunch.  The bus ride was pretty hilarious though.  The bus driver was super intense, really hard stops and speeding up really quick.  And he's open the door a bit before coming to the stop, and one time he shut it on someone (really crowded bus in the morning, but first time I've seen this).  Really fun.  Almost knocked over everyone that was standing up by breaking really hard, which was really fun to me because I was sitting.  :P

Anyway, school.  History and English first, nothing of note there.  Break, then Science (nothing of note) and music history (drew triangles).  Lunch with the other exchange students again - have to do it again next Monday as well because we apparently had an assignment we had to do.  :P  French (went to the library), music theory (more triangles, and a few kids in my class drew on their eyelids because they were bored; fun times).  Break, then two sections of religion.  Great teacher, really enjoy his class even though I understand nothing.

Home, had dinner, and then Truut left for her art class, leaving Marcela and I home alone.  Sooo, you know what that means: video games!  Yayyy!  Patrick came home then, and took me to a doctor finally.  Really weird - really small building, like just a waiting room and a few offices, not much else.  Not at all like the big clinic I go to at home.  Anyway, just got some pills and syrup, so hopefully this means I'll stop complaining about feeling sick.  :P

Anyway, super tired, so slaapwel!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 43

Zondag, 18 September 2011

Woke up around 1030, had breakfast with Patrick, Truut, and Marcela.  All fresh bakery stuff, really good.  Went back upstairs, cleaned a bit, played some videogames.  Patrick and Truut left for a walk that I opted out of so I could nap.  Woke up from that had dinner (pancakes!) which was really good.  They don't really use maple syrup here, so I think I may need to make an American breakfast one day.

Showered, did some redditing, and then watched Bad Boys II with Patrick and Truut.  Now, time for bed again!  Man, I have such an exciting life here.  :P  Slaapwel!

Day 42

Zaterdag, 17 September 2011

Woke up after like 12 hours of sleep, and had to go to Dutch tutoring right away.  Private lessons, just for Marcela and I.  It was weird, and a little uncomfortable, so hopefully it gets better.  Biked back home, and then messed around for a bit because we had a few hours of free time.  Got some video gaming in, which was really nice.  Then had lunch, and right after that we left for Santi's birthday party.

It was really fun.  All three of his host families were there, plus some of his rotary people - Marcela and I were the only "friends" there, so I'm glad we got to go.  Just got to talk and hang out, eat some great food; really fun.  But at like 6 we had to leave to go to this one festival/concert thing with Truut and Patrick.  It was pretty okay - the music was rock/hard rock, so some of it was good.  Saw a few people I knew (unbelievable, I know), so that was nice.  Spent a lot of time outside of the tent talking to Marcela.  You can hear just fine outside and it's way easier to talk.  :P

Got home from that around midnight.  Loaded up a game I just bought real quick to see how it was (really difficult looking - I need to go through the tutorial tomorrow), and now it's fine for bed.  Slaapwel!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 41

Vrijdag, 16 September 2011

Woke up, felt absolutely terrible.  Had Dutch first period, so I just tried to read my Playstation magazine but I ended up zoning out and just looking at the same two pages the entire class period (don't know if anyone noticed; it could have looked like I just really wanted to look at the pics from Borderlands 2).  Ah well.  Choir next, which of course didn't go well because my voice was silly.  Break, then Dutch again.  The teacher just had me go to the library because I couldn't understand anything.  Watched some TED talks with Dutch subtitles.  :P  Music theory, which meant I got to FINISH my giant triangle.  Everyone in class was so proud of me~

Lunch, ate school food for the first time.  It was surprisingly good - bacon, tomato, egg, lettuce, and I think that's it.  Ate with Santi again, and Marcela joined us when she could come outside.  Music composition next, so I pretended to study music theory, but I was just zoning out again.  Art history, which I just pretended to be contemplating the pictures he showed - zoned out again.  :P  Went to the computer lab for 7th (no 7th and 8th on Friday, but I was waiting for Marcela).

Then, after 7th, Marcela, an exchange student from Ecuador (not with rotary), and I took the bus to Antwerpen.  We met Jenna, the rotary girl from Canada who we hung out with a lot in Brussels, and went to icecream.  The three of them went shopping, and I went right home for some sleep.  At home, had dinner, talked about Dutch lessons (FINALLY starting them).  Now, just talking to a few people, but it's basically time for me to sleep (shut up, I know it's only 8).  Slaapwel!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Forty Days

Yeah, I just needed a reason to plug Streetlight.  :P  

Donderdag, 15 September 2011

Woke up, school.  Had Geography first - I don't think the teacher knows I don't speak Dutch.  Ah well.  She's not the nicest anyway.  French next, so I read a bit more of my magazine.  :)  Break, then the music class were we have to write a pop song.  Just worked up ideas today.  Math next, worked on my triangles again.  The teacher said he could bring me some books about math that are in English, so that's nice.

Lunch, ate with Santi again.  They were selling strawberries at lunch for 1,50 euros a container  (and they were BIG containers), so we both got one and got Marcela one to eat once she was allowed to join us.  Totally made my lunch period.  German next, which was fun.  The teacher is a blast, and I kinda remember it, so it's nice.  The teacher was sick for my next two classes (and apparently they don't get subs), so I didn't really have class.  Messed around with the cymbals for a period when my classmates were in the room, and then went to the library for the next two periods (I don't have a real 8th period on Thursdays).

Home, ate, read a few articles on cracked, and then rehearsal.  We actually got out a bit early, which was weird, but hey, I'm fine with having a few minutes more to sleep.  :P  Anyway, it's getting late (since when is 11 late for me?), so slaapwel!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 39

Woensdag, 14 September 2011

Woke up, school.  The bus didn't drop us off at the normal stop today (roadwork - I feel like I'm at home~), so Marcela and I followed a kid from our school to school.  Well, we thought we did.  It was really bright though, so when we were looking down, we lost track of him and accidentally ended up at the wrong school.  Oops.  :P We made it to school with just enough time to say "Happy Birthday" to Santiago.

AML first period, which was... eh.  The teach luckily didn't call on me ever, but she said (quite a few times, and to the entire class) how I should drop the class because I didn't know how to read, write or sing the way they do.  Yeah, I know.  I want out of that class.  Math next, but I didn't have my book (still hasn't come...) and I was super tired/out of it, so I just drew a giant sierpinski triangle during class (a remnant of my geometry years).  The teacher seemed to think it was funny, so he was fine with me doing it.

Break, then English.  Spent it talking to a few of my classmates how, yes, we have a football team, those yellow school busses, and yes, we have cheerleaders and they wear their uniforms to school on varsity game days.  And they were like, "Is it like Glee?" or "Is it like High School Musical?".  Glad I get to set them straight.  :P  Then science, but I forgot my papers, so I just sat there pretending to be writing notes because I couldn't concentrate.  And since it's a Wednesday, early off of school!  Almost fell asleep on the bus ride home (and I was standing).

At home, Patrick made lunch (Truut was at work), and then he went to the farm, so Marcela and I went to take naps.  Truut woke us up around 340 when she got home to go to the bank so we could finally get our bank cards.  No money on it yet - they won't put it on our account until next week.  :(  Ate, talked with Marcela a bit, and then a guy from the music group (the one that's lending me his old trumpet and sits next to me) came and picked me up.  We went to his sister's house because SHE HAS HORSES!  We walked around there a bit, and his sister said I could come anytime I want to ride or help out.  Yessssss.

Home again, got ready for bed, and now it's time for bed.  Still feeling sick, so hopefully sleeping more will help with that.  :/  Anyway, slaapwel!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 38

Dinsdag, 13 September 2011

Woke up at 7am to Truut knocking on my door, telling me that I was going to be late if I didn't hurry.  Turns out Marcela's alarm didn't go off or something (she's been waking me up since my phone was lost), so both of us had to hurry to get ready.  Luckily we made it to the bus on time, so all was good.  Oh, at school, my class is the one that cleans the common area outside this week.  When my class started doing it today, this was the exchange that followed:
Me: "But we did it yesterday!"
Them: "We do it all this week."
Me: "Then why didn't we start on Monday?"
Them: "Yesterday was Monday..."
Me: /look of utter sadness

Totally didn't realize it's only Tuesday.  Ugh.

AML first, which SUCKED.  We had to sing this super hard (well, for me) song thing - just singing the note names and whatever, and at intervals I was bad at.  And the teacher made ME go in front of the class to sing it.  I, of course, did terrible.  The next kid did it, but played it with a kazoo (he's been using the kazoo all day, so the teacher let him get away with it because it was pretty hilarious).  Fun times, but after he did that, the teacher was like, "Maybe that's an option for you Kelsey".  Ouch.  I mean, I know I suck at singing, but you really had to say that?  :(

Anyway, Dutch next.  Just sat in class and tried to read my book about the Crusades that's in Dutch.  But, seeing as how I was feeling sick still, I ended up zoning out and just staring at the page.  Break time, and then gym.  That was... ugh.  First period of gym was actual gymnastics, which I sucked at.  Luckily my group only had to do cartwheels, but there were some crazy things other groups were doing..  The second period was just running.  Okay, I guess.  I don't like running (neither does my asthma), but after drumline I can do it.  A girl in my class taught me how to say "I hate running" in Dutch, so that was nice.  :)

Lunch, ate with Santiago.  Was super tired, so we left campus to get me some caffeine, and I bought the "Official Playstation Magazine" in Dutch so I had something to do.  Expression was first, which was basically an acting class I think?  We had to pretend we were old people, and write an introduction speech thing to read next time we had the class.  Then AML again, which was better because I didn't have to sing.  Break, then French, where I read my Playstation mag (aka, looked at the pictures and tried to piece together the latest news about ME3).  Then Expression again.  I think I totally owned with my old person impression - the teacher let me do it in English, and since no one knows old American people, I had a bunch of leeway.  Basically combined stereotypical old person phrases (youngin's, back in my day, by golly, etc) and a terrible mix between a Minnesotan and Texan accent, which a hoarse voice from coughing all day.  Awww yeaaahhh

Home, had dinner, went online for a bit, then fanfare rehearsal.  It was good, sans the fact I was yawning all the time (which I suppose is better than coughing, but still annoying).  Got some crap for that, along with the fact my jeans had a hole in them.  But yeah, fun rehearsal.  I love everyone in the group - they're all so nice~

Anyway, it's really time for bed, seeing as how I can't stop yawning or coughing.  Slaapwel!

(Also, someone I was talking to today said "So I read on your blog...".  Eeep.  Totally forgot people here could find it and read it.  Really hope I haven't said anything too weird on here, or said something about them they'd find to be creepy/rude.  Here's to hoping I haven't, because I'm too lazy to go back and check.)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 37

Maandag, 12 September 2011

Woke up, went to school (and had tea, yay!).  History (okay I guess, didn't really follow along), English (had to read some thing out loud, but my class was hilarious), break, Science (cell stuff, couldn't really follow), a music class (I could follow a bit), then lunch!  By then I was super tired and feeling pretty sick, so during French and Music Theory (my next two classes), I basically drew on my hands and did stupid stuff like that to stay awake.  Then two period of Religion next, which was great.  Talked about 9/11 a bit, Muslim and Christian fundamentalism (and all the Christian fundamentalism we talked about was based in the US :P), and then wrote a letter to ourselves we get back at the end of the year.

Was going to meet Marcela after school, but she was running really late, so I thought she had went home already.  So, I went to Marc's house (the rotary guy) to see if he found my phone.  It went missing on Saturday, and I'm pretty sure it was in one of the Rotary adult's bags, but they couldn't find it.  :(  Bussed home, ate.  Truut was concerned that I was still feeling sick (I didn't tell her that I was feeling sick until Friday, even though it started like last Monday or so).

Went online a bit, showered, and now I'm going to bed.  Trying to sleep this sickness off.  Ugh.  Anyway, slaapwel!

(Oh, and I find it kind of funny how my posts are getting shorter and shorter.  If this keeps up, at the end of the year I'll just be posting "school.  bad.  had dinner.  good.  slaapwel" or something to that extent.)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 36

Zondag, 11 September 2011

Okay, real update now.  Woke up around 11, did some internet stuff, ate, showered.  Truut had to call the people picking me up for the fanfare concert because they forgot to tell me what time they'd come pick me up.  :P

Anyway, they picked me up, we drove to Zandvliet (where the concert was), watched a group play, warmed up, and played.  It went really well - only one tear in the music near the end, but it wasn't too bad.  I really love performing, and the group is so much fun.  Afterwords, had a drink with the group (I had cola again because I still felt like junk), talked to a few different people, and then we left for home.  No incidents there.

At home, we (Truut, Patrick, Siemen, Marcela and I) went out to an Italian restaurant to eat.  I ate for like a solid 20 minutes, and didn't even make a dent in my food.  Soo much.  The server actually looked concerned that Marcela and I had so much left (everyone else finished their plate), so he packed the remainder up for us to take home (something that apparently never happens here).  It was a fun dinner - talked a lot, so that was nice.

Back at home, showed Marcela some of my pictures of snow, watched a few videos online, and then it was time for bed because I was exhausted.  So, here's my entry from last night now -

Sorry, gonna have to update this tomorrow.  Too tired tonight, and I need to get to sleep for school.  Slaapwel!

Day 35

Zaterdag, 10 September 2011

Okay, real post now.  Woke up 20 minutes before we had to leave for the rotary event when Truut knocked on my door asking if I was ready.  :P  Got up quick, got ready, and Truut drove Marcela and I to the event.  We met the other exchange students, which was a lot of fun, talked about the rules/expectations for the year, and had lunch.  One person's host dad looks like Pierce Bronson, aka James Bond.  I had so much fun sitting around him - I felt like I was in a movie!

Then, parents went home, and us kids went and did team building.  Did the zipline ride, walking on ropes that were really high up (we had harnesses on, obviously), and then some team activities.  I got really  bruised on the last one, because it was an obstacle course above water, and I did NOT want to fall in, so I just did everything I had to to stay above the water.  But I made some friends (and some "best friends", as we called each other), so it was nice.

Marc (Santiago's rotary guy, and the guy who took us to Brussels for the last event) drove Marcela and I to the bus stop, we got home, showered, and went to Nikki's parents 50th birthday party or something (Nikki is Thomas' wife - he's the one with the cows).  There from like 8-1.  Ugh.  I mean, the free food/drinks was nice, but I was not feeling well still, so it was really boring.  Marcela and I just sat there and talked, but even that got boring after a while.  Then home at 130, went basically straight to be bed because I felt sick.

Before the edit:

Okay, here's the deal.  I'm really tired right now (130am and I just got home), so I'm just going to update this post tomorrow when I have more time, because I feel terrible and need some sleep.  So, slaapwel!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 34

Vrijdag, 9 September 2011

Woke up, felt like I could barely get my eyes open.  Brought my thermos with tea to school, so that was nice.  Dutch first period - the teacher was disappointed that I haven't started my out of school Dutch lessons yet (and believe me, so am I.  I've been asking about them since I got here).  Went to the library and got a book in Dutch about the crusades.  Considering I just finished my like 300 page about about the First Crusade, I could understand some of it.

Choir next, which sucked because my throat hurt.  And we sang in French again, and I have to say, French still just sounds silly to me.  Break, then Dutch again, so read more of my book.  Music theory next, just sat there and pretended to understand him talking about harmony and polyphony.  Lunch, ate with Santiago (rotary student from Colombia).

After lunch, theory again, but this time they were doing difficult work, so I just studied the jazz theory stuff I had.  Then, art history, and I could actually understand some of that.  The teacher is really nice, so I really hope I can stay in the class.  Then got to go home because I don't have 7th/8th on Fridays.

Once at home, basically went online for a second, and then slept.  Felt really really sick.  Woke up around 930 pm (went to bed around 430), ate, talked to Beedums and a few others online, and now its time for bed again because everything still hurts.  Slaapwel everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 33

Donderdag, 8 September 2011

Woke up, went to school (in the rain, of course).  Geography (sucked), French (read my book, so that was cool), break, creative music (we have to write a pop song as a class!), and math (stats, so I totally understood it - well, not the words, but what he was teaching).  Then had lunch, and Marcela and I had to eat with the other exchange students and the counselors for the exchange students.  Had to talk about what classes we didn't like/didn't understand, and say what we'd rather do.  I asked for Econ and Latin.  And if I get Latin, I'll be with kids that are 12 years old and in a different school (I'd have to walk to it, like 10 minutes), but whatever.  It'd be fun to learn.

Then after lunch, had German (got some answers right!), JALM (played jazz music with another trumpet player, a pianist, and a guitarist, and jazz theory (understood it a bit, and he gave me like 90 pages of stuff to study).  Then bussed home, as I don't have 8th period on Thursdays.  Finished my book.  :(  I almost feel like I should get a kindle or something so I can have books instead of having to buy new ones for this year, and then have to lug them home.

Went online a bit, had dinner, got my uniform for my fanfare group, and then went to rehearsal.  Went home right when rehearsal finished.  I haven't been feeling good at all today.  Shaky, chest is tight, headache, etc.  Hopefully I can sleep it off before the concert on Sunday.  Ugh.  Not a fan of being sick.  And for school here, you only get like 4 days off the entire year, unless you have a doctors note.  So if you just have a bad cold and know you need to sleep, it's one of your 4 days.  And no way am I gonna use one of them this early in the year.

Anyway, I need sleep, so slaapwel all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 32

Woensdag, 7 September 2011

A month ago, I landed in Belgium to start my year.  On one hand, it feels like it's gone by really fast; on the other hand, it feels like I've been here forever (and on the other hand, no, there is no other hand!) (props to anyone that can place that quote).  And I haven't gained (or lost, actually) any weight yet!  WHOO!

Woke up, went to school.  AML first - I got a few notes during the listening exercises!  And there was a song we had to sing, and it was in 7/8, and it switched how it had to be counted (first it was 3-2-2, then 2-2-3).  I felt like I did slightly better at conducting than some of the other kids (did I mention we had to mini conduct when we sing?  Because we have to).  It's all thanks to doing zipcodes for so long during drumline my first year I think - never thought I'd be glad I spent hours repping 713112.  :P

Math, which was stats.  I could understand a bit, but that's just because I had stats my sophomore year.  Hopefully I get my books soon so I can start following along and translating.  Break, then English, which I rocked at again.  Then science, which was cell biology today.  I was going to take notes, but no one in my class was.  And then I realized I've never seen them take notes before.  It's weird.  I'm used to taking soo many notes for all of my classes so I had something to study from, and so I could remember what was said in class.  I found some of my history notes from last semester on my computer (Contemporary World History, <3), and it's pages long just from one class period.  Not used to not taking notes.

Anyway, home then because Wednesdays end after the 4th lesson (whoo!).  Marcela and I had lunch, and then bussed to Antwerpen.  Bus was 20 minutes late, and it's a 30 minute ride.  >.<  Then, walked the 25 minutes to the icecream shop, had icecream, walked 25 minutes back to the bus stop, and bussed home.  Truut thought we were silly to go through like 2 hours of bussing/walking for icecream, but honestly, it made my day.  I had time to read on the bus, and the icecream was totally worth it.

Had dinner, sorted through my school stuff, talked to a few people online, and now I'm just listening to some musicals before bed.  So excited to get to be before 10; I must be turning into my parents.  :P  But seriously, I've been so tired lately.  Not just normal tired, but like the sore throat, headache, eyes hurt tired (or I could be getting sick, dunno).  Not to mention the fact that my school book bag is pretty heavy, and it's a messenger bag, so all the weight is on one shoulder.  I may get a real one soon, but my bad shoulder is acting up again, so I don't want to strain it anymore than I have to until it stops clicking again.  So, that makes my muscles get all tight and then I get headaches just on the right side of my head.  :P

But anyway, enough complaining for the night.  Time for a few more songs and then sleeping!  Slaapwel!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 31

Dinsdag, 6 September 2011

Went to school, had to take my trumpet today, and gym clothes.  Ugh.  I need to get a different backpack, or just get the money so I don't need to pack a lunch everyday.  My bag is waay too heavy already, and I don't even have my school books yet.

Had AML first, which is a ridic hard class that I'm terrible at.  A lot of transposing, hearing the teacher play notes and then writing the note and the rhythm on paper, etc.  Oh, and then we had to sing it.  Not my idea of fun, and I was absolutely terrible at it (probably because we've never done anything like that back home).  After only like a few minutes the teacher was looking at my with what seemed like disappointment mixed with a tinge of disgust.  So glad when that class was over.

Dutch next, watched a movie/other such things which I didn't understand, but I pretended to.  Break, then two periods of gym.  No running today, which was GREAT.  Just did some stupid little games, but all it required was some leg strength/balance and arm strength, which I had from drumline, so I tied with another girl for "first place" (it was a little competition thing).

Lunch, expression (I don't know what we usually do, they just talked about their senior project again).  AML again, but at least this time I managed to get like a few notes of what she played written down.  Really disliking that class already, and the teacher told me to go down to the 3rd year (I think that's the lowest in the school).  Whatever.  Then French (read my book, whoo!), and then followed some kids in my class to their private lessons because I didn't have a class.

After school, practiced Gypsy Skies with a kid in my class.  He's super legit at trumpet, so he played it really well.  Home, ate, and then biked to rehearsal for my music group (it's a "fanfare" group, so I'm just going to call it that from now on).  Had a guest director, which was really cool.  I don't think he realized I didn't understand anything he was saying.  :P  Felt pretty sick during rehearsal though (as a result of feeling slightly sick the entire rest of the day), so I went home straight after instead of doing drinks like usual.  Now, time for bed.  Thank goodness there's only 4 classes tomorrow (even if one of them is AML...)  Slaapwel!

Oh, and on the 6th last month?  It was my last time in the US for the year.  I can't believe it's already been a month since I said my last goodbyes.  I have, at most, 11 more months in this country.  Whoa.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 30

Maandag, 5 September 2011

Got up, left for school.  Had history (seems like we're learning contemporary stuff, which is laaame), English (I totally rocked at this class :P), break, a science-y class where we didn't do anything, music history (I'll actually be trying to follow along in that class).  Had lunch, talked with my classmate with the horses.  I love talking about horses with people that know about them.  :)

Then had French, which I'm not ever going to pay attention in because it's like their 7th year and I've never had it.  Music theory next, and the teacher kept translating into English for me, so that was nice.  Another break, then two periods of religion class.  The teacher didn't really speak English, so my classmates had to translate the assignments and everything for me.  :P

Got some fries with Marcela, slept a bit on the bus ride home, had dinner, and then went and helped Patrick and Siemen with the cows.  (Dad, I got the pics for Robin, I'll have them up soon).  Home (like 8pm), got ready for bed, talked with some people from back home, and now it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Also, I want to take a little bit of time to say congratulations to the Govenaires and Minnesota Brass.  Both groups took first in their class at DCA World Championship Finals, which is totally awesome and very difficult to do.  Way to rep Minnesota!  Hopefully that means good things for Minnesota during the winter season.  :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 29

Zondag, 4 September 2011

Slept in until like 1030 (I hate how that's "sleeping in" here :P).  Still really tired.  Ate, then went with Truut to a market and an adult art school.  She signed up for classes, and I tried to stay awake by looking at pieces on display.  Home, napped (thank goodness!).

Woke up, went to Patrick's dad's birthday party.  So, it was basically an hour of sitting awkwardly because I didn't know anyone (Marcela was in Brussels for the day), and I didn't speak Dutch.  Whatever, the cake was good.  Home, got ready for the concert.  Got picked up, did the concert.  It was really fun - I like performing pieces for people.  It was all good, except the director (the guy I sit next to in the group in my city) had the announcer talk about me, and then they made me stand up.  Really awkward.  And I didn't know what they were saying and I wasn't sitting next to anyone I knew, so I couldn't ask what was being said.  UGH.  And I had to play a Sousa piece - not my favorite.

After, had a drink and talked to a guy from the group I played in.  He asked a bunch of questions about the US, which was really fun to answer.  We talked for probably close to an hour, before I left for home.  Had dinner, wrote this, and now it's bed time.  Slaapwel!

Day 28

Zaterdag, 3 September 2011

Got up, packed for the beach, and left!  It was about an hour or two drive, but it didn't feel that bad (probably since I'm used to going 6 hours to up north).  And, checking the map just now to confirm the name of the town (Heist), I see that we basically drove all the way across Belgium.  Like, we drove basically by Antwerpen, Gent, and Brugge.  Wow.

Got to the beach, went to get something to drink (I had a Fanta, great for a day on the beach).  The weather was perfect, and the place we had the drink was so cute.  We were sitting on a legit couch in the sand; it was so cool.  Marcela also was making fun of my pasty white legs.  But I just think that means I have a real farm tanline - only my arms and face are tan, because you always wear a shirt and jeans on the farm.
View from my seat

Me with my pasty white legs

Then, went to the beach.  The water was far away (it was just past noon, so it was probably at the furthest point away).  Marcela laid down to tan, and I walked to the water, swam a bit (even though I could barely drown my kneecaps in the water :P), went back because I was getting too far away from land and it was still only like hip level water.  Laid down and tanned with Marcela a bit - well, she was tanning, I was napping.  :)

Truut came back, as she was out walking around when we were on the beach.  We packed up and went to the car, where we had packed a lunch.  Ate, and then we all rented a bike.  Biked basically to the Netherlands, but we had to turn around when we could see it because we needed to add more money onto the ticket we had for our parking.  We made it back JUST in time to not get a ticket thankfully.  So, Truut paid for another few hours, we returned the bikes, and went back to the beach.  Marcela tanned again, and I went swimming because the water was a lot closer.  Went for like an hour, and tried to do things to make it an actual workout (not touch the sand, even though it was still pretty shallow, only swim with my legs/arms, etc).

Went back to Truut and Marcela (who were apparently worried about me because I disappeared from their sight when I was swimming).  Got an icecream, and then we went back home.  Showered, which felt AMAZING, because my hair was like sticky from the water.  Then, skyped with my parents, my brother Kyle, his awesome girlfriend Andi, the bartender of the Legion (they were skyping from the bar up north, because there's wireless there), and all three of our horses, including my Reg!!  Totally made my night.

My Reg!
After that, ran through the music for the concert tomorrow, and then went to bed.  Tried up to upload this blog, but the internet kind of gave up on me, and wouldn't load blogger.  So, since I'm technically uploading this on  Sunday, I feel weird saying "slaapwel".  So, uh, have a good day?

Also, this song has been stuck in my head for like a week.  For those who don't click links/are on dial-up, it's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy".  I CAN'T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 27

Vrijdag, 2 September 2011

So tired, gonna make this quick and probably grammatically incorrect.

Woke up and got ready, biked to the bus stop, took that to school (so, when I say "went to school" from now on, that's what it means).  Had tea on the bus with the thermos mama sent me.  Dutch class (didn't understand, sat there aimlessly), choir (we sang in French so I couldn't pronounce it well), break, Dutch again (still didn't understand), and some music class were we just went over a calendar, which I also couldn't understand.  Super tired by then.

My class then decided to try to teach me some Dutch by pointing at things and yelling what they were.  It was quite fun.  We left campus to get fries and a burger (they told me what to say for my order), but the line was too long so we went back to the school and had the lunches we packed.  I had to buy a Monster so I could stay awake during class - almost fell asleep before.  Then, another music class where the teacher was talking about a big project everyone in my class (expect me) has to do.  So, I just wrote in my notebook - mainly things about colleges, differences between Belgium and the US, questions I wanted to study, and anything else that I thought up.

After that was Art History, which I again couldn't understand, being it was in Dutch.  They had a little test to see what they knew, so I just doodled on my paper because I couldn't understand the questions.  He said next week he's showing pictures and talking, so I can at least pretend to pay attention, and I can just ask the person I sit next to to translate it.

I was then done for the day, seeing as how I don't have a 7th and 8th period on Fridays.  Whoo!  Went out shopping with two girls from my class (they got notebooks, I got a Dutch -> German travel phrase book; gonna write in the English so I have all three).  Bussed home, which was horrible.  The bus was so full, and it was hard to breathe - fairly hot today.  Home around 5ish, went online, etc etc, until dinner.  Then, got picked up for the other music group thing.  Went to that, it was pretty fun, besides the fact my contacts were utterly dried out by then.

Got home like 1120, which is why I'm tired - got up at like 630 this morning, and we were planning on leaving at like 6am tomorrow for a trip to the coast  (When Truut said we were leaving at 6 for the trip, I was like "ಠ_ಠ").  Thankfully, they just changed it to leaving at 9!  So, I can sleep, which is great because the Monster went through my system a long time ago, and I'm wiped.  Sorry if this entry is really  messed up, but I'm just writing and not proofing at all - typing what I think right away and then I'm done.  I just need my sleep.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 26 - First Day of School

Donderdag, 1 September 2011

Like the title says, first day of school.  :)

Woke up, went online quick (hey, it helps perk me up in the morning, don't judge), got ready for school.  Packed my lunch and everything.  :P  Truut took a "first day of school" picture, so that was fun.  Biked with Robyne's friend to the bus stop, and then bussed to Turnhout.  Then had to walk from there to the school.  Man, I never appreciated how easy it is to drive to school.  I can eat in the car AND park really close to the school, and no wait time/having to stand.

After a few confusing walks around, Marcela and I finally got where we needed to go.  Met our main teacher, they showed us around, met our class, and then went to class.  The beginning was just getting papers and such, nothing terribly exciting.  The kids in my class are super nice, and they speak pretty good English, so they helped translate for me.  :)

Had lunch outside with them (I just followed them around all day, because we're all together for like all of our classes; it's so weird!), then had German.  Before school started, I was all cocky like, thinking I would be decent at German.  But during class I realized it was two years ago that I took German, and that was only the first year.  And I think the teacher at AR just made the class easier because we were all so terrible at it.  :P  So, yeah, I did really bad.  I did remember that stolz means pride, but that's just because of the whole "Stolz von Reno" thing.

Theeen had a music class thing (I decided at the last second to take the Jazz track) which was uneventful, except for the awkward moment when I had to spell my name out loud to the teacher, in English, and everyone was just looking at me, dead quiet.  Then music theory, which I of course failed at.  Never learned any theory at home (and my stand mate back home knew it, so he'd just feed me the answers if the teacher called on me), so it was really difficult.  The teacher basically switched to English for teaching the class because it was review and the other like 6 kids in the class knew what he was talking about.

No 8th period since it was the first day, so went home.  Talked with the padre on facebook, had dinner (at like 530 or so because we were really hungry), skyped with the madre, got ready for bed, and then ended up watching the last half of a movie with Truut and Patrick.  I love reading the Dutch subtitles and listening to the English - it's a fun way to do it.

I feel like this year is going to be incredibly difficult, but my class seems really nice.  One girl in the class seems like she's going to be my best friend - she has horses, and she's in the music direction with me.  We're like siblings~.  Looked at another college, liked it, saw the price, and then decided I didn't like it too much.  :P  I really need to start looking for scholarships I can apply for to at least take the price down a bit.

Oh, got my package from the madre today.  Some contacts, my aviators, hats, stuff to make more pins to exchange, and an awesome thermos so I can have my tea on the bus.  Yesssss.  Thinking about wearing the hat and aviators tomorrow, just because.  Just gotta wear my boots too, and it'll be like my riding outfit.

A month ago was my last Monday in the states, and my last time eating Khans for the year.  Man, I really miss Khans already - totally regretting not finishing my meal when I was there.  And I miss Taco Bell.  And Mountain Dew.  A kid from my drumline said he'd send me Mountain Dew if I sent him a chocolate from here that he loves, so hopefully he follows through on that.

Well, considering I'm just listing random thoughts now, I should probably get to bed.  Yay waking up for school.  :/  I last spring semester, when my first class started a bit after 10am.  So, even if I had jazz or jamline in the morning, I could get home from that by 8 and get another hour or so of sleep in before I had to actually do school stuff.  That was the life (besides the days I had class till like 9pm, but I'll just forget I ever had to do that).  Anyway, slaapwel!

(And Mr. Hayes, I like the picture.  Hopefully that doesn't happen when you guys are up deer hunting)