Stillwater Junior High School – Wesley Girls High School Cultural Exchange Spring 2012

In March 2012, Ms. Damon had the opportunity to travel to Ghana with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Teachers For Global Classrooms program.  A portion of this trip was spent in Cape Coast, Ghana, visiting Wesley Girls High School.  Mr. Raphael Aidoo-Taylor and Ms. Kate Wilberforce were our host teachers at Wesley Girls.  This blog is an opportunity for the students of Ms. Damon and Mr. Taylor to provide an introduction to American and Ghanaian culture for each other.

During the week of May 21st, Ms. Damon’s AP Human Geography students will work in small groups to post descriptions and pictures of key elements of American culture.  During the week of May 28th, Wesley Girls students will view these posts, make comments, and in return, post their own descriptions and pictures for Ms. Damon’s students to comment on.

We hope you find this opportunity enjoyable and educational!

Background information on Stillwater, Minnesota

Background information on Cape Coast, Ghana


35 thoughts on “Stillwater Junior High School – Wesley Girls High School Cultural Exchange Spring 2012

  1. SPORTS – HOUR 4

    In the United States, there are many popular sports. Some of the more popular sports that American teenagers like to play and watch are baseball, football, track and field, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. Millions of people watch the NFL (National Football League) every Sunday. Soccer isn’t as popular in the U.S as it is in Ghana. Baseball is America’s pastime, and is one of the most popular sports for boys to play. Girls play softball, but the game isn’t too different from baseball. Track and Field involves running activities and other competitions to show strength, speed, and athleticism. Lacrosse and basketball aren’t nearly as popular as the other sports. Basketball has been becoming more popular in the last 30 years.


    Hair is important to teenage girls in the United States. Many wear it down and grow it past their shoulders. They like to braid it or do a fishtail. Fishtail is the new braid,most people try to do things that look intricate and difficult. People buy extensions to make their hair look longer. Our school doesn’t care what our hair looks like, so we can have it however we like. Most people like to add accessories, like cute bows, headbands, or a clip, just to add a little fun. A huge thing is feathers! People love getting them put in. One other thing people have been doing more recently is dying their hair fun colors! Like dip-dying where they only color the ends of their hair.

    Make-up changes for who you are but almost everyone wears it. Most people like the natural look. Some people add color for fun, but most keep it close to your skin color. Eyeshadow is mostly browns. Then mascara to make your eyelashes big and long. Eyeliner to make your eyes pop.

    Many people wear jewelry. A big thing now is bracelets, like friendship bracelets that are colorful. Also many people get piercings. It’s popular to pierce your nose, have multiple piercings in your ear, belly button, or your lip. Very bright and colorful jewelry is common. Many people accessorize their outfits with cute belts and scarfs. It is very common that people wear necklaces with long chains and lockets. The earrings that people wear are usually plain studs or sometimes long dangly ones with feathers.

    Fashion and accessories and ways we style ourselves change all the time. There are always new ways to style your hair to make it cute. Makeup also always changes and there are always new products to buy. Jewelry is common and antique jewelry is becoming more common too.

  3. MEDIA – HOUR 5

    Popular media among teenagers includes Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube. Nearly everyone in our school has a Facebook account and it is very common to go on it and talk to friends. We also use Netflix, which is kind of an online instant streaming T.V. without commercials. It costs about as much as a burritos with chips from Chipotle, (which is a popular restaurant in the U.S.) to have Netflix for a month. Youtube is used a lot too, and its always fun to see videos that people post.


    In the United States, we have a three-school structure to our education system. One would first go to elementary school when they were five years old. They would be in Kindergarten. Following Kindergarden is first grade, then second grade, and so on, until seventh grade. In seventh grade, one would move on to Junior High. Junior High goes from seventh through ninth grade. Tenth grade is the first year of high school. High School goes up to twelfth grade.

    In order to graduate from high school, one would have to achive enough credits in their ninth through twelfth grade year. These years are more commonly referred to as freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years, meaning ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade respectively. In these four years there are forty-eight availible credits, and to graduate one would have to earn forty-three of them in particular subjects. One must also pass basic skills tests.

    After high school, one may chose to move on to college. College, unlike high school, is not required by law and is very expensive. One would study specific subjects that they may plan on making a carrer out of one day. For example, my uncle went to college for eight years studying anesthesiology, which is the study of giving patients medicine to put them to sleep during a surgery.

    Others may not like the idea of college, so they may chose to go into the military, or go to another type of school. For example, my cousin never went to college, but he is in training for the U.S. Air Force right now. Another example of a different type of school would be another one of my cousins who has no desire to go to college, and is chosing to go into cosmetology. She is going to go to a cosmetology school for about a year to learn how to become a hair stylist, and hopefully she will get a job at a salon when she is finished.


    American teenagers have a number of special occasions that they look forward to during their teenage years. Dances, holidays, and other momentous events are very important to teenage culture and for creating high school memories. Prom, in particular is a very important occasion for 11th and 12th graders. It is a formal dance event that happens in the spring and is highly anticipated by American teenagers. Girls wear fancy dresses, that are often long, and boys wear tuxedos. Teenagers put a lot of time and thought into this one night. They will often go with a date and they sometime rent out limos or fancy cars to transport them from place to place throughout the night. People will go to dinner either just with their date or with a group beforehand and after-parties after the prom itself. It’s very exciting for boys and girls alike. But before a person can go to prom with a date they have to get asked by someone or ask someone themselves. There are many cute, special ways that people ask or get asked to prom. Prom is very important to teenagers in the American culture.

  6. MUSIC – HOUR 5

    When it comes to music, everyone has their favorites, but there are many popular bands in each genre and most teens here in the U.S. are open to many different types of music. In rock: John Mayer, Foo Fighters, and The Beatles. For pop: Carly Rae Jepsen is recently favored by the teens of the United States for her hit single Call Me Maybe. Also, in pop, One Direction, a boy band, is adored by many teenage girls in our school. For techno and dance: Skrillex and Basshunter. Hip hop: Flo-rida and Nicki Minaj. I prefer the song Up On Melancholy Hill by the Gorillaz. For the alternative genre a popular group is Neon Trees and the artist Gotye. Most teens tend to like more than one genre of music though and everyone has their preferences


    Most teenagers in the United States do things with their friends. For example, we go to each other houses and “chill” or hang out. It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as we are with our friends it will be an enjoyable experience. Something that boys like to do is to buy a game called the “Call Of Duty” and play it together over the Internet, not so much because it is fun, but because it is with friends. Others like to go on Facebook and post about something interesting that happened. In school we have clubs you can join. We also like to listen to music go to concerts. There are also other things people do such as draw or make videos.

  8. SPORTS – HOUR 5

    In the United States we like to play sports. Some sports that we like to play are hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer and football. You may call soccer, football, but to us football is a very physical sport played mainly by male athletes. In American football, you carry a ball and try to run one hundred yards on a field to score a touchdown. Baseball is played with three bases and a home plate. The pitcher throws the ball and the batter hits it and runs the bases counterclockwise. Stepping on home plate is a point. Hockey is my favorite sport. It is played in an ice rink. It is somewhat hard to explain but people wear lots of pads and skates which are pretty much shoes with a piece of metal attached on the bottom. You ice skate (practically running with skates) to get a puck which is a hard small rubber cylinder. You then use a hockey stick to shoot the puck into a net. Sometimes in the professional leagues fights happen.

  9. MEDIA – HOUR 3

    In the United States most teenagers get their information and stay connected through the Internet. A few examples of this would be Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. On Youtube we listen and watch music and people give their opinions on current events. For example Phillip De’Franco and Jenna Marbles. On Facebook and Twitter we post what is on our minds and read what’s going on in our friends lives. It’s a great way to stay connected with friends and family who live across the country. Another way we stay connected is phones. Most people have house phones but they also have cell phones. There’s a bunch of different types of cell phones and a bunch of different types of cell providers. For example, cell providers would be AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon; and for cell phones there are smart phones, I-phones, flip phones, slide-up phones. The average age to get a phone in the United States is probably 6th or 7th grade which is when we would switch from an elementary school to a junior high. One last way we stay connected with the world is through television. We hear about what’s going on in different countries and what’s going on in our communities. With all of these different ways to stay connected we usually have a pretty good idea what’s going around the world.

  10. MEDIA – HOUR 4

    Ninth graders in Minnesota have been exposed to many different media types. We use computers to go on sites like Facebook, Youtube, sports sites and Twitter. We also use them for educational purposes, such as writing papers and researching topics. We also play video games, on the PS3, Xbox 360, or computer. The popular games right now are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Madden 12, and Minecraft. Many people own cellular devices, such as the Iphone or Android products. Media is a large part of our life. Many people read magazines, the newspaper, or watch the news. TV is a huge part of our daily lives. People watch the news, dramas, such a Prison Break, or comedies, like Tosh.0 or Whose Line is it Anyway. These are parts of the huge media stream that exists for ninth grade students to experience.

  11. HOBBIES – HOUR 6

    There are many hobbies American teenagers enjoy. Most of the boys enjoy playing video games such as “Call Of Duty,” “Skyrim,” and some of the ‘old-school’ video games (such as “Legend of Zelda” and “Super Mario”). Some girls like video games, too. Other things girls like to do include shopping (mostly for clothing), gossiping, and talking on the phone. Some things both boys and girls like to do include going to movies and hanging out with their friends. They also like listening to music. We, personally, enjoy horseback riding, reading about paranormal things, writing, and drawing.


    Our day starts at eight o’ clock when we go to Advisory, which is where we can finish homework. Some advisories are specialized, so those advisories sing or play an instrument. Each of our classes are 50 minutes long, totaling a 6 hour school day. After that, we go to learn a foreign language like French or Spanish. Then, we go to Band or Orchestra where we practice playing our instruments. After that, we have Math and Science classes. Those classes combine to make STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and sometimes we build things like robots or roller coasters. Then, we go to English class and read classics, like Great Expectations. After that, we have lunch, which is delicious and most kids’ favorite part of the school day. Finally, we go to Geography class, where we learn all about the world!

  13. MEDIA – HOUR 6

    Media has a huge role in our lives. We use the Internet and watch television all the time. We use computers for homework and entertainment, mainly entertainment because we waste our lives online every day. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are very common websites that we spend time on to learn things about our friends, some people use them to creepily stalk their fellow classmates. You may have heard of One Direction. They are a really popular boy band right now in America with teenage girls! “Jersey Shore” is a very popular show on TV about stupid, orange-colored people who live in the state of New Jersey. In our free time, we teenagers go out to the cinema to see movies with our friends. We sit in the dark and watch people pretend to have exciting lives while we gorge ourselves with popcorn and all kinds of sugary confections. Cat videos are also very popular here; “Can’t Hug Every Cat” is a popular video now. Most of us also enjoy videos of fluffy animals and physical violence. Pretty cool, eh’?


    In the United States, we can eat at fast food restaurants such as McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken, but those restaurants are not very healthy. So lots of times we eat at home. At home people will eat steaks, veggies, fruits and other tasty treats. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, tacos, and soda (also called pop) are foods commonly found in the US. Many people think Americans are really fat and that isn’t entirely true. Many Americans are good at watching their weight and some are actually quite skinny. At home people will usually cook a meat like steak or chicken. That would be served with some kind of vegetable and bread. Other times there will be a salad and sometimes dessert. For dessert, usually it is ice cream, pies, or cake.

  15. MUSIC – HOUR 6

    The most popular music genres, nowadays, are probably rock, hip hop, and electronic. The most popular rock bands are Led Zeppelin, Boston, and The Eagles. Some songs by these artists include “Stairway to Heaven”, “More Than a Feeling”, and “Hotel California”. Some popular hip hop artists are Justin Bieber, One Direction, and Cody Simpson. Some songs by them are “Baby”, “What Makes You Beautiful”, and “On My Mind”. Some electronic artists are Skrillex, Deadmau5, and Daft Punk. Songs by these artists include “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”, “Ghosts n’ Stuff”, and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”.


    Most Americans vacation within the United States. Some people go to countries sharing borders with the United States such as Mexico, Canada or the various islands in the Caribbean. Many teenage boys don’t go on vacations over breaks from school, rather they play video games with their spare time. People usually won’t go with friends that aren’t related to them on vacations, but rather with their family. On these vacations people do various things, such as being on the beach, swimming in pools or oceans, engaging in sports or other physical activities, viewing national and state parks which are areas set aside and protected for their beauty and scenic views and not touched by development or commercial use, or go to amusement parks such as Disney World in Florida.

  17. SLANG – HOUR 6

    In the United States, teenagers love to use slang, especially when texting or with friends. These words aren’t usually used around teachers or parents, but when they are, the teacher or parent has no idea what the kid is talking about. Some words would be “trippin’” which means that something is crazy, “cray” is used instead of crazy, “awks” instead of awkward, “totes” instead of totally. Some slang usually used during texting would be “OMG” which stands for oh my gosh, “luv u” instead of love you, “ROFL” which means rolling on the floor laughing, “btw” instead of by the way, “HBU?” instead of asking “how about you?” and “GTG” means “got to go.” But some slang goes completely overboard like “LSHMSFOAIDMT” which means “laughing so hard my sombrero fell off and I dropped my taco.” We American kids are totes cray cray. Haha awks…no one is LOLing.


    There is a wide variety of clothing that kids and teens wear to school. Typical clothing for a public school would be jeans and a shirt or maybe a sweatshirt in the winter. In the winter, the shoes we wear are boots (Uggs) for girls and tennis shoes for boys. In the summer girls usually wear shorts, some sort of short sleeved shirt and flip flops or sandals. For boys usually a t-shirt and shorts. For special events girls wear dresses or skirts. Boys wear a button up shirt and dress pants. For public schools kids can wear whatever they want, but at private schools kids usually wear uniforms.

  19. SPORTS – HOUR 6

    In the United States, there are many sports that people enjoy. Specifically in the Stillwater area, the most popular sports that people like to watch are football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. Many boys at our school play the sports listed above. The girls, however, play a variety and not one sport in particular is more popular than the other. Some of them include basketball, lacrosse, and hockey. There are many sports teams at our school and a lot of kids are involved in more than one and have something to do every season. Hockey is very popular in the Midwest to play and also watch. Sports play a very large part in the daily life of an American teenager not only to play but also to watch.


    A typical American boy wears gym shorts, t-shirt, tennis shoes and a typical American girl wears denim shorts or jeans, flip flops, and a shirt. Some schools require uniforms but ours doesn’t, so we wear whatever we want. A lot of kids at our school wear brands like Nike, American Eagle, Hollister, UGG, Abercrombie & Fitch, Miss Me, and Forever 21. Outside of school people wear basically the same things. When we go to special occasions girls usually wear dresses or skirts, flats or heels (shoes). Boys usually wear black dress pants or khakis, a dress shirt with a tie and dress shoes.


    The typical summer vacation of an American teenager is about three months long. Being a girl, I like to spend my summer days tanning, and my summer nights hanging out with a group of my best friends. Here are some of the typical things that I do: go to the mall, play sports to keep in shape, and go to the lake and swim. Summer is a time to explore your areas of interest. Usually, I’m really busy during the school year with homework and sports (I’m in cross country and track, with that on top of homework that takes up a lot of my time) so summer is a good time for me to do the things that I like such as cooking and baking, football for fun, or exploring the trails by my house. Guys spend much of their time hanging out with friends as well. I also spend a lot of time at my cabin swimming and doing various watersports such as tubing and wakeboarding.


    We usually get to school a little before 8:00 and most students ride the school bus. The day is split up into 6 classes. They usually consist of math, science, English, geography, foreign language (Spanish or French), and a music (choir, orchestra or band). We also have lunch in the middle of the day. Most students buy a school lunch. School ends at 2:30 and after school most students play a sport. Some sports that we play in the United States are football, running, skiing, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, etc. After we get home from our sports we spend time with family or friends (usually friends) or we do our homework. When we spend time with friends we like to go to downtown Stillwater and get ice cream.


    In the fall and winter seasons, shoe wise we girls mostly wear Uggs, a very popular kind of boot that are usually a light or dark brown and have sheep’s wool on the inside. Sometimes we wear athletic shoes or moccasins. When spring and summer seasons come around we’ll usually wear flip flops, Sperrys, Toms, or Rider boots. Guys usually just wear athletic shoes. Sometimes they will wear flip flops or moccasins.

    For winter wear, girls usually wear jeans, jeggings (which are really tight jeans), yoga pants or leggings for pants. Skirts aren’t that popular, but are sometimes worn. We also wear a lot of sweatpants. Guys mostly just wear jeans and sweatpants in the winter. Winter tops for girls are sweaters, sweatshirts, long-sleeve shirts and casual tops. Guys will mostly wear t-shirts, and sweatshirts.

    In the summer, girls will mostly wear short shorts (athletic, jean or khaki shorts), skirts, sometimes dresses, leggings and occasionally pants. Guys will usually just wear khaki shorts or athletic shorts in the summer. For tops, girls mostly will wear tank-tops, short sleeve shirts, v-necks, and sweatshirts. Boys will mostly wear t-shirts and sweatshirts. To school we can wear anything we want, except no hats.

    For special events, girls will usually wear skirts, fancy pants, or nice dresses. We love to dress up! For shoes girls will wear nice flats and high heels. Boys will wear a nice dress shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes (usually black or brown), and sometimes ties.


    In a typical school day, we will get up around 6:45 a.m. and then eat breakfast. After that, we will normally get on the bus and ride to school. Then we will arrive at school around 7:45. Next, we have Advisory, which is 20 minutes where we just sit around and finish any homework that we forgot about. After that we take a foreign language class. Some of the languages that we are learning include French, Spanish, and German. Once this is done, we have second hour, where we go to English. In English we read books, and plays and learn about grammar and vocabulary. Then we go to Band where we play our instruments and play marches, classical music, and themes from movies. After band we have Geography, the class that we are communicating to you with. In Geography we learn about why things are where they are. Next we have Physical Science, where we learn about physics, momentum, and movement.To finish our school day, we have Math, where we learn equations, probabilities, and many other complicated things. It is common to participate in after school activities. Some of these activities include sports, music, and school clubs.


    In the morning, Americans will usually eat cereal or bread with peanut butter. It’s hard to say what a typical American will eat in the middle of the day and at the end of the day, since there is such a wide variety of food options from many different cultures.

    Some examples of real American foods include hot dogs and hamburgers. I think that foods that come from other cultures are better tasting, like Asian foods, Mexican foods, etc.

    Some more American foods we eat on a daily basis are junk foods, from chips to Cheetos, from ice cream to cake. A lot of Americans eat junk food. It makes us fat! But that’s why we work out and exercise so we keep a steady balance of weight.


    We, as Americans, enjoy celebrating holidays with friends, family, and loved ones. Some of the numerous holidays that we take part in are Halloween, The 4th of July, and Valentine’s Day. Halloween always takes place on October 31st, the day before “All Saints Day”; Halloween comes from the term “Hallowed Eve” because of its position before its religious holiday. On this day, children ranging from ages 3-14 go “trick-or-treating.” This entails the children dressing up in costumes (such as ghosts, superheroes, princesses, or fire fighters) and going around their neighborhood asking for candy. The neighbors hand out candy and the children put their candy in bags. It is very common for people to play tricks on each other or try to scare friends. Also we carve out pumpkins, cut a face into them and put a lit candle inside them to make a “jack-o-lantern” , which is a common decorations for Halloween. Another holiday we celebrate is The 4th of July is holiday that celebrates our country’s independence from Great Britain. Typically on this day, you gather with friends and family and have a cookout, which includes hamburgers, hotdogs and brats. At night, people launch fireworks into the sky and you watch the spectacle with the people you love. One last holiday is Valentine’s Day. This occasion takes place on February 14th every year and it commemorates the feast of St. Valentine. On this day you show your affection for another person by giving them flowers, a card, or a gift; for example chocolates or other candies. Overall, we Americans have many celebrations and holidays that give us the opportunity to have fun and spend time with others.


    Slang is a common thing used in our school of Stillwater Junior High School. Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker’s language (according to Wikipedia). Bro is the most common word used in the 9th Grade. It is the same thing as “dude” which means “listen” or “come on”. You would say it like, “Dude, you will never believe what I just heard…” A common saying is “Cool story bro, tell it again” or “Sick, bro”. “Sick” is a simile for “cool”. “Cool story bro, tell it again”. is a sarcastic comment meaning “I don’t really care about what you have to say, and you should definitely stop telling the story because it’s boring”. You usually would say these sayings to one of your peers at school or friends. When we think something is crazy, funny or unbelievable, we would say “That’s cray” or “Dude, that’s unreal”. When we are trying to prove ourselves, we say “Like it’s legit”. We also have a lot of texting language which we have started to use while talking. A few examples are “LOL” which means “laugh out loud”, “cuz” which means “because”, or “txt” which means “text message”. Often times people say “YOLO” when doing something stupid, irresponsible, or when they haven’t done their homework, because it means “you only live once”.


    In the United States education system, there is elementary school, middle school, and high school. After high school, you have the option to go to college for a two year or four year degree. Elementary school is typically from kindergarten to 5th grade (ages 5-12), then it is middle school or junior high from 6th to 8th grade (ages 12 – 14). After that is high school, grades 9-12 (ages 15- 18). In high school you have to do your best because your grades are recorded for your application to college. If you get good grades or do well in sports you may have a scholarship opportunity. College is structured completely different than all your previous schooling. You will choose your major and take classes related to it for credit. Doing well in college can help you get a good job for yourself in the future. That is why education and grades are very important.

  29. MUSIC – HOUR 4

    Music is a large part of American teenage culture. Some popular genres are pop, country, r&b, rap, and metal. Popular artists in these genres are Carrie Underwood, One Direction, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Black Veil Brides, Lady Gaga, Maroon Five, and Taylor Swift. Some songs by these artists are “Before He Cheats”, “What Makes You Beautiful”, “Baby”, “Not Afraid”, “Knives and Pens”, “Just Dance”, “Payphone”, and “Love Story”. Each of these artists have many songs; these are just some of the most popular.

  30. MUSIC – HOUR 3

    Music is very important to the average American teenager. We wake up to our alarm clocks playing our favorite songs, blast music whenever we’re in the car with our friends, and when we’re sad or mad, music is where we turn to. Some artists that are very popular with teenagers right now are One Direction, Taylor Swift, and Fun. One Direction and Fun. are pop music, and Taylor Swift sings and plays guitar to country music. In school we are offered choir, band, and orchestra, and out of school most of the instrumentalist students take private lessons. Lots of teenagers like to listen to music on YouTube from their computers, or pay for the music over iTunes and download them to their iPods. The Top 5 songs on iTunes right now include “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye, “Payphone” by Maroon 5, “We Are Young” by Fun., and “Wild Ones” by Flo Rida. In the United States, we don’t have a lot of “American” ethnic music. We have a big mix of lots of different styles, genres, and artists.


    In the United States we have many different foods. Some typical American foods are hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries. A popular American desert is apple pie, which is baked apple slices with cinnamon and sugar in a crust. Many other foods that we enjoy did not originate here, but were brought here by immigrants. Some of these foods are burritos, tacos, churros and chips and salsa (brought by Mexican immigrants), pizza and pasta (brought by Italian immigrants), crepes (brought by French immigrants), gyros and baklava (brought by Greek immigrants) and sushi and egg rolls (brought by Asian immigrants).


    Teenagers use a lot of slang, usually without even noticing. Some of the slang we use is inappropriate, so we chose ten words that we can say at school. We use lots of words to say something is cool, like “sick”, “tight” or “awesome”. To say something is bad, we say it “sucks”. We call people “bro”, “dude” or “dawg”. Some other things we say are “JK” meaning “just kidding”, “LOL” meaning “laugh out loud” (which you say if something’s funny) “YOLO” which means “you only live once”, and “swag” which means “style”.


    In Minnesota, students wear different clothing according to the occasion, the weather and what trends and styles are “in”. In the winter, when it’s cold, a girl might wear “Miss Me” brand jeans, a sweater and Ugg style boots. A boy might wear jeans, a sweatshirt with a sports team name on it and tennis shoes. In the summer, it’s hot here. Girls usually wear shorts and a tank top. Boys wear shorts and a shirt. At school we don’t wear uniforms. We can wear what we want, but we can’t wear hats or anything that is too short or too revealing.


    A typical 9th grade school day in Stillwater, Minnesota starts with waking up at approximately 6:30 a.m. We get ready and leave for school at about 7:30. We either take the school bus, walk or bike if we’re close enough and the weather is permitting. Some people are driven by their parents. When we get to school, most people find their friends and chat for a while. At 8:00, it’s time for the school day to begin so everyone heads to Advisory (Homeroom) for 20 minutes of studying or chatting with friends. At 8:25, 1st Hour begins. We have a few classes before lunch, including Choir, English, AP Human Geography and Spanish. Then we head to the cafeteria for 25 minutes of lunch at about noon. There are a variety of hot and cold lunches offered. After lunch we have Math and Science. At 2:30, the school day ends. People take the school bus, or get a ride home from their parents. Some students are involved in an after school activity such as a club, theater group or sports program. After this, we head home and do homework, eat dinner and get some sleep if we don’t have any other plans!


    In Minnesota we have three primary vacations. We start school in September, have one week off in December and we have one week off in March. We end school in June and we have three months off of school before the next year. We get one week off in December for the holiday season, during this time we get together with families to celebrate the holidays. We get one week off in March and most people go on vacations out of town. People leave home to have fun, experience new things and to have a change of scenery. During our three month summer break we enjoy such things as seeing our friends, going to a cabin and playing sports. Here in Minnesota the months of June, July and August are the warmest months of the year. We look forward to our three vacations the whole year.

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