Primul Sunet (First Bell) 2017

A couple of weeks ago, school began once again in Moldova.  Moldovan schools traditionally start on September 1st, and this year was no different (at least in my village- some districts decided to start the following Monday instead).  The first day of school is a big event here, and is called First Bell.

The day starts off with all of the students gathering outside the front of the school in the courtyard, along with parents and teachers.  For the first grade students, this is their very first day of school, and much of the celebrations focus on them.  There are speeches, recitations of poems, and maybe a song or two.  The 1st grade students receive their first textbook, given to them from students in the 9th grade.

Then, at the very end of the ceremony, a ninth grade boy hoists a first grade girl on his shoulders and they walk around the circle of other students as the girl rings a huge bell, signifying the start of the school year (and hence the name “First Bell”).  The students enter the school and have a one hour lesson with their homeroom classes, and then everyone is free to go home!

I think it’s a very nice way to start off the school year on the right foot.  I was a little nervous in the days heading up to the first day as rain was predicted (meaning all this would have to occur inside a very small assembly room), but the weather ended up being very nice!

Back to College!

The AMAZING window seat in my dorm room!
The AMAZING window seat in my dorm room!

Wow! It’s crazy to think that I’m starting my junior year of college!  It seems like just yesterday that I was a junior in high school- where has the time gone?  I’m really excited (and a bit nervous) to see what this school year brings.  I’m finally entering into some of my core classes for my major.  Hopefully I’ll learn a lot!  This spring, I’ll be doing student teaching for 6 weeks, which will undoubtedly be an amazing yet challenging experience.

This semester, I’m taking 6 courses: Contemporary Art, Ceramics II, Illustration I, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment of Child: Social Studies and Art, Curriculum Design and Instruction: Visual Arts, and Lit Acquisition and Development: Preschool and Elementary School Learners.  I’m one of only 2 students in my Visual Arts Education course, so that could be interesting!  My schedule will be a bit of an adjustment for me- I have 3 night classes (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday).  My only class Wednesday is my night class and I have no classes at all on Mondays and Fridays.  I’m not sure it’s the best arrangement for me, but I suppose it’ll just have to work out!  In some ways, it might be nice, but it’s definitely very different from the schedules I’ve had in the past.  One other side note about my classes: my textbook costs were outrageous this semester!  As in, I don’t have any textbooks for my 2 studio art classes, but have 14 textbooks between the other 4 classes!!  I managed to get them all used, but it still added up to about $650- yikes!  I’m hoping this is the only semester where I have to spend that much on textbooks alone!

I’m also the president of our school’s Yearbook Club this year.  I would have preferred a different officer position, but we only had two returning members (including myself) to fill the officer positions.  We’re really hoping we can recruit a lot of freshman, since at this point, we still have 3 officer positions to fill.  Despite the fact that I didn’t really aspire to be the president, I am pretty excited to be in a leadership position again.  I was a class officer, team captain, newspaper editor-in-chief (although we didn’t really do much), and pretty involved in extra-curriculars in high school, so I feel like I’m finally getting back into my groove.  I’m sure it will be  a lot of work and there will be times I wish I wasn’t an officer, but I think it’ll also be a great experience and push me a little out of my comfort zone.

I’d really like to be able to join more clubs this year, but I have a feeling my night classes are going to make that a little difficult.  I am currently only a member of one other club, Circle K, so I’d like to expand my circle a bit more.

I’ll be posting more back-to-school related things in the coming week, so stay tuned!

Life Lately

This past week seemed to both fly and take forever.  I can’t believe I’ve only been back one week.  I think it’s going to be a very busy semester.  I already have a ton of homework, and I haven’t even started anything in either of my studio art courses.  On Tuesday, I had class until about 5, then had a meeting that night.  On Wednesday I had class, did a bunch of homework, and had my first floor meeting (which was pretty short).  On Thursday, my afternoon class (Painting I) was cancelled, and I did absolutely nothing from 11:25 AM till after 10 at night, at which point I did quite a bit of homework.  I pretty much lost it on Thursday and could not focus and was really hyper.  I have a feeling that might be a common occurrence in the coming months.  I did have a lot of fun, at least.  On Friday, I had class, hung out with friends for a bit, then went to Christian Fellowship.  We all grabbed dinner together afterwards, and then hung out and laughed hysterically.  I definitely laughed a lot this week, which is always good.  Yesterday (Saturday), I took my time getting ready, and then did community service from 11:30 to 5:00.  It was exhausting!  I was manning a carnival game at a family open house at some factory.  My legs and back are quite sore today, especially since we had to help deflate and pack up the huge blow-up games once the picnic was over.  Last night, we watched “The Mask of Zorro”, which was a pretty good movie.  I went to church this morning (my first Sunday back at my Elmira church!).  I’m putting off my homework, but fortunately, I don’t really have all that much tonight.  I went down to our friends’ suite, and we played a few rounds of Bananagrams and Dutch Blitz, both of which are really fun games!  I should get started on my homework soon, but we’ll see if I get distracted.

This coming week looks busy as well, but I think it will be fun too.  I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week to come!

Back to College!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m back at college! This is a poor quality picture of the most “finished” part of my room.  At least I’m pretty much completely unpacked! I love my new room; it seems so much roomier than last year’s.  Also, I’m in a suite this year with three other awesome girls, so we have a common room as well, which is a decent size (no bathroom, but that’s ok).  I’m still figuring out how to make the room work best.  Although the closet is definitely bigger, I’m lacking space to hang towels and such.  When I got here, I discovered that my bed is extra-long.  My college usually only gives extra-long beds to those who request it, so I wasn’t prepared for that.  I managed to get my sheets to fit, so it works for now.  I’m probably going to request a smaller bed though.  Also, the room’s mirror was missing, so I bought a full-length mirror from Walmart to put on my closet door (I was actually planning to do that anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal…plus I only spent $5 on it, so it was a pretty great deal!).  My desk is pretty much completely put-together.  I might add a photo bunting above the white board/bulletin board, but otherwise I’m done with that part of the room.

In other exciting news, I decided to bring my sewing machine and supplies with me this year!  Hopefully I’ll actually have time to sew!  My schedule is very busy this semester.  I’m taking over 16 credits, and we only have 12-week semesters (instead of 15-week ones like most colleges), and two of those classes are studio art courses (sculpture and painting), so time might be a little hard to find.

I’m excited to be back.  I wasn’t sure whether I was ready to come back, but now that I am here, I’m glad summer is over.  It’s really nice to not be a freshman anymore.  This time around I already have friends and know people in every single one of my classes.  There are only about 30 education majors in my class year and we all know each other, so those classes are a bit of a reunion.  Today was our first day of classes (we didn’t get Labor Day off) and I had four of my classes (all in a row, which was a bit exhausting).  I have two more classes tomorrow.  We had a small surprise birthday party for my roommate in our suite, along with dinner to celebrate the start of the new school year.

I’ll share more (and better) pictures of my room as soon as it’s all organized and decorated.  For now, I need to go do some homework!  Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day!