Hellooo – I have now been in Riverside for 9 days, so I thought I´d do a little recap of my first week here.
I arrived at Ontario Airport last saturday; after an emotional night, no sleep, leaving Muhlenberg College around 2 am, navigating an airport I´ve never been at (alone), a middle landing in Phoenix I didn´t even know about and again – no sleep.
I was met by most host dad and my host brothers at the airport after flying for I don´t even know how many hours – they (my host mom) had made a beautiful sign welcoming me, and I also got a huge bouquet of flowers!
The first day we just stayed at “home”, and I got to give them the presents I had brought from Norway; a cheese slicer (obviously), norwegian milk chocolate, a small metal reindeer, tyrkisk pepper, a norwegian cookbook with traditional recipes and tiny norwegian flags! My host mom actually liked the licorice, which kind of surprised me, but as she can´t eat the chocolate that was a positive surprise!
Sunday I went shopping with my host mom and brothers as I didn´t really own a lot of summer clothing, so my wallet got a decent dent that day (heh). When we got back to the house we had a barbecue with my host moms mom and aunt, a girl I go to school with (Alanna) and her mom. We played ping-pong and watched the sunset – the view from the backyard is beautiful!
Then it was time to start school (monday); so with way too little sleep on the eye and surprisingly no nerves (how tho?) we headed to the Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Corona. My host brothers is part of a carpool, so we picked up two other kids as well. My host mom went with me to the registrar and counselor to get all my classes and everything settled, so when I´d gotten all my books this nice guy named Rich showed us around to all my classrooms (as I said, there´s a lot of separate buildings) and two hours later I headed for my first period; Precal (AKA t-matte). All the periods lasts for 2 hours (3 per day, 6 in total), so after Precal I went to Psychology; and the day was over. At this point I was tired, confused and melting because of the heat (seriously, the weather is insane here). The school day was very long and very confusing, so I wasn´t sure how the year was gonna be at this point. At night I went to my host brothers´boy scout meeting, which was very interesting an very American! haha.
Tuesday I had Video Production 1. period – I was assigned a group (they´re so funny). For the class everyone had prepared a star with their name on and things that represents them; I didn´t have this of course, so I had to wing it.. I just spat out the first things that came to mind and as I managed to make both the students and the teacher laugh I think I did alright, hahah. Next was U.S. History – the teacher was very passionate and went through everything sooo quickly, but I love history so I think I´ll manage to keep up (but the classroom was so cold though)! Lastly I had Language Arts (English), and the teacher had us writing by hand for 2 hours, so not the best end to the school day. The evening basically went to homework, they assign a lot of homework here (like, a lot), so tuesday was a very long day.
Wednesday I started the day with AP Human Geography (a college class), then I moved on to something called homeroom, which basically is just time to chill with students that have the same contact teacher as you; later this will be the period where we get announcements and messages from our teacher. Homeroom was in the theatre room, and my homeroom teacher is the theatre teacher (I adore her!). She basically told me that I could have lunch in there whenever I wanted and that the theatre kids used to hang out there – so thats what I did! They were practicing for a play (the beauty and the beast) so they were dancing around and singing along, it was so much fun in there. After lunch I had Precal and then Psychology. This day also went to homework for the most part.
Thursday I started the day going to the counselor to swap some of my classes – more specifically AP Human Geography and Psychology. This because 1. my school back home does not offer these classes and 2. it would require a loooot of work, and there is no point when I don´t get credit for them back home. So now I have School Service instead of AP Huge and Visual Arts instead of Psychology. I also had lunch in the theatre room, which was just as good as the day before. After school my host mom and brothers took me to In-n-Out (which they had been hyping up for days), so we went to the not-really-fast-food-but-Im-not-so-sure-restaurant and there was no queue (which apparently never happens). We got our burgers, sat down in the shade, and just as I had taken my first bite one of my host brothers pointed out a June bug crawling onto my phone; as a reaction I went to grab it but the bug would of course not let go (ughhhhh) so it just hung there and started flapping it´s wings, then (as you do) I reacted by screaming – this cracked my brother up, and he is still mentioning it.. The burger was ok – tasted like a burger.
A june bug (I swear these creatures get drawn to me).
Fridayyy (yaas) I was relieved that my exhausting first week was finally over. I started the day off with School Service, which basically is just helping out in an office with whatever you can (+ no homework, woop). I worked in the Student Store at the campus. Precal -again (my teacher is very funny though so it´s an alright class). And last I had Visual Arts, which is learning the basics of drawing and painting – and as I love both of those things I enjoyed the first lesson. After school my host dad picked us up and we headed for San Diego! I went to my first American Football game – the Chargers vs. the Cardinals. My host dad is a huge fan of football and as he is from San Diego he of course supports the San Diego Chargers. My host brothers tried to explain me the rules of the game on the way down, but they could basically have been speaking in a different language (technically they were but the metaphor is still suitable). The game had a lot of breaks and a lot of loud noises, but I still enjoyed it! And I had a frozen lemonade for the first time, yum. I was also kind of half dead on the way to the game and the way back, so I was fast asleep as soon as we walked through the door.
Me and my host brothers – Troy and Chad
They also had this really catchy song they kept singing that just went “San Diego – Chargers!”
Saturday I went to Newport Beach with my host mom and two of her girl friends that were staying for the weekend. The area was so nice! We ate lunch at a place called Dory´s Deli – I had a deep fried cauliflower sandwich (sounds gross but it was so good). We only had time to stay at the actual beach for like 40 minutes before we had to head back as they were taking a paint class later in the afternoon. I could have gone but I don´t like being told what to do and having to stay within certain lines when I paint, so I passed and did some homework (lame but necessary). When everyone got back my host brother had brought Krispy Kreme donuts – they were amazing and so light! Later the adults went out to eat dinner so I watched a horror movie – correction – it was kind of boring so I paused it and started working on my blog (heyhey) until they got home.
Deepfried cauliflower sandwich from Dory´s Deli
Sunday we went to church around 9/10 am – it was so different from anything I´ve ever seen. The church did not look like a church, people were wearing casual clothing, there was a BAND, a stage, different colored lights, cameras and huge screens sending the service live so people could sit both inside and outside. It was like christian rock music (very catchy, but not for me), the priest interviewed people on stage, they were advertising different projects and they had a very emotional segment where lots of people came out on stage with signs saying thing like “Before I was a drug addict” and they turned the sign and the other side would say “But now I´m found” – so that was nice and different from any church I´ve seen. After the service we went outside and had TACOS from a taco guy – there was also a cafe, a book store and different foods. Very alternative and casual. The only thing that put me a bit on edge was the amount of security; the priest is getting a lot of threats so they have to go through every purse to make sure no one brings weapons or bombs – occasionally they also bring bomb dogs. That´s what the world has come to, unfortunately. Later on the evening we barbecued again and Alanna came over to eat and hang with us.
Alanna and I are making carrot cake tomorrow, so exited about that! She´s also the one I´ve been having lunch with a couple of days at school.
Now I´ve started my second week – I feel a lot better and well rested so I´m just ready to get into a routine! I´m also considering joining tech within theatre or another club; there is a club rush at school soon so I´m gonna wait for that and see what they offer.