Dienstag, 2. Oktober 2018

Day 16, Sunday September 30 - return to Basel (Leo Giger)

As class 5i meets at Logan International Airport on Saturday evening, accompanied by their American exchange students and their families, the concept of an immediate departure has not been fully grasped yet.
During the flight to Boston and even before, my classmates and I did not know what to expect from our adventure to New England. But after two amazing and mind blowing weeks, we don’t want to leave. The last goodbye before the two nations are split and the Swiss students enter the suffocating grasps of the TSA is bittersweet, considering the past two weeks we’ve had with a lot of new people and experiencing great things with them. While we are sad to leave them, this other world and way of life we’ve become accustomed to, we can’t wait to welcome our new friends to Switzerland in a few months.

Day 15, Saturday September 29 - last day in Reading (Florence Nydegger)

On our very last day in Reading Noémie, Marisa, Céline, our hosts and I went to breakfast at a place called Brothers in a nearby town. We ate a lot of food, talked and laughed a lot. After a delicious breakfast Lydia joined us and we took a stroll through Wakefield, which is very cute. We soon arrived at the lake where we were further accompanied by Blake and his host Alex. We sat around and enjoyed the beautiful weather for a bit. It was a lot of fun. Back in Reading we took a last dip in my hosts’ pool (and of course ate some more food) and when everybody was gone again I finished packing my stuff. Before going to the airport, I went to my host Josh’s marching band competition and watched him play. I also had to say bye to him there as he couldn’t come to the airport with us. At the airport it was already time to exchange our final goodbyes....

Day 14, Friday September 28 - Boston (Florence Nydegger)

I woke up with the hopes of finally being able to go whale watching on our last day in Boston. But a quick glance out of the window made my hope rapidly fade. I was met with a cloudy sky and rainfall. Nevertheless, we walked to the train station. At the station we met up with a journalist from the local newspaper to get our picture taken for an article about our exchange. After the train ride we got the chance to tour the city on our own one last time. Kimon and I decided to explore the Back Bay, which is a neighborhood in Boston famous for its rows of Victorian brownstone houses. It is also a well-known shopping and dining destination as well being the home of some of Boston's tallest office buildings.
As we were about to board the subway, news broke that we would not be able to go whale watching due to the bad weather conditions. Kimon and I agreed on staying in the city and doing some shopping instead of meeting with Mr. Frey and some of the others at the Museum of Science. Around lunch time Leo and Bayarmaa joined us and we spent the remainder of the afternoon shopping and walking through the city. We took the train back to Reading at 3.50 pm. Back at my house I started packing
my suitcase. In the evening some of us and our exchange students went to go watch the high school football team play again. They won! The game was a lot of fun and we met a bunch of new people. After the game us and the others who hadn’t come to the game met up at my hosts’ house to hang out.

Donnerstag, 27. September 2018

Day 13, Thursday September 27 - Salem (Bayarmaa Purevkhuu)

Salem Witch Museum
Today we met as usually at school and walked to the train station. In Boston we had to wait for almost an hour for the train to take us to Salem. Once we got to Salem we walked straight to the Salem Witch Museum. In the museum we entered a big dark room. There the story of the famous witch trial was told. Dolls in clothes of that time were displayed in different scenes.  Even though we already read the play ‘The Crucible’, it was really interesting to hear it again and to look at the dolls. After that there was a short guide through the little exhibition about how and why the people started to believe in witchcraft. When people are afraid and can’t explain why something is happening, they always search for a scapegoat. We also visited the memorial of the 19 people who were hanged for practicing witchcraft.
For lunch some of us went to a restaurant and ate burgers, it was really good. We had some time to walk around the center of Salem. You can find many Halloween shops, shops with souvenirs, etc. 
When we arrived at the train station in Reading some of us went directly to the Farewell party and some of us went home first. The party started at
hmm, tasty hamburgers, all home made!
6pm, many parents brought delicious food so the kitchen was full with students and parents. After a while we were all gathered in the living room to watch a slide show with some of the pictures taken during our stay here in the USA. Florence and Klara expressed our gratitude to the American hosts in the name of all of the Swiss students and chaperones.  
The party went on in the pool. Almost everybody was in the swimming pool even though it was really fresh outside but we could warm us in the hot tub. So all in all it was a really good day. The weather was perfect, we had very tasty food and had our friends around us.

Day 12, Wednesday September 26 - Aquarium and ICA (Kimon Tsatsaronis)

Institute of Contemporary Art
Same procedure as usual, we met at the library, walked to the station and boarded the train. From North Station we went to Boston Harbor where we were able to reschedule the whale watching tour for Friday. So it was plan B: a visit to the aquarium which was right next to it. The aquarium has a huge tank full of fish and turtles. There was even a tank where we could touch rays!!!!
We then got some free time so we could go eat lunch. Marisa, Céline, Florence, Leo, Bayarmaa, the twins and I went to a taqueria. We had some delicious burritos and tacos :)). After that we had a little time left to scout the shops at Quincey market.
At 1am we all had to meet in front of the aquarium again so we could walk to the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art). We walked right next to the water. We walked across a big bridge and entered a completely new area of Boston that we hadn't seen yet. It was full of newly constructed buildings. That area is called Boston Seaport.
Once we had arrived at the ICA we were welcomed by our tour guides. The guides showed us an exhibition called: We Want a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85. It was a really interesting exhibition about female black artists contributing to the
The Red Sox in action
civil rights movement and the feminist movement. The museum building itself was very modern and very beautiful. After the museum we individually walked back to North Station to get on the train back to Reading. At home I didn't have a lot of time to rest because we went to see the Red Sox game. It was my first time to attend a baseball game!! At the beginning I didn't understand quite well how the game worked, but when I realized that it was a fancier version of what we call ‘Brennball’ it got easier to follow the game. We didn't stay till the end since the baseball game was going on for a long time. We went home and now I'm going to sleep. Good night.

Dienstag, 25. September 2018

Day 11, Tuesday September 25 - Plimoth Plantation (Noémie Aeschlimann)

A real American school bus
You would probably not believe me if I told you I had met a real member of the Wampanoag Tribe today... Am I right? Let me straighten this out for you:
In the morning, after we met at the library, we did not walk to the train station as usual. Right outside Reading High School one of those original yellow school buses we all know from American movies was parked outside, ready to pick us up.
To which interesting place would it drive us to? We were all excited
First ride in a school bus - exciting!
about getting on the school bus, it looked awesome. But then we quickly realized that it was not as comfortable as we had imagined. Not enough leg space, a very noisy engine and quite shaky. So not really the ideal place to have a nap, even though we were all tired from getting up early. Nevertheless, I was glad to see, feel and hear what the American students have to deal with everyday! So after a 2-hour-shaky-shaky ride (thankfully, nobody got sick!!), through lots of traffic, we
In a Wampanoag winter house - cosy
eventually arrived in Plimoth, finally. We were all glad to get off that bus and step on firm ground again ;)!
There, we were taken back 400 years in time.
Plimoth Plantation - an outdoor museum - offers personal encounters with history, built on research on the Wampanoag people and the Colonial English Community in the 1600s.
So that was where I met my true Wampanoagen, no joke! He was not just an actor, but a member of the Wampanoag Tribe which counts about 5000 members. Google it, if I have sparked your interest, it is definitely worth it!
We have been lucky with the weather as the rain did not start until the end of our visit. The whole tour gave us a glimpse into the daily life of those people 400 years ago. Quite fascinating and different from other museums. But as you can easily imagine, we were happy to go back to the amenities of the year 2018 even though it meant to go back to our old school bus and to another bumpy 2-hour-ride back to Reading. Yeah!! We had a lot of fun today.

Day 10, Monday September 24 - University Day (Viviane Schnetzler)

University Day

Harvard University flag
Today we headed to Boston again, where we all stocked up on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and food to start our second week here. I can’t believe it’s half way over already. 

Today was supposed to give us an insight view of American university life. With the upcoming process of choosing the university that we want to attend, this surely gave us some inputs on what we should consider when planning our academic career. 
The subway brought us to the town of Cambridge that locates both Harvard and MIT, both of them being amongst the finest schools in America. We gathered at Harvard yard, where most of the students attending Harvard University live. 
Harvard University is a private college founded in 1636, therefore it had existed long before the USA became an independent state, which I find is very impressive. This makes it the oldest college in America. 

Glass flowers in the Harvard Museum of Natural History

The student fees to attend Harvard are shockingly high, never the less, roughly 20’000 students attend the school today. Harvard University is very proud of its financial aid system which offers financial support to those who could actually make it into the college but can’t afford it. The school also offers various exchange programs, so – who knows – maybe someday one of us might have the opportunity to go there. 
After the guided tour on Harvard campus, we went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History where we spent the rest of our morning and had lunch. 

Programmed spraying on Massachusetts Avenue
In addition to having explored Harvard University, we later walked down Massachusetts Avenue until we reached the MIT Museum. There you can experience and see newer achievements in the area of neurology and visual effects. It’s impressive to see where modern science is taking us. 
We had a little time left to go and enter the actual college but shortly after we headed back to the train station and eventually ended up back in Reading. 

Another delicate machine at MIT Museum

Day 10, Monday September 24 - University Day (Blake Halliday)

University Day

John Harvard statue: the statue of the three lies
Today was the day we could visit American Universities! After an early start at the library we headed down to Cambridge, just outside of Boston (by using the train and then the stuffy subway). The first University we visited was the world famous Harvard University. We had a guided tour around Harvard`s campus and got a lot of insights on a student’s life. The campus was huge and displayed a variety of architecture. One interesting thing about the housing called dorms was that they all had their own names just like in Harry Potter. Oh and one funny thing we found out was that the statue (seen in picture 2) of John Harvard in fact is NOT John Harvard after all because all records of him were lost in a fire. So they chose somebody else and had him pose for the statue. It also says on the statue that John Harvard was the founder of the school which is also untrue since the school had already existed before. The school is called Harvard because John Harvard donated a lot of money to the school, causing them to rename it. They also say that touching the statue’s shoe is supposed to bring you good luck! 

Harvard Museum of Natural Science

The next thing on our agenda was the Harvard Museum of Natural History. It had pretty much everything of the past and present, from glass flowers to fossils of dinosaurs! The whale skeleton was very impressive.

Delicate exhibit of MIT Museum

In the afternoon we headed over to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We first visited its Museum of Science, in which we saw Cajal`s beautiful pictures of the brain and the engineered sculptures of Ganson. To end it off we walked over to the main building of MIT and then headed home exhausted and ready for bed.  

Sonntag, 23. September 2018

Day 9, Sunday September 23 - Family Day (Jonathan Langlotz)

Skater park, designed by Tony Hawk
Today has been a very cool day!
Chriggu and I could sleep in. After a lovely breakfast we went to church. It was very interesting. We had a discussion about things we need or just want. We talked about the fact that many people have so much stuff that they don't use. After church we had some very good chilli for lunch. After lunch we met Alex at a skate park in Boston. I was really amazed! I had never skated in such a great and big skate park.
After that good skate sesh (=session ;-)) we all got together at Tommy's house for a barbecue. I ate four burgers! Feeling rather stuffed, we were playing basketball in the sunset.

Red Sox!

While I'm writing this text I'm watching the Boston Red Sox going for their most wins in a season. By the way: I'm wearing a Red Sox’ hat! And in a couple of minutes I will try some pigs in a blanket!

Day 9, Sunday September 23 - Family Day (Celine Bernet)

Breakfast at Fusion's
Sushi lunch
Today I woke up at 9.30 a.m., which is really early for me. I stayed in my bed for half an hour and then face timed with my best friend because I missed her. After that I got ready. My host’s mum drove Marisa and me to Fusion where we ate breakfast with several others. We had to wait for a long time until the food came but it was delicious! I shared a breakfast quesadilla and a strawberry banana chocolate crêpe with Mary. It was so much we couldn‘t eat everything.
After that Kimon‘s host father picked us up and gave us a ride to Burlington Mall where Kimon wanted to buy some shoes.

Because we were hungry again Marisa, Leo and I got us some sushi and Florence went to Dunkin‘ Donuts. We savored the food, visited some shops and then at 3.30 p.m., Kimon‘s host father picked us up in front of the mall.
We drove to his house where his family had prepared a BBQ for all of our hosts and us. After this I will go home and probably watch Netflix and have some time on my own.
Today was quite a relaxing day that’s why I‘m looking forward to what there is in store for us during our second week here in Reading/Boston.

Day 8, Saturday September 22 - Family Day (Marisa Fuchs)


In a Mall
This morning was different from the other mornings so far, for once there was not much going on but I knew that the afternoon would be fun because Céline and I would be going on a shopping day : )!

I slept long for the first time and then stayed in bed to watch an episode of a series. Then I got up, took a shower, got ready and ate breakfast. At 12:15 we picked up Celine. The cool thing is that she only lives two minutes away from where I‘m staying. Then we went to Marshalls first. We were really shocked about the amount of clothes and their prices. We didn’t buy too much there because we knew we had to save money for another place to shop. But saving money didn’t work for us. Near Marshalls there was a shop called Bath&Body Works where we bought 5 different sorts of body lotions. 

Shopping Queen!

After that we went to another Mall named Burlington. There we met Colleen and Florence and talked for a little while we were having lunch. 
After that, we went to Primark. Even though I had never been there before I had heard a lot about it. We spent most of our time there. It felt like paradise. We felt like the happiest people in the world but also sad because we couldn’t afford everything we liked... 
It was a really nice shopping trip. I usually go shopping on my own because I don’t like to have people around me. But this time I really enjoyed having Céline with me. I should go shopping with her more often. 
We both bought the same amount of items – unintentionally, of course, so what a coincidence! I’m always very happy when I get new clothes as it allows me to use them in new combinations. 
Today was yet another great day. I’ve really enjoyed my stay in Reading so far and I’m looking forward to this evening as we are going to the Scream Fest …

Day 8, Saturday September 22 - Family Day (Klara Sasse)

Cape Cod

Cape Cod panorama
Cape Cod on Google Maps
Wow. Today we are half way through our time in the USA. It has been one week since we left Switzerland and since we first met our lovely host families, but it seems so much longer. I feel like I have known Margaret, my host, and all the others for so much longer. Still, I get surprised by little things every day (There are wild turkeys in the USA??!). We have spent many great days already and today was definitely one of the greatest.
The family I’m staying with owns a lovely cottage on Cape Cod, which is a piece of land that is only connected to the rest of Massachusetts through a bridge leading over a canal. So, we came
Sagamore Bridge to Cape Cod
over to spend the weekend here.
The entire cape looks like a huge national park with lots of pine trees and some holiday cottages and apartments here and there. It is surrounded by the sea and so there are lots of gorgeous beaches and astonishing views that my family showed me today. Even though Boston is nearby, I feel like I am in a whole new world here, where everything is peaceful and quiet instead of the busy city life.
We had dinner in Provincetown which is a fascinating little city at the very end of the cape. It is the
Province Town
‘gay capital’ of the USA and it must be the most colourful place in the world. There were so many funny people around. One guy talked to himself and another one was carrying around the frame of a church window. Little shops were selling all sorts of curiosities, from crazy hats to customized doughnuts and from vintage ball gowns down to Donald Trump Toilet paper. It was so much fun to simply walk around and enjoy the overwhelming spirit that makes this town such a special place.
The best Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, chocolate with pieces of caramel and marshmallow, gave the day the perfect finish and now
Special toilet paper
I am looking forward to some delicious smores with my host family (there is no such thing as
Beach on Cape Cod
too much sugar!).

Samstag, 22. September 2018

Day 7, Friday September 21 - JFK ans American Football (Stella Weihofen)

 JFK Library and American Football

The whale watching tour got cancelled so it was the JFK Library instead. 

JFK Library
First, we headed to North Station as always and then we took the subway in Boston for the first time. It was very loud down there and the air was awful. I was very glad when we could finally get on the subway. We got off at JFK library and took the bus to the library. When we got out everyone was impressed by that high building. 
Newspaperbox with news on election of JFK

When I got in I was very surprised. The JFK library isn’t a library in the literal. It is a big museum on John F. Kennedy. It was very interesting to get to know something about the 35thPresident of the United States. But there were also events displayed that happened during
the time he was in office, as for instance the Mercury 7 launch. The part that impressed me the most was a giant pavilion where a huge American flag is hanging from the ceiling. 
Ocean view

The JFK library is located at the ocean shore so you could go outside and sit at the coast. It was very beautiful there.
After we had gotten back to the city we realized that we didn’t have enough time left to visit the Aquarium on that day. So we decided to go there on another day. Instead we were given some spare time. Some classmates and me headed to Quincey Market. It is a huge place where you can buy lots of food. But there are a lot of shops around the Market as well.

Football game Reading vs Lexington

After we had visited some of them we went back to North Station and back to Reading.
Because my host parents weren’t at home I walked to our house. I quickly changed into the clothes I wanted to wear to the football game in the evening. Then I got a pickup from an American exchange student. We drove to her house, because we had a little party there with all the American and the Swiss students. We ate pizza and played basketball. It was a lot of fun.
A Reading football player
At 6:30 we went to the RMHS (Reading Memorial High School) and got to the football field. At seven the game started. It was very interesting to watch the players tackle each other. I ran from the left to the right and back to get some pictures. Well, it was more than some. The game lasted for about two hours. After the game I went to a nice restaurant called ninety-nine with my host and her friends. We had a very good meal and a lot of fun. It was a great day and I hope that the coming days will be just as great.

Donnerstag, 20. September 2018

Day 6, Thursday September 20 - State House and Duck Tour (Karoline Edrich)

State House and Duck Tour

Glass dome in the State House

Today we got to see Boston from a very different kind of view. We took the train to Boston early in the morning. Our first destination of the day was the State House. A tour guide was showing us around and even though he had a pretty loud voice, he was a very funny guy and told us many interesting facts about some of the rooms and the building itself. For example, he told us about a fish that had been hanging from the ceiling for many years and one day two Harvard students managed to steal it. They did it because there was a competition going on about who could do the dumbest thing ... they probably won!
After having looked at some of the beautiful rooms and halls in the State House we went to yet another room to have lunch. While we were eating pizza and drinking coke, a democratic representative of two towns in Massachusetts came in and told us about his job at the State House. We were also able to ask him some questions but because of his busy schedule he had to leave very soon.
Picture taken from www.theodysseyonline.com/fun-facts-dunkin-donuts

Then the part of the day I had been most excited about followed. We went on a duck tour! A ‘duck’ here meaning bus & boat at the same time! When we all got into the duck, a funny guy in a suit came in and had a seat. It turned out that he was our guide. Because he was talking and joking the entire time, I wasn't able to remember everything he said. But I do remember the fact that there are 130 Dunkin' Donuts in Boston! That's because the brand was founded in Massachusetts.
After finishing our tour, we had some free time. Noémie and me really wanted to try this Belgium waffle sandwich with bacon and maple syrup from Dunkin' Donuts we saw on adds all over the city, so we went there. But unfortunately they were sold out. Hopefully we can get them tomorrow!

Mittwoch, 19. September 2018

Day 5, Wednesday September 19 - Freedom Trail (Christian Langlotz)

First Day in Boston, Freedom Trail

Today was a very exciting day because it was our first day in Boston. Some of us met at the library of Reading High School and the others came directly to the train station. It was a train ride of about 30 minutes.

Old State House and high-rises

When we arrived in Boston we started our tour on the Freedom Trail. Everyone had to prepare a little presentation about one part of the Freedom Trail, such as for example on the King’s Chapel or on Paul Revere House. We didn‘t walk along the whole Freedom Trail as it would have been boring.Beschreibung: 😉No, I‘m just joking! We were given some free time to walk around, do some shopping, eat some American food, take some lovely pictures and so on...

New and old Architecture

At 16:30 we had to be back at North Station and got on the train back to Reading where our hosts picked us up.
I cannot speak for everyone but for me it was an awesome day. 
In my opinion it was very cool, that Mrs. Scherrer and Mr. Frey trusted us and let us walk alone in this very big city.

Dienstag, 18. September 2018

Day 4, Tuesday September 18 - Shadowing (Lydia Lyons)

Shadowing, Day 2

The football field of RMHS

Sports Hall of Fame
Getting up early in the morning has become a lot more difficult as we all are slowly overcoming the jetlag. I got up to a dark sky and pouring rain but my delicious breakfast consisting of a warm chocolate chip bagel made my day. 
Our morning started with everyone saying aloud the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. During the day we all accompanied our American hosts to their classes. 

Getting to know a typical American school was very interesting. What impresses me a lot are the many activities the school offers, such as the school’s own football, swimming, hockey, soccer and basketball teams which compete against other high schools. The high school’s big stadium with huge stands offers space for a big audience and is packed during games. My host plays the saxophone in the high school’s band. He then marches along the football pitch during competitions and plays music at certain moments during the game. A specific theme is set for every sport event. This coming up Friday for example, the audience is supposed to dress up in Hawaiian style for the football game. 
With great interest I have looked at the “athletic hall of fame”, a wall with pictures of students who broke athletic records, a tradition we’re unfamiliar with, unfortunately.

Montag, 17. September 2018

Day 3, Monday September 17 - Shadowing (Angelica Bebing)

Shadowing at an American School

Reading Memorial High School
At 7:30 we left the house and got on our way to school. Already from a distance one could easily tell that Reading Memorial High School is a large building with a huge sports-arena. Many students were squeezing themselves into the main entrance and before you know it, the hallway was quickly filled with students rushing in different directions. At the main entrance, one is greeted with the school‘s logo:

The logo of RMHS

The whole group met at the school library. From there, we, the Swiss students, were led to our first class. This meant History for me. 
At 7:30 the bell rang and all the students were seated, waiting for the Pledge of Allegiance. A voice was heard over the loudspeaker, greeting everyone. Immediately after that, the students put their right hand flat on their chest, close to the heart, while reciting the following message:

Pledge of Allegiance
After that the teacher started to go through the attendance check, while further announcements were delivered through the loudspeaker. Finally class began. 
After every 53 minutes the bell rang again and everyone rushed to their next class. I had a peek into Reading Memorial High School Orchestra-Band and the Spanish class. Lunch break started at 11:30. Only half an hour later, we had Chemistry and then English. 
At the end of our first day of shadowing, we all met at the school library again and three of five Swiss presentations were held. 
Towards the end of the day, I had time to finish writing my blog. I had a delicious meal and took some rest so I would be fit for the next day. 

Day 2, Sunday September 16 - Family Day (Lejla Bosnjak)

Family Day

I got lost!
Sunday morning, 5am, that is when I first woke up because of jet lag. I’ve never experienced it before so that felt a bit weird. After trying to sleep for a few more hours, I finally got out of bed at around 8am. After eating some breakfast and getting ready, my host family took me to a place called Connor’s Farm. There were various activities offered to visitors and we chose to start out with plunging into a huge corn maze, however not before tasting the famous apple cider donuts which were really great. I was really impressed by the size of the corn maze as I had never seen anything like that before. I must admit though that for a while I thought that we wouldn’t be able to find our way out again.

Fresh peaches

Once we got out of the maze we took a stroll around the farm. We rounded our tour off with peach and apple picking. Harvesting made us hungry so we got some food, got back into the car and started heading to our next destination – Rockport. It’s a really nice town at the beach with many different kinds of shops, restaurants, cafés etc. I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful homes there and especially the splendid view of the Atlantic Ocean – a view I will never forget.

The Atlantic ocean at Rockport