Leah Cox's blog of youth ministry in the Czech Republic with Josiah Venture (plus stuff)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Why Europe Rocks: Reason #13

For Whom the Bell Tolls...

You know, we joke about senioritis in the States, but here your senior year is a culture all its own. Here's an abridged dictionary of everything you need to know to safely navigate your last year of high school in central Europe.

Tableu: Skip those spendy yearbooks and all the cheesy "Stay sweet"s and insincere "Call me"s. Instead, get with your classmates and make a senior picture photo presentation that will adorn a business window on a busy street. Above, Ania and Magda and their gang taped their pics on old locker doors and put it in the window of a gift shop.

The Last Ringing (Posledni zvoneni): Right before Holy Week, seniors blow off steam by dressing crazy, running around the school wreaking havoc and then taking it to the streets, begging for money that goes to a nice class dinner. And beer.

Holy Week (svatak): The week before Maturita, classes are cancelled for seniors and they have the whole week to study study study.

Maturita: An oral exam...no, THE oral exam that most seniors take. They choose 4 subjects (one has to be Czech and another has to be a foreign language, the other two could be anything else) to be tested in. All year long they study to be examined in their subjects. So, for example, in English they get a paper with 25 topics, like "My hobbies" or "British agriculture" or "American authors" or "Prague." They have to be prepared to speak for 15 minutes on all 25 of those topics. They go one by one into a classroom with some of their teachers and then they pull a little piece of paper that will have one of the topics on it. So, if the student gets "Health" s/he talks about hospitals/types of illnesses/prevention for 15 minutes in English. And they do that 2 more times. And then in 3 more subjects.

If I would've gone to school here...I don't even want to think about it. I'll take the ACTs any day, at least there's no public speaking involved...and there was no dressing up...shoot...