1st November 2018

Today was a very special day, since it was the day of our presentation – which we had worked so hard for – and also sadly our last day in Atlanta. We met up in the media center, like every day, and did a quick rehearsal. After giving each presentation the final touch, everyone began to practise their own part again and again. We then went to the auditorium, which was impressively big, at about 11:50pm and had time to get used to the big stage and the microphone. After goofing around a little bit, the actual presentation began. We were all very nervous as we could see important faces in the audience. There was Mr. Dancer, the principal of MJHS, Mr. Sittauer, the principal of our SSG, and his wife Mrs Sittauer, Mrs Lorenz and Mrs Elliott, our two super supportive teachers, Johannes, our expert from the expert panel and many more. And we could also recognize some of our dear host parents. The presentation itself went very smoothly and I think every group did a pretty good job. You can see our presentation if you follow this link:

After the presentation, Mr. Sittauer and Mrs. Lorenz held a thank-you speech in which they expressed their gratitude to everybody who supported our project and after that we all ate lunch together in the media center. Mr. Murray had set up a little buffet with fruits, vegetables and chicken and we sat together at two long tables and chatted for a long time. After that we were free to go home with the permission of the parents. Later that day, we all met up for the last time together at a Restaurant called “Grindhouse” and had a delicious dinner. It was a little sad since we were all beginning to think about our coming farewell but we still had a lot of fun. After eating a delicious burger, Willow, her family and I went straight to the airport. Some of the other families still had to pick up the luggage from their home but we already brought mine with us, which saved us the way home. When we all arrived at the airport we took a lot of photos together and hugged each other really tight. Then we had to say our final goodbye and parted. We were of course very sad but at the same time exited to go home to our families.

by Sao La

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31st October 2018

 

In the morning we got up and went to the media center to work on our project. We had to present our results with the improvements we had added yesterday. In 3rd and 4th period we had to shadow. After school we walked at home to get ready for Halloween. I made a half skull face (but I didn’t have much time because I started too late – nevertheless I liked the final result.) My host dad drove us to Rosie’s house because she threw a Halloween party. Before that we went trick or treating. It was very interesting to see how many people went trick or treating especially the little children. I was wondering why the kids weren’t more afraid of some costumes because they were really very creepy. Later at the party were a lot of people we didn’t know but it was very cool anyway.

by Sarah

30th October 2018

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This morning wasn’t like the other days because it was Carina’s birthday! So after we had stood up, she unpacked her birthday presents that I brought with me from Germany (the presents were so cute that she almost cried). Her family also sent her a small birthday cake, this special cake is a birthday tadition in her family and we ate it for breakfast. At 7:45 we left the house and went to school by car as usual. After having passed the security check my host student Millie dropped me off in the library.

There we were all started working on our own projects. I had to do research on the environmental awareness in the USA. After an hour we went with ubers to the Atlanta History Museum. Our tour was about the oppression of African Americans in the wake of the Jim Crow laws that were enforced in the southern states of America during the separate but equal period. In three different role plays we performed characters from the civil rights movement era and thus we learned how brave these people were.

DSC01696In the first act we were confronted with the fact that in 1946, many African Americans didn’t dare to register as voters. As a consequence the needs of  the Negroes – as African Americans were called in those days – didn’t have any voice in Parliament.

Activists of the Baptist Church like John Wesley Dobbs, Maynard Jackson’s grandfather, tried to motivate black citizens to register, and an actor very impressively held his speech in front of us.dsc01698.jpg DSC01700Afterwards we played African Americans who wanted to register, and we lived through their humilation when being rejected with illegal arguments.

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After that we went back in time to 1961. At a Coca Cola Diner, some of us played the role of black sit-in protestors who wanted to take the right the 14th amendment gave to them -the right of being served in that Whites only place. Meanwhile others took the position of white guests and black servicewomen. We were confronted with the owner of the diner, Lester Maddox, and his racist views and found out that in their everyday lives Blacks needed audaciousness and a lot of courage to exercise the rights the law granted to them.

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In the third act we took over the role of Freedom Riders, who wanted to exercise the right to take a seat wherever they liked on a greyhound bus – a right that Rosa Parks had fought for some years ago. Against all odds we made our ride from Washington D.C. to New Orleans singing songs of the Civil Rights Movement until, at the end of our journey, racists in Anniston/GA set fire to our bus and destroyed it completely.

For me it was really impressive. Then we went over to the Swan House, a very luxurious villa from 1928, which showed all the wonderful furniture and equipment as if the familiy still lived here. This mansion has become well known as location of parts of the movie The Hunger Games and it was cool to see this place in real life. Before we went back to school we ate lunch at the Kroger store, where you can find all different types of food.

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Back in school we worked on our presentations. Our group had to change many things, so we had to work quickly. We had half an hour at home before our host family, Carina and I went to the belt line to have a birthday picnic with pizza and cake. Delicious! So  another wonderful day in Atlanta was ending.

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by Luna

29th October 2018

When I woke up this morning I could already smell our breakfast, which was muffins and croissants. After the rich meal our host mum drove us to school, where we started to work on our tasks. I could finish my writing about “School Spirit” on my exchange partner’s computer that weekend, so I had enough time to take the convenient pictures for my topic.

At 10:20 (way too late) we got off to Emery University. We were seperated in three goups and got a tour of about an hour around the campus by university students. They told us interesting facts about the students’ live and the different courses one can take in Emory, where 7000 students per year are starting as freshmen. They also showed us a freshman dorm room and different buildings where free arts, sience and other subjects are teached. We were very impressed by the high technical standards at Emory, for example the whiteboardtables in the chemistry class, and by the fact that you don’t have to decide which subject you want to study until the end of the second year. Also we couldn’t believe the Dalai Lama is a visiting professor in Emory. Afterwards we recieved free lunch, and the choice of food was amazing. When we returned to Maynard Jackson Highschool, all of us agreed, that Emery is indeed very cool, but with 79 000 $ per year way too expensive for us. For the fourth and last period I shadowed Lily in her journalism class and after school we went to one of her teachers so she could catch up her subject matter. Later we went jogging, Lily had an interview for a project and after that we had a phenomenal homemade quiche.

by Marie

Finally the weekend

Here is what we did over the weekend. Many more truly American experiences!

On Saturday morning we had brunch at my host dad’s restaurant. After that we went to a thrift store where we looked for vintage clothes for affordable prices. In the early afternoon Karina, Millie and I watched a horror movie called Scream. That’s what many Americans do during the week before Halloween. We were really terrified! Later on we went to celebrate Esra’s brithday.

by Luna

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This Sunday I woke up at 8 o’clock, my host family slowly got up at 11:30. After breakfast eat breakfast we left home to visit Stone Mountain Park, a big mountain with some attractions around. Because we were lazy, we took a ropeway to the top, from where you can see most of Georgia. We took many pictures there and finally we hiked down again. In the evening we ate at a restaurant where I finally got my long desired burger.

by Marie

On Saturday, my exchange student had a football game, so I went over to Lara’s house and we explored the city with her host family. We were in a lot of thriftshops and Halloween shops in which we bought our Halloween costumes. After that, we ate some pizza and went to Ezra’s birthday party.

by Lea

On Saturday Ian and I went to Lennox Mall, which is a huge shopping mall and it was very cool. In the evening we visited the basketball game Atlanta Hawks against the Chicago Bulls. Sad as the Hawks lost but the game was great! On Sunday, together with Ian’s sister and friends, we spent the day to Six Flags, a theme park as large as the Europapark. There we met Lara and her exchange student.  We rode different roller coasters, but for each roller coaster we had to wait a long time. It was a lot of fun. When everyone was tired, we went home and enjoyed the evening.

by Simeon

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On Saturday evening Willow, Willow’s little brother, his friend and me held a Babysitting Party with Halloween Costumes and Spooky Movies wich was a little bit chaotic but super fun. We were babysitting the children of parents who were going to an adult-only party in our neighnorhood and prepared cupcakes, cookies, vegetables and pizza. The next day Willow’s dad, Willow and I went to her soccer game while her little brother Everett and her Mom went to his soccer game.

by São La

On Saturday Lea, my host family and I went shopping. We were in many Halloween shops and I bought a costume. After that we went to a restaurant and ate pizza. It was very good. Then we drove to a thrift shop and I bought two pairs of jeans and one sweatshirt for 15$. In the evening we were at Esra’s party. On Sunday we went to Six Flags and it was amazing.

by Lara

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I came back from the sleepover and took a shower to get the smoke from the firepit out of my hair. After that Luna and I spent the whole day in the mall with Anna, Esra and their exchange partners.I bought some souvenirs and a jacket and after that Luna, me and our exchange-partners returned home to get ready for a Halloween family tradition. We went to their friends’ house to prepare a dance which we performed on the street. It was a really funny evening and I fell asleep really fast.

by Carina

On Sunday the weather was really good and the sun was shining. At first we went the the farmers’ market and tean we went to the zoo, where I liked the elefants best. At 2pm we had lunch and got ready for Six Flags, which was an unforgettable experience. We stayed there until the evening and after we had dinner we went home in order to get some sleep. It was a very special day!

by Denise

At Saturday in the morning I went to my host brother’s ice hockey match. After that Olivia, her Mom and me drove to Buckhead for watching the typical big American houses and we rented scooters in order to drive to Piedemont Park and Midtown Atlanta.
In the evening we organized a bonfire for all exchange students. On Sunday we visited the Lenox Square Mall and Olivia’s Dad for dinner.

by Anna

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Today it was my 16th birthday.
We met at Olivia’s house and had a bonfire, where also adults from this neighborhood celebrated with us. They made me a great cake and we had a nice evening with all exchange students. On Sunday we went to Target and bought things for our Halloween costumes

by Esra

On Saturday we first went to the Squash Blossom Boutique which is the shop of Sadira’s mom. It was interesting to see what people can do by hand. After that we went to the mall. I was very impressed of how big it was. At 5pm we drove to Six Flags. Unfortunately we could only drive 4 rides, because there were a lot of people nevertheless we had a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.
On Sunday we had to wake up early, because It took us an hour to go ziplining. We had a lot of fun but after that we were all exhausted and tired, so I went to bed earlier. Additionally we went to a bridge on Saturday night where we could see downtown at night and the next day we we went there again to see downtown at sunset. It was really beautiful.

by Sarah

October 26th 2018

Today it was a really rainy and cloudy day like in Germany. In the first and second period we evaluated the polls we had conducted yesterday and continued to work on our project. We also started preparing our slide show for the final presentation. After that we had to introduce it and got useful advice from the teachers to improve our presentations.

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At lunch we were able to buy school sweaters that are really comfortable and cuddly.

During third and fourth period we had our second shadowing and we were in class with our exchange partners. The lessons here are really different from those we are used to in Germany. For example, not all students look at the board and they not only copy what the teacher writes but rather make only necessary notes.

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After school we went to American Deli with Carina and Anna and their exchange partners and ate 10 wings with french fries. It was really delicious.

 

At 5 pm we met at Olivia’s house with the girls and made a girls’ night with American snacks and movies.
It was a really nice and funny night.

by Esra

 

October 25th 2018

This morning, everyone overslept but unlike my family at home, nobody here thought they had to hurry. But eventually we arrived at the school and went through the security check. We worked for an hour on our project and then conducted surveys at different locations in Atlanta. My group was taken to Centennial Park, where we asked passers by questions about our project topic “immigrants and refugees”.

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We were all very excited and full of anticipation. We met so many nice people who were immediately very interested when we told them that we came from Germany. In these moments you are able to see how different and unique everybody is. After about half and an hour we went back to school and spent the third and fourth period in the classes of or exchange students. It was strange to see how many disinterested and indifferent students were in each class. After school, we went to the school’s talent competition. It was wonderful and unique to see the students supporting each other. That is something you can’t see everywhere. Most of all, I was touched by a boy who performed a rap song for his father. I think for such a thing you need lot of courage, love and gratitude.
By Lea