Here we have our second part of the school hunting series. To get caught up on how we got this far, read this blog. In today’s episode, we interview Cameron and Coco and find out how they feel about school.
What is your favorite part of going to the school?
Coco: I like hanging out with my friends. My favorite part of the day is second break because that’s when I eat lunch. My favorite teacher is Margi. She has super cute red hair and she usually has it in a pony with the side bang thing.
Cam: I was about to say English class but… the breaks. I like socializing.
What is your least favorite part?
Coco: Probably my least favorite teachers. There’s Maru but she’s actually not been a witch to me at school. Not yet at least. There’s Judy which is my Lengua Castellana teacher. Shes actually super nice and sweet out of class but not actually in school.
Cam: Social Studies. The teacher is kind of strict and there’s not as much chatting going on in that class.
What do you eat for lunch?
Coco: I usually get the same thing unless they don’t have it. It’s fries, rice and carne which is like brown steak kind of. Or I have pollo, which is chicken. And they have hot cocoa in the cafeteria.
Cam: I usually buy a sanduche cuadrado – a sandwich. I put a sauce on it. It’s got meat and cheese and sometimes lettuce. But they heat it up in saran wrap so sometimes the lettuce is kind of gross.
Tell me about some of the people you hang out with.
Coco: There is one girl that I always have lunch with and her name is Camila and she’s super nice. She goes by Cano because there’s 2 Camilas. I don’t see Haley too often but whenever I do I say hi. Sometimes we paint props for the dance groups together. Something that I’d really like to have in school is an Once jacket. Who wouldn’t want an Once jacket? (Editor’s note: for more details on the beloved Once jacket, read this blog).
Cam: There’s two girls that I can never tell the difference between. Isabella and Michell. They look the exact same. Estefa sits next to me. They are all nice to me.
Tell me about the noise level at school.
Cam: Too high.
Coco: It really depends. If it’s with Judy in Lengua Castellana it’s pretty quiet unless they are supposed to be talking as part of the class. There’s some other classes. Every week there’s a class called Plan de Aula. I’m not really sure what that means. And it’s not even a class because everyone is running around playing tag, playing hide and go seek, playing with the locker, talking to the teacher about who knows what. It’s like recess in class.
What kinds of things are you learning – maybe things not necessarily being taught.
Coco: Definitely Spanish. I’ve noticed my Spanish improving a lot. I am learning what to do in the cafeteria. How to order, what to ask for. I’ve kind of got it down now.
Cam: Spanish. Spanish. Spanish.
Cam, tell us about how you and Zoe got into trouble last week.
Cam: We were selling origami for 1500 pesos and one of the teachers saw us and she lost it! I’m pretty sure one of the smaller kids that we were selling to at the time got us in trouble. I think he went up to the teacher and said “Look at this cool thing I got from the kids over there”. Or maybe the teacher just saw us. So we had to return all the origami money we earned that day and the day before.
How’d that feel?
Cam: It felt great that we got away with it for so long. The problem was that we were sitting too close to the little kids and there’s always at least one teacher with the little kids and she saw us. Zoe and I use a keyword (“peach” or “peaches”) to say that there is a teacher nearby and we should shut down the shop. The teacher ended up taking the origami briefcase for the day and we got it back at the end of the day. She put the case in a plastic bag and taped it up so we couldn’t get into it and to show that she wasn’t going through it, which didn’t make sense. She’s the teacher, she can go through our stuff. At the end of the day she wanted to release it to our parents but she allowed Haley to take it instead.
How does this school compare to the school you went to in Costa Rica?
Coco: Definitely there’s a lot less boys. And school in Costa Rica was basically 60% of the time in English and 40% of the classes are in Spanish. And at that time I would go up to 5th grade while it was Spanish class. That was because the Spanish that the teacher was speaking it was really advanced, like normal grammar. But if you didn’t know much Spanish it’s stuff you haven’t even heard of. With my class it’s sort of the same but there are a couple that weren’t as well behaved there.
Cam: There’s a lot more curriculum here and more structure in the school day. I like it a little bit better here. I liked the other one a lot but there was some bad parts of it. The kids in Costa Rica used to bring in computers and were illegally downloading lots of stuff. They don’t do that here.
And how does it compare to your school experience at home in Arizona?
Coco: In Arizona there’s definitely a big difference. They are a lot more strict, just basic rules. And here there’s still rules but it’s more laid back. For example if you were to be late to class in the Arizona schools, you might get detention. They don’t even have detention here.
Cam: It’s much more fun here.
What are some of the items you take in your backpack that you can’t live without?
Coco: My notebook, and a pen or pencil. The very first day that I went I didn’t have those items and I had math. My teacher Natalia gave me a full-blown lecture about why don’t I have a notebook and that Cameron and Zoe both had notebooks and why am I not prepared. That changed everything. Now I always have a notebook.
Cam: The origami briefcase before we got shut down. Maybe my water bottle. I bring my Kindle occasionally to read. And my school jacket.
What do you like to buy at school?
Coco: Lunch. I don’t buy barely anything in the shops. There’s a candy shop and there’s the little shop right down the cafeteria stairs. It’s where you buy slime and pencil and notebooks and stuffed animals. There was a preschool fair and I got a mask with two ribbons and it’s blue with glitter.
Cam: I don’t buy much really. They have a small candy shop where you can buy stuff. The most expensive thing there is about $1.25. They also have a papelería where you can buy basic school supplies and non school supply items. Like kinetic sand and lots of off-brand things.
Cam, how do you like going to a school with all those girls?
Cam: It’s overwhelming at times. They all look the same.
Do you think you are treated differently than the girls?
Cam: Sometimes. Like the time I was sliding down the banister on the stairs. All the girls do it. But a teacher told me that if she saw me doing it again she was going to cut off my testicles. She is the ethics teacher. I don’t think that was very ethical.
Do you have any advice for other Worldschoolers thinking of going to a local school?
Coco: I would say that it is a really good experience. Depending on the school you are going to, be prepared to wake up at any time of the day. In our case it’s 5:30 in the morning.
Cam: Try it out.
Anything more you want to say?
Coco: The only thing I would add is about buying lunch. It’s a little bit interesting because even if I get there early, I have to go to the end of the line, just to buy a little paper, then I go back in the line to get the food. Then the paper means nothing because they throw it under the desk area. I assume it’s trash or maybe it’s just a pile of crumpled papers.
Cam: The teachers are pretty nice. Except for Maru.
What’s up with Maru?
Cam: She’s the strict teacher. I don’t have any classes with her but it’s not difficult to spot her because she has red hair and she’s one of the shorter teachers and she’s strict about school wear. When we got in trouble, Zoe was wearing earrings and a small choker and black painted nails. Zoe had to take the jewelry off. But she kept her hands in her pockets so Maru wouldn’t see the nails. When we see her coming we have to keep it low key. I hope she doesn’t follow your blog.