School has begun anew and now I have to learn to share many things at 5 in the morning that I did not have to before. This takes great adjustment on my part, much more so than Maggie who seems to get it "right off the bat." (Slang/idiom alerts are italicized for your enjoyment).
While too early to call this a "routine," we are settling in to a lifestyle pattern that should be more or less stable for the school year. Even in her first week of school, Maggie has some interesting observations about our American High School(s) and also — going on 3 weeks in the US — more observations about our American society. She is learning slang "faster than a 2-minute egg cooked in half the time."
The P-CEP (Plymouth-Canton Educational Park) is huge and Maggie is thrilled that she will have 7,000 potential friends to make. Friends come in other unexpected places, a McDonald's where a P-CEP student befriended her and a German exchange student down the street, Frenzi, who is just a delight. Maggie has observed that in some cases there is a lower level of respect for the teacher than in her native Poland. This is surprising to her and perhaps a "red flag" for us. Class assignments have already led to a number of "Kodak moments" — in particular an abbreviation exercise in Forensic Science. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) came out as Federal BURIAL Investigation. Priceless.
As for U.S. society, Maggie is very perplexed that gun violence seems to be a daily affair in the U.S. and Detroit in particular, while conceding that there are bad people and good people everywhere in the world. There is really no way to treat this issue with "rose colored glasses" nor do I think it should be. I tell her that one of our strengths is that we can admit our problems openly and try to resolve them as best we can as a community and nation.
Maggie will work hard at perfecting her English while she is here, but is doing very well. We sometimes watch DVD movies together with the English subtitles on. This allows her to create word and pronunciation associations. She is always asking me to define a particular word here and there. Makes watching the DVD much more "hands on," however interpreting the Olde English in Lord of The Rings ("thou shalt cast the demon ring of power into the fiery chasm of Mordor") is particularily challenging. We may not realize ourselves that slang makes up a great part of our language, but is not taught formally. I want Maggie to get involved in sports and other activities and not to be a "couch potato."
Maggie has also noticed that since she arrived in the US that the Tigers have won almost every game and is becoming an avid fan. She wonders if this “luck” will hold over the Red Wings, Lions and Pistons' seasons. I advised her to "not count her chickens until they are hatched" and most most definitely to "not hold her breath!"