Monday, May 7, 2007



Finally, a exchange blog.

I'm already an avid blogger, on my other blog, I have, um, at least 130 entries in around 6 months. But I've been waiting to get a blog specifically for my exchange.

This entry could be rawther long....

Well... welcome to Ich bin Zahnpaste... yes. My amazing German skills are revealed to all.

If you're here from my other blog, welcome, if you're a friend, welcome, if you're a family member, welcome, if you're another exchanger, welcome, if you're some weirdo who found this through some random search on Google... um, you're in for a treat?

Many people start a blog and never use it... and I can assure you that that will not happen. I have been avidly blogging frequently for over 2 years.. so it's safe to say that this will be updated... unless I don't have access to a computer in Switzerland. I will limit my computer use while there.

You may have already noticed that there are two blog entries here from January, those, I simply pasted in from my other blog.

If you have no idea what's going on and what this blog is out, here's an overview:
One day, I decided I wanted to become an exchange student. Why? Because there were foreign people here and I wanted to get in on it. If they came to America, couldn't we go there? I started avidly doing research. After looking at various organizations and speaking to a family friend, I realized that the best option for me would be Rotary. I'll do a rave about Rotary in another blog. Anyways, I called some numbers.. accidentally got a man while he was on vacation in Arizona, and made some connections. Within a couple weeks, my family and I were interviewed at Starbucks. I was just days away from the deadline.. so close to missing it. So I ran around town trying to get all the paperwork filled out. I got my application papers in. Got accepted to go on to the next phase. Got interviewed again by a couple nice folks. And was accepted as an acutal exchange student. One day I got a call, I had been accepted to Switzerland. I was quite excited. I accepted that offer. And here I am.
There is so much more to that story, I could elaborate for hours, but that would become a huge walllish block of text.. which no one wants to read.

Anyways, I simply want to do something with my life. I've been in advanced classes since fifth grade, always pushing myself. And I'm realizing that I want to do more, push myself further.. but not in an academic sense. I realized that the best years of my life were being drained away doing homework.. not living life. Of course I'll do more that my share of homework in Switzerland, but on top of that I get the experience of a lifetime. I get to experience a new culture, language, families, friends, life.

I leave around August 2nd or something like that. I will come back sometime after June 15.

Yes. That is 11 months.

The six most common questions/comments I get almost daily are as follows:

1. Won't you get homesick?
Haha.. are you kidding me? Of course! Not seeing my family for so long with drive me insane. But that's part of the experience. The "game plan" is to keep myself so busy, that I won't have time to be homesick. This will included finding new activities and hobbies to occupy myself with. With no time to mope around at home, I won't have time to feel sorry for myself and start feelings homesick. And being homesick and missing everyone is quite differnt. I can miss you all without falling into the deep abiss of depression.
2. Are you excited?
I think the answer to this one is just about as obvious as the other question. I am so excited. Although, I have to admit, it is quite unrealistic at the moment. My mind is having a hard time even fathoming that I'll be gone for 11 months. But if thousands and thousands of other kids have done it, why can't I? I'm excited about all the new experiences I will, well, experience.
3. What do they speak in Switzerland?
In Switzerland, the majority, around 63.7 % speak German, 20.4 % French, 6.5% Italian, and less than 1% Romansch.. and yes, I have memorized these numbers and rattled them off to people when they ask. So of Switzerland has four official languages, German, French, Italian, and Romansch. This is because Switzerland is, well, it's like it's the middle of everything. It's touching Germany, Italy, and France.. so it's got so many different cultures mixed and blended and packed into one little country. Yes. It is quite small. But it's pretty much amazing.
4. So, what language do you speak?
5. How will you learn the language?
Just like all the past exchangers before me. Yes, I am studying German in my free time at home and going over the book they sent me from Switzerland (the Yellow Bible), but a lot of language skills are picked up through immersion. Think about it, teens are sent to places such as the Czech Republic.. but no school that I've ever found teachers Czech. When someone is placed in a country where they don't speak their language, the mind is forced to adapt and learn the language for survival. Complete immerision is the way to go.
6. Enjoy Sweden...
It's Switzerland.. not Sweden. And the folks there, they are Swiss. Swiss. Swiss... not Swedish or Swedes or something like that.

I'll probably blog a couple more times tonight.. I've been waiting for so long to get this blog. I just wasn't able to come up with the right title.

God Bless,


1 comment:

Sarah Taylor said...

Maggie. You are too much fun! I love the blog. Have fun in Sweden, you Swedish-Swede.