An e-mail interview with American students

"What would you like to know about the daily life of an American pupil?"

That was the question at the beginning of the lesson in which the English course was introduced to their partner class in the USA. After the following questions had been worked out they were sent to Mike Loricco, the teacher of  our partner class at the "Hopewell Valley Regional School" in Pennington, New Jersey. The answers our students received via e-mial have been arranged into the following table.

After having read the interview you can try to answer Katharina`s questions!

Click here!


How many lessons do you have a day?

Andrew: I have nine periods a day, including lunch and Study Hall.
David: The day is divided into 9 periods.
Nicholas: In our school we have nine classes a day including a lunch.
William: We have nine periods a day.

When does the first lesson start?

Annie: Our first class is at 7:45.
Ben: We start school at 7:45am and it ends at 2:45pm.
David: Our school starts at 7:45 and ends at 2:45.
Fallon: School starts at 7:45.

How do you get to school?

Andrew: I take the bus, currently, but many students drive or get a ride.
Annie: My neighbor who is a senior gives me a ride to school. Because I am only a junior in highschool, I am not provided with a parking space. All of the seniors either get rides to school or they drive themselves to school. Usually kids in the other grades that can not drive take the bus. Buses are provided for every student. I don't like to take the bus though because they are too crowded.
David: I drive to school during the week.
Kenneth: I used to take the bus last year, but know that my sister can drive, I get a ride from her everday. We leave home at about 7:20 and get to school around 7:35am. This works out rather nice, because I get to sleep in an extra 20 minutes.
Louis: I get to school by walking down the street from my house to a bus stop. Its not an actuall public bus stop but a designated place where a big yellow automobile, known as a schoolbus, picks me up. The bus arrives at 7:00 am every morning that i have school.
Rebecca: Most people ride a bus to school. When I rode the bus it picked me up at the end of my driveway. I had to be there at around 7:15 in the morning. now, my friend drives me to school and he comes to my house every morning and gives me a ride.
Sheila: My bus comes at about seven fifteen, my bus stop is right in front of my house so I rarely miss the bus. Next year my sister is going to be a senior so maybe she'll drive me to school. School isn't far from our house. The bus ride lasts maybe seven to ten minutes, depending on the traffic.
William: Since I am a Senior, I drive my 1971 MGB.

How long are your lessons?

Annie: Each class is 42 minutes long.
Nancy: Each class is 42 minutes long
William: Periods are 42 minutes.

How many lessons do you have a day?

Annie: At my school we have 9 classes a day,  including lunch.
Ben: There are nine periods a day.
Fallon: We have nine classes a day.

When do you have to go to school in the morning?

Eric: My bus picks me up at 7:20. Homeroom starts at 7:45. My first period starts at 7:55.
Marc: I wake up at 6:51 and get driven to school in the morning by my dad.
Sheila: Well in the morning, I get up at six thirty.
William: I have to be in school by 7:45 AM every morning from Monday to Friday.

Do you have lunch at school?

Andrew: Yes, I have lunch at my school.
David: For lunch we can go out to eat or we can go home. But we also we can buy sandwiches or a hot lunch if we want.
Diana: At my school we have three periods of lunch. This is because our school has too many students to fit in our two cafeterias. Seniors have the privilege of leaving school grounds for lunch. So on my lunch break I usually go to a nearby pizza parlor.
Eric: Yes, we have lunch at school. We eat lunch when we have our lunch period. The seniors go out to lunch.
Fallon: We have lunch at our school. Almost everywhere around where I live has lunch at school. I wish I went out or home for lunch.
Jamieson: I am a Sophomore so I always have my lunch at school in one of our two cafeterias. Most Seniors, however, take advantage of their privilege to go out for lunch during their designated 42 minute lunch period.
Kenneth: Yes, we do have lunch at school. Our lunch periods are 5, 6, and 7th period. Each period is 42 minutes long. If you are a Senior, you can get to leave school and go out to lunch, wherever you want, as long as you are back in time for your next period class.
Louis: Yes we have lunch during our school. Since our school is too large to have one lunch period for the entire school, we have 3 separate lunch periods. The times of these periods are 10:59 - 11:41 (period 5), 11:45-12:27 (period 6), and 12:31-1:13 (period 7) I have lunch 6 period. We even have 2 cafeterias, a hot one, and a cold one. The cold one has a few snack and drink machines for easy access.
William: Yes, I have lunch at school and since I am a senior, I am allowed to go off campus for lunch with my frineds.

Have you got a cafeteria at school?

Louis: We have 2 cafeterias, one is a hot cafeteria, which is designed for lunches prepared by the school, which are suppossed to be hot, but its school lunch, so they are not. We have a cold cafeteria, which has just some tables, and some snack machines, and soda machines.

How long are the breaks?

Annie: Between each class we only have 4 minutes to get there. I would love to have a whole 25 minutes though.
Frank: We have no breaks. We work constantly under the guise of our instructors.
Kenneth: Our breaks inbetween classes are only 3 minutes long. The teachers think that it is enough time to get from one class to another, but us students think otherwise. We think that our passing time should be around 5 minutes long. Because sometimes you will have a class on one side of the school and another on the other side, and it takes you longer than 3 minutes to get from one place to another. That is why we think it should be 5 minutes.
Rebecca: We get four minutes to get to our next class. It gives you enough time to go to your locker and then to you next class.

What kind of sports do you have at your school?

Sheila: We do we have soccer, field hockey, and cross country in the fall, wrestling, ice hockey, swimming, basketball and indoor track in the winter, and outdoor track, lacrosse, baseball and softball in the spring.
Thomas: I wrestle and do pole-vault in track. I use to play ice hockey, but I still watch it on occasion.
Wayne: Our school has many sports during the fall, winter, and spring. In the fall there is cross country, field hockey, and soccer. During the winter we have swimming, basketball, wrestling, hockey, and winter track. In the spring time we have track and field, lacrosse, baseball, and softball. I join the track team every year.

Do you have to wear uniforms at school?

David: No, we do not have to wear uniforms to our school. We are allowed to wear what we want to wear.
Eric: No, we do not have to wear uniforms to school. We can wear what ever is apropriate to school.
Jamieson: No, public schools usually don't have to wear uniforms but we do have a school dress code which states: no highly physical clothing(tank tops or swimwear), clothing must cover all undergarments(no sagging pants, halter tops, or tops with thin straps), no clothing that relate to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, and no hats, bandanas, or any other type of head gear. However, our school board has considered a possible school uniform but nothing has been finalized.
Kerry: No, we do not have to wear uniforms at school. We are able to wear whatever we want as long as it is appropriate for school. We are not aloud to wear things that advertise drugs or alcohol, violence, and profanity.
Louis: No we do not have to wear school uniforms, we can dress casual during school hours. We do though have a school dress code that gives us regulations to what we can wear. Items such as tanktops or swimwear are prohibited. Clothing that reveals undergarments, or is otherwise too revealing are prohibited. Anything with profanity on it is prohibited. And hats, bandanas, or anyhead gear is prohibited.
Nicholas: At our school we are not required to wear a specific uniform.
Wayne: No we do not wear uniforms to school. Usually you can wear anything  you want at this school, but there are restrictions. The things that we can't wear are tank tops, swim wear, anything that does not cover our undergarments and hats or any type of hat gear.

Do you have school on Saturdays?

David: No, we do not go to school on Saturdays. We have both Saturday andSunday off.
Fallon: We don't have school on Saturdays too. The Prep Schools around here do have school on Saturdays.
Kerry: No, we do not have school on Saturdays. We go to school Monday through Friday and we have off on Saturday and Sunday. Every once and a while we have a day off from school due to holidays or weather problems.
Louis: No, we don't have school on Saturdays, we have 5 day weeks for school, So we have 2 day weekends. Saturday and Sunday are days off for us. However, we do sometimes have longer weekends when school will be closed for some apparent reason, usually a holiday.
Rebecca: No, there is no school on Saturday. On Saturday's I usually go out and chill with my friends. We go see movies or just hang out at someones house or just go somewhere.

How long are your summer vacations?

Annie: Our summers are about 8 weeks, we get out of school at the end of June and we return in the beginning of September.
Jamieson: We have about two months for summer break.
Nancy: We have vacation from begining of July until end of August.
Nicholas: At our school we have off from the end of June to the begining of September, so thats about 2.5 months.
Rebecca: We get out of school in June and then we have to go back to school in the beginning of September. It's a nice break but I think that it should be a little longer.
Todd: My summer vacation is a little more than 2 months long. It is about 9 to 10 weeks.

Have you got Christmas holidays?

Jay Yes, we have a Christmas holiday. It usually starts on the 23rd of december and lasts about two or three days after the new-years. This year, two friends, and i are going to go to Lake Tahoe, which is between California and Nevada. We are going to go snowboarding every day there.
Kerry: Yes, we have Christmas holidays. During the Christmas holidays we have about a week and a half off from school. Our Christmas vacation includes Christmas eve, Christmas, and New Years.
Rebecca: Our winter vacation is like a week long.
Todd: We get about 9 days off for Christmas break. Our Spring break is about 9 days too.

How many classes have you got?

David: This school contains grades 9-12.


Which languages can you learn?

Annie: The languages that are available to learn at our school are, German, Latin, French, and Spanish. If there is another language that interests you, you can do an independent study. That means that you learn the language on your own and a teacher helps you with a curriculum and other things that you might need help on.
David: We have several different languages we can learn. In our school you can learn French, German, Spanish, and Latin.
Diana: In our school you can take many foreign languages. Such languages include, Spanish, German, French, and Latin. I took Spanish for three years but I no longer take it now.
Jay At Hopewell, I believe you could learn four languages. Spanish, French, German, and Latin. I have been taking Spanish for five years. The most popular language to take is Spanish.
Sheila: We can choose what language we want to take. I take Spanish, but Latin, German and French are also offered.
Wayne: The languages that we can learn in this school are latin, french, spanish, and german. We start learning foreign language when we are in in 7th grade.

Are there any school clubs?

Diana: Our school has many different kinds of clubs. We have Y.E.S (youth environmental society), the Key Club, the American Cancer Society club, T.A.T.U. (teens against tobacco use), E.R.A.S.E. (ending racism and sexism everywhere), and Model United Nations. I belong to the American Cancer Society and Y.E.S.
Jamieson: I am not currently involved in any extracurricular activities or clubs but will soon tryout for the school ice hockey team and later the lacrosse team. However, there are many different clubs offered year round to any interested students.
Sheila: We have school clubs here too. Some of our clubs are community service oriented and others are more achidemically related. Some of our clubs are the Key club and Math League. We have a band and orchestra here at Hopewell.

Are you in a club?

Kenneth: No, I am not in a club, because I am busy doing sports everyday after school. I play soccer and baseball, although I am not playing baseball this year, I will be working out in the weight room on the off season. Although there are many clubs to join, I just don't have enough time to join a club this year.
Marc: I play the saxophone in the school band but play the guitar for fun.
William: Yes, I am in the ultimate frisbee club.

Have you got a band at your school?

Annie: We have a band at our school too, I am not in it though.
Frank I'm pretty sure we have a band in our school.
Jay: Yes we have a band at school. We also have an orchestra, a chorus, a jazz band, and a marching band. I have been playing drums in band for seven years. I played in the jazz band for two years, and i have been in the marching band for three years. And i have made brief cameos in the orchestra.
Kenneth: We have many bands in our school, but only a couple good ones.
Rebecca: We have a band too. There are about 90 students in the band.
Wayne: Yes we do have a band. Our band has about more than 100 people. Usually they will perform during holidays or special events for our school. During 9th period, they practice songs for upcoming events.

What subjects have you got?

Diana: In school I have 9 classes a day. These classes include, International Relations, study hall, Accounting I, Backgrounds for Literature, lunch, Field Ecology, Exploring the Internet,  Math, and Senior Option.
Jay: Everyone takes a lunch, a gym class, and usually a study hall. Besides that, you can pick six classes of your choice. This year i chose physics, FST (math), composition (english), spanish IV, band, and exploring the internet. The hardest class is probably physics.
Rebecca: Some of the subjects that I am taking are FST(functions, statistics, and trigonomitry) , physics, ceramics, internet, creative writing, International relations, and i have a lunch period and a study hall period.
Sheila: We are allowed to have two electives and besides lunch, gym and studyhall the rest of the classes are curricular. Some of our subjects include history, math, English, and others. We are also able to take foreign languages.

Have you got more boys or girls in your class?

William: We have more boys in our class.

Do you sometimes go on trips with your class or your school?

Fallon: I go on trips with a couple of my classes but not all of them.
Todd: We do not have that many school trips at my school.
William: We rarely go on trips with our class.

Are your teachers severe?

Kenneth: Our teachers are also very nice, but sometimes there are a few bad ones.
Todd: I have pretty good teachers at my school. They are also very nice.

Are your teachers old or young?

Annie: Most of the teachers in our school are fairly young. There are a couple of old teachers that have been teaching at our school for over 15 years. But like I said before most of them are young. I would say that the average age of our teachers is about 30 years old.
Kenneth: We have a variety of teachers in our school age wise. We have some teachers that have been hear when my parents went to this school. On the otherhand, we have some teachers that have just come out of college and are about 24 years old. We also have a hand full of teachers that are right in the middle and have been around for about 5-10 years.
Rebecca: Our teachers are all different ages.

How many students are in your class?

Todd: I have about 20 kids in each of my classes.

Does your school have any computer rooms?

David: Yes, we have lots of computer rooms. Everyone of our classrooms have at least one computer.
Fallon: Almost every room is our school has one computer in it. We have 7 computer room.
Jamieson: Yes, our school has many rooms designated souly for computers. There are a number of courses offered for use on the internet and certain programs. I am cuurently responding to these questions in a course called "Exploring the Internet".
Kerry: Yes, our school has a lot of computer rooms. We have about five or six different computer rooms and each room has up to date, brand new computers. Almost all of our classrooms have at least one computer in them which both students and teachers can access.
Louis: Our school has about 6 computer rooms, designated for computer use only. We have about 10 more computers located in the Library. I have computer class from 1:17 to 1:59 during the day.
Wayne: Our school has 6 computer rooms and one media center where there are computers in there too.

Does your school have a swimming pool?

Andrew: No, our school does not have a swimming pool
Annie: Our school does not have a swimming pool. We do have a swim team though. Our swim team practices at a local private school's pool. The reason that we don't have a pool is because our school is not very big and our swim team is not a main sport at our school so we saved money by just not building one.

What`s the name of your school?

Fallon: The name of our school is Hopewell Valley High.
Nancy: Our school is called Hopewell Valley Central High School.
Wayne: Our school's names is Hopewell Valley Central High School. This school is a public school. The mascot of our school is a bulldog

How old is your school?

Marc: I go to Hopewell Valley High School, its been here since 1965.

Try to answer Anja`s and Katharina`s questions!

1. How long are the lessons in your school?
2. Do theAmerican students have to wear uniforms at school?
3. Is there school on Saturdays?
4. Are there more boys or girls in the classes?
5. How old is their school?
6. What is the name of the school in Pennington, New Jersey?
7. How does David get to school?
8. How long are Todd`s summer vacation?
9. How many classes does the schoolhave?
10. Which languages can they learn?
11. In which club is Marc?

12. Does William sometimes go on trips with his class or his school?
13. What does Rebecca think about her teachers?
14. How many students are in Todd`s classes?

15. What does Andrew say about a swimmingpool in his school?

katharina + anja

Anja and Katharina

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