Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Meanwhile, Kim and Arrick tour Richmond.

While Ian was finishing up the final two hours of the German Academy, Arrick and I thought we'd kill some time. Ian couldn't speak to us in English anyway...so off we went! As we were driving I suddenly realized that though Arrick had been to our Nation's capital several times, he had never visited the actual capital building of Virginia!

The newly renovated Capital building

The General Assembly building.
When I go to Richmond, this is usually where I go.

A fountain at the base of the hill from the Capital building.
A cute little dock for the squirrels at the base of the fountain!
Clearly, our politicians in Virginia have a sense of humor!

Court building

Statue of George Washington
surrounding George are other famous politicians and thinkers from Virginia

A different view, same statue

A bridge we had the luck to go over not once but twice and pay both times!
Yup...we got lost...but not to worry, we enjoyed the sights!
navigation system??? yeah it was on...lol
Same bridge, different side!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ian goes to the Governor's School, The DeutschAcademie!

The Deutschakademie 2009

After four years of studying German in school, Ian's German teacher told Ian and I that he was going to submit Ian's name to the Governor's school for the German Academy. Ian would have to pass verbal and written tests to compete with German Students all over the state of Virginia. Only 45 of the best German students would be admitted. Ian made it!

So, after much shopping, filling out paper work and packing....we were off to Richmond where for three weeks, at Virginia Commonwealth University, Ian would be immersed into the German language and culture. He wasn't allowed his cell phone, calls to or from home but he could write and recieve letters from home. (Ian wrote home a few times, unfortunately, the first letter he wrote and that I was soo anxious to get, was written entirely in GERMAN!) While in this program, he was not allowed to speak English or read English. I even ordered him, Lord of the Rings in German so he'd have something to read!

Ian explains the "art" of loading the car....Arrick hears "blah,blah, blah and blah".

Arrick happily helped Ian load up his gear!

We got him settled into his dorm room at VCU.

He donned his German Academy T shirt and we were off to the opening Ceremonies where we would meet the other 44 students in the German Academy.
The director welcomed all of us, assured parents that our children would be well cared for, fed and would learn a great deal, visit museums and learn much about the culture of the language they were studying. The director gave us 15 minutes to say our goodbyes and their Deutschakademie adventure was about to begin!

So we hugged Ian goodbye and wondered how all of those 45 kids who were so shy were going to make it through three weeks! We checked the blog as often as I could...and soon found out!

The German Students were divided into three classes. This is Ian's class just minutes after all of the parents left! I was hoping that he would make some friends and have a nice time. Little did I know.....

His roommate James, was a chicken!
Actually they had a costume ball and this was his costume. He and Ian hit it off. I sort of feel bad for the German teachers hindsight!

He met some girls......They had dances...quite a few of them, dances that is!

Showed their spirit at football (soccer) games and during the Olympiad, that "Germany" won by the way!

Had more costume balls and played adult supervised games!
Ian's costume was the German army uniform. ( I seem to recall telling you Ian, both feet on the floor at all times! lol)

Ian and Frau Wilroy, one of his teachers at the German Academy goofing off International Market! All of the schools made things to "sell". Keep in mind they could not speak English, only the languages spoken at the Academies.

Ian's sign! "One language, one people, one free Germany."

yup...that is Ian!

They donned their country's colors for "football games and the Olympiad with the other full and partial immersion language classes! The Germany Academy, by the way, won the Olympics!! Ach Ja!!!
The German Academy went to the German, Swiss and Austrian Embassies where they learned more about each of those countries. They were treated some tasty cakes in Austria, recieved some chocolate in Switzerland and cool German swag from the German Embassy!

On this last day, they look more like a big ole family who had the time of their lives, rather than homesick teenagers who didn't have access to internet, cell phones or parents!! Well I don't think they missed the parents as much as they missed the cell phones or internet!

The closing ceremonies for all of the language schools began in this theater. Some students from each of the language schools performed a scene from Snow white and the seven dwarfs in their school language. There was a scene in Japanese, French, Arabic, Latin, Spanish,Russian, Chinese, and German. Some of the school's costumes even reflected the culture they had been immersed in the past weeks! After the play, we were off to the smaller individual school closing ceremonies.
Each language school was assigned a color! As you can see, there were quite a few!

The German Academy director is in the center, Frau Viki. She is from Bavaria. They told us at the opening ceremonies that the students may have a difficult time speaking English again when we went home. I didn't believe her, but she was right!! It was kind of funny!
Hugs and the recieving of the certificates!

They learned folk dancing....they shared with us a dance they learned! Keep in mind, the students were not allowed to speak English till they were dismissed from the Academy! So Arrick and I arrived at 8am! Just in time to load Ian's gear...and while he visited with his friends and teachers saying goodbyes, Arrick and I toured around Richmond. we had about 2 hours to kill. That will be in the next post!
Ian managed to take several classes, the blog, the newspaper, the choir and folk dancing. Here the choir sang their last song together!

Ian and his crew!

Spring Concert for Orchestra

The spring concert this year had some very special guest conductors and guests playing with the high school students. 5th graders were invited to play with the high school students. They all learned the same music and played in the concert.
Ian and his violin buddy.

Anna, a friend to both Arrick and Ian is a huge fan of Phantom of the Opera and requested that for her final high school concert, that they play a piece from the Opera. Ian, played the Phantom!

He was moving so quickly it was difficult to get a good shot of him!

Heading home to Virginia

After all of the fun of Mount Spokane, Graduation, visiting and meeting family, Touring Canada and hopping into Idaho, it was time to head home to Virginia.

Ian and John play a quick game while we wait for our flight.

A view of Long Lake, I believe, just North of Spokane.

Arrick, John and Ian reading on the flight.

West of Spokane, the terrain reminds me of a velvet patch work quilt.

flying over the mountains...so pretty.

We saw this restaurant in SEA TAC and I had to take a picture. We call Arrick Big foot sometimes, because he has big feet! LOL