I go to a 6th grade here in Berlin and understand that it is probably different in Gymnasium but here goes; I go to a huge school in America with more than 1000 kids in one grade and where the work is really hard but I still find the amount of recess here amazing. In my school in America you don’t even have recess after 6th grade even though we have school till 3 pm every day. I think that it is great that kids get to have so much time outside to play because I do believe it’s easier to learn afterwards. Also this may not be the main solution but more recess would probably help America’s obesity problem! I also think that the playgrounds here are better because while a little more dangerous, they are way more creative and fun.
A Book of Observations
Breakfast: Like most of the notes following, this observation most likely does not apply to all of Germany or the US. However, in my experiences in the US i have found that there is much less of an emphasis on eating breakfast and when there is breakfast I have found it to be less healthy. Also, in Germany everybody eats bread or „Brötchen“ for breakfast which is not as popular in America. I always ate cereal, oatmeal or an egg for breakfast in the US whereas here I normal go to the bakery one block away and buy bread.
Something Fun (about Germany)
I have been to a pool or watermark times in Germany now, and there is one main thing that has occurred to me. I have found that the rules are extremely lenient compared to those in the US. The lifeguards here in Germany were almost always nowhere to be seen and on tubes obviously meant for one person there were ten six year old boys in tiny speedos colliding down the slide. I believe that this is because there is much less of a mindset that whenever any accident happens, it is somebody’s fault. This sprouts the sue everyone paranoia that goes on in the US.
Something Better (about Germany)
Gun Control. However, less people smoke in America.
Something The Same
I have found that the kids here (at least in my class), listen to the same pop music as the kids do in America. This is the same with lots of cultural things such as clothing stores, restaurants and social networking.
Something Cool About Living Here
Bike ways. This is so cool. On a bike I can fly through blocks of extreme traffic that could take up to an hour in a car. This is an efficient feeling that does not come through the stressful chore dodging through stubborn cars unwilling to stop in much of the U.S. As I discover more about Germany and Berlin, I am astounded again and again by the tremendous amount of effort the Germans put into „green-living“. From bike paths to compost to solar panels I find that Germany is much more prepared for the future of sustainable energy and preventing global warming.
Now granted, I know this is partially because of living in a city but I would like to call attention to the incredible pulic transportation system that berlin has. Between U-bahn, S-bahn and Deutche-Bahn, one can travel almost anywhere within the country via train within reason. Coming from a country where gigantic fuel-sucking mini vans are the average mean of transportation I find this fantasic. Not only are trains great for the enviornment, they are a exemely cost-efficient way to get around a city. I have now lived here about two months and have comfortable gotten around simply on bike, bus and train.