Since the arrival of Lara, our German Exchange Student, we have learned a lot! One lesson is the difference between German Schools and American Schools.
The biggest difference… German schools don’t have school colors or mascots or sports teams or sporting events. Lara quickly learned that was not the case in America. From the moment she walked into her new school, she could see Black and Teal were prominent colors… in the hallways…on banners… on posters… on students’ clothing! And a Hawk…the school’s mascot… was just as noticeable!
In preparation for her first American Football game, Lara purchased a Hawk Game Day T-shirt at the school Spirit Store. Of course, there was more than one style T-shirt to choose from. I think my daughter, Brittany, has a complete collection! Some are grey with black and teal writing, some are black with teal and white writing. Whatever color… it doesn’t matter. The goal is to show your team spirit in American High School with anything you can find… T-shirts, beads, jewelry, flags… anything!
When Lara came home from school Friday, she wasn’t sure if she was going to the game that night. It was the second Home game. The week before was just too hot and she was still adjusting. This time, we asked her, let her weigh it out and see how she felt. Again she said she would go if it wasn’t too hot. Our kids, Travis and Brittany decided to go to the game about an hour before. Lara quickly made a decision… about 10 minutes before the kids left… and hurried to change into her Hawk Shirt!
Of course, as an annoying, persistent American Mother of 3 teenagers now… I made sure they had at least one camera. And I told each of them, several times, and all the way out the door, “Be sure to get pictures of Lara at her first game! And be sure you are in the pictures too!!!” I’m sure they would say it was more like I was nagging them than asking them!
For the next couple hours, Terry and I thought about all 3 of them at the game. We kept saying, “I hope their having fun.” ‘I hope Lara doesn’t get lost in the crowd.” “I hope the kids take care of her at the game.” I guess this was a clear sign of what some call the “empty nest syndrome”…. when all the kids are out for the night and the “old parents” are sitting at home.
The kids came home around 10:00pm. Terry and I pounced on them immediately with so many questions….”How was the game? Did you get pictures? What did you think of your first American football game? Was it loud? Was it exciting?” The one question we forgot to ask was, “Who won?” After all, that wasn’t the most important thing!
Lara said she enjoyed it! She said it was very exciting and noisy! She hung out with Brittany and Brittany’s friends… some girls she already knows from school. She said it was nice to recognize a few kids from other classes too. She thought it was funny how some of the kids paint their faces teal colored and how everyone seemed to know and enjoy everyone, no matter what grade they were in! She loved the marching band and how the band sat in the bleachers and played music during the game! And those cheerleaders…. she laughed at how “happy” and “peppy” they were…and how they jumped up and down and clapped after every cheer!
Yep… she definitely experienced an American High School Football Game with true color, emotion, sights and sounds!!! Mission accomplished!