Here’s how it’s been going:
We managed to fit all of my luggage into my host family’s Skoda, the Czech national car, and drove about one hour to Kolin.
They had come to meet me in Prague, where I had arrived earlier and gone through orientation along with other newly arrived AFS students.
After a good night’s sleep, we walked to the Secondary School of Nursing for the first day of school. My host mother, Frantiska Markova, is a teacher there.
I was introduced to the school’s headmaster and then headed off to class. Frantiska had worked it out so that I would be in her class. She introduced me to fellow students, and then I got a tour of the school.
Students here have four classes a day. The first two are general subjects, such as history and mathematics. The last two are specialized classes ranging from analytic chemistry to somatology (the properties of organic bodies).
The Secondary School of Nursing is a very old and established school. It went through many changes during the (1989 anti-communist) revolution. Under a grant from the government, the school has begun to restore the crumbling facade. Before entering, you can see the building supports and new windows. They have replaced the front doors, and the inside smells of paint.
Before the revolution, there were 40 students to a class. The number has dropped to 24, so the administration has cut the number of classes offered. There are about 25 teachers, including two men. Over the year, about 40 doctors visit to teach their specialties.