Another letter from America

HOMECOMING: Imogen gets in to the spirit of things at her American high school in Virgina, USA.
HOMECOMING: Imogen gets in to the spirit of things at her American high school in Virgina, USA.

Month two of my American experience is quickly drawing to a close which is quite frightening.

To cover everything that has happened in the past month would be really difficult so instead I’ll tell you about Homecoming since we don’t have it in Scotland.

Every school has a Homecoming game and then a dance on the following night. This past week was Spirit week, which is the week in the run-up to the game and each day we had to dress up according to a different theme. For example, we had Costume Day, Wacky Wednesday, America Day and so on. Friday was Falcon Friday, so we got all dressed up in our school colours with war paint and other crazy get-up.

All of our classes were shorter on Friday because school finished early on the day of the Homecoming game due to the Pep Rally. It’s basically just to get everyone excited for the game, but it was good fun. Our senior class president started it off with a lovely rendition of the American national anthem, then the cheerleaders did their fight song and a dance display and we had lots of competitions between the freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. There’s some serious rivalry there! It’s a bit like the rivalry between the houses at Brechin High, but way more intense! There was also a parade in Old Town Warrenton with the cheerleaders, the band and floats from each of the different clubs and teams at school. My host sister and I walked in to see it with some friends before we had to get back to school for the game.

Normally before each football game the band plays the national anthem, but this time my chorus class sang it especially for Homecoming. We got such an amazing round of applause, but it’s hard to tell if that was because we sounded good or just because Americans are so patriotic. Our Falcons were playing the Brentsville Tigers and beat them something like 53 points to 0.

Everyone was really excited for the dance. To me it just felt like our Prom, but I think they make an even bigger deal out of Prom than we do. They had a bit of a Wizard of Oz theme, a weird coincidence to me since that was Brechin High’s school show this past June. It was a really good night, although I must admit I missed our traditional Scottish dances. A guid auld Strip the Willow would have made my night. They finished the night off by having a procession for the Homecoming King and Queen and the rest of the Homecoming court, so I made sure I got lots of photos.

I feel like I’m growing more accustomed to American life now, but for me it is definitely more restricting than at home. America is not big on public transport whatsoever, except in the bigger cities, so if I need to go somewhere I usually need to be picked up and dropped off. I’m used to either walking or taking the bus or train. It’s different, as most things are.

Next week I go on a trip to see Washington D.C with my co-ordinator and the other exchange students in Virginia, so I’ll have lots to talk about after that I’m sure!