brechin teenager Imogen Sherrit is already half-way through her gap year to America and has sent in an update on her recent activities.
She stated: “Well, a fair few things have happened since I last wrote!”
“As usual the run up to Christmas was very busy because of in-school concerts, Christmas shopping and the rest, but my Christmas day in the US was very enjoyable.
“I got to meet relatives of my host family, and received lots of lovely presents from all, both here and your side of the pond.
“On the day of Christmas Eve I donned my apron and made a clootie dumpling for the next day, which was well received by my host family.
“I brought in the bells on Hogmanay at my host sister’s friend’s house, and the next day I brought shortbread to some friends of my host family when we went to visit.
“They were intrigued when I told them about the tradition of first-footing and bringing shortbread.
“Over here, if you have an A overall in your classes and less than three days absence, you’re exempt from taking mid-term exams.
“I was glad of the lack of stress considering I’ve been so used to January prelims before now.
“The New Year also brought some changes at school as we moved into the new semester.
“My classes are different, except for chorus which is all year, since it isn’t a core subject.
“The other three are now culinary arts, astronomy, and US history.
“Since my time is roughly half up, I had a mid-year orientation at our coordinator’s house a couple of weeks ago.
“Unfortunately I never got to see the lovely Megan Tait, also a former Brechin High student, since she’s in South Carolina.
“As I’m studying marketing at RGU next year, I decided to join my school’s marketing club, DECA. They offer trips such as the one I took to New York in November, but they also hold competitions.
“I took part in this year’s one, and it was a great experience.
“I even managed to place in the award ceremony and bring one home for my school.
“As we all know, it was Burns night on Friday, so I’ve been educating people on what that entails too.
“On Saturday I went to a Scottish festival with my host family which was good fun. I even heard some real Scottish accents! We really do stick out in amongst all the American twang.
“My exchange sister and I took part in some Scottish country dances, all of which I’d never actually heard of before, ironically enough.
“We then went tea tasting while my host parents went whisky tasting, since we’re not 21. I think they got the better end of the deal.
“On Sunday I prepared my own take on a Burns supper for my host family. In the absence of real haggis, I was forced to do mince and tatties instead. But along with some Scotch broth and Abernethy biscuits, it was a nice wee slice of home.
“And, of course, I confused my host family with some Burns poetry and the Selkirk Grace.
“I think hearing my host dad trying to recite Burns’ Address to a Haggis is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a long time!”