by staff writer Milagros Gomez
*Gomez is a visiting student from Saint Dominic in Buenos Aries and is attending Village for 3rd quarter only.
On Tuesday 9 Jan, I had my first complete day of school at Village and I kept comparing the organization of Saint Dominic and Village; everything is extremely different from what I’m used to and there were some things I didn’t really imagine.
One of the most notorious differences is the fact that we have to stay for lunch at school. Back in Saint Dominic one can choose if they want to stay at school during lunch hours or if they want to go to their houses, and since the distances are not so huge between place and place most people decide to eat at home, and the fact that we have more time to do so also contributes to that decision. Over here in Village we only have thirty minutes, while in Saint Dominic we are given one hour which gives us enough time not only to eat but to do other stuff, like taking a quick nap for example.
A characteristic which also differs in both schools is the way the classes are organized. Village has an A day and B day, 1st,3rd, 5th and 7th period are on the A day and 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th period are on the B day, while in Argentina we have all of those periods in one day. For example, my schedule for Monday last year was:
- 7:30 AM to 8:40 AM Chemistry (1st period)
- 8:40 AM to 8:45 AM Break
- 8:50 AM to 9:40 Chemistry AM (2nd period)
- 9:40 AM to 9:55 AM Break
- 10:00 AM to 11:00 Math AM (3rd period)
- 11:00 AM to 11:45 Math AM (4th period)
- 11:45 AM to 1:00 PM Lunch Break
- 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Literature (5th Period)
- 2 PM to 2:10 PM Break
- 2:15 PM to 3:10 PM Literature (6th Period)
- 3:10 PM to 3:20 PM Break
- 3:25 PM to 4:20 PM Economics (7th Period)
Not only how much the classes last is different from Village, but also the time we get in and out of the school is too as shown above. Another major difference is the fact that over here we can choose some of the classes we take and most of the time we won’t be with the people in our same grade, while in Saint Dominic it is always like that. Argentinian schools have less students than schools over here, which allows the whole grade to be in the same class. If you’re a senior, you will have all your classes with the seniors, and the same things goes for the sophomores, juniors, etc. Because the whole grade is in the same class and having everyone move for every period would be a mess, we don’t shift from classroom to classroom; the teachers are the ones that do. The classes can’t be chosen, you have to take them whether you like it or not.
Another thing that characterizes the different schools is the sports programme. In Village, the school provides the students with extracurricular activities like tennis or swimming so, in that way, more people can access to them but in Saint Dominic that doesn’t happen. We do have sports, but as classes not as an extracurricular thing. So if you want to do a sport after school, you have to look for a place to do it outside of the organization.
There are a lot of other differences, but these are the most notorious ones. Both schools differ in many aspects and, like I mentioned in the previous article, it’s hard to get used to it but not impossible. All you have to do is try to enjoy everything as much as you can.