Tuesday was my first day of school in Malaysia! I was put in Science Stream, which basically means I am in class with kids who are studying Math, General Studies (a class about Malaysian laws, rules, and customs), English (known as MUET here), and two Science classes. These Science classes include Biologi (Biology), Kimia (Chemistry), Fizik (Physics), and IT. My school is St. Michael's Institution. Tuesday, I was put into Science 4, which was a class that had Biology and Chemistry as its two Science classes. The kids were very welcoming, and the classes were interesting, but I decided to switch to Science 1 on Wednesday because I wanted to experience taking Physics, which I have not learned in detail before. The kids in Science 1 are also really nice, and I am really enjoying learning new subjects in Chemistry and Physics.
The class structure in Malaysia is really different from that of the U.S. Unlike in the U.S., in Malaysia, the students all stay in one classroom, and the teachers come to those classrooms to teach the students. Also, some students have school in the morning while others have school in the afternoon/evening. Usually, higher forms (kids in the higher grades) have school in the morning from 7:30 to about 1:05. Lower forms (kids in the lower grades) have school in the afternoon between 12:30 and 6:30. This arrangement allows for all of the kids to fit into the school and have the same space while they are learning.
Also, I fasted during the daylight hours of Tuesday to get a feel for the traditional Ramadan fasting experience. I felt hungry and thirsty at times of the day, but I was able to control myself enough to not eat until about 7:05 PM. Although I am not Muslim, I really enjoyed going through the fasting experience to see how Muslims live their lives one month of every year. I now understand the significance of the fast, and I am hoping to fast at least 2 more times during Ramadan!
I've just gotten through my first week of school, and I feel great about my class! I'm hoping to post a little later this week or sometime next week. Selemat jalan!
Me in the national uniform for Malaysia with my school badge and tie