April- Finally winter’s gone, the flowers are blooming and the land is looking fresh, lush and beautiful.  Having no fences around most places helps me get to appreciate all of the wonderful change of season…all well until I got another cold! I didn’t manage to go to school for a couple of days, but I returned revitalized and ready to continue on with the year.

Highlights of the month?

I got to participate in Jewish Passover, twice! It was really interesting having insight to the Judaism, and being Christian, looking back at the origins of my religion. I participated in reading the Haggadah, making some of the Seder food, and even being stuck with having gefilte fish for the next couple of days after that ha-ha. Being part of the painting crew in theatre guild is quite the commitment, but it paid off after seeing the final set that I helped paint! The Wizard of Oz show that my school had been working on since January was quite phenomenal, from the actors, to paint crew’s work, sets, lights, carpentry crew. Students can do a whole lot of amazing work when led by individuals who are passionate and dedicated and can give off that energy to us also.

The Neutral Zone 35th Potential exhibition also occurred in which I was part of the Youth Curating team, and I soon found that my artwork was one of the 11 in my school to get accepted by the exhibition itself! This show is one of the biggest high school art shows within my area, and the work that got in was work that was really, really good. All types of artworks were submitted-Photography, paintings, drawings, ceramics and even graphic design, ranging from still life paintings to powerful political, environmental and social issues being expressed by the artist.

The end of April was the end of the school year for many college students, and for most the graduating seniors in the University of Michigan, it was their big graduation ceremony. I didn’t get to witness the ceremony, but I volunteered in assisting with the photo-taking process for the graduates, and it was a really unique experience seeing the different thoughts and feelings every graduate had.

What’s been going on in the beginning of May?

I find it entertaining to see all of the seniors in my humanities class be affected by “senioritis”- the stage in which they are really anxious to graduate, therefore they participate in slightly rebellious antics such as arriving to school late, complaining about school etc. There hasn’t been much going on, apart from attending school, participating in activities with my friends. Today I received a package from home with some gifts to give to my host family, and they were all very excited and grateful to receive them. My humanities class also got the experience of visiting the Toledo Museum of Art, in which we saw some of the most famous paintings (frequently seen in our Art History Humanities lectures), in reality!

Excitement and anxiety about my return home is naturally coming to place, and it’s quite interesting having the same emotions I had before going on exchange, now happening before my exchange year ends. I’m not letting that make me feel down, but rather acknowledging the feelings I have, and making the most of the remaining time!​​​​