The Adventure of a Lifetime

– An International Student describes coming to America for the 2012-13 school year –

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
-George Bernard Shaw

I’m about to live the adventure of a lifetime. Well, at least for me and my family it will be.

typical chilean flag kite

In three more weeks, I leave Chile to travel to the United States, to finish my senior year. I’m going to a school in Florida, called Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy. A family that is very good friends with my family lives in Satellite Beach, and that’s where I’m going to stay.

When there was more time left for my trip, I was super excited. I’m still super excited now, but it’s a different type of excited. It’s like I don’t know what to expect, but I kind of do. It’s a super weird feeling, and it’s quite hard to explain.

What most worries me is that I won’t be here. I know I’ll make new friends, and I have a great famliy waiting for me there. I’ll just miss everything. I’ve never traveled so far away from home for so long. I really can’t wait to just get out there and live that experience, that rush of adrenaline and excitement. To set foot on that plane, that will take me away on a trip that just might define my future.

This is a huge opportunity, and I’m taking it. Just a regular seventeen year old, chilling on a couch, preparing herself mentally for a mega culture blow: from latina to americana.

HTEA International Student

The HTEA Tiger preps for the first day of school

HTEA Tiger at Florida Zoo
HTEA Tiger at Florida Zoo

Summer is just about over! I can’t believe it! I hope you enjoyed your time off. I sure did! I spent a few weeks visiting my cousins over in Asia and even took a short trip to visit a few friends in the Florida Zoo. It was sure nice to see everyone and we had a great time catching up. Vacation was nice but alas, it’s time to get back in the swing of things!

How do you prepare for your first day? Well, I have created the perfect checklist! Check it out and feel free to “borrow” it before your first day too!

Back To School

  1. Make sure my parents completed ALL the summer paperwork and of course, submitted my Fall lunch order (I simply MUST have a smoothie every week and I can’t pass up a steak sub!) They can find a list of everything they need on their My TigerWeb page.
  2. Read, sign and submit my Mobile Computing Device policy so I can bring my phone, tablet, and/or laptop to school (Grades 6-12 only).
  3. Get my uniform wardrobe ready for the next school year (after all, I did grow ANOTHER two inches over the summer!) Stop by the New and Used Uniform sale, check the HT Pinterest page ( for fabulous uniform outfit ideas, and take mom to my favorite shoe stores on tax-free weekend for new sneaks (bet you can’t guess my shoe-size)!
  4. HTEA Tiger in UniformRemember to attend Orientation to get my Fall schedule and check out all the clubs. My parents like to meet my teachers too but my favorite part is seeing all my fellow tigers again!
  5. Whew, now it’s time to get hardcore! The night before the first day: eat a healthy dinner (mmmm, steak – rare of course!) and go to bed nice and early.
  6. The First Day: Complete my morning work-out (chasing a few of the neighborhood dogs usually works well), eat a healthy breakfast (mmmm, bacon!), and get dressed.
  7. ALWAYS arrive early at HTEA and find the best seat in the room (right next to any new students because I LOVE making new friends). Now I’m ready for the day! Go Tigers!

Interview with a Teacher – Mrs. Mirda

Mrs. MirdaTeaches: Spanish III, Spanish III Honors, Spanish IV Honors, and AP Spanish; HTEA World Language Department Chair

Degree: Bachelors in Education with a minor in Spanish Language and English (aka “ Especialidad en lengua española e inglés”)

School: la Escuela Universitaria del Profesorado de Educación General Básica in de Toledo , Spain

What is the most important life lesson you want a child to learn in your classroom?
Learning another language and culture in today’s world is very beneficial, rewarding, and necessary; it expands opportunities for success. It’s important to express yourself, but always showing respect and tolerance of different cultures, opinions and ideas.

What do you want your students to gain from having known you?
The importance of having an open mind, perseverance and acceptance. Whenever you think something is difficult to obtain, keep trying, practice, work hard and you will achieve. Never judge people superficially, search for the inner person,

Most of all, I try to instill in them a love for the Spanish language and the rich culture.

What are some of your interests and passions outside of the classroom?
I like to walk, ride my bicycle, go to the beach, travel, read, and be with friends and family, especially my granddaughters.

What was your first paying job?
Teaching first grade in “Las Terciarias” a private Catholic school in Toledo, Spain. Like Holy Trinity, it had an excellent reputation for academics and student success.

What experiences or people had the most influence on you?
My Dad is the person who most deeply influenced me. He always taught me to follow my dreams. He made me understand the meaning of being honest, respectful and tolerant of other’s opinions and beliefs. His ethical lessons in working hard and the commitment of oneself to the career you choose regardless of the pay or hardships gave me life long values.

Also, leaving my home country of Spain markedly changed my life. It opened my mind to a new world of living. I realized the importance of learning about different cultures, and most of all learning another language at a young age.

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