It's September 1, 1999, and I went to school today. It is a solemn occasion. This day, the opening of the school year, is probably one of the most Important days in the Russian calendar.
The whole country pauses to take a look at its children. TV announces the fact. Radio speaks of it. The newspapers devote special stories to it. At home, Mama and Papa, despite themselves, are excited.
Parents came to see their children begin the school year. Most of the kids had been away all summer at camp. Now they were back - tanned, taller, healthier.
There was a trumpet call, some brass band music, speeches and then, the young students accompanied by boys and girls in their last year, went solemnly into school to which they would probably go until they, too, finally finished 10 years later.
In America, all children from six to sixteen go to school. They spend six years in "elementary" school, and four or six years in "secondary" or "high" school. School education is free.
At the end of every school year, the children take a test. If a child does well, he goes into next class ("grade"). If he doesn't do well, he has to repeat the grade.
Some schools have modern teaching equipment. like computers and closed circuit television, but there are small country schools, with just one classroom.
At the end of their time at school, most students get a high school diploma. If they want to ^o on to college, they take college admission tests.
In Britain all children from five to sixteen go to school. They spend six years in "primary" school, and then go on to "secondary" school.
In Britain there are "state" schools, which are free, and private schools for which parents pay, Many British private schools are "boarding" schools. The children stay at school all the time, and only come home in the holidays. They usually wear uniforms.
Teaching in both countries is usually quite in formal. Students often work together in groups? and go to the teacher only when they need help.
At school pupils spend the most important of their lives. It is here that their characters and views are formed. The word "school" always reminds us of our childhood and youth, of close and dear people in our life.
On Monday I usually wake up late and have no time to eat my breakfast. I can't find my books and my school cap. At last I find my books in the bathroom and find my cap - my dog. Pal. likes to play with it. I have to wait ages for a bus and I am nearly late for school. I enter the classroom when our class-teacher begins to call out the register.
The first lesson on Monday morning is maths. Mr. Bailey, the maths teacher, collects our homework and then gives us some sums to do.
The next lesson is French. I like French. It's nice to be able to talk to somebody in another language.
At last it is eleven o'clock: time for break. A girl, whose name is Susan, gives me a piece of cake to eat with my milk. She allows me to copy her Latin homework, because I don't know how to do it.
After break we have two lessons of Latin. There are a lot of boys in our class who don't like Latin. I don't like it either. At half past twelve it is time for lunch: a meat pie, boiled potatoes or cabbage and a glass of juice or milk.
Then I go into the playground with my friends. We play football there.
After lunch we have a history lesson. The history teacher tells us many interesting things.
After school my friends and I usually go for a walk. I come home very late, and my mother is very angry.
In the evening I do my homework. Now I cannot do my homework - there is an interesting programme on television. I think I can do it tomorrow, during break.
The school where I studied is situated not far from my house. It's a modem four-storeyed building of a typical design. In front of the school there is a big sportsground, behind it there is a small garden with beautiful flower beds. Here on the sportsground pupils have their classes in physical training when the weather is fine.
When you enter the school you'll see a large gymnasium, work-shops and a canteen on the left. On the right there is a Headmaster's office. The cloak-room is downstairs. The classrooms, the laboratories. the doctor's office, the library, the Teacher's room are on the upper floors. There is a large hall on the first floor and schoolchildren hold their meetings here.
We are proud of our physics, chemistry, botany and English labs. They are equipped with tape recorders, TV sets and other necessary apparatus.
During the years of study we acquire deep knowledge in various subjects, such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, Russian and foreign languages and literature, history, geography etc. I was especially good at languages. Our teacher gave us basic knowledge of these sciences, they taught us to treat nature carefully, to love our Motherland, to be honest and hardworking.
I like my school very much.