A German New Year’s Eve

“Happy New Year! My favorite New Year’s Eve tradition here in Germany is to light a sugar cone that is soaked in a beverage made with sugarcane, which then melts and drops into a winter punch called “Glühwein.” It is a perfect drink that keeps your hands warm and is fun to watch.”

 – Frank Diekmann, SPP Alumnus

Frank Diekmann German Tradition - cropped

SPP Student Represents Germany at the World Youth Chess Championship 2013

St. Paul Prep Student Christoph Grunau is representing his home country of Germany at the World Youth Chess Championship 2013 in Al Ain, U.A.E.

The Championship tournament began yesterday and continues through December 28. Check out worldyouth2013.com to find out more about the competition. Christoph has been playing chess since he was 6 years of age and has been beating his dad at it ever since. He says he enjoys science and math. When asked why he enjoys playing chess, he states: “I like to compete, and it’s just fun!”

My Story in America

A glimpse into the life of Jinfei, an SPP student from China

Coming to another country, it is very difficult to adapt. I want to share a story with you. When I first came to the United States, I was very fearful because I didn’t know what the life would be like here. I knew nothing about my host family, asking myself “Are they friendly or easy going?” I didn’t know. I also felt excited, as this was my first time coming to another country, and I knew the U.S. is one of the most developed countries in the world.

With those emotions, I came here, and the first problem I met was finding my host family in the airport. I was very worried, thinking to myself about how I could get along if I couldn’t find them. Luckily, I saw a poster made by my host family, lifted very high so I could see. At that time, I felt very reassured. My host family is a big family; there are three boys and now two host students, myself and my facetious roommate Jeremy, to make a total of seven. On the way home, my host family made friendly conversation with me. I felt very happy that I was going to be living with them.

Next, another challenge came; Jeremy and I wanted to go to the Mall of America. Our host mother gave us three options; we could go with her, she could give us a ride, or we could go by ourselves. We chose to go by ourselves – so brave weren’t we? First, it took us 10 minutes to find the bus station because the stations in America are different. Then the bus came and we got on. After maybe 10 minutes, we asked the driver if this is the way to the Mall of America. Unfortunately, we were going in the opposite direction of the mall. She suggested that we stay on that bus, as she would soon turn back to another bus station where we could find a bus to the mall. It took us 30 more minutes to arrive at the mall. Although we met some problems, we managed to solve them.

However, the misfortune didn’t leave us. When we were on the bus back home, we missed our stop because it was too dark outside and we couldn’t see our house clearly, so it took us another 40 minutes to come back. We had just come to their house that day, and because it was so dark, we couldn’t find our way. As we walked beside the road, we remember that Mum lent us a phone for if we had any problems. We called Mum, and told her which road we were on. She said not to be afraid, that Dad would come and he would find us very soon. Luckily, Dad found us on the road we were walking. He encouraged us and said “Well done, you almost found your way home.” We all smiled.

There are many stories of my life in America and I believe there will be more stories in the future. I’m looking forward to my American life experiences to come!

– Jinfei, SPP Student