Hey everyone! This week it's my turn to share my America experience.
As you have probably read in previous blogs, my life here is not a normal day to day routine. Instead of going to school every single day, I got the opportunity to do what I love, which of course is playing tennis. I go to the Evert Tennis Academy, which is about a 30 minutes drive from our home. I spend every weekday there from 8:30 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon.
My day starts at about 7:15. I throw on some tennis clothes and get breakfast, which is usually a few pieces of toast and some water (with ice cubes of course). I go to my usual spot on the couch where I pretty much live when I'm home. During my breakfast I watch some YouTube or Netflix, depending on my mood. At around 7:45 I fix my hair into a bun or a braid and I get my school supplies.
When I put the school supplies in my tennis bag I fill my water bottle and put on my shoes. At 7:55, Eline, my mom and I get in the car (with Eline driving) and we set off for Eline's school. When we have dropped her off there I take over the wheel and drive the remaining 20 minutes to the academy. When I arrive I usually have about 25 minutes to spare which I use to watch some more series on my phone. When it is 9:00 I do the warm-up with a few other girls and at 9:15 the day really starts.
So everyday I have 4 hours of tennis and 1 hour of fitness. From 9:15 til 10:15 I have a lesson in a group with girls my age. I'm assigned to a court with a coach on it and play for an hour with the other girls. This hour is usually a lot of rallying and working on consistency, but sometimes we also play points. After this hour I have a private lesson from 10:15 till 11:15. I spend this lesson with my private coach and this hour is mainly focused on technique, which leads to quite a lot of drills. When I have had a tournament on the weekend, my coach and I will analyse the matches I played to see what went wrong (or right). After my private lesson I go straight to fitness which will last till 12:00. Every fitness lesson is different from the last one. If we worked on lower body the previous day, we will work on upper body today. We also do a lot of core and biking, and if we're unlucky, we go outside on a court and do a lot of footwork. These sessions are when I miss the cold in the Netherlands the most 😉.
Movie group tennis Marinthe (Marinthe is wearing a white skirt and black shirt).
After fitness, the morning session is done. I have lunch in the cafeteria everyday which has surprisingly good food considering it is a cafeteria. This is the moment I socialize the most with all the other girls. At about 12:20, I'm done with my lunch and I get my school supplies. I will work on school task till 2:45, when the afternoon session starts. I sit in the main building on the ground floor, where I'm usually alone as everyone else is doing another school program. Though there are always a few girls passing through for a chat. There is a tv there where Tennis Channel is turned on 24/7. Typical American style though it is always freezing in there, as the air conditioning is turned up pretty high.
For school I follow a program called the "Wereldschool" with the subjects Physics and Chemistry, both from 5VWO, because those are in my opinion the most difficult. What I do this year will prepare me for when we get home, which is when I will go to 5VWO. I did my own planning, which gives me about 2 hours of school a day. I also planned the dates for my test and practical assignments.
At 2:40, I get ready for the warm-up. After the warm-up, we always have matchplay from 3:00 to 5:00. The coaches team me up with someone and we play a full match. If we have time left I switch with someone and play another match. There are usually 2 coaches around your court all the time to evaluate your gameplay and to help you play better. When we finish at 5:00 I get in the car with my dad and I drive home, which takes about 30 minutes.
The Evert Tennis Academy is pretty big as it has 23 courts in total, 11 of these courts are clay and the rest is hardcourt. There is also a balcony on the main building, which allows my parents to watch me play. My mother usually watches a bit in the morning before she leaves for her english classes, and sometimes my dad arrives a bit earlier to watch me play matches in the afternoon. The cool thing about this academy is that Chris Evert is usually somewhere around. Chris Evert was the best tennis player in the world at around 1975 to 1981. She sometimes walks around and hits with a few girls or she visits you during your private lesson. This week there is also an important tournament in Delray Beach, which attracts the best players in the world. I already saw Nick Kyrgios (nr. 15 in the world) and Milos Raonic (nr. 31 in the world) who were both hitting with some boys.
I hope this gives you a pretty good idea of what I do every day! 😄
America, the land of hope and glory with lots of terrific opportunities for education like the one Marinthe describes. But with also some downsides like school shootings, such as the one that happened today at a high school very close to us with 17 kids killed and many more injured 😢. Only 20 minutes drive from our house and 10 minutes from Marinthe's tennis school. At a school in a supposedly safe neighborhood just like the school (in a neigborhood) Eline is attending.
We got an email and a telephone call from Eline's school telling us the following: 'As students start to hear news of these events, it is important that we all do what we can to make sure that they feel safe and secure in their home, in their community, and of course, in their schools. We're working with our local police agencies as well as our own School Police department, to have a presence in our schools for the days and weeks ahead. I have also directed every principal to review their safety protocols and procedures. Also the flags on government buildings will be half-staff throughout Florida until Monday.
Eline told us that every classroom in her school already has a door with a lock which can not be opened from the outside. Also all the school doors to the outside are locked right after the start of 1st period. Undoubtedly they will talk about the shooting in class.
Isn't it amazing that a 18 year old 'kid' can legally buy the weapon (AR-15 firearm) he used in the shooting?
Lots of terrible things like this happen every day, but usually not as close to us as this one. However, as Toine always says 'breath and get on with your life' ... we will definitely go on with our life here in Florida. We are very much looking forward to the visit of Madeleine (from the Indian Summer) the coming week. We are also very happy with Toine's first job assignments which were settled last week. Therefor Toine is going to The Netherlands again next week.