Sunday, July 1, 2018

It's Over...finally!

"School is finally done!" Those were the words of Emma yesterday as she finally received her official final marks for Terza Media (8th grade). Of course, before I share those results you need to know a little more about the process. Samuel wrote about his final exam experience last year, but of course, Emma had some different twists to her experience. (For the record since I never updated his post, he received a final grade of 10)

First, Emma took her State Invalsi Tests in April instead of June. These are standardized tests in math, Italian and English. Poor Emma had to complete these exams during the week she had her leg cast. The 90-minute exam time was pushing her limits of comfort but thankfully she only had to go to school for the exam on those three days and no regular lessons. The results of these tests factor into a percentage of her final grade.

Secondly, it was about one month more or less before the end of the school year when Emma came home with the news that her professor told her she would need to prepare for an interrogation on the ENTIRE year's literature program. Just she and one other classmate named Giacomo. To be honest I was ticked because Emma has been working SO hard all year and was at the top of her class. Why add a whole other level of pressure to an already stressful period of time leading up to end of the year tests and final examinations? It was a twisted form of a compliment I learned after telling others about the added requirement for Emma. The universal response was "Ah, the prof wants to give her an exit grade of 10!" Ten being the highest mark you can get.

Emma faced the challenge with wavering levels of anxiety having had the interrogation date set and then change several times. The day she was prepared to be interrogated, the prof decided there was no time and postponed it until after the weekend. This is a typical occurrence and so you can understand why our kids often leave the house full of anticipation and anxiety for an interrogation that may or may not happen. "Always be prepared" is a motto to live by in Italian schooling. Finally, when she and Giacomo were interrogated it lasted about an hour of having to alternately answer questions on authors and literary works. She did amazing and received a 9 for this added interrogation!

School ended on June 8, and the end of the year program had her being recognized for her 3rd place finish in the Kangourou Math competition held in March. There were 30+ eighth grade participants from the two middle schools in Caselle. Luca too received an award for finishing 5th out of 60+ participants that included both 6th and 7th graders for his category. I don't know where they get their mad math skills from!!


Most of Emma's classmates with their Italian Professor on the last day of school
Emma and Luca both received their final semester grades on Monday, June 11. Both did wonderfully and we are so proud of them! That day Emma also received her "entrance to examination" grade. She was the only one in her class to receive a 10 heading into the exams. And to top off the day of excitement, Emma decided that she wanted to switch high schools from linguistics to scientific. Another story for another day, but with just 10 days left before leaving for the USA it was a scramble to find a school with openings and make the official switch for her.

Since Emma already completed her Invalsi tests earlier in the year, her written exams began on June 12 and only included one day of Italian, one day of French/English and one day of Math. Of the three essay choices given for Italian, she was thankful to see a literature related topic allowing her to draw upon her recent interrogation studying making the five pages much easier to write. These days of written exams were no less filled with stress even with her top entrance grade. Actually, I think she was more stressed because of the high mark and not wanting to bomb out on the written exams. Poor girl, threw up multiple times on the first two written exam days. The school even had to call me on the first day, asking me to come and check on her bringing along some saltines and fruit juice. Oh, the stress! We were just as ready for exams to be over with as Emma.

With no time to breath after the conclusion of written exams on Thursday, Emma had to immediately be ready for her oral interrogation the very next day. Of course, the upside was that she could just be done with it all and not have to carry continued stress and studying into the next week and a half like many others had to. Emma was not required to write a thesis like Samuel, however, she did still have to make a comprehensive and cohesive connection from all 10 subjects to one main topic. She like Samuel chose The Cold War Era for her topic.

Oral Examination
The oral exam is a State Examination open to the public, so we were allowed to observe her interrogation. Emma may have been the only student that either allowed their parents to attend or that even showed up in support of their child. The boys even came and it was a joy to witness Emma's confidence and ability to communicate in Italian, English and French over a wide range of subjects. Each professor and even the Caselle School President posed questions to Emma. To me, it seemed much more intense than Samuel's as he worked from his powerpoint presentation and did not have to field as many questions or even discuss each subject in the end. Emma had to pass along her artwork and technology drawings from all three years of middle school, had to play a piece of music on her recorder, was given a paragraph from a poem to read aloud and then asked to give a paraphrase and her opinion of whether or not she agreed with the poet's thinking. From what Emma observed of her classmates' orals, hers was on a higher level, as it should have been for someone looking to graduate with a 10.

The video below is her playing the Italian National Anthem. When asked about her selection and why she didn't choose a song in English, she responded: "Because I love Italy!" They were left in wonder as to why, but it clearly sums up where Emma considers home.



Extreme delight and relief--it's over!
(Notice her seabands on her wrists that she wore to help with nausea-LOL)
So all this to share that Emma did receive her final mark yesterday with her result being a 10!!!

We are so proud of her! Not because she received a ten, but rather to have seen her growth and maturity over the course of this past year, her perseverance, desire for excellence and her determination. She is a friend to everyone and is so well loved by her classmates and professors.

Proud of a job well done!
We laugh every time her friends walk or ride their bikes past our house and yell "Ciao, Emma!" at the top of their lungs. Granted they are all boys who do that, but they are courteous enough to yell "Ciao, Kleis famil-ee" now and then too. We know that she will maintain contact with many of her middle school friends, especially since she knows of seven that are attending the same Scientific High School next year.

Flowers from Dada

Cake from Mamma

Brava Emma!

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