When people at Alice’s school have a party, it is often open to all the students of the school. That’s almost 5.000 people! Of course not everyone comes, but many parties do have hundreds of people come and go over the course of the evening. On Alice’s birthday, her mother told her she could only have 25 people, and she asked all her friends not to tell anyone about the party. She didn’t want people to come uninvited.
Another common meeting place for teenagers is a “mall”, a large group of stores in one place, where there are cheap restaurants and ice-cream stores as well as bookstores, record stores, and clothing stores, and often a movie theatre, students like walking around looking at the stores or sitting in the restaurants sipping sodas.
Alice’s school is a fairly good public school, and most of the students go on to college after they graduate. The students who want to go to good colleges spend a lot of time studying, because they must get good grades if they want to be accepted at a good college. They also participate in a lot of extra activities, since colleges want students with broad interests and talents. Some of the students can be quite competitive about grades and leadership positions in the student activities. Alice enjoys writing for the student newspaper, and her father wants her to try to become an editor next year.
As you may be able to tell, American high schools are very busy places, with lots of noise and energy. When Alice first started high school in ninth grade, she was confused by all the movement and change every day. If you visit an American school, you may be overwhelmed by all the activity. But you will soon get used to it. As Alice discovered, the variety in her schedule and the different students she learns with every day keep school from being boring.
editor — издатель
be confused — растеряться, смутиться
boring — скучный
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