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The Cougar Claw

The School Newspaper of Tomball High School

The Cougar Claw

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German Exchange student goes through the trials of being in a Texas marching band
Lauren Nolen
Justus Grewers next to the pairs of equipment that he uses during the marching season

Justus Grewers is part of the annual exchange program that brings students from around the world to THS. He is from Telgte, a small town in Germany that is considered a sister city to Tomball.

Back home schools are vastly different than here in America. Students only have academic classes with the exception of an orchestra, a collection of strings, winds, and percussion, which Justus participates in. Along with that, he is on a tennis team outside of school.  The school days are not as long and they don’t include lunchtime due to this.

Justus had heard about the exchange program through his English teacher during an informational meeting one evening. Thinking it sounded cool, he joined in hopes of seeing the differences of American schools with the biggest factor being the Football games. The Texas heat did surprise him as they do get the season back home unlike here. The process to be apart of the program included a lot of paperwork with ASIS, an organization that helps out these students, as well as making sure that he has all the transfers needed to be made.

The most nerve-racking thing about this experience was finding friends as well as having a great relationship with the host family. Luckily for Justus, his host dad is well known in Tomball and has taken him around to many town meetings, council meetings, and to meet a lot of family. He is only here for the school year and is eager to get to experience everything that Americans get to do.

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When picking out the extracurricular, Justus chose to be a part of the band because of his previous experience in the orchestra. Mainly he didn’t want to fall behind in his experience as well as the factor that the band is a part of the football games. Being in the band Justus has been able to find friends so much quicker and easier than he had originally thought he could, making the transition better and more adjusted. In the band, Justus plays in the front ensemble as a rack player. Rack players play all the funny sounds like wind chimes, tambourines, gongs, and cymbals, and they play toms in the stands.

“Everything about the football games surprised me,” said Justus, “since we don’t have any of that in Germany, it has been a fun experience seeing all the moments has been unbelievable.”

For more information on the back story of the sister cities click here.

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About the Contributors
Natalia Martinez, Web Editor
Hey Coogs :) I’m Natalia and this is my third year on staff. I am a Senior and plan to major in Journalism for college. Along with newspaper, I am in the Tomball Cougar Pride Band as a member of the drumline!
Lauren Nolen, Photo Editor
Hey! My name is Lauren Nolen and I'm a junior here at THS. This is my 2nd year on the newspaper staff and I'm very excited to share my stories and photos! I also compete in journalism academic UIL events.  Outside of school I am a competitive figure skater and I also enjoy taking pictures, listening to music and hanging out with friends. Fun fact: My favorite band is Backseat Lovers. GO COOOGS!!