Friday, February 4, 2011
a baguette a day... probably won't keep the pounds away.
so, i’m gonna be honest. this was technically my first full week of school. i had all of my classes this week! novel concept, i know. but it was pretty good! i have my week spaced out to where i have classes on mondays, wednesdays, and thursdays. sweeeeet.
wednesday is an average class day for me. i had a translation course from 10-11 am and then a biiig break until the afternoon. during this break, i took a coma nap. it was lovely. :) then i had my “techniques d’expression française” (pretty much a speech class) from 3-4:30pm and my “culture française” course from 4:30-6pm. all of the classes are really great! the translation course on wednesdays is a “version” class – translation FROM english INTO french. it’s a lot harder that way, for me at least. but i still enjoy it a lot, and the professor is pretty good. i’ve grown to REALLY like my speech class. the prof is SO cool, and really tries to integrate the foreign students into the groups. the theme for this semester is “words and images” so we’re doing projects on art and film! nice! the culture class is one of the CeLFE courses offered for foreign exchange students, so it’s all foreigners in that one. but we have a good mixture, only a few americans! and the teacher is soooo cute! she’s probably about 23, very petite and musical, and spunky. we had a team culture quiz on wednesday (which my team won – what up) that helped illustrate the areas of culture that we would like to work on the most. we’ll find out next week what the topics for the courses will be. :)
after class on wednesday, i went back to my dorm for a little while before heading into town for dinner. this SUPER sweet german girl named maggi left for home on thursday, so we had a little going-away dinner party at a mexican restaurant downtown.
yes, i said a mexican restaurant. in france. blasphemy!
i have to be real with you guys, it wasn’t too good. i know, no surprises there. but it was decent! enough for me to finish my quesadilla. i was disappointed in the lack of queso dip, however. truly, the whole dinner just made my soul yearn for some blue coast or pancho’s. but that can wait until july. the gathering ended up being 20 or so people, so we all had a good time talking and eating and laughing. around 10:30, i left with my friends natalie and jane to head back to school, while everyone else headed to a bar on the main drag. we ended up discovering that the wait for the bus was about 40 minutes, so we stopped by casa de cuba for some chocolats viennois. i’d been promising natalie that we would go soon, and she’d been holding out to have her first chocolat viennois there. the waiter told us at first that they couldn’t make them – natalie was devastated. but then he came back and said just for us, he could do it. YAY! so she got to have her first 1:2 cocoa / whipped cream ratio beverage. always delicious. we paid for our drinks and headed to the bus stop, where we caught a bus back to campus. i had intended to go to bed early, but then i got on skype.. oops. but i had a wonderfully fantastic conversation, so it was worth it. :) bedtime rolled around at 3am.
my weekend starts on thursdays at 12 noon (which would be a dream come true for a lot of my friends). i only have two translation classes on thursdays – a level one “thème” course (french INTO english) and a level two one. obviously, the level one is a bit easier. it’s more centered on translation phrases to get specific grammar and vocabulary nuances. i enjoy being an anglophone in that class, because it gives me a little bit of a boost. and the prof always defers to us! hahaha. the level two class is hilarious. the professor is this woman from who-knows-where. she must be french, but when she speaks english, she has this weird southwestern american accent..? i have no clue. but that course is a little more literary – we translate passages from various works of literature. she does have some interesting interpretations of translation though.. and she encourages the students to translate literally, which i don’t like too much. but the course is still quite beneficial. on thursday, the few exchange students got to class.. only to be greeted by an empty room. i’ve heard that this happens often – somehow, the french students always know when class is cancelled. we went down to the board where cancellations are usually posted, but didn’t see any notices. then a girl came down the corridor and asked if we were looking for a translation course. we said yes. turns out, the class had been moved into an amphitheatre lecture hall for that week. oh. good thing we hadn’t split when we found the room empty!
once class ended, shane and i went to superU to get some things for the next few days’ worth of dinners, and i picked up a sandwich for lunch. i came back to lounge around for a while, eating my yummy lunch and listening to music. around 1:30, i went into town to mail some letters, go to the bank, and shop around a bit. my friend liz came with me, and we had a lovely afternoon.. the weather was beautiful! i love walking around downtown angers – it’s so gorgeous. i came back around 5 and since i’d stayed up late, i ended up napping again. i love naps, what can i say? i woke up about an hour later and cleaned my room for a bit. at 7, jessie and i cooked dinner together and we all sat in the kitchen talking for a while. then emma, jessie, and i had a fun girlie movie night. except we watched wuthering heights, so it wasn’t quite a chick flick. :P the movie is only an hour and forty minutes, but we were in there for about 4 hours, pausing the movie to explain things to jessie or get more chocolate. i’d never seen the film, but the book is one of my absolute favourites. i recommend both! the adaptation was done very well. my only complaint was that they used the same actors (juliette binoche and ralph finnes [voldemort!!]) to play cathy and heathcliff as children, and then as adults. and THEN, juliette played cathy’s daughter catherine!! it was kind of confusing, but it worked. we said goodnight around 2am.
today (friday) was another late-ish morning. i woke up around 11 and played around on the computer for a while. once i’d showered and gotten ready for the day, rachel and i went into town to go do some real shopping. the semi-annual sales are ending this week, so we needed to act fast! we walked around for a long time and went into bunches of stores. i got a dress, a blouse, a scarf, a purse, a headband, AND a baguette for only 26 euro total. gotta love those sales.
speaking of baguettes.. what they say is true. the bread here is incredible. i seriously eat an entire baguette by myself sometimes.. you just can’t put them down! and with a little “vache qui rit” (laughing cow!) cheese, oh my word. heavenly. i actually eat bread as dessert here. but i am going to start monitering how many baguettes i let myself get a month, because my carb intake is getting unreal. hahah. gotta be careful...
dinner tonight was bowtie pasta with a rosé tomato sauce, carrots and potatos, and a spinach salad. and that baguette. yum. several of us made plans to go to the markets tomorrow, so i’m going to bed early. it promises to be a beautiful day, and i need to walk about 15 miles to work off all these carbs!! :)