Thursday, February 10, 2011
houston, we have mobility!
first off, sorry for the pause in posts! this week of classes was actually a little bit busy, and i found myself saying “oh i’ll blog tomorrow” a couple times. :/
but here i am, on thursday afternoon, with four days to recount! so, here it goes.
monday, 7 february.
the first thing i learned on monday was that the packers won the superbowl. huzzah! i don’t like ben roethlisberger. unfortunately, i wasn’t able to watch the game, considering it was on from 1am-4am here and i don’t have tv. sooo.. yeah. but that was alright, i caught the highlights on espn.com. somehow, i can sacrifice one football game for living in france. monday is my long day of classes, mostly because they are very spread out. i have art history from 9 to half 10 each morning, which is a bit of a struggle. it always takes a few minutes to get back into french mode, and that professor definitely doesn’t dumb down the lecture for the handful of foreigners in my class. he set the date of our first test for the monday after winter break – which i’ll be spending in london. thankfully, i’ll have all of sunday to study! natalie kept nodding off throughout class, which i found entertaining. she’s a skillful in-class sleeper, her head never once hit the desk! after class, i went to the library to do a little research / watch last sunday’s church service. the wireless connection in the library is killer fast, so i was able to watch the whole thing without one single pause! yay! i REALLY enjoyed the message – this month’s series is called “Love>” (love greater than) and each week has a different topic; lust, feelings, sex, and self. it’s going to be an awesome series!! anyway, i watched that and then headed to superU to buy a sandwich for lunch. i ended up getting a tuna sandwich and some green beans to snack on – the total was 1.40 euro, which translates to roughly 2$. yes, my meal was 2$. word. my loooong class on mondays is from 1:15 to 4:15 – “langue française”. that’s the one where the teacher is super nice and wonderful, though, so the time passes quickly! i had just enough time after class to come relax for a bit before my conversation workshop from 6 to half 7. lots of my friends are in that class, so it’s a good time. we had a discussion about anti-tobacco laws, which brought me right back to last semester at belmont! afterwards, i headed back to the dorm and started thinking about dinner. as i had just made my budget for the semester, i was feeling like i needed to eat pretty cheaply this week. so shane and i decided that it is the week of pasta/red sauce (not that i haven’t eaten that for 80% of my meals here) and that we would suffer through it together. we added some onions/carrots/spinach to the sauce to make it a little less boring though. i skyped for a while after dinner, and then went to bed.
tuesday, 8 february.
tuesday was a glorious day. it’s so wonderful to have a break from classes in the middle of the week! i woke up around 9am, got dressed, and went to meet natalie in the lobby. we headed in to town... to get our bikes!! the city of angers has a company called “velocité” (‘velo’ being the french word for ‘bike’ – win) that rents bikes to students for FREE. so, for the next 4 months, i am the proud possessor of an adorable blue with red accents bike, with a basket!! joy. we rode around town for a while, slowly making our way back to campus. upon our return, i took a short nap and then made a new rule for myself:
i am only going to buy a baguette if i bike to get it.
that way, i’m at least working off SOME of the calories that i intake by eating a whole baguette!! haha! so, i tested out my new rule by biking back into town to go to monoprix. it’s 4km each way, which is less than 3 miles. since the path is through the city, it takes about 20 minutes. i loved getting to explore the streets though, because it’s so much easier to learn your way around a city that way! riding the bus everywhere doesn’t give you a very good sense of directional awareness, and i feel much more knowledgeable now. :) i did my shopping and then headed back to school. all in all, i think i biked nearly 10 miles on tuesday!! not too shabby! shane had run out of spinach, but the baguette did make the second consecutive pasta/red sauce dinner much more bearable. and, i’ll admit it, i bought a little tarte at monoprix too. so i had dessert. :) after dinner, i skyped a bit more and did homework. i was up much too late on the computer, but no harm.
wednesday, 9 february.
wednesday is another heavy class day. and by that, i mean i have three classes, for a total of 4 hours. struggle. my morning class (from 10 to 11) is translation from english to french, so that’s slightly more challenging. as is my habit, i came back and napped through lunch, and then headed to my speech class at 3. here’s the thing about university in france – public universities are essentially free for french students. and they act that way. they don’t really respect the whole “you’re here to learn” mentality.. for them, going to college means they don’t have to get a job for a few more years. so it kiiiinda feels like i’m back in middle school or high school, with the way french girls are CONSTANTLY talking through classes, not paying attention, disrespecting the professors, etc. it’s frustrating. but i just sit at the front and try to ignore it. anyway, speech class was fine. that professor is great about trying to integrate foreign students, so i have a french partner for my group project! this is HIGHLY preferrable, so i am pleased. :) immediately after speech, i have my culture class. that professor is SO CUTE and bubbly and spunky, i love her. based on the survey we did last week, the topics for our class are geography, gastronomy, and social events. we spent the course filling in maps of france with mountains, rivers, etc, and talking about different climates. it was interesting, because i definitely didn’t know everything we covered! at 6pm, that class ended, and we all headed back to the dorm. it was night #3 of pasta week, so shane and i got cooking around half 7. i think we’re officially approaching the wall on pasta. i stayed up talking to emma and jessie for a while, and then i got some homework done. drew and the rest of TWOG had a show at belmont wednesday night, and i was sad that i had to miss it. but oh well.
thursday, 10 february.
today has been absolutely grand. i had two classes this morning, both translation. one was from 10-11 and the other was from 11-12, so my weekend started at noon (like it does every week!). those classes are always funny, because they’re translation from french to english. i’m always so tickled to hear the translations that the french students offer. sometimes they’re great, exactly what i myself put down. other times, not so much. and the fact that they learn british english just makes it funnier. the best weird translation of the day was in the second class. last week, that professor had translated the french adjective “combatif” (which essentially means combative, competitive) to “fightful”. yep. so this week, the phrase at hand was “avec le chant du coq” – literally translated to “with the song of the rooster”. i had put down “with the crow of the rooster”. fairly logical, i thought. her answer? “at cock-crow.” rachel and i were HIGHLY amused. but it turns out, emma had put “cock-crow” too!! it must be a british/irish/european thing. i thought it was hysterical. the rest of the passage was pretty poorly done, mostly because it had a REALLY difficult syntax. think 25 lines of text, with 5 line run-on sentences. it was an excerpt from ionesco’s ‘the colonel’s photograph’, so i guess i can’t be too surprised – he was a playwright/author in the theatre of the absurd.
anywho, after class, i WAS going to come take a nap. but then, i thought to myself, ‘jill, you’ve had a nap every day this week. stay awake for once! see what the afternoon is like.’ so i did! i made a little lunch (of leftover pasta.. yeesh) and opened my window to feel the nice breeze. i was on couchsurfing.org for a while, looking for places in london for rachel and myself. and then i headed down to the sécretariat to pay my rent for the month. it was such a beautiful day, about 57 degrees and partly cloudy. so i invited my friend jessie to go on a walk. we headed down to the lake and did a big lap, probably about 4km. we had a good talk. :) and i even got too hot with a cardigan and sweatshirt! it was awesome to have to take OFF clothing while being outside. i do NOT miss the cold. on the way back, we decided to do spinach burgers for dinner, which i was overjoyed by (no pasta!). when we got back, she headed to class, and i came to write this post. i’ve just been sitting with my feet propped up on the window sill, computer on my lap, listening to the sounds of the world outside and feeling the breeze roll softly through my room. in a few minutes, i’ll probably bike down the street to the local bakery to snag some baguettes for the dinner group.
france is beautiful this week! hope everything is going well where you are. :)