31 January 2008


It's minutes til 22h00. That means almost 9pm. And I know it's ridiculous, but I've been wanting to go to sleep for about two hours. I can't even begin to define how fatigued I am. I'm falling asleep.

I'm kinda deciding to skip talking specifically about the rest of my first weekend here. Saturday I spent with the group wandering around the city. I was with the same people pretty much the entire time. Donovan and Mark a lot, too. We had sandwiches. I don't know why that's important, but apparently it is, because I really wanted to mention the sandwiches. Sunday I slept in (11h00 woot!) and we went for a walk by the river that flows through St. Gregoire.

What's really sad is I've been here a week and I still haven't had crepes. I know, I know. I'm lame-o. There just hasn't been time. I've had white wine, red wine, sandwiches, hot chocolate, cidre, champagne....pretty much everything there is to drink. Camembert cheese, too. Just not the one (second, next to cidre) thing that Bretagne is so famous for. I'm a failure at French culture.

I mean, as I write my parents are having a champagne soiree to thank the maitres and colleagues of their son Pierre, for helping him get his metier started. Oh wow. I just re-read that sentence. Sorry. Maitre would be boss, metier would be job/profession. I can't think wholly in French, nor in English right now. I promised myself last night that I would go the entire day speaking entirely in French. I did it... from 8h30 til 17h30, until just after our three-hour conference on wine. It was fascinating and interesting and I'm pretty sure I learned a lot. But three hours is a super long time to be concentrating. I crashed into English when I was waiting at the bus stop with some peeps. Did find out that I love white wine, though. And California saved France during a really bad help-our-vines-are-dying! thing. Well, actually, I already knew that. My pere told me two days ago.

I really do love it here. We've spent the week taking classes at the Institut Franco-Americain. They have us split into levels. Well, technically we're not divided yet, but we know that really we are. I'm pretty sure that my being in Groupe B means that I'm Seuil (intermediateish). We'll be getting our real levels tomorrow in the late afternoon. Then on Monday we'll be doing class planning. I'm not sure if I should be worried or not. Almost every other person is. For example, Mark was uber worried, because if he isn't in the Avance level, his school (Purdue) isn't going to give him any credit. Jess was worried about not being Avance because she just knows that Seuil will be almost too easy for her. Both Jess and Mark talked to Andrew, though, and I know that at least Mark's mind has been put at ease.

The funny thing is that even though I have nothing to worry about, since I don't HAVE to be in a certain level in order to gain credit, hearing my friends worry about it makes me want to worry about it. And I'm not going to lie, when I'm put in a group where I'm one of three people who responds to, much less comprehends the questions the condescending teacher puts forth, I get kinda mad. I don't like being pulled down a level, much less ten. There are great people in the groupe, yes, but when the teacher asks what they liked about the song and they just give her a blank stare, I want to whack them with something. Maybe the teacher.......

On the other hand, I'm also growing more aware of my imperfections. Right now I feel like I'm the worst French speaker in the world. I'm not exaggerating. I make so many mistakes, and you know, I knew about them from the beginning, but with all the practice I'm getting, I'm recognizing more of them more quickly, and it hurts. I hate the mistakes part. That's why I tried to speak completely in French today. I knew that unless I made a promise to myself, I was going to fall back into the English whenever it was easier. I just hate being in the box of French simplicity, where I can hardly describe, for instance, that I liked a song more for its poetic, lyrical appeal than for the reggae-esque musique that accompanied it. "I liked the words and wished the music was more good" was what came out first. "MORE GOOD?" wow. wowowowow.

I even said that, out loud, after the prof (who is maybe a year older than me) corrected me. Of course, I followed it with a sort of "mon dieu" expression. Argot. Sorry. Slang, I mean. Ok. I think I've proved well enough how tired I am. I still have some homework to do, too. So bon soir a tout le monde. Even if it is only 9.....

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