Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Small Thing and a Big Thing

Small Thing: Today I got an 11 out of 20 on my history quiz, which is not bad considering I don't speak French like a French person. I was so proud. 3 points were lost because I miscomprehended a verb (Is that a word? It should be.), and another point disappeared because I didn't know that espace is masculine. So all in all, I think I dominated that quiz.

Big Thing: ...I'm in the process of changing host families. I won't go into the reasons why, except to say that it's not their fault any more than it is mine. So right now it's AWKWARD chez moi. But I like school, so it almost balances out. Almost.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


(I'm making a separate post because my school post is already too long.)

  • I take the city bus to school. It's 10 minutes on foot from my house to the gare, 10 minutes en bus, and 4 or 5 to get to my classroom.
  • There are no lockers, so I have to carry everything around with me.

What People Wear

  • Girls: jeans and sweaters. Or some girls wear actual put-together outfits, but that seems like entirely too much work at 7 am. About half have real backpacks (Eastpak) and the other half have big purse-things.
  • Boys: jeans and sweaters or sweatshirts. Or some boys wear actual put-together outfits, but that seems like entirely too much work at 7 am. Backpacks, usually Eastpak.

What People Eat

  • The chocolate pudding is SO good.
  • My host parents have a garden so we eat some fresh vegetables.
  • Bread, bread, bread. All the time.
  • It's hard to find a cereal that's not sugary/chocolate-flavored (I only like un-sweet cereal), so I eat Special K Nature, which does not have a picture of the cereal on the box. Instead there's a sketch of a woman's waist. And on the back there's a diet plan. Ah, well.

Any questions?


As promised:

So Monday from 8 to 10 I have TPE, which is a small group research project. Since I'm in S, I have to do someting involving Bio and math. Fantastic... My group still hasn't picked a topic.

Then I have History/Geography/Civics (1 hour on B weeks). At the moment it's history. The industrial revolution as it relates to France. The teacher (M. Bru) has been really helpful and understanding. He gave me his email adress in case I have questions.

11-12 is Spanish (level IV). I've never taken Spanish, so I have no idea what to do in that class. At least it's only 2 hours a week.

12 to 1:30 every day is lunch. Usually it's a cold entrée (starter) and meat with a vegetable or rice for the main course. Then fruit or yogurt for dessert. And of course lots of baguette (it's incredible how much bread some of the boys consume). The food is served family style at a table of 6 people. You don't have a choice of food and if you want to eat with someone you have to go into the cafeteria with them because the tables fill up in order. Usually the food is okay, except on Fridays. They always serve fish, for the Catholics, I guess. Whoever thought it was a good idea not to eat meat on Fridays never had to eat institutional fish.

Then I have 2 hours of gym. Right now we're studying badminton, which is harder than it looks, especially since everyone else already knows how to play. Silly Europeans :).

Then 2 hours of Latin. I like that class because I can answer questions (ABLATIVE becomes ABLATIF. Easy peasy.)

I start school at 9 with an hour of math. The teacher is so bad. He's always making mistakes in his examples. Plus the way he explains things (the French way?) is unnecessarily complicated. Way more confusing language than there needs to be. Also, in the US we do word problems and practical applications and stuff. Here? Prove whether the product of two odd functions is odd or even. Which I can do, sort of, but it's hard.

10-12 is Bio. The teacher is really nice but she talks really fast and we're supposed to copy down almost everything she says. I have no chance. I took a Bio test yesterday. It was essentially a timed essay on how the body regulates its gycemic level. I gave it a try. We'll see whether she's going to be generous with me.


1 hour off.

1 hr of English! The teacher is British. It's lovely speaking a language fluently. Plus the French accent in English is trop mignon.

1 hr of French. This class could potentially be really interesting or really, really boring. Not sure yet.

1 hr of Latin.


Math 8-9.

Physics and Chem (combined) from 9 to 10. I took my first Physics test today. I didn't get most of the answers I was supposed to get, but, hey, neither did the French kids. So we failed as one.

10-11 is French class, and then I have an hour of administrative stuff/advisory/assembly, but only sometimes...Today I didn't, so I waited for an hour and then ate lunch in the cafeteria with my classmate Remy. (Most kids go home since there's no class after lunch, but not me.)

Math, Spanish, 2 hours of French, Lunch, 1 hour of Physique-Chimie, and then another hour of P-C on an A week or History on a B week.

English, 2 hrs of History, 1 hr of math, lunch.

Then I have 2 hours of Bio Lab (blah) and 2 hours of Physique-Chimie Lab (more interesting. M. Ly is cool.).

Saturday (I know, right? The week is supposed to be over.)
Math from 9 to 10. I used to have Physique-Chimie but the teacher agreed to move it to Thursday. And we're working on rescheduling the math class.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

John Maynard Keynes

So I'm on the computer doing research for history class. We have to research Keynes and how he saved America during the Great Depression by giving us the Heavenly Manna of Socialism.

The funny part is that only the French websites say that. American websites are grumpy about him because he was Out To Destroy Capitalism.

I love cultural differences.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sorry for not posting...

...but you'll have to wait longer still for a real post. This keyboard is hard to use and I have to keep deleting things. And seriously? Who thought it was a good idea to make people hit the shift key to type a period?

But really I am in a good mood. Homesickness was overwhelming for the first few days, but now I feel like I fit in.

A boy even invited me to hang out with his friends outside of school sometime, BUT Nelly and Daniel are kind of paranoid and they want to meet my potential friends before I go anywhere with them. Grr. But it's not good, it's not bad, it's just different.

School's not as hard as I expected, actually. More on that soon. Soon-ish, anyway.