At bit more about my life in Angers.
Trip Start Jan 25, 2010
18Trip End Jun 09, 2010
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School is becoming more routine, so it's getting easier to adjust. My schedule is a bit wacky though. Some days I start early, around 9 AM and other days I don't start until 1:30 PM
I like my classes a lot, as I've said before. Grammaire is pretty self-explanatory. You do grammar excercises and learn the rules of the language. I've done it all before, so it's sort of a review. You'll be surprised however, how much you forget in a few semesters. I feel like its the first time that I am doing it sometimes. Histoire de l'Art is one of my favorite classes as well. We are looking at pre-Revolutionary french paintings, starting with neoclassicism and ending with modern surrealism and other modern methods of painting. I've briefly studied french art before but only in a few classes in our French 308 class. It's pretty awesome though, especially since toward the end of the semester, there's going to be a "field trip" to the Musée d'Orsay, where we will be able to see a majority of the paintings that we are studying. How cool is that? So far, we've only studied Jacques-Louis David but it's only the second week of classes
Overall, my time here has been pretty awesome. I've met great people, tried new foods, new wines (and other alcohols) and have learned a lot about the french culture and the language. I'm fulfilling my reasons for coming here everyday and it makes me really happy. I had doubts that I wouldn't meet a lot of people, I would never speak french and I wouldn't learn too much but those doubts have gone away. Now that doubt has turned to oppurtunity. Call me cheesy, but I now feel an oppurtunity to travel, learn, meet people and live life in a new way. I highly reccomend living in a foreign country for a while, even if you choose to do so in an English speaking country. Theres a lot of growth that happens within you and its a humbling experience at the same time. You realize how big the world is and how much you are missing. I have kids from all over the world in my classes, some of them from China, Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and others from Nebraska and Oregon
Tonight the plan is to go home and eat dinner and have some sort of party with my family. They are having people over who have traveled all over, so it should be interesting to speak with them. After that, hopefully (if the dinner does not take too long), I'll be heading out to Mardi Café, which happens once a week on Tuesday (Mardi) at different bars throughout the city. Each week its somewhere different, and students go there to drink, socialize and meet people from all over the world. It's a cool idea. I've met quite a few people there, including my friends from France (kind of). It starts at 9 but it goes until the bar closes, so I should be okay getting there some time after 10.
This weekend we are going to Mont St. Michel and St. Malo so I'm stoked for that. If you haven't seen it, Google it. It looks like something out of a fairy tale, really. Sunday, we may hit up the Anjou Troglydites and eat in a cave and try different wines and such. It's bound to be a fun weekend, no?
Things I learned since coming to France so far:
2. The movie The Hangover, as I'm sure everyone knows, is called (in English) A Very Bad Trip in France. I have no idea why. That being said, the word hangover in french is "une gueule de bois". I guess that doesn't quite roll of the tongue, but still.
3. Like in Ireland, most of the music here is American. There is some french music, but not a lot. At dinner every night, they put the radio on and Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé, etc. always come on. The other day Hansen came on-- that was shocking.
4. Most of the younger french that I have met (meaning in their 20s) love classic British and American rock. Whenever I ask them what kind of music they like, they respond AC/DC, The Who, Journey, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, etc. You get the picture.
5. French wine is gooooooooooood.
6. I have chocolate for breakfast every morning, eat a ton of food at night, drink like 5 glasses of wine for dinner and I've lost weight
7. James can sing the Marseillaise by heart, and it is my believe that this is how we acquired french friends. New goal in life: learn the Marseillaise by heart.
8. Life in the north of the US and the south are completely different in so many ways.
9. Soda is more expensive than juice-- more expensive than anything really. That's backwards than the U.S. I may have solved the obesity problem in the U.S.
10. I knew this already, but the word preservatives in french does NOT mean preservatives. Although Dr. Borgstrom told me what that word meant in passing like 100 times, I forgot of course, and informed my family that American food has a lot of condoms in it, unlike the french food (the word is conservateurs). Yayy me. At least I haven't mistakenly said Je suis plein (literally means I am full), which actually means "I am pregnant".
(Sorry I know many of these aren't that good, but I can't think of specific things that I have learned since coming here. They will get a lot better, I promise).