Tag Archives: beginning

Two weeks

So, it’s officially been two weeks since my last update and by this time tomorrow I’ll have made it through two weeks of classes. Safe to say, vacation is officially over.

This semester I’m living in the same foyer, but now I’m doing IFE instead of GPP. Which means I have 5 weeks of classes, then a full-time stage at a children’s art museum (Musée en herbe). Class runs from Monday – Friday from 9am until 2:30.

These past two weeks have been insanely busy thanks to amazing new friends that keep me up late talking, old friends who I never get to see enough, and this thing called homework that I haven’t had to deal with for a while. I also finally made it to the Monet exhibit at the Grand Palais. It was incredible! I got to see so many sides of Monet’s work that’s normally hidden in museums half way across the world. Also, they had Monet’s cathedral paintings right next to Lichtenstein’s own version of those paintings. Which made my day to have two of my favorite painters from my two favorite time periods right next to each other.

I also managed to get sick over the weekend. It really shouldn’t have been a shock for me, not sleeping normally doesn’t have good side effects, but it was still annoying to miss a day of school and to deal with being sick in another country.Thankfully I feel better now and Mommy gave me some very good advice from overseas.

The classes here at IFE are pretty darn good. The morning’s tricky because the class starts at 9am and goes until 12:30, but thankfully I like the prof and what we’re learning so it’s a little easier to stay awake. Although, last week I did have to actually drink coffee, drink, not taste and spit out, but drink. I hadn’t slept that much the night before and I actually started falling asleep in class. I only slightly gagged while drinking it, slightly. How do people drink that stuff straight?

My afternoon class basically consists of people doing projects and then the professor going off about whatever the subject was about. It can get a little redundant but it’s really cool to see just how much the professor knows. Also, I’m actually learning stuff from the projects, so it’s probably better than just sitting in class listening to a teacher.

It’s weird to compare this semester to last. Last semester I was in a really small group, on my own alot, and only hung out with 1 or 2 Americans. This half, I believe we have 26 or so kids total in IFE. Being in a small group last half is really helping me now since I was forced to ask questions with our tiny little class last half, and I was forced to not care how my French sounded. I’m really glad I did GPP first though because now instead of going through the transition to all French classes, I can just enjoy the class. And I already know French class etiquette so I’m not squirming in my seat because I can’t eat in class. much. It is quite an adjustment to be with people so often throughout the day. Last half I was alone walking to my stage, in the metro, and just in between class and dinner and vague times like that. Now, I’m pretty much only alone when I sleep or when I specifically chose to be. There are 5 other IFEers living in my foyer and 1 GPPer, so there is always somebody to walk with or just somebody around since we’re all on the same schedule. And since I’m hanging out with IFEers so much, I’m spending almost all my time with Americans. It doesn’t help that some of my foyer friends recently got jobs that make them work late or have exams. It’s good because I’ve missed American culture and just… social cues and basic stuff, a lot, but it also means I’ve spoken way to much English, and I miss my Frenchies bien sur.

I know there’s plenty of things I missed by not updating more often the past couple weeks, but I’ll try and be better now that things are more settled. The important things to know are that I’m happy with IFE, I’ve met some great people, and I still have no desire to leave this beautiful city, even now in the cold.

Paris, written august 24th

8/24/2010 8:49:34 PM

I’m in Paris! It’s almost nine and the sun is finally below the buildings. You can still see just fine though, it’s crazy.
I woke up at 4am Iceland time to catch my 7:40 flight. I felt sad leaving Iceland because everything is so pretty, but it’s so small and cold that I don’t think I could ever visit it for long. I tried to find an “I went to Iceland and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt” shirt at the gift shop, but they only had the little kid “Somebody who loves me very much went to Iceland” shirts. They also had one that said “Lost in Iceland” which seemed pretty appropriate, but I didn’t end up buying it. The flight left on time, I had a aisle seat in the front which was nice because I had more room to stretch. Flight took a little less than three hours, so I just read for most of it. Got to Paris, got my luggage, and met up with Jessica who works with IFE. We took a taxi to my dorm, had to wait a bit until the right person came in, so we went for a walk around the area. Signed all the forms, learned about the foyer, and got my room.
My room’s small, but not too small, about the size of Brian’s room if it was long instead of square. There’s lots of storage space but it’s all shelves and no drawers. The view out my window is pretty nice, if I look out I see the city, to the right I can see a tiny bit of the Pantheon and if I look down I see Las Vegas shoes. 
I met up with Emily after I got settled and we walked to Pere Lachaise cemetery to find my Moliere. He hide quite well, but we found him after some walking. His grave’s not all that special, it’s kind of sad. They also put him up really high and fenced him in, so it’s hard to see. Our feet we hurting so we decided to leave Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison for another day.
We also found toilet paper, I had to buy pink, I don’t know if I’ll ever get use to that, and a very nice patisserie. I have a feeling I’ll start eating pastries for breakfast, lunch and dinner if I’m not careful.
I’ve made a few trips to the various supermarkets down the street. I managed to get some supplies, but mostly learned that supermarkets are actually focused on food here and that I’m very bad with using Euros.
I don’t have WiFi in my room, but I’m going to get internet eventually. I could go down to the common area, but I think I need a password and I honestly can’t speak any more French tonight.
I figured out that I can understand pretty much everything people say, but my nervousness and shyness gets in the way of talking, so I’m pretty behind on that skill. But that’s why I’m here in Paris, so hopefully I’ll be better at speaking soon.
Well, I need to go get ready for bed so I can get going tomorrow. I’m pretty excited to actually start GPP and get a phone.
A plus tard!