Tag Archives: film

Half way to somewhere

Today we kept on painting, here’s some photos from yesterday to show our progress. I don’t believe any photos were taken today, but every wall has a new color now, some with two layers.

Not my best look in the word, but you try being photo ready after painting all day!

Gotta get those high spots.

 

Work was tiring but good, I’m starting to figure out the French work habits and how to properly take a “pose”, tres important.

After work I wasted some time exploring the bibliotheques of les halles. The music library is amazing because it’s the only library I’ve ever been in with music playing in the background, perfect for my work habits. Unfortunately that area only has 4 chairs, I counted, not very useful for big projects. There is a work room, but it’s quiet and serious. There’s also a media room where you can listen to CDs (I recommend Yann Tiersan with his new album Dust Lane, not to buy but just for some new sounds), watch films, or do music related research. Unfortunately no facebook access in this library. After that I headed to the cinema library. There’s internet access if you sign up, which costs some. You can also watch DVDs, something I thing I’m going to take advantage of after work one day.

After that I headed down ligne 7 to meet up with Elaine for her birthday dinner. It was my  first time eating Chinese food in the Chinese district, and I have to say not bad. Although a tad more expensive than normal Chinese food, but still less expensive than normal restaurants.

Oh, I forgot to mention. I went into a little boutique near my stage today, where they had the most beautiful scarves. They were half price, but for 60 euros I had to pass. Tant pis… Maybe they’ll magically have a 75% off sale next week. 🙂

Don’t let the rain come down

I’m very glad that today is a national holiday, because not only did I finally get to sleep in, but now I get to write about my wonderful week. 🙂

Monday, I got to sit in on the wonderful restoration class at my stage, where we learned about “Oil painting technique from the 15th to the 18th centuries”. It’s possibly my favorite class because I always learn something new, and how many people really get to learn about art restoration? It’s also the only class where I generally take over 4 pages of notes, who wants to forget all the cool information and the fun facts like “If you wanted to buy one of Ruebens paintings, you could either pay an arm and a leg for a Ruebens by Ruebens, or pay less for a painting done by Ruebens and one of his students signed by Ruebens, or pay less for a painting done by a student, in the style of Ruebens”. The amazingness of Monday started during the “tea break” in the middle of class, when I got to talk to one of the students. All we talked about was how I was silly to doodle on my notes and where I’m from, but I actually got to practice my french! Then, after class I was asked by another student my opinion on “What’s happening to Obama right now”. I had to show that I’m a typical American and haven’t really paid attention and don’t really have an opinion, but it was really cool to finally be asked about that, because it’s a common question that most of the GPPers hear. Then I bought a nice cheap lunch of a supermarket sandwich with Nutella snack packs, and ate with the students. I had to leave before I was really finished, so I headed downstairs and got to eat with the actual restorers. I finally had a lunch where not only did I get to listen to French, but I got to participate a little in the conversation. After mon stage, I headed to my grammar class where we learned about common phrases using “en”. Then I had class with Marie at IFE where we learned about “Les Consonnes”, when to pronounce certain letters at the ends of words, and, finally, after 8 years of French, when to pronounce the “s” at the end of “plus”. I still don’t completely understand it, but I can finally stop making the common mistake of saying the “s” in “ne…plus”. We managed to have dinner at the foyer, and then Eliza and I worked on our exposés until late at night, when we went to a get together for one of our friend’s birthdays, and then headed to bed.

Tuesday

I woke up early so that I could put the finishing touches on my exposé, make sure it was in French and all that. Then I headed over to Belleville for class with Thierry. The idea was to walk around Belleville, learning the history of the area while looking at where it all actually took place. However, the rain just refused to stop, so we ended up spending class by sitting in a café and taking notes, walking around, finding another café, walking around, and then finding another café. It was a little ridiculous, except I got some free hot chocolate and pastries because of it, thank you Thierry! In the end I had to do my exposé in a café, which was a little awkward, but it would have probably been more awkward sitting in a park like I think Thierry had originally planned. In the end, I got a good grade but Thierry said I would have done much better if I had organized it the French way. Which, is to have an intro and conclusion, and before each section list out what you’re going to say. Basically, be extremely repetitive. We finished early because of the rain, so I headed to the foyer to do everything I didn’t have time to do while working on my exposé and just relax before class. In grammar class, we learned about the futur tense and how to conjugate it. I was suppose to have a make up class for Thierry in the evening, but he canceled it, so I headed home to get ready for the big night of….. Rabi’s birthday!

Rabi was our first friend in France, during Ramadan he fed us dinner, we’ve had parties up in his room, he’s just awesome so we knew we had to do something for his birthday. At first, we just figured we’d bake him brownies or something like that, but eventually it evolved to playing some sort of practical joke on him. We decided that since we always make such a big deal about his awesome afro, we’d all surprise him by wearing afro wigs ourselves. So, after dinner we made the brownies (very hard because not only did we have to switch the measurements, but we couldn’t find any brown sugar at the supermarket) (also, fyi the french do not differentiate between cookies, brownies, and cakes), and got everybody together. He was suppose to come around 11:00, so around then we all put on our wigs and hung around the common room playing games (we taught everyone how to play BS) and taking incredibly silly photos.  By twelve, we were all debating the best way to get him back to the foyer before it got to late when, guess who wandered in, Rabi! He was completely shocked and had no clue what was going on at first. We sung happy and just hung out and it was awesome. Basically, extreme birthday success! Joyeux Anniversaire encore Bert!

Wednesday

Went to my stage expecting to just work on translating the website all morning, only to discover that it was a special class on the  “materials of retouching”. So, I got to sit in on a class taught by the director, talk to some people, and eat lunch with everybody, where I learned important things like how Nutella is actually from Italy. Go Italians! Afterwords I headed to grammar class where I learned when to use the Futur Proche and when to use the Futur Simple, tricky business but it makes more sense now. Then I headed home expecting to just take a nap, eat dinner, and fall asleep early. Instead, I ended up going to a play (a futuristic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, very strange, even to the Frenchies) and eating dinner with the group. It’s funny, back in the U.S., I really don’t care about meals. I tend to eat alone and then actually go do something, the meal is just a necessary waste of time before the event. Here, the meal is the event, it’s where I socialize with people and really get to know everyone. Maybe it’s just because the food’s better lol.

Today

I got to sleep in this morning because…. National Holiday! So, after finally catching up on my sleep a bit, I headed to see a film with some friends. We were going to see Buried with Ryan Renolyds, but we ended up getting there to late, so we saw “L’homme qui voulait vivre sa vie” with Romain Duris as the star actor of course! It was a…. strange.. movie. It took a while to actually reach the plot, and then anytime anything happened, they’d basically just flip over the story to make it work. (Spoiler alert) Like, ok he accidentally killed a guy, so he’s going to fake his own death and take the other guys identity, and his life turns out great, until he has to meet someone who knew the guy before, so he fakes his death again and heads to Venezuela, but the ship is attacked! So he gets thrown off the boat with proof of the attack, gives the proof to someone else who becomes famous and walks off into the distance! Basically, the film was very french and very heavy, I walked away with a weird feeling that I’ve only just gotten rid of by watching big bang theory with Zipeng. As awesome as Romain Duris is, I would not recommend that film. We had a very diverse group movie taste wise, and none of us really had anything to say about it.

So, that was my super-awesome week! Which I guess technically isn’t over yet, but since I’m only going to my stage tomorrow morning and don’t have class, I’m saying the weekend has started.

I may have seen a really weird film and play, but this week was still incredible because I simultaneously had the awesome feeling of finishing my exposé and the incredible feeling of hanging out with friends. Success, I am ready for this weekend. 🙂

Hope everyone had a happy Veterans day! Bonne soirée!

Very busy and good week

I can’t believe how behind I’ve gotten with my blog posts. I’ll try and remember everything that happened, but as usual it’s never a good thing when I forget to update my blog.

Sunday

I forget what I did during the day, but I spent the night watching Love Actually dubbed in French with the group. It’s amazing how many people you can fit into those tiny rooms. 🙂

Monday

Had my stage in the morning. It’s vacation week, or possibly two weeks I’m not sure, for the students. So, it was eerily quiet with only 4 or 5 of us there. I worked on translating titles of a book about restoration into French. Then I went to my grammar class, and then Marie’s class. We worked on vowels I think… The “ou” sound is still impossible for me to do, but thanks to Marie I did it correctly once, which means it’s possible, just very very hard. Oh, we also worked on the Nasal sounds and how to tell the difference between them. Then I headed back for some diner au foyer. Afterwords, Eliza and I tried to figure out what to do with our lives and ended up just getting completely sidetracked. I’ve reached the point where I can’t keep going through my education with no goal other than to speak French. It’s not enough. You can get away with that a bit in the US, but I want to work in France after school, and they know what they want to do in High School and generally stick to it. It’s not exactly professional of me to go around saying “I have no clue what I want to do” and the longer I take to figure it out, the longer it takes until I actually get to do what I want to do. Silly American education system…

Tuesday

Very very crazy day. Started out by getting up early, taking my sweet time getting ready, and then realizing that I had to make it not the 20 minute walk to IFE, but the 30-40 minute metro ride across town. My Paris-France-Paris class was out in one of the banlieus and I had completely forgotten. Luckily, we made it to the train station before our train left, and if we had made it early we would have just been sitting around waiting for it to leave. We spent the day walking around the Cité-Jardin of Suresnes. A cité-jardin is basically a village built to house workers. The unique thing about it is, for the first time they didn’t just build housing, but schools, a dance hall, retirement home, and parks as well. The buildings were considered very modern and luxurious at the time, but the rent was reasonable so that workers could live there. Unfortunately, the Cité-Jardin of Suresnes is now a wealthy neighborhood, and most workers have to live in the crowded banlieus. But the idea was revolutionary and worked until the housing turned private. If only things like that happened more often.

After walking around for three hours, we trekked back to Saint-Michel where I grabbed some chevre pizza and headed to my grammar class. My grammar class continues to bug me because nobody really respects the professor or the class, and a lot of the homework is basically busy work. But, we also do Dictées (professor dictates part of a text and we have to write it out using correct grammar, agreement, and spelling) and other stuff that a French geek like me considers fun. 🙂 After class, it was time to run to IFE for another Paris-France-Paris class. Because our professor was sick one day, we decided the best way to make it up was to have some night classes. Good idea, but 4 hours of the same professor in one day is kinda rough. Especially this Tuesday because at night we had our first test! And what was it on? Everything! It was essay format and we basically had to write out everything we could remember and then try and prove some kind of point with it. Luckily, we all finished the test on time, and I was all ready to make it back to the foyer in time for dinner and relax with friends when our professor decides to finally explain what we need to do for our presentations. Not only did this take another half hour, but it stressed me out even more because it turns out my presentation has to be the most complicated 15 minutes I have ever heard of. Once we finally escaped, Eliza and I took the bus back to the foyer, bought some chicken from the Muslim boucher down the street so we didn’t have to cook, scrounged up some salad from the supermarket to at least try and be healthy, got all our supplies into the common room, were about to sit down and eat, annddd the fire alarm goes off. Everyone in the building has to evacuate and walk down the street, leaving out meal sitting on the table untouched. Once we got the word that we could return to the foyer, we all headed back inside and were corralled into the common room, where we were given a speech about fire safety. Very informative and good stuff, they even smoked up one of the side rooms so we could see how quickly the danger spreads, however this was around 9:30, and I was very hungry. Once that ended Eliza and I were finally able to eat our dinner, which thankfully was very very good. 🙂 We got to end the day by talking to friends and relaxing, but it was still by far my longest day in Paris. I just couldn’t catch a break.

Wednesday

Had my stage in the morning, where I had a meeting with the director and the head of my program to discuss how my stage is going so far. Basically, all seems well except I of course don’t talk enough :-). One frustrating point, the head of my program, Thomas, always stresses how we should try and eat lunch with the workers at our stage. Which I’m all for, but it’s always very hard because everybody eats late and a random times. Thomas asked the director about lunch at my stage, and she said that I’m welcome to eat with them and they always eat around 1. I thought, sweet, I’ve finally figured it out, I can start eating with them and practice more French and it’ll be good. However, that day nobody at at 1, the majority of the group left around 12, 1230 mysteriously, not to go buy lunch, and didn’t return until after I left at 1:30. So, to future GPPers, if you get frustrated by your stage, we’ve all been though it. Stages aren’t always the perfect experience where you become besties with your boss and have a job lined up for the future. A lot of the time they’re confusing and random, but as long as you get something out of the experience, it’s all good. And remember, always talk to the IFE group if you have any problems, they really are incredibly nice and there to help you with any problems.

After my stage I headed to grammar class and the back to the foyer for dinner. I honestly can’t remember if anything interesting happened that night.. Gotta work on that memory of mine.

Thursday

Went to my stage in the morning, where I translated a blurb about the Atlelier into English and a pamphlet about the Atelier into English. After that I headed to my Grammar class and then back to the foyer. For dinner, it was “Jazz night” with a New Orleans theme. Now, this doesn’t mean we had real Cajun food, but it does mean that we had a candlelight edible dinner with music. Very classy for the foyer. And it was the first time I cleaned my plate at a foyer dinner. My tummy was very happy. 🙂 After dinner, there was a live Jazz band in the common room. The music was good, but it felt a little off for us Americans since the french woman who was singing didn’t know how to move like most Jazz singers would. As much as she tried, she couldn’t get passed this all angles, barely moving French stereotype. But she had a very good voice. Then I had a wonderful skype session with the goucherites instead of doing my homework and went to bed. I still find it hard to balance keeping in touch with friends (which helps keep me sane), hanging out with foyer people (which keeps me happy), and all the things I have to do for my program (which keeps me graduating on time).

Friday

Another crazy day, but in a very good way. Started with my stage, which was incredibly empty since almost everybody is on vacation. I continued translating, but just spent most of the time being frustrated as I watched a very typical French workplace, they just sat and gossiped and smoked cigarettes until noon, while I actually did my work because I wanted to leave early. I know the concept behind how the French work, and it makes sense and everything, but it’s really hard to change my work habits and how I think. But, I got to leave early and run some errands, finally finding nuts in the grocery store, had to look next to the wine and party supplies, and buying stamps for all the birthday cards that are now a month behind. As I got in the metro to head to class, I could hear the cries of strikers heading to the manifestation and music from the guy who always plays bob marley songs in the metro, and it just hit me really hard that I’m really in France, I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it was just one of those moments. In my grammar class, we worked on using “en” to replace words with “de” and how to make the sentence flow instead of sounding incredibly awkward. After class I headed to a library to try and get some research done for my exposé. The french libraries are good and all, but they kinda remind me of the southington library before they renovated it. I checked out two books about Belleville and then headed home. There was a workshop going on to learn Japanese cooking, but I decided to head to an Italian restaurant with some friends instead. It turned out to be more a pizzaria than an Italian restaurant, but the food was still really good, and the company too. Afterwords, I chilled with some friends in the common room, and we somehow ended up watching The Patriot. I spent half the film trying to explain who the colonists were and why the british we attacking. Then I hung out with some Goucherites visiting Eliza and called it a night. All in all a very good night.

Saturday

I can’t believe I finally caught up to today, but here it is. So far, I woke up, did laundry, researched what libraries I should go to, and wrote this. It’s very frustrating because the libraries I need are closed Sunday and Monday. So I either go today, or rush there after class during the week. At this point, I think I’ll choose the later because I’m really tired and should probably look through the books I have now before getting more.

Tonight, my Goucher friend John is coming to visit from Scotland. But
I don’t actually know what time he’ll get here because the strikes have completely screwed up transportation.

Anyway, hope everybody has a wonderful weekend and a happy Halloween!

Promod et Pimkie :-)

Right now I’m sitting in my room staring out the window, watching the end of my first Parisien thunderstorm, from my 8th story window. It wasn’t the best storm I’ve ever seen, no where close those Fire Island winds. But watching the lightning shoot across the sky behind the rooftops with smoke billowing out of old fashion chimneys, it just feels pretty darn poetic.

Yesterday I worked on translating the titles of a book about different approaches to retouching paintings. It’s a lot easier than the last book I translated because it’s not some British guy trying to sound all intelligent. The authors are pretty to the point, and don’t add unneeded info to the titles. I worked late because I have an impossible time figuring out the lunch schedule at mon stage. Then I bought a salad and headed over to Saint Michel. I ate in the park, including a wonderful nutella crepe for dessert, finished my homework, and headed to Grammar class. We worked on plus-que-parfait and did a dictée. It’s weird but I love dictées, they’re like a puzzle that involves my favorite thing, French. I don’t know if that makes sense, it’s just my perfect kind of challenge.

After class I did some shopping with Lauren. We headed to Promod and Pimkie where I bought a sweater, a longsleeve shirt, and a pancho. So far my favorite cheap stores in Paris are Promod and Mim, although Pimkie is awesome too. Tati is pretty poor quality, you get what you pay for.

Then I headed back to the foyer for some dinner. Fun fact, apparently the French do science experiments in class just like we do, except they dissect cow’s hearts.

We tried to get a group together, but the foyer was pretty empty. The group ended up going to a café while I had second dinner with Eliza at the Kebab place. So, altogether not an uber exciting Friday night, but I had fun and that’s all that matters.

Today

Woke up a little later than I wanted. I needed to do some research for an exposé (presentation) I have to do on Immigration to Belleville, and the libraries in the area were all open 10-4 Saturday, closed Sunday, so I had planned to wake up early and use all of the little time available. I went to Bibliothèque Couronnes because it has a specialty of “Afrique noire et monde arabe” and it’s also in the Belleville area. I don’t think I actually taped into the specialty at all, because in the history-France-Paris section there were some books on Belleville. They actually had at least one book on every district, just something general, and then some more specialized books on Belleville.  I took a bunch of notes, but none of the books really gave me any reason to check them out. Which was annoying because I needed to check something out so I could show Theirry my library card come Tuesday. He’s always telling us to do stuff and then gets really sad when we don’t go to the museum or take the velib, so now finally I can show him I did something! It was really easy to get the library card. At first they were a little confused at my CT state drivers license, but once they got all my info they didn’t seem to care. I did have to explain that my name was “Jennifer” and now “Jennifer L” and that my birthday is the 11th of April and not the 4th of November.  So now I have access to all the Paris libraries, except certain specialized ones, and I think I can print some things out, but I have to read up on how that works. Also, I signed up for their mailing list so I’m excited to get so info on the local going-ons. After I finished up at the library, I bought some lunch at a local sandwich shop. It was a lot cheaper than even around me, it’s amazing how things change district to district. Also, the lady was really nice, which just my day that much more awesome. Later, I went with Julia to visit Eliza at her stage. The exposition was cool, but a bit too high modern art even for me. Some things just didn’t feel like real art, although others I just wanted to stare at for a while. After that Julia and I tried to do some shopping, but we were in a little too expensive of a district, so we headed home.

For dinner I went out with the group to a Chinese restaurant. I tried to get fried rice and failed, I’m not sure if it exists here because I even asked my Chinese friend to make sure I was ordering the right thing. But it was good anyway, although I miss being able to take food home, it would have made a good lunch for tomorrow. During dinner I got to fulfill a very bizarre lifelong (well, since survivor was around) dream of mine. I ate blood. Pigs blood I believe, processed like tofu into a little rectangle. Funny thing is, it kinda tasted like American cheese, no real taste but just a little something funky there.

After dinner we got back on the metro to go see the movie “The Social Network”. Along the way, I learned that we say masks very funny, and crisps as well, but nobody in the US actually says that. Mask-s. Once we got to the movie theater, I realized that I had no cash and my silly American credit card wouldn’t work with the machine. Basically anytime I have to stick my credit card into something instead of sliding it, it doesn’t work. Luckily Akrame saved me, so I was able to see the film.  The film had subtitles, which normally would bug me, but I don’t really care enough about a facebook movie to translate anything, so it was nice to hear English instead. It was an interesting story, but something you could wait to see. And yes, I agree with the general public, Justin Timberlake can act. After the film we headed home and that’s where I am now. 🙂

I think I just watered down a pretty awesome day. It was my first day where not only did I get multiple things done, but I ate 3 good meals and had dinner with people. Also, I didn’t speak any English at all, except maybe three words to Zipeng and of course repeating “masks”, “crisps”, and “nerd” for the frenchies. Je suis heurese. 😀

Yesterday

Nothing too blog-worthy happened yesterday.

At mon stage I worked on translating part of a book again. I met a very nice lady who is observing the Atelier for the week to decide if she wants to be a restorer. I learned that you can say 13h45 ou 2h moins quarte, mais pas 14h moins quarte (I might have spelled some of that wrong).

In my grammar class we discussed an except of L’amant by Margurite Duras.

Was completely out of it during dinner because of my cold.

Got Lady and the Tramp in French from Julia, and watched it before bed.

Ya, nothing too interesting, but the film was really really good.

L’arnacoeur – Friday

At mon stage, I translated part of a English book into French so that it would be easier for the French students to quickly find what they were looking for.  It was tricky because while I had a multi-language dictionary for all the Restoration terms, I didn’t have a normal French/English dictionary. I could have sat in on a drawing class, but it was for advanced students and I didn’t really feel like getting roped into buying materials, and then draw really really bad compared to the others. Probably not a good reason, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

After my stage I headed to the metro to recharge my Navigo card for the month. It became a bit of an advanture, when I realized that the machine didn’t take 50 Euro bills, only 20 or less. I headed into some stores nearby, and lucky a gaming store was willing to “faire le money” with me. Only, he almost didn’t because apparently counterfit euros are a problem or something. He said my 50 didn’t have a bar so he couldn’t accept it, luckily i had another 50 that had the bar so it worked fine. I’m a little worried though since I get these annoying 50 euro bills from an ATM, which should check to see if it’s a good bill or not…. Once I got the money sorted out, I went to use the machine. Thank god there was a woman there to help me, because even though I chose the English directions, I still didn’t understand that you have to leave your Navigo on the thing the whole time.

In my phonetics class we started to work on the French R. Tricky little bugger, you have to keep your tongue in the same place the whole time, no movement like the American R.

In grammar class we went over the difference between Savoir and Connaitre, the two words for “to know”, and then debated some more.

Then I decided to go on a mission to find cheap clothes. I had an address, I found it, I found a jewelry shop not a clothing store. Then I headed back to Bastille and went into Gap, because I’m getting that desperate, but all the things I liked were ridiculously expensive. Then I went into Mim, which I’ve shopped at before and is cheap. I gathered all my clothes to try on, went to the dressing room, and discovered tap and a mannequin blocking my way. For some bizarre reason the dressing rooms were closed, so I didn’t buy a thing. So, my shopping mission was a bust, but it was still fun to explore Paris on my own. Maybe I’ll have more luck this weekend.

Had dinner at the foyer, it was Quiche, vegetables, and tater tots so I was actually able to eat everything, it was amazing. And since it was Friday the guy gave us extra desserts! Can’t get any better.

After dinner, most of the crew went out to a cafe, but Zipeng, Rabi, and I decided to be party poopers and watch a movie instead. We watched L’arnacoeur, which is a French chick flick with Romain Duris. It’s basically the opposite of Hitch, the guy breaks up unhappy couples so that the girls can go on with their lives. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think the French completely understand the concept of chick flicks, because there were a lot of things that just didn’t work.

So that was my Friday. Today I’m going to probably try and do some shopping again, and then figure out what to do for nuit blanche. Bon Week-end!

Louvring it

I’ve been horrible at updating my blog this week. So, I’ll try to remember everything that went on since my last update.

Wednesday I went to my internship (which in French is called un stage, so if I slip that’s why). The director was there so she actually gave me stuff to do. We cleaned out the classroom because classes will be starting this week and they needed somewhere for the professors to put their things. So I cleaned out cabinets and ran up and down the stairs with bags of garbage. She started adding paintings, photos, and drawings to the pile so I asked her if she really wanted to throw out the paintings, because they were beautiful. She said yes, but if I wanted to take some I could. So, I wound up with 2 paintings, 2 drawings, some watercolors, and a bunch of random photos. I put them up in my room and it finally feels like home, which is funny because I don’t exactly have oil paintings in my room at home. Guess it’s just the parisienne influence. After the massive clean out I took the subway, with all the paintings, to my class. Surprisingly nobody looked at me funny for carrying a pile of paintings in the subway. Maybe they made me look more artsy and parisienne :-P.  We continued to work on vowels in my phonetics class and the subjonctif in my grammaire class. Once classes were finished I headed to the foyer to eat dinner before going out for a play. During dinner I talked to one of my Frenchie friends about smoking. He said he had his first cigarette at 12, smoked occasionally at 13, and actually started smoking for real at 15. And he knows people who started at 8. It’s crazy. Anyway, that night I went to see the play “A deux lits du delit” with Lauren and Erin, friends from my Sorbonne class. It turned out to cost only 4 euros, although we could only see half the stage since we were in the cheap seats. It was a very funny play about 2 men who go to a hotel to meet their mistresses, who turn out to be the other man’s wife. I didn’t get all the jokes, but I understood the majority of it. We’re going to try and make Wednesday night play night, because it’s easy to get cheap tickets as young students in Paris.

Thursday I spent my internship scanning papers into the computer. Also, I got to help make some sort of resin for “fixing the paintings.” No clue what I actually did but it was cool. I left mon stage a little early since, guess what, another strike! Go France! This time it didn’t really affect my time in the metro at all, it was mostly on the outskirts of paris and RER lines. But, since I walk to the Bastille metro I got to see some of the manifestation, which basically consisted of a bunch of giant balloons which some name on it I didn’t recognize, and a bunch of people trying to hand out fliers or sell me stuff. So, I got to class fine and honestly can’t remember exactly what we learned Thursday. We might have started talking about questions and cinema in my Grammaire class. Thursday night we couldn’t eat at the foyer restaurant because of the strike, so one of the foyer boys was kind enough to cook for Eliza and me. We had something which involved putting slices of bread with ham, mozzarella cheese, chevre (i think) and tomatoes on it in the oven. It was really really good and filling. Then I just hung out with the foyer guys and did my homework.

Friday I spent the time at mon stage starting to translate the website. The girl before me did most of the work, but there’s still a lot to finish, and it’s tricky because there’s all the complicated art terms. It’s fun though because I really have to think about what I’m doing.  Then I headed to my class, again no problem with the strike even though it was still going on. In my phonetics class we continued with vowels, which are really tough for me. You have to think about where you put your tongue, when open your mouth, and where your lips should be. And it can change three times in one word, but you can’t talk all sing songy like we do in the US. In my grammaire class we continued to work on questions and discussed films. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be going to see one of the films we talked about for class. After class I went to a cafe to catch up with the GPPers and Jessica, and then rushed back to the foyer only to discover that the restaurant was closed because of the strike, so we ate kebabs instead. Then I rushed to the Louvre to meet up with Lauren and Erin because on Friday nights the Louvre is free to almost everyone, unless your old and not european. It was cool to just wander around with no worries even if it was only for half an hour.

Saturday, I woke up and headed to Cyberphone to buy some more minutes. The more people I meet the faster I use up my minutes. But at the same time I don’t want to not send texts because it’s really cool and important to text in French. Then I headed to the foyer brunch. I got there late so I didn’t really eat to much. But, apparently the French eat pancakes with caramel. It wasn’t bad but it just didn’t feel right. I had planned on going shopping and seeing a movie, but my friend bailed on me. So, I ended up playing pingpong most of the day and then going out dancing with the crew. We went out to a bar, which was nice because it meant an earlier night since the bar closed early.  I love dancing, but the bar was a little too crowded, so I honestly had a better time just walking back to the foyer afterword. We missed the metro, so it was a 40 minute walk or something like that. It’s nice just to talk to people and relax.

Sunday

My friend bailed on my again for the movies. So, thankfully Eliza was incredibly nice and went with me. We saw “Des Hommes et Des Dieux” which is about 7 monks who stayed in Algeria during the war. It was good but it was really heavy and deep. I think seeing it once was enough.

Today, because this post took about 4 days to finish, I started my stage by sitting in on part of the first class. Basically all the students introduced themselves, the heads of the atelier introduced themselves, and they said all the rules of l’atelier. After that the directrice showed me a painting that still had paper stuck to it from the packaging they put on it for transport. It was stuck to the border, and she had me make a solution to help take it off, and then use it on the painting and  peal the paper off. I’m not sure if that made any sense, but I was working on an actual painting, moving it around and everything and it was awesome.

Then I headed to my phonetics class and worked on open vowels, not fun. I love my phonetics class, but it makes me really mad that we didn’t do any exercises like this in High School or College. It feels like I didn’t really start learning French until now, and now I’m really behind. It’s not actually true, it’s just frustrating.

In my grammar class we worked on how to make phrases comparing things. Like, compared to his brother, paul is short. Which was kind of boring until we used it to have a very very animated conversation about whether TV is good or not. It was the first time we actually stayed in class to long, so hopefully we’ll do activities like that more often.

Then I headed to class with Marie at IFE. She started teaching us phonetics, which was good and confusing because she teaches it a little different than my prof at the Sorbonne. We had some fun doing French tongue twisters and just trying to pronounce these crazy French vowels.

For dinner at the foyer I ate tater tots and carrots because the meat did not look good today. It might be a bad habit to start skipping the meat, but I’d rather stick with my ham or chicken sandwiches at lunch and skip mystery fish for dinner.  I sat with the normal crew, and we had a heated discussion about films which was awesome. And then we got on the topic of pronunciation. I love when people correct my French because I want to speak well, but I’m so frustrated about all the different U forms. I wish I could magically wake up with the ability to say Cours correctly.

Now I’m exhausted for some reason. I think I’m just going to go to bed even though it’s only 10:20.

Bonne nuit!  Sorry if this post was written randomly or poorly, it took a couple days to finish.