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.
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!
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.
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!