Tag Archives: sleep

With everything that’s been going on, I haven’t really been able to update about what I’ve actually been doing this whole time. So, hopefully, I’ll cover most of it right now.

Wednesday evening, we had our team reveal. This wasn’t done by calling out names and assigning teams as I expected, instead we were sent on a scavenger hunt where we had to first find our team members and then work together as a team to solve clues in order to find our team leader. In FEMA Corps there are three units (Spruce, Pine, and Hickory) and twenty-one teams. My team is Pine 4, and to show our pride we repeat Pine like the seagulls in Finding Nemo said mine (aka Pine, pine pine, pine, pine pine pine). My team has eleven members and one team leader, and we’re pretty evenly split girls/guys and from different parts of the country. Everyone on the team is really nice, but I’m still learning names and where everyone’s from and all that. It sometimes seems harder to bond with my team because we will have so much time together, whereas it felt easy to bond with my group because we knew we had to make the most of the time we had.

Thursday, we had kitchen inspections in the morning, followed by our first Physical Training (PT). Most of this PT was spent explaining what we’re going to do for the rest of PT and why we are doing it. At the end we did push ups, sit ups, and running to make a baseline that we can refer back to at the end of the year to see how much we improved. I did 22 sit ups in a minute, over ten push ups (forgot that number) in a minute, and crossed the gym 19 times before the buzzer. My team seems to be well mixed for PT, there were people like me, who hadn’t done push ups in years, and then there was one guy who crossed the gym 100 times and only had to stop because the tape we were following ran out.
After PT we learned about recruitment and the media in NCCC  – FEMA Corps. There weren’t really any shocks for recruitment, I already knew most things from being a tour guide. The Media portion was a lot stricter than I expected though. Because we are working with disasters, there is a lot of things I can’t post, for the security of the area and the confidentiality of the survivors. It all makes sense, I’ve just never had to think about it before. It was also stressed that we should be prepared to be interviewed, being the inaugural class of NCCC – FEMA Corps is going to capture even more attention than NCCC normally does.
After that we had nutrition training, where we learned how to eat right. We had a very interesting speaker who told us an entirely new way of eating. She stressed Protein and Fats with very little Carbs, basically telling us the opposite of everything we had learned in school. I definitely wouldn’t mind trying to eat that way, but with our small food budget, we’ll probably be eating mostly carbs this year.

Friday, we met with the FEMA representative and went to Cedar Rapids. Afterwards, I took a beautiful three hour nap, went to dinner, and watched the Hunger Games.

Today, we had muster at 7:50, where I learned that my Rep Role for the year will be Project Outreach Liason and I will explain what that means after I get trained for it on Tuesday. The only other plan for today is to go get drug tested and have them check my TB test, so not too much to report on today.

Some random thoughts

  • I actually like waking up early, it makes the days seem so long. The only problem is that when I do have time to sleep in, my body still tries to get up at 5:30 out of habit.
  • It’s already getting cold here. Especially when you wake up at 5:30 with the windows open. Bad idea.
  • I’ve only been here two weeks or so, but it already feels like I’ve been here for months. They keep us so busy that everything just falls into place and starts to feel normal.
  • I really like the uniform. Even though it means I have to keep my shirt tucked in and wear sneakers, it also means I don’t have to worry about finding an outfit from the measly wardrobe I brought.

Well, I think that about covers it. Hope everyone has a wonderful day. 🙂




Got up and went to my internship, where after finishing my translations I basically just observed what everybody was doing for 2 hours, then ate lunch with them for 2 hours. I should have asked for something to do, but whenever the director isn’t there I know they don’t actually have any work for me to do. Which is something that frustrates me about my stage, I don’t often feel useful. But, I was actually kinda glad to just watch people work, because it’s incredible interesting to just watch them mixing colors and matching the painting completely. Back in high school I had trouble making the color for my painting of a light cover, here they know exactly which color combination to use and how much, I only saw the wrong color appear once, and she just added some more white or something like that and it was perfect. Everyday I see somebody eat lunch from this restaurant called “Parce Que”. Originally I’d try and find “Parce Que” as an excuse to explore the area. However, after many weeks it continues to escape my notice, so I finally decided to just ask somebody where it was. Turns out it was hiding on a corner right down the street, where I hadn’t explored because I thought there were only businesses. “Parce Que” is a little shop where they sell healthy salads, sandwiches, pastas, and soup. The food’s really good, but it’s a little pricey for my tastes. However, I might just have to treat myself every once and a while. Back at l’Atelier, for lunch I just sat there looking pretty and not really talking to anyone, but at least I got to eat lunch with them for once. Silly artists with their lack of schedule.

After my grammar class, I headed home and met up with John who had returned from Switzerland. We had dinner with some foyer friends and then watched The Big Bang Theory chez Zipeng. Sometimes I feel like I spend too much time watching movies or tv shows, but weirdly enough it’s through sitting around watching television that you can sometimes have the coolest conversations. Like after watching show, we got to have an actual conversation about what Zipeng wants to do with his life and all that, I miss actual conversations. After that, I had to be a lousy friend and work on my rapport du stage and call it a night.


Got up at walked with John to my stage, where I left him to use the MacDonalds wifi and wander around on his own before he left Paris after lunch to return to good ol Scotland. The students had finally returned from vacation, so I got to sit in on the Art History class again. I missed having the students at my stage sooo much. Not that I actually talk a lot with them, but they’re all really nice, the classes are really interesting, and there’s just so much more activity with them around. In class, we moved on to Italy, where we talked about art in the 14th and 15h centuries (pre-renaissance),with painters such as Trecento, Giotto, and Lorenzo Monaco. Don’t you just love those names? After class I grabbed some pasta from “Parce Que” with a strawberry something dessert. Turns out my pasta came with marinara sauce, which was heavenly since I have not eaten nearly enough Italian meals since coming here, and the dessert was basically the cool whip dip my mom makes with I believe some strawberry yogurt and jello, a very welcome reminder of home. I started eating with the students, but because the other class ran late, I had to move downstairs before their afternoon class started. I kinda awkwardly joined in with the actual workers. They all seem to be in a set group, so I just listened and enjoyed hearing french for an hour. In my grammar class, we learned how to use “Les pronouns neutres: le, y, en” which is basically another way to say “it”, one of the most important words in any language in my opinion. After class I headed to IFE for a make-up class with Marie since we didn’t have class on Monday. We learned about the differences between formal, normal, and informal ways of speaking. We got to watch this amazing comedian do a sketch making fun of teens today and how they pay too much attention to technology and use too many acronyms and all that. (Here’s a link of the first part of the sketch for any frenchies out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XekUOqjq-lE) I love any chance I get to find little tidbits of French culture, especially since it’s so often hidden by all the Americanisms. After class, Eliza and I ate some wonderful Kebab and then headed to the Halloween Spooky Story event at the foyer. We were a tad too tired to get the full spooky effect, but after our friend explained what was going on later, we were sufficiently creeped out.


Worked on translating the website for my stage. Staring at a computer for almost four hours straight wasn’t the smartest thing to do. But since I don’t need a smoke break, I didn’t really think about stopping to stretch my legs of anything like that. It’s one of those American habits that’s really hard to get rid of. I misjudged when everybody was going to eat lunch, and ended up just heading out on my own because… No Grammar class today! My prof had a meeting, so I got to start my weekend early, a much needed break. I decided to use my extra time to check out an apartment the family might be staying in for Christmas (turns out its on a normal side-street, nothing special but nothing sketch) and to get some homework done. Then I went for a walk with a friend (we were going to try out the Velibs, but then realized that my American Credit Card wouldn’t work with the machine), had dinner, and then went to bed at 8:30. That’s right, 8:30, I didn’t actually fall asleep until 10:30 but it was still marvelous, I love living here but boy is it tiring, it was so nice to just lay in bed and let my eyes relax.


I woke up later than I wanted, 9:30ish. I was still tired which just shows how much this city can take out of you, but I guess the same thing happens in college, no matter what I am really looking forward to next weekend. I tried to get myself motivated and working in my room, but new I couldn’t get anything really done unless I went to a library. So, Eliza and I decided to head to the 15th Arrondissement to scope out the only French public library open on Sunday! Turns out it’s beautiful, almost like Goucher’s library but probably not as green and possibly a little smaller. Of course all the tables were taken, so we somehow ended up sitting in the children’s section where it progressively got louder as the night went on. The library was a great place to get work done, only there are absolutely no plugs, so I was a little limited with how much time I could spend on my computer. I guess no plugs is the catch for freewifi. But, when my computer died I just took more notes, and when I couldn’t stand that anymore, I just went exploring and took out the French version of Spanish for Dummies. I’ve decided that while I still don’t really know what I want to do with my life, I want to speak multiple languages. I don’t have to be fluent but it’s gotta be more than French. And, since Goucher hasn’t been much help in that area, I need to take the initiative and start learning on my own. Hopefully I’ll find some local classes at a library or something for next semester, and maybe take some at a community college this summer back home, but either way I figure if I read the book at least the words will look more familiar to me. After the library, I had dinner with Emily, a Goucherite who’s currently during the program I’ll be doing next semester. We ate at a wonderful Italian restaurant by her foyer in the 15th Arrondissement, where I finally got to have some good Italian spaghetti, oh how I’ve missed you pasta. Emily lives in an all girls foyer, so I wasn’t able to see her room because they’re not allowed visitors, but I was able to see the common area and kitchen. It was huge and in good condition and all that, but everybody was in their own little group. At my foyer it’s hard to just hide in the corner, everybody hangs out together. I’m really glad I chose a co-ed foyer, I’ve met so many people just by hanging out in the common room and the whole foyer itself seems geared more towards meeting people. Emily said her foyer barely has events, and they don’t have a restaurant. My foyer has multiple events every week, and since most people eat in the restaurant, you always know there’s an easy way to meet people. After dinner, I headed back to my lovely foyer where I watched Man Vs Wild with the group. I never would have chosen to watch Bear Grylls trying to survive, doesn’t really sound that interesting, but I still had a fun time, and the episode was in Florida so we got to discuss how Eliza has alligators in her neighborhood and stuff. Important cultural knowledge.


I woke up later than I wanted, again. Got my laundry done, art some lunch, and headed to the library. I got there exactly when it opened, at 1 o’clock, was all ready to get working after lugging my laptop all over the metro when…. Guess what, library’s closed because of the strike! So, I trekked back to the foyer, and got to work in the common room. I’ve gotten a bit of work done, but I’m still really annoyed that I didn’t get to use the library. There’s something about a library atmosphere that actually makes me work. Here, well, I’m blogging aren’t I. Not exactly a productive environment. But, I’ll get all my work done, no worries.

Hope everybody had a wonderful weekend!

Bonne journée!

Abba dans le métro


Spent the morning à mon stage, mostly I observed the others as they worked. But I also got to help pass out papers for one of the classes, wrap 3 paintings up for transport (you put the bubble wrap on the outside, don’t want polka dotted paintings!), and put a painting on a machine which basically temporarily saran wraps it, then heats it up for a while. This squishes any peeling corners, and since you put glue there first, it drys it. Voila, pretty painting.

Then I headed to phonetics where we worked on the Nasal vowels, tricky little buggers. In my grammar class we worked on more opposition phrases and some other stuff I can’t remember.

Then I headed home, had dinner with Julia and Gregoire, and headed to a play with the Americans. We basically looked through Pariscope (a 40 centime book that lists all the plays in Paris for the week), looked at all the plays for 10 euros or less, and picked one that sounded good. We ended up seeing Nono, thinking it would be a romantic comedy. Turns out it was written in 1905, or something like that. So, it was a bit tricky to understand and the jokes that I could understand weren’t that great. Also, the last time I saw a play, somebody led us to our seats. So, when a lady went to do it this time I figured it was normal. Turns out this time we had to tip her, and she was very upfront about it, refusing to give us back our tickets until we tipped her. Next time, I’ll just find my seat on my own thank you very much. But, overall it was a good time and I definitely want to continue our weekly cheap plays, I gotta take advantage of the -26 discount while I can. 🙂


I spent my stage by sitting in on an art history class. I’m a little confused by the pace of the class. I thought since the class lasts all year it would be very slow, but we went through two centuries today. I guess since the class is only once a week for two hours they have to move fast.

I was taking the metro to Raspail as usual, and somehow ended up going up a different staircase to switch lines. All the sudden I heard a pan flute, it took me a moment but all the sudden I realized he was playing Chiquitita from Mammamia, in the metro! There’s always pan flute players in the metro, selling CDs or just asking for money. However, not only was this one good, but he was playing Abba! Only in France can you walk through the metro and randomly hear Abba on a pan flute. It made my day, and makes me happy just thinking about it now.

In phonetics we worked on the difference between words like “bon” (nasal) and “bonne” (normal, and for us anglophones it’s important to remember to say bon-nuh, at least that’s how I think of it. In my grammaire class we went over verbs like mener/amener/ramener/emmener/apporter/rapporter/emporter and had mini debates in order to use specific phrases which basically mean “It is important to ……., but this is my opinion….”.

Then I headed home, did my laundry, had dinner, and did my homework. Now I’m headed for bed very early, because I’m starting to get headaches along with being tired throughout the day. Socializing all the time is catching up with me, and I need to sleep.

Bonne nuit!

Smexy is the new sexy.

9/22/2010 12:04 AM Some things just never change, like the fact that I really need sleep to function properly. I got around six hours of sleep last night, which isn’t ideal but I’ve done it before plenty of times. However, this morning I had to force my eyes to stay open, which caused my Prof to look at me very very funny, and made for an interesting three hours. So, I’m starting to figure out how I’m going to manage my sleep vs the night life of the foyer. Naps before dinner seem to be the key right now, although that also means I’ve had pillow marks on my face all week during dinner, but I think it’s worth it.

Because of my lack of sleep I didn’t really retain much until after dinner. I know that in Theirry’s class we talked about the division of the city again, and then walked to the Bastille, and to the metro to Republique and Nation to see those monuments. I like the monument at Nation the best because it’s more active and unique. It’s also mostly bronze which I find prettier than stone. Also, note to Lake Compounce workers, apparently the “international crossing sign” is also the “international sign for justice” because it’s on the monument at Nation representing Justice.

After that I had my phonetics class. It’s still the perfect amount of challenging and I’m really sad that’s it’s already almost done. I’m also getting better at noticing just how important the slight differences are. In my grammaire class we worked on subjonctif again, and then did a fun activity of trying to find all the things ending with N in a Christmas picture. It was just a silly activity, but it made me happy how many things we could find, and how creative we got.

After that I headed home to take a beautiful nap. But before that I checked my mail and found a package and a letter! Made my day! Thank you Brianna! Thank you family! Now I have a couple things from home to hang around my room and help with the never ending quest to make my room the opposite of a hotel. Eliza woke me up around 7:30 and we headed to dinner with the gang. Today we discussed the difference between Sexy and Smexy, and what silly bands are. Apparently silly bands haven’t crossed the pond yet. I hope I don’t start a trend *twitch* but one of my friends did request some, so if anyone has some extra dinosaurs around their wrist I would be forever grateful if it was slipped in a letter or something.

After dinner I did some Capoeira again. This time it was just four of us, including my pal Gregoire. It’s so hard but so much fun. I’ve honestly never seen or done anything like it. Today we worked on incorporating cartwheels into the fight. I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel, but it was really cool all the same. Then I headed upstairs, took a shower, did my homework, and here I am.

So, overall good evening, but I need to remember to sleep more. Just because it’s 6pm back home doesn’t mean I can stay up late here. 🙂 Bonne nuit