Tag Archives: supplies

Sorbonne

9/9/2010 6:51 PM

I’ve been really bad about updates. Partly because I had a bad day and wanted to reflect before I posted anything, and partly because yesterday was pretty good and I just felt like going to bed instead of updating.

So, here’s the going ons.

Tuesday: Got my results for the Sorbonne course. I’m still not completely clear about my feelings on the results. I’m in the intermediate level, all the other people in my group are advanced. I’ve been in average courses all my life, so it’s not the level that bugs me so much as for once I wanted to be challenged. Also, I’ve been doing well at Goucher, like the other people in my group. I shouldn’t have gotten an A in a 300 level French class if I’m in an intermediate level. So, I’m annoyed that I apparently didn’t do well on the test, and I’m annoyed about the whole system of French learning.

But now that I’m in the class I like the people. (Also, my friends in the advanced class say that it’s really easy too, so maybe the whole Sorbonne system is easy) And I really like the phonetics class. I’m finally learning how to speak French!

Tuesday was also my first French strike. Very important moment in my life. J

The metro was insane. It worked but there were a lot less trains, so each train was completely packed, there was a line just to get into the waiting area for the train. Then once you got there, there was only room for one person to squeeze onto each car. It was very crazy and stressful, but everybody was nice about it.

Wednesday: Had class with Marie in the morning. I was excited because it was on French food, and we went to one of the oldest markets in Paris. But, most of the stalls weren’t really open, and the class wasn’t that interesting. But it’s good to know where the market is. Then we hurried to our first phonetics class, which consists of “repeat after me” and “so what would you do in this case.” Which I really like because I can finally focus on how I’m speaking French and the reasons behind it. Then we ran to our Grammar class, we only have half an hour between classes and we have to take the metro to get there. I like that we’re learning grammar that I never learned properly, but since it’s all technically review it can be annoying. However, I like my classmates and my prof (Anne-Sophie), so it’s all good.

I also met another American through my class, Lauren, so we’ve been hanging out a bit and it’s really nice to branch out beyond Goucher and the Foyer.

Wednesday night was really fun, I got to relax with friends and have lots of good food and tea (if you’re reading this THANK YOU BERT!). I think the end of the day, hanging out at the foyer, is one of my favorite parts of the day. It’s the only time I can really relax and not worry about that fact that my French is nowhere near perfect. Like, last night, we ended up doing some Karate just for the heck of it. So, it wasn’t “Jen trying to socialize in French” it was just a bunch of friends having a good time, which is something I really miss.

Thursday: Had class with Marie at IFE, where we discussed French politics, which is not more interesting in another language. I don’t think I’ll ever like politics, no matter what language it’s in. Then we ran to buy lunch, ran to the metro, got to class on time, and learned about when to use liaisons in French (such as saying un autre amie as u-nau-tra-mi, or something like that). Then got back on the metro to my grammar class, where I learned how to make phrases starting with Ce qui, Ce que, Ce don’t, et Ce a quoi. This was all review except for Ce a quoi. Then I tried to find a notebook and binder so I can start organizing all the papers I’ve gotten. Turns out notebooks and binders in France are very different. Instead of just being lines a lot of the notebooks are like graph paper, and the size of the paper is different. And then they have binders like at home, but most of them don’t have pockets or are made out of different materials. I know it’s just paper, but I wish I had brought more 5 star notebooks. Also, pens are more expensive, or at least the good ones that I like are. You can still buy a pack of really cheap ones. I bought some supplies since I know I just need to get use to the French way, I also found a cheap copy of Frankenstein in French :-D, so now I finally have something to read besides tamora peirce and Fanfiction.

Then I headed home, had dinner with Eliza and my British neighbor, and now I’m here “doing my homework.”

So, I’ll try to be better at updating, especially since we have a special excursion this weekend, but until then.

Bonne Soiree!

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Sur la Seine, Written August 30th

8/30/2010 10:47 AM

Yesterday I was so wrapped up in my own little world, I forgot to write for my blog, so here it goes.

I woke up late again Sunday, and basically lazed about until Eliza called to see if I wanted lunch. We bought sandwiches and dessert au super-marché et puis ate them at un “espace vert”, basically a tiny park near our foyer with benches and an awesome playground for kids. For dessert we had tiramisu which came in a cup made of glass, so we saved and washed them and now I finally have an actual cup!

Then I did some shopping and bought things to clean the bathroom, a dustpan, laundry detergent, and the important things like that. Then we met up with Christina and Sophia at Pere Lachaise cemetery. We managed to find Edith Piaf, thanks to a tour group surrounding her grave, and then we went to a café for some chocolate chaud. The weather here is turning cold fast, it’s kinda sad. I like winter, but I was hoping for at least a week more of warmer weather.

I also bought a little rug for my room, it’s really small and really cheaply made, but it helps make my room feel like less of a hotel.

It turns out that the best place to buy supplies is not au super-marché ou à MonoPrix, mais at these little bazaars in our quartier. They’re filled to the brim with cheap random things. For example, at Monoprix it cost about a euro for one fork, at the bazaar it coast 1.50 euros for 6 forks. They’re not the best forks in the world, but since I have to buy almost all my supplies here, where with each purchase there is a 3% conversion rate, it doesn’t really matter how great the forks are.

After all our wandering yesterday, we chose to have a pique-nique dinner on the pont des arts. We bought all our supplies and it only ended up costing about 4 or 5 euros a person, which is cheaper than most formules. We ended up eating along the seine near the pont des arts, and it was magnificent. The food was good, the view was good, and we truly felt parisien when the tourists on the bateau-mouche started filming us. 😛

After dinner we went back to our foyers. Eliza and I watched some TV and socialized in the sale commun, and then went to bed.

I think I got everything, a plus tard.

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!