A busy month in Paris…

Posted on October 5, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

First of all, thanks everyone who commented on my last post. I love y’all!

Obviously, I may have perhaps dropped the ball a bit in blogging this month, but I’ve been busy exploring Paris. Can you really blame me? Just kidding!

Honestly though, this month has been crazy busy and also really calm. I feel like I’ve finally settled in with my host family and I just finished my first week of real classes after surviving through a hellish month of orientation at two different universities. I’ve also taken my first trip outside of Paris, with my program, to the Loire Valley, but more on that later.

And now, a crazy long post with lots of pictures (there are way more on my flickr, if you’re interested), about what I’ve been doing for the past month. When I last left you, Champagne and I had pretty much just visited the Eiffel Tower. Since then we have:

Eaten pain au chocolat while strolling through the gorgeous Jardin du Luxembourg on a gorgeous Sunday morning. (I think I may have to make this more of a habit.)

Seen Notre Dame (the day before the Pope visited, so it was crazy and covered in scaffolding). I anticipate a return trip to hear the bells ring at night fall.

Visited Versailles and seen the super cool Jeff Koonz exhibit there. We had an amazing picnic to which we brought pastries from Ladurée, this amazing patisserie near Sciences Po.

I went on a sweet night time cruise (which I have a great story about…ask me if you’re interested) of the Seine and made new Sciences Po friends.

Gone to the Louvre (which I sadly have no pictures for, but will later as I have a sweet student card(!) that lets me in free when ever I want).

Spent a weekend in the Loire Valley, visiting many chateaux, bonding with our fellow Smithies, eating so much fondue, having a blast at wine tastings, entertaining our associate director’s adorable son, François, and going on a 13 km bike ride around a forest, afterwhich I promptly got incredibly sick and spendt most of the last week in bed.

We also went to Nuit Blanche last night, which actually turned out pretty crazy and I’m going to try to blog about later this week.

And now that I am a for reals Parisian university student, at not one, not two, but three universities, I’m pretty busy with classes. Here’s what I’m taking for the semester, just in case you’re interested (with both French and English titles so you can be impressed at my mad language skillz):

  • Changement global et développement durable – Global change and sustainable development
  • Langue et composition I – Language and composition I
  • Phonétique – Phonetics
  • Femmes et politique: régression ou révolution – Women and politics: regression or revolution
  • Mai 68 – May 68 (if you don’t know about the student revolutions in Paris of May 68, wikipedia it because they are wicked interesting and started the student revolutions in the US of the late 60s/early 70s)
  • Danse moderne – Jazz
  • Danse contemporaine – Modern dance (hopefully, this is not totally official yet)

So that’s pretty much what will be keeping me busy until the end of January/beginning of February. I promise I’m going to try harder to be better at blogging, especially when cool stuff has been going on. I also have a couple of posts floating around about stupid and embarassing language mistakes I have made as well as French fashion. There is also a potential question and answer session about what Paris is really like coming up. Comment if you would be interested.

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My first week in Paris…

Posted on September 4, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

I’ve been so completely busy this week that there hasn’t even been anytime to write. Actually, there has been time to write, but it has been completely filled with talking to the boy whenever I could because he left for Kenya yesterday and we don’t know when/if I’ll be able to talk to him in the next 3 months.

So I guess I’ll start out with some pictures from my apartment. My host family lives in this gorgeous modern architectural wonder in the 13th. Neat little factoid: Parisians give their address as the nearest Metro station, so “je habite Bibliotechque Mitterand” or “I live at the station Bibliotechque Mitterand.”

Here’s my adorable bed:

Here’s the gorgeous view out my window:

And here’s our building from the street:

I’ve been adjusting well (I think) to life in Paris. Champagne and I take the Metro to class every day. I have only recently realized, however, just how horrible my French accent is. It’s really difficult because I understand almost everything, even my very very fast-talking French history teacher, but I have a really hard time expressing myself and remembering little things, like to call my host mom “vous” and not “tu.” (Don’t even get me started on the tutoyer/vousvoyer thing…it’s killing me. Anyways I’m probably taking on an extra 2-credit tutorial in phonetics this semester, because my accent pretty clearly gives me away as American.

Speaking of class, this week we’re at our college’s orientation program, but next week we start at orientation at Sciences Po. This is kind of sad, because I’m loving my 2 French history and political science classes, as well as my oral expression class (not anywhere near as dirty as it sounds), and even my phonetic class is pretty fun. However my two favorite profs are from Sciences Po and I’m hoping they’re indicative of the quality of teachers there.

Anyways, enough of the boring school stuff, on to the fun Parisian adventures:

Tuesday night, we had an exciting evening of going to the Eiffel Tower, which was super fun, except for our inability to find a friend who we were meeting there (she went to the wrong Metro station) and a super expensive post-Tower snack (18 Euro for a hot chocolate, a crepe and a not very good glass of bordeaux!).

Anyways it was a blast and I could write all about it or I could just post the sweet video blogging we did, and I’m tired and still have a reading to do, so you’re getting a video blog:

The rest of the night can be found here.

On a side note: so I know that people are reading this blog, cause I’m a creeper and read my blog stats, but I don’t know who. Would you drop me a comment occasionally (don’t use your name if you don’t want to), so I can see who’s out there? I like writing a lot better when I know people other than the boy are reading, cause he gets all this info anyways.

Thanks muchly in advance.

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