Well hello all! Having recovered and in full health now, I thought I'd sit down and write a couple words about life in general here. (Yes, I know you wanted to hear more about turbo clappers in the park and the like, but you're just going to have to wait for my next stroll through the park.) So basically my life in France can be divided into these categories: chef/maid extraordinaire, intelligent English professor, and sleep-starved student. But before I get into all that, here's a quick look at daily life:
All the students at the institute here have class 4 days a week with Wednesday normally being a day rest or (more likely) an opportunity for internships in the Paris community. Breakfast begins with none other than the favorite French meal supplement: bread. More specifically, a couple baguettes and some butter and jam. (Although I did catch my French roommate eating bread with peanut butter on it; however, I can guarantee you that's not the French norm!) Most people are in class during the morning, and then at 12:30 we all trickle into the dining room for lunch together. How do I describe food at the institute hmm? Think of glorified French cafeteria food and then we'll be on the same wavelength. Not that it's awful, but not that it's particularly appetite inducing either... Of course, sometimes we're saved from the fate of yet another mediocre meal by the talented people here at the institute. One woman in particular, Anne, is from Chad and occasionally cooks African food for the meal instead—those are the times of course that everyone pigs out to the maximum in an attempt to avoid eating the rest of the week. As the French say, il faut profiter! Dinner is the same deal, only at 7 pm, rather than 12:30.
Chef/Maid Extraordinaire: Ok, now when I said chef, what I really meant was the girl who slices open the packaged food and plops it into our massive corporate oven. That's what you were thinking, right? The maid part is true—although normally I don't make up beds and I certainly don't wear the black and white get-up. But I do clean the kitchen (always a feat after an African meal!), scrub the hallways, and make sure that everything stays generally clean in the main building. Other random duties include: buying the bread for the evening meal (of course!), making massive amounts of photo copies, and folding important documents like school brochures and such.
Ps. I work 16 hours a week, 4 days a week, 3-7pm
Intelligent English Professor: No comments on the first part of the title
please. :) This is actually my favorite category. I have two classes: 11 students total. (whew, big numbers I know!) Better yet, when I broke them into two classes I've got an even smaller class: 7 in one and 4 in the other. But whoever said “the more the merrier?” I'm seriously having a blast running and teaching my own classes: we've done everything from describing a picture and drawing the description, to team competitions and tongue twisters. Good times. On the side I'm also privately tutoring a pastor friend of Matt's an hour and a half each week, so that brings in a little added income on the side.
Ps. Each class is 50 minutes long, every Tuesday
Sleep-starved Student: Who would of thought I'd be back to this place again so soon after just graduating?? Ah, but here I am and I'm all too well feeling deja vu! So I'm taking three classes this term: French for foreigners, French for francophones, and Old Testament Law. Ironically, Old Testament law is my favorite! It's super interesting and has been great for my vocabulary acquisition. Of course, I might have to start supplementing my reading with some more diverse subjects, otherwise my vocab repertoire is going to consist mainly of animals, animal organs, and all kinds of violent vocabulary! But other wise it's a pretty fun class.
Well kids, that's about all for now... That's a little look at what life is like for me over here. French is continuing to improve. I like to measure my progress by the little things... you know, like if I can understand the person inquiring at the front door (although the evening the police showed up I didn't even stand a chance at comprehension—I was too worried wondering if I done something disastrous again!), how fast I can say “Can you please pass the bread?” at the table, and whether or not I'll actually ask for help in a store if I'm completely clueless. I'll tell you about Thanksgiving and the holidays soon...