October 14, 2011

29 Seats, Blue Skies, and Egg Rolls

So... I've been a little lazy with this blog, since I'm getting more of a life and no sleep. But I'll try to catch you all up with Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

First off, I think I found an amazing solution. It's luck, really. It's not a solution yet but it's definitely a maybe. So as many of you know I'm not super-duper happy with my class in the première L because I have way too much English each week– therefore I'm bored all the time. Also everyone is so serious in the class and I don't have much fun. The girls are all really, really nice and I like talking with them, but I think I found a better solution for my year here in France. I just really, really, really, really hope that this solution will happen and it won't just be a maybe. So in the beginning when I decided that I wanted to change to the séries ES, there were too many kids in the ESB class. 30 chairs, 30 students. But then yesterday I learned that one girl is leaving the class so... now there are 29 chairs. Let's do some math: There's one place open. One American wanting to change classes. One American who has lots of friends in that class. One teacher who says it's okay if the American joins the class. One American=Me. I want to be in that class so bad, but I haven't asked my host mom yet. I think most of you know why. The whole reason behind why she got mad at me the other night was because I ask for too many things: like shopping in Lille, like taking the train, like changing my schedule. So I made an appointment with my Rotary counselor for Friday to get some advice. I know it's important to be in great contact with the Rotary contact and she seems nice so I figured it was a good idea. She is the principal of the elementary school that I help out with every Friday. So when Friday came around I came to her office prepared with a whole sheet of reasons (that I made in Economics class) for why I should change classes. Sylvie is a really good counselor. She told me that no matter what she's up to she's here to help me out, which is great and all, but she's also very busy. For example, near the end of our discussion some lady ran in screaming that her children had disappeared. I wasn't really finished talking, but I was sort of forced to leave at that point. On Monday, I'll know more about if this class change is possible. Sylvie understands me and will talk to someone else who will talk to someone else and hopefully it will get resolved. Oh yeah, and the random lady's children were found.

So I don't remember anything important about Wednesday. Four hours of English and then two hours of French. The one thing that was rather fun was when I got permission to leave the class in one of my many hours of English so I went to the library and found the ESA kids there. I was planning on using the computers to write my blog but the internet was down so... it turned out to be a great social hour. Nobody could really work without the computers so we just chatted. I love chatting. It's good for the soul.

Thursday was more memorable because for one it was my fiftieth day in France! Let me sidetrack for a moment and talk about how completely insane that it. Fifty days have felt like three. It's so amazing how quick time flies and slips by on an exchange. I already have more incredible memories of the last fifty days than I've had in my last year. Wow. Soon fifty days will turn into one hundred and then two hundred and then three hundred... Oh geez. Time gets really scary if you think about it too much. I'm trying not to think about time at all lately. I just want to live in the moment... even though the moments pass by too fast to hold onto them for too long here. So much runs through my mind everyday, in French and in English. I've stopped reading my French books in class because thinking keeps distracting me. I seriously sat through Geography and Economics staring at my desk lost on some thought-train going in circles. I'm trying to get a little perspective on my exchange, but it's so hard to think about my future and my past when it doesn't even feel like I'm thousands of miles away from everything I used to know. It doesn't feel like this is going to be a year. It doesn't feel like my adult future is close. But everything that I don't feel like is happening– is. Sometimes the only reality checks I can give myself are when I stare at a map and trace the distance between rainy old Washington to rainy old Cambrai. And then the thought-train goes off the tracks again while my teacher continues talking about land or mountains or cities or something important of a sort.

Anyways, so I was supposed to be going to Paris on Thursday but somebody *cough*–my French teacher–*cough* didn't book the bus or something. So yeah, no Paris. I was rather upset... as in extremely upset. But the day wasn't that bad. I had lunch with my ESB friends in the lovely, always friendly, always delicious school cafeteria. <--- sarcasm. It was nice eating with different people but I can't say much for the usual"line" and unusual"pasta." Afterwards the six or seven of us went over to some guy's house that's literally two minutes away from the school. I didn't really know him very well but it was fun stopping by. Very French. The guys played a shooting game on the computer for a little bit while the girls chatted. Fun stuff :)

I actually thought my fiftieth day in France was on Friday until I did some math and realized that there's thirty-one days in August. But let's just pretend that Friday was my fiftieth day because it was by far the most interesting and best day of the three. For one, there were blue skies! The days before were typical Ch'tis days with very gray skies and drizzly rain all day long. Oh and cold. Very, very, very cold. 3º Celsius in the mornings– whatever that is in Fahrenheit. But Friday was nice. It was actually sunny and not freezing, but nevertheless cold. However, badminton was horrible today. I lost my touch. The teacher thinks I'm pathetic. I lost all my matches, but I didn't really care until I learned that you actually get graded for how well you play! In America you get full points if you just participate, but here you actually have to be good... well, French people, here's a pointer– some kids are just not good at sports. I'm one of those kids. Luckily, grades don't refer to me so I can suck at badminton and just leave it at that. The birdy-ball-flying-thing just doesn't like going over the net for me.

Lunch on Friday was amazing. I ate at one of the many Chinese restaurants in town with Céline and Marie Damelincourt and their friend Phillipine. It was delicious and felt like I was back in Chinatown again in Seattle. It was rather odd hearing a Chinese waiter speak French to us (not super authentic, eh?) but the food was really good. Maybe it wasn't as good as the Chinese food back home, but I've been craving Chinese food so much here that anything would have tasted good. We all had the same combination special: egg rolls, fried rice, some pork thing, and pineapple for dessert. It was great talking with the girls and eating out of the house and out of the cafeteria. Oh and that rumor about French people always finishing everything on their plates is not true. We were all too full to finish the rice so we just left like half a plate of it there. I don't know if I said this already or not but I've never seen more people waste food than in the school cafeteria. Seriously, the kids take an entree and then just dump it in the trash thirty minutes later without even tasting it. It's ridiculously wasteful and rather stupid. One can at least taste the strange green goo or even better maybe not even take it. No? It that idea too ridiculous? Apparently :P Sorry, I'm an Eco/green-freak. Anyways, here are my pictures from my ethnic lunch. I always have my camera when the occasion calls for it:

Always with the fish tank...

Céline (left), Phillipine (right) and our egg rolls!!! Sooo good. :)

Fried rice <3

Céline, Phillipine, Marie, and Me... with our food :D
So after a very filling lunch, I went back for an hour of Geography before heading to Saint Bernard. I played Lotto with the little ones and found it very amusing. I made a moral (not the right word, but I'm exhausted so it'll have to do): Most kids start out loving lotto... then they grow up and don't find Lotto fun anymore... and then they grow old and play Lotto once a week in the country club with all the other old people. So basically little kids and old people share a similar interest. Oh boy... That random thought was a totally unnecessary sidetrack. This is what happens when one is tired while trying to remember stuff. Um... yeah, so after the two hours of helping out I had to wait around for awhile so I took the opportunity to take pictures of the school. Here they are. Saint Bernard, everybody:

The recess area.

A pretty mural :)

Another pretty mural. Rasta and geometry go so well together, don't you think?

Part of the building.

Another part of the building.

After I talked with Sylvie she drove us to the local theater. It was my first time inside of it. It's very small. I'm going to see "Swan Lake" in November in the same theater, but I think only five swans will be able to dance on the stage :P We went to see a little play put on by the very very little kids who were all about three years old. So naturally it was a train wreck, but the cutest train wreck you've ever seen. The kids kept running around on the stage, waving to their parents in the audience, and picking their noses. The teachers would read the lines and then the kids would repeat them. It was a full house packed with siblings, moms, dads, and every relative in between. I snagged a seat in the upper balcony all by myself... so I didn't see that much and I didn't understand that much. The kids were all dressed up like African animals until at one point the theme switched to Japan. Judge for yourself.
The theater.

The theater ceiling is pretty legit.

Attentive future actors :) I personally like the kid eating his shirt.
Mouse child.


"This time for Africa"

... and the Japanese finale.
It was a good experience, though. I didn't plan on going there at all that night, but I needed to talk to Sylvie some more. I'm glad they have Rotary counselors. They are very helpful and I would totally recommend other future exchange students to talk to their counselor if they ever have a problem.

I got home rather late and was expecting to see Anne-Soizic at the house, but instead found Simon talking with the Raux! Déjà vu? This time was much better and less embarrassing because I hadn't just gotten out of the shower and I wasn't dressed like a slob. He stayed for dinner and it was fun chatting with all of them. Dinner conversations are always better with another young person at the table. We ate a souffle and talked about everything until really late. I was an hour late to my iChat session with my parents so therefore stayed up until really late. I always go to bed late and get up early. Such is life :\ But I like it when we have company over. Wouldn't it be nice with siblings... when's there's always young company over... Hmmm. Yes that would be lovely.

So it's actually Sunday now, but I'm separating my weekend blog fmor this one because it's verrrry different and awesome. I'm so exhausted and will try to catch up on blogging tomorrow. Maybe. Good night to you wherever you are in the world. A bientôt et bisous :)

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to say the egg rolls do look good;) like to tast one sometime soon;)
    The kids theater seems so adorable! I'm so glad you get to be with the little ones often.
    So happy that your week was great. Loved the photos, thanks sweetie. Looking forward to your next blog:)
    Much love to you.