Monday morning I got up early-ish and started the day with lovely French class. Lovely= a very nice hour to daydream and doodle. A lady came in and talked to us about the theater and why it's so great and why it's so much better than the movie theater, etc. etc. I tried to understand everything, but you know how that goes early in the morning... The next class was more interesting: my assistant class for English. I talked (in English) for about twenty minutes in front of the class about the American testing system with the SAT's and all. Fun stuff. I was surprised at how attentive everyone was and how they actually understood and could repeat all the things that I said. I don't get nervous talking in front of people anymore, well at least not as nervous as I used to be. Afterwards I had music class and again had to pluck up some courage... but not enough courage. We started learning this pretty song with English lyrics that don't make sense, but the teacher asked me to read them three times for everyone. Everyone loves my American accent here. I have no idea why. It was all good until they asked me to... sing. Sing?! In front of everyone? Uh... no. The line was drawn there. I haven't gotten to that point of fearlessness. I sing in the shower. I'm not so brave yet to take the risk of getting utterly embarrassed by my not so great singing voice. After I awkwardly refused to sing, everyone seemed to forget about it and moved on. But that's not the end of the singing fiasco, I promise you. Wait for it...
I had study hall after music. It was slightly more entertaining because there were a couple guys that could be easily classified as "class clowns" that made the hour slightly more amusing. And afterwards was geography. Whoop-whoop. I feel like geography is just an extended study hall for me with more noise and maps. I like that class though because everyone talks and makes it more fun than just working in silence. In a class that's basically consisted of lectures, notes, and tests– some laughter is very important. But then again that class is like the most well behaved class in my school and that's saying something because as many of you know... "most well behaved" in an American public school means something very different than most well behaved in France. The French teachers would have a ball trying to get everyone to pay attention and write their notes in five different colors in an American public school. I don't remember what I did during that hour yesterday... I have in my agenda: "blah, blah, blah, blah" so I have a feeling that I wasn't very attentive.
And then... back to music class for two hours. Oy. Yeah, I sung. Some kids got assigned solos in the song- including me. I guess speaking English would probably have something to do with it. I sort of blew the rhythm and pace but hey at least I sang. I can't see many of you singing some African soul song in front of a French music class. However, not many people heard me. I'll have to wait for the concert in November to be thoroughly embarrassed.
Then we all broke off for the second hour to practice our individual songs. The teacher likes my song, but I still have to work on it a lot. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is played really fast so I hope that I won't bluff it in front of everyone. I also joined the sing fest in the other room with Sophie and some other girls. I might, maybe, probably will have to sing with them later even though we haven't chosen a song. They really want to do "Single Ladies" but I don't see that happening. We have to sing in front of all our parents and teachers... thus... I really don't see that song happening. So all in all music class was really fun. I'm glad that I decided to get my clarinet groove back on after all.
And then that evening I had a dinner with my Rotary Club. About 125 people showed up because our guest speaker was Rudy Garcia, the best soccer trainer in all of France. I'm not a huge fan of soccer, not really even sort of a fan. Soccer is a much bigger deal in France than it is in America, so people were very interested to hear this guy talk. I didn't realize how famous he was until I googled him later that night. When someone has more than seven pages of pictures on Google Images, they must be fairly famous. He had over nineteen, I believe. Anyways, the first part of the evening was rather awkward with me standing next to some old guy while drinking champagne in my pin-covered Rotary vest. Finally when the blob of people moved into the dining area I saw by this below fancy name card that I was going to sit at the important table. The president of the Rotary club sat beside me and beside him was the Mr. Most-Famous-Soccer-Trainer-In-All-Of-France. :D
My first impression of Mr. Garcia was that he had a very nice watch. I never notice peoples' watches, but his was pretty classy. He was pretty classy in general. He signed autographs, took pictures with people, and cracked a smile for the press like a pro. However, the dinner itself was not so great. Our table always got the food first because we were important people but look at course one...
|Some fish patty covered in "unique" sauce...|
And course two...
|Meat, spinach, carrot mousse, and a potato puff|
|Called a "tutti frutti" tart|
Usually when our table had finished eating the tiny portions, the tables in the far corners were just getting their food. Guys in suits came around to the tables all throughout the night with endless bottles of wine and sparkling water. It was rather strange watching the people around me eat. I thought that it was very socially important to eat everything on your plate in France, especially at a public dining place but the people around me deliberately left food on their plates. The lady next to me was obviously very hungry as she ate everything in five minutes flat, except for one little blob of potatoes and one little blob of carrot mousse. She left it there on purpose and I couldn't figure out why. Even Mr. President left half of his food on the plate. I was hungry, but I left the green spinach blob on the plate too... just to be polite. Peer pressure gets you every time :) We listened to Rudy Garcia talk for almost an hour and a half. If I was a soccer person, maybe I would have concentrated harder to understand everything that he said.
|There he is. Talking away...|
After his nice speech (I assume that it was nice) everyone got espressos. I hate straight espresso shots but with two added sugars espresso isn't that bad. Then we all took pictures with Rudy and got some autographs:
|That's me in my snazzy blazer with Mr. Garcia himself :)|
|Boy do I look awkward. Mr. President of the Rotary on the left.|
|Check out the first name and then the last name. Oh yes. Same table.|
The morning with Economics and English passed by smoothly. SVT sort of passed by smoothly with a test that I didn't take and concepts about eyeballs that I didn't understand. Lunch passed by smoothly at the house with Marie-Armelle. Accompagment Personal passed by smoothly with dictionary exercises that were actually fun to do with Florence and Marion. TPE, history, and more TPE passed by smoothly. Florence, Marion, and I decided to change our TPE topic so now we're studying the art forms of Impressionism and Expressionism to show the theme: realities vs. representations. I don't know why we changed topics, but basically I'm lost again in the ideas department. Still, TPE is more amusing than my other classes. And also in history class I got an amazing proposition that probably will not happen but was amazing all the awhile. Paul McCartney is coming to play in PARIS at the end of November. Literally, that would be like a dream for me to see my favorite musicien in the world playing in my favorite city in the world. But... the tickets are really expensive and I can't leave my district alone. I can't even go to Lille with a friend, let alone Paris. :P It's so much easier to see the big concerts in France because all the artists come to Paris while in America all the big artists go to New York and California. So if you live in, I don't know, Washington- you're out of luck. I don't see one of the former Beatles coming to play in some Seattle coffee shop.
Music class that evening was ridiculously easy and not so interesting. Half the class was missing and what remained of us mostly consisted of little kids with instruments that were way too big for them. Morgan had already left by the time that I got home... which was too bad. It would have been nice for him to have had my back after dinner. Why? I think he would have understood the situation much better than my host parents. I'll tell, but I won't tell all. It gets personal.
For one, I was running on six hours of sleep the whole day and was extremely grumpy. Extremely irrational and forgetful. So after dinner I dared again to pose the question about going to Lille with a friend this Saturday. And now all I can think is... Why?! I had been through this before, but due to my sleep-deprived state of mind I stupidly pushed the stupid situation more and more until my host mom really got mad. Like super mad. The first time she got mad was pretty bad, but this time was the worst. We were on the edge of becoming closer, more friendlier, more casual if you will... but now I just don't know. I realized that the line was crossed when she raised her voice and told me how angry she was. It's my fault, really. She doesn't want me to go to Lille without either a host parent/sibling or an exchange student... I just didn't understand why she trusted me more with an exchange student and not a native French person. I should have just agreed to going with an exchange student. But I was tired. Exhausted and out of my mind. I pushed it to a point that it ended in closed doors and some unintended crying. So... now I'm probably not going anywhere this Saturday. I don't know how to explain it, but I'm always trying to make things right, good, better, and yes– perfect. I'm a perfectionist. Things aren't always going to be perfect and I wish I could just accept that fact of life at that. I feel like this whole time I've been here, I've been trying to make things "perfect" in order to have the ideal exchange. Nothing's perfectly ideal. I just want to make this exchange great, but maybe I can't make it great. Maybe it's just going to happen by itself. It's not easy right now... at this moment... but it will change. Tomorrow, maybe things will change. Maybe, maybe, maybe. One never knows.
The magical thing about being thousands of miles away is that you really start to appreciate home; the meaning of home, specifically. I haven't hung up any pictures in my new room nor left any of my stuff scattered around the house like I usually do nor invited people over randomly nor sung loudly in the shower. I don't know if that defines "home" for me, but I'm still trying to turn my house into a home... well, at least get into the mind frame that it's something more than just a house to sleep and eat in. We'll see. Things are sort of tense right now so hopefully things will get better soon... I really hope so.
Well good night readers. I hope I haven't bothered you all too much with my pity rants and drama. I'll find a solution, but first I need to sleep better at night. I got a good battery for my headphones so hopefully that'll help. Here's a picture of my infamous headphones:
|Notice the size of these headphones! Every night I wear them!|
P.S. Mon Dieu! I figured out that there's a statistics button on my blog and I saw that over 2,200 people have looked (maybe even read) my blog! Whoo! Thanks guys!!... yeah, even the people over in Israel and in Turkey. I hope your Google Translating has done this blog justice.