So I figured it was about time I start writing about France again. I got back to Tours Tuesday and basically slept all day because I was so exhausted from the Italy trip. Wednesday we had a meeting with our professors from MSU to discuss this month’s schedule of classes and the excursions. It was pretty uneventful but it was good to see all of the other Spartans again. I walked around with a few of them to various places where they had to run errands and I bought some stamps so I could send some postcards out. Pretty uneventful. Wednesday night is when the Wifi at my house started working for me so basically any free time I have had has been filled by FreeCell. Thursday we went to the Institute at 9:30 in the morning to find out what our class level would be for the semester and where our classes were. I was disappointed to see that I was in level 5, because I felt like I should be in level 6 mostly because my written expression and written comprehension aren’t that bad, although I know my oral comprehension is lacking, but I feel like that can be improved in a higher level as well, because no matter what I’ll be hearing French and practicing my oral comprehension. After all, I’m living in France for two months to do that. Another girl from MSU is also in my class and she feels the same way I do, although she handled the situation a little differently than I did. She immediately got angry and started crying and yelling and was definitely not being very rational, but oh well, what can you do. Anyway I talked to Professor Norris here (from MSU) and so, thankfully she talked to my professor at the Institute who agreed to re-evaluate me in class on Friday. My evaluation was based on a little writing assignment we had as homework to present ourselves and say why we study French, also our class participation, and then at the end of class we had to tell the class about a recent memory of ours involving a vacation, so naturally I talked about Italy. After class the two of us talked to our teacher and she said she thought we both could be moved up to a level 6 and so she was going to talk to the administration to see if there was room for us in any of the level 6 classes. So I’ll be finding that out tomorrow (Monday). She also said I spoke better out of the two of us which made me feel like I’ve improved quite a bit since I got here because I used to get really nervous when speaking in French in front of a group of people.
Friday was also the Fourth of July and for some reason I seriously got really homesick that day. I guess I’m just so used to spending the Fourth of July with my friends and family and it’s normally one of my favorite holidays so spending it in France was a bit depressing. To celebrate though I changed my desktop picture to a very patriotic picture of Steven Colbert (love him) and I listened to the soundtrack to Sandlot, especially the version of America the Beautiful by Ray Charles. I feel that that movie really encompasses everything I love about summer and the 4th of July so I felt it was an appropriate thing to listen to. That whole day though I kept saying “I would give $100 cash to be able to teleport home for the day, eat a hot dog with YELLOW mustard (stupid Dijon French mustard), play some baseball, and watch the fireworks with my friends.) Alas that was not able to happen. Although I did get to talk to my family on the phone, for a very long time. I talked to my parents about Italy and about my classes and then I got to talk to Kevin for a long time. It was really good to talk to Kev because I feel like I’ve hardly talked to him since I’ve been here and he’s seriously like a best friend to me in addition to being my brother (cheesy I know, but everyone knows that we’re super close.) I think talking on the phone was what made me really homesick that day because I felt like I was missing out on a lot back home, nothing major, but just all the little things that have been happening at home and I get updated about them. It’s weird. Anyway, I ended up talking to the three of them for a total of an hour and 40 minutes (I hope they have enough minutes left on their card for the rest of the month!) After that I called my grandparents to say hi and I found out my grandma has sent me three cards since I’ve been here and I haven’t received a single one, so that was a downer too. I don’t know if it’s because she didn’t put enough postage on it or because my name isn’t on the postbox, but everyone definitely has the correct address. I talked to my host mom about it though so she’s going to talk to the mailman and tell him I’m here also and she also said that for anyone who wants to send me cards to put C/O Emmanuelle Mary on it. Anyway, that night I went out with some of the other Spartans to celebrate our Independence. To do so we spoke in English for the majority of the night (it’s really one of our only ways to be patriotic here), most people danced, and most people drank wine. I did neither, although I enjoyed thoroughly watching both the students and the French people dancing. It was at an outdoor bar by the Loire and there was this really weird electronic dance music playing, but not the kind of music you’d usually think about when you hear the words “weird electronic dance music.” This leads me to my next interesting observation in France. The majority of the French people at this bar danced really weird. So, do all French people dance weird? Do all Europeans dance weird? Or was it purely coincidence that all of the weird dancers were at that bar that night? Either way, it was super hilarious to watch some of the crazy dancers. It made the Americans who were dancing not look so bad. Also my host mom, host brother and my host mom’s friend Bernardo came to that bar, coincidentally. She talked with Thao for a while about cultural differences or something like that. I think it’s weird that my host family knows a good portion of the students here and my teachers. I haven’t met any of the other host families here, although I’ve seen pictures of a couple, but that’s it.
Yesterday, Saturday Jessie, Jen and I went to the train station to buy tickets for Paris for next weekend (woohoo!) and after that we met Matt to go eat lunch at this Chinese restaurant we know of. This was our third attempt to go there, the first two attempts failed because the place was closed, so when we arrived and it was open I was so happy. I ate rice noodles with chicken and soy sauce and it was so good. It made me excited to be able to go home and eat Thai food in Romeo in three and a half weeks (25 days to be exact, but who’s counting…) Don’t get me wrong I still love France but it’s natural to get homesick and be excited to see everyone back home. After Chinese food we went shopping because right now in France for the month of July all of the stores have sales. I bought two Harry Potter books in French because I hope to be able to read all of them at some point. I also bought three postcards to send home and I’ve already written them all up and put addresses and stamps on them. Also we got a new “American” fridge at our apartment yesterday. It is huge in comparison to the old one and really nice. It’s an LG and my host mom is so excited about it. She got to go shopping yesterday for food to fill up her new fridge. So for dinner last night we had shrimp that were still in their shells, with eyeballs and everything. It was pretty gross but once I peeled all that crap off, it looked and tasted just like the shrimp I know and love. We also had crab which isn’t my favorite but I ate some of it anyway. Plus they eat it cold so I feel like that made me like it even less. I also got to eat a hamburger and some ice cream. So it was a pretty good celebration meal for the new fridge. After that a few of us went to our French friend Fabrice’s house for crepes. He made crepes and then cut up fruit and melted chocolate for them. We also go to meet his sister and her roommate so that was cool. We didn’t stay too long though because we didn’t want to miss the last night bus but I’m glad we went because it was a lot of fun. Today I got to sleep in which was nice. I miss sleeping in. Summers are weird when you get up at 7 o’ clock every morning and go to school. So then I ate some breakfast and now here I am, sitting in my room, listening to the Microphones, writing in my journal and procrastinating doing the homework that I may not even have to turn in tomorrow if I get switched. I think I’m going to play FreeCell though.4 years ago