Sunday, December 27, 2009

Faire des recherches

For the last week, I've been researching Paris. Actually, I'm not sure if I'd call it research. I probably wouldn't be able to write a very good report on all of this, because I've been looking at the same few things every single day. I got an iPod touch for my birthday (a little late, but earlier than my present last year) and I've been playing around on Google Maps. I've found the street where I'm going to live, le boulevard de Picpus from Les Misérables, the satellite image of the Eiffel Tower, the universities in the Latin Quarter, and my favorite building: le centre de Georges Pompidou! The street view of my new street makes it look like a fenced off area, which made my mom happy, and it is very close to both the subway and to La Bibliothèque Nationale de France, where my l'OuLiPo meetings will be once a month! So, it wasn't really research - it was more playing with my new iPod, but it was amusing!

The French book I'm reading now, Claudine à l’école, by Colette, is about students at a French school, and I'm really hoping it's not really like that. Basically, so far, Claudine has had an affair with her English teacher, Mademoiselle Aimée Lanthenay, made the headmistress jealous, begun to terrorize the English teacher's little sister, and just acted unruly in other, more normal, ways. I just read this one sentence yesterday where the headmistress said: "...vous ne valez pas chacune la corde pour vous pendre !" (You're all not worth the rope that would hang you!). So, that line plus the other things that happen in the book are making me think that French school is a little "different." But, at least I don't eat my school supplies like la grande Anaïs. She eats erasers, pencils, crayons...that can't be healthy. Anyway, I have to say I love this book! It's hilarious! Colette also wrote Gigi, but I think the next French book I'm going to read before I leave is Cyrano de Bergerac or Nadja. Probably Cyrano.

So, counting today, just 21 days until Paris! But I have to say, all this Christmas stuff was very inconvenient. It made it hard to send a Christmas card to my host family and a CD to the director of my program. I hope New Years isn't that inconvenient, but it probably will be because we'll be cleaning and cleaning and cleaning...

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Apparently, when students study abroad, they make blogs. So, now I have to learn how to make a blog, though everything I do on the internet ends up sounding informal and boring. Hopefully, I'll learn to make a good blog!

A few days ago, I found out my host family. I'm going to be in the 13th arrondissement in Paris, right by the National Library! This was basically the best news I could have asked for, since the National Library is where the l'OuLiPo meetings will be once a month, and I'm sure I'm going to walk in and fall in love with all the old books and never leave. I'm going to have a host brother named Pierre who's 19, a piano, and no pets. So, that's practically like what I'm used to, I suppose, except I've never had a piano!

I suppose I'll try to update this once a week, but I still have a month until I leave and since I probably won't do anything interesting until then, there might not be a ton to write. But hopefully, on January 17th when I arrive in Paris, I'll have more to say, I'll forget all my English, and have a newfound appreciation for red wine!