Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today, after my three hour history class on the reign of Louis XIV was over and I was sitting on the metro trying to will it to go faster with my mind (which failed miserably - it took 40 minutes, as usual), I realized how tired I was. Seriously - studying abroad is hard work! Everything I do here, whether the course is easier or harder than my courses at Hopkins, has the added bonus that it's in French. Now, on the one hand, I'm paying attention a lot more, I'm not having a hard time understanding anything, and it's probably good that I'm listening more carefully here. I'm sure that, while I'm in the United States, sometimes I just tune people out and only hear half of what they're saying. Here however, I perk up every time I hear French and I'm very excited to understand it and even to speak back. It's gradually becoming more natural to switch to French mode immediately. On the other hand, it's tiring to speak and think in another language all day. At least, it was today. Maybe it's just because I didn't get a ton of sleep last night. I stayed up late to reread the fifteen pages on absolutism that I had a quiz on in history today. The professor neglected to tell us beforehand that the quizzes were just a game and that he'd only count the grades if we got higher than 10/20, which I definitely didn't get. This time, though, I don't think anyone else did either. Everyone kept saying that it was "un jeu affreux!" (a hideous game) He didn't ask us about what the article was about - he asked instead about minute details that no one would have wasted time memorizing. Who knew that was the kind of thing he was going to ask? At least I can always pull that "I'm American" card, so the name of a French historian, no matter how famous, just wouldn't stick out to me. I think I got two questions right, though. So, that's a 4. I need a 9 to pass.

In my flute lesson this morning, my professor explained to me how to make my vibrato sound more natural - I just should stop thinking about it. That's so much easier than what I was doing before!

I suppose that's it for today - nothing exciting happened. You know, if a car doesn't crash into a building, it's kind of a waste of an afternoon. But, tomorrow is my writing workshop with the OuLiPo constraints!

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