Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What are French students thinking?

I don't understand the shoes! Today, I woke up and I was so excited to put on my brand new Converse sneakers (thanks so much to my awesome parents!!) and go out into the Parisian streets looking completely like a French student (you know, long black coat, black messenger bag, converse sneakers, frown when you're on the metro...the works). But, I didn't bother to think practically (unusual for me, I know!) and so I walked from Notre-Dame to the Pantheon (like I'm going to do next Tuesday in my literature class), stopping in the middle at a Gibert Jeune to buy textbooks for my history class. Then, once I got to the Pantheon, it was lunch time and I really wanted another one of those Lebanese sandwiches that Justine and I had bought when I saw her last week, so I decided to walk down to ENS and find the sandwich shop. But, I forgot that I have absolutely no sense of direction, so I circled ENS several times, going on every street around the area. The only thing I remembered was that there was a bakery right before it that Justine said was really good, but while I was walking around today, I saw maybe five different bakeries! So, I gave up and bought a really good panini instead. Alexandra said that maybe I should take a direction class at ENS, but I don't know if they have one. Besides, I don't want to take two courses there - too much work.

So, by the time I arrived at my history class at Paris 8, my feet were bleeding. My socks are ruined and bloody and the inside of the left sneaker is bloody too. I don't think I'll be wearing those shoes tomorrow, needless to say. I hope my history professor doesn't think I'm obsessed with my feet, because I kept looking at them and slipping my heels out of the backs of the shoes. But, as for the class: we started with a quiz! The professor made it very clear that it wasn't for a grade, but that it was rather just to see what we knew. Well, I hope he's happy to find out that I know nothing! Just kidding - I knew that Louis XIV's grandfather was Henri IV. I don't know how I knew it, but I did. We're going to have 10 question quizzes every week, but at least from now on, the quizzes will be on an assigned reading. That way, I won't be at a complete disadvantage because I haven't been taught French history every single year since I was in grade school. But, the professor said it was okay and that, by the end of the semester, I'd know all the answers. He's really nice and seems very excited to have an American in the class. Except, I haven't been saying very much right now - as the course progresses and I learn a little more, I'll start talking. It's not like I'm silent in all my courses. In the Paris 8 literature and writing workshop classes, I talked.

Dinner tonight was salmon, rice, and ratatouille. I love ratatouille - seriously, it's great! And I'm not talking about the movie. It was cute, but not the best Disney/Pixar film I've ever seen. Of course, we had a baguette with all of that, then cheese and dessert afterward as usual. I realized I haven't been commenting on the food much. All the dinners are pretty much like that - the meal (served with bread and wine), cheese (served with more bread and wine), and fruit. Sometimes, we don't have wine, but mostly we do. And, that's pretty much it for today. It wasn't very exciting - just a little hard on my feet!

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