Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When it snows in Paris, we don't get the day off...

Then again, that might be because it only snowed for a little bit and then, once it stopped, it all disappeared. But, on the news tonight, they had shots of American tourists taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower in the snow. Why didn't I think of that?

This morning was my first day of the student teaching internship. It was pretty fun - the students were mostly typical French students in the sense that they didn't talk much, but as the class progressed, they started asking questions. Some of their questions were pretty hard to answer - I was supposed to be talking with them about politics and the media. Obviously, neither of those are my strongest points. But, it wasn't in depth at all. She just wanted me to explain to them the difference between Fox News and CNN and talk about Obama's weekly speech. I found it on the internet - he's really trying to pass himself off as F.D.R. with a "fireside chat." Every time they asked me what Americans think, though, I had a problem. How am I supposed to know what Americans think? There is no typical American and every American thinks something different. As far as I can tell, issues are pretty much split down the middle as far as Democrats/Republicans go, and any more detailed than that and I lose interest. It's like what they said in "My Fellow Americans." I don't remember exactly, but it was something like how there is no voice of the people because everyone wants something different. I think it went well, though, because they laughed a lot - I tried to make a lot of jokes. Then after the class, Laurence (the teacher) told me that I really speak French well, and that when a French person says that to someone, it's always sincere. She said that she's found in the United States, people will tell foreigners that they speak perfectly even if they have an accent, but French people apparently don't give compliments that often.

I walked around in the snow for a while, had a crepe, then went to Paris 8 for my course on Louis XIV. It seemed interesting, for a history course, but it definitely wasn't typical French as it was described to us. It was very discussion based, which wasn't good for me the first day since I don't know a ton about French history (just bits and pieces that I remember from AP Euro). But, I think that once I start reading the two textbooks (that the professor wrote) and learning a little more, I'll be able to do well. The good news is that the majority of the other students in the class are Poly Sci majors and not history, so at least I don't have a disadvantage because I'm not a history major. But now, all of those American history classes I had to take every single year when I was growing up seem a little useless since it can't help me at all with this French history class. Maybe, instead of teaching us American history every single year until high school with only small interjections about other countries, it would have been a better idea to teach us a different country's history every year. Well, it's just an idea.

Being at Paris 8 so much makes me very thankful that next year I'll be back at Hopkins! I probably mentioned this yesterday in the blog (I can't remember because it was really late and I'm really tired - next week will be easier without all the dumb backup classes), but it's really nice to have a campus where everything is right there. I have to take two different subways to get to Paris 8, and it typically takes between 40 minutes and an hour each way. ENS is closer - about twenty minutes by RER, but I only go there once a week and it's definitely worth the trip!! I'm going to Clignancourt (a newer La Sorbonne building) tomorrow, but if I remember correctly, it's about as far away from my host family as Paris 8 is. Then, the schools' libraries just don't seem that great, but that doesn't really matter since the National Library of France is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!!! Plus, CUPA told me they'd reimburse me for the entrance fees if I want to see the stacks there. I will definitely go in to see the books. Then, the final thing I miss about Hopkins is how nice the facilities are. The Paris 8 building is disgusting and the classrooms are freezing. Plus, it's just not pretty.

To finish up, since I should probably go to bed (course at 9:30 tomorrow...), I just spent a lot of time with my host mother showing her pictures of basically everything. She's in love with my picture of the frozen hot chocolate. I told her you can only get them in New York City, and she was really upset and started telling me to email Serendipity and ask for the recipe. Instead, I googled it - guess what, it's online! She said she's going to try to make it. Un chocolat chaud glacé - guess what, it doesn't make any sense in French either!

1 comment:

  1. We could order some of the packets for the frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity and send them to you .. Let me know.