Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bienvenue en K-Fêt !

This morning, I woke up early for my philosophy TD. Alexandra (the American in my class who's been living in France for a long time) had her expose on if reason was proper to man. She cited Descartes. It was very interesting. Other than that, we finished up our humanism discussion, then talked some more about Descartes. I have to love Descartes - he was torn between math and writing like I was. He would have loved l'OuLiPo. After the class, in my short amount of time between that and my flute lesson (considering how far away the flute lessons are from Clignancourt), I stopped at Saint-Michel and got a gyro and some Berthillon ice cream for lunch (chestnut rum and chocolate). My flute lesson was great, except I found out he has to give me "exams" because CUPA requires him to give me a grade based on something specific and not just my general work ethic. CUPA is making my life harder. In my writing class today, the professor told me that, since CUPA requires that I have two graded assignments, she was assigning me to write a story like we wrote in class today due in 15 days (that's French for two weeks). Anyway, the stories we wrote today were fun. They were stories in which the reader makes all the choices. We basically wrote simple sentences, then two choices for each one. Like, "Julie goes on a trip. If you want her to go to the United States, read 1. If you want her to go to the moon, read 2." But, doing it in class without much time to think about it was a little difficult. I'm glad I'll get to do another one that I'll have time to think about.

"On ne va pas à la K-Fêt, on va EN K-Fêt." This is a finer grammatical point of the French language. Thankfully, studying at l'ENS, one has the opportunity to learn these things. Apparently ENS students - Normaliens (appropriately enough) - just sit around debating the grammar rules that will apply to the name of their bar. So, this bar, K-Fêt, is basically just a frat house. It's really gross looking and the floor was sticky from champagne. Everyone was smoking too. Obviously, I'm the only one who read the website. They're not allowed to smoke in there - apparently it would be bad if all of France's researchers died before the age of 30 because of all the smoke in K-Fêt. Anyway, this party was very pathetic. Basically like my first two (and also last two) frat parties at Hopkins - a bunch of socially awkward people trying to drink a lot of beer and dance to forget that they have lots of work to do. They kept opening bottles of champagne right in the middle of the crowd of people trying to dance. We almost got squirted several times. Now that it's 1:30 in the morning and I smell like I've been smoking, I think I'm going to go to bed and forget about K-Fêt. L'ENS is a little less impressive now that I know they have a frat house in the basement. But hey, this proved that the concours is doing a good job - these students obviously didn't know how to dance or party because they study too much. Oh, and on the way back, these guys in the metro were talking to me (I think one is in a class with me because he looked really familiar and started talking to me as if he knew me) and then invited me to an Erasmus party (which I hear are great - but that description probably only applies to those who actually like parties), but I said no. Obviously, I'm not a party person. But Alexandra gave me an A for effort!

According to facebook, this is K-Fêt's proposed logo...?

I have to wake up in six hours for my philosophy CM. Then, when it's over, I'll come back here, take a nap, then finish up my projets de travail for CUPA. They spent the entire orientation telling us that French universities don't "baby" us like American universities, but now they want me to write down exactly what I'm going to do every week for each of my classes, and I can't help but think that CUPA is "babying" us. If we spent the time that we're spending on the projets de travail on our actual travail, we'd probably be better off.

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