Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The day I took my first and (hopefully) last colle

First, since in philosophy you need to define everything, a definition. Une colle: Argot scolaire. Interrogation périodique de contrôle. (according to Larousse) Today, I had to do one for philosophy. The whole process seems designed to make students nervous wrecks, and I'm sure they're worse at l'ENS. So, basically, here's what my experience with the colle was. I walked into Clignancourt-Sorbonne and wandered around looking for where I was supposed to be (good thing I was 45 minutes early), finally found it up on the second floor, then read my notes until Alix got there and then complained about it a little. Finally, the professor called my name and I walked in. It was the same room where we have the TD for the class, and there were already two students diligently working. The professor told me to pick two numbers between one and forty and so I picked eleven and twenty-two since that's my birthday. Luckily for me, twenty-two was the same exact topic as my dissertation subject from last Thursday. So, I got to write a second time about how one can say man is unachieved. For twenty minutes, I wrote down exactly what I planned on saying, while other students delivered their exposes in the same room. I really didn't like that part - it made it hard to concentrate. Before my turn came, the girl who gave her expose was horrible! The professor basically chewed her up, and that scared me a little, but it did sound like she hadn't put any effort into it. Finally, it was my turn and I delivered my expose. She told me I did a good job, said a lot of "justes choses" and that I had referenced a lot. But, I had spoken too quickly and I should have mentioned Sartre and biological responses to my arguments. So, yeah, that was it. I'm sure she knew I was American - I just didn't say it. 

Before that, I got a Lebanese sandwich and some Berthillon ice cream (banana and melon)! Berthillon is still the best - no way around it. After the colle, Alix and I tried to get on ligne 4, but it had stopped running from Porte de Clignancourt, so we had to walk all the way to Porte de la Chapelle to take the 12. I was late for dinner...We had fried eggs and artichokes! It was good. Oh, and cidre - still not the biggest fan of alcoholic cider.

So now, all that's left academically is my writing workshop's final exam tomorrow (she said it should only take an hour and a half), my seven page paper, and my second history partiel (which doesn't really matter since I already know I'm passing!). So, not too bad. Also on my plate: parties, coffees, frozen hot chocolates, lunch at cafes, seeing Les Mis, and probably Giverny.

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