Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Two Days in the Life of...

I need two days in the life of Emily to show you my life from Monday to Friday. They're all very interesting days, so I'm sure you'll enjoy them (only a tiny little bit of sarcasm).

Day One (Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays)
These days depend on what I'm doing in the mornings. For instance tomorrow morning I have a trip to the Louvre, a meeting, and an absentee ballot to send before class.

Wake up at 930. Putter around the apartment and get breakfast. The hot water in my apartment didn't work from the day I got here until Thursday, but I assume I'll be taking a shower this time now.

Either eat lunch in my room while doing homework, reading, or playing on the computer.

At 2 I pack all my bags and get ready for class. I leave around 230 for class at the Sorbonne. I have a four block walk to the metro and I have to change lines once so my whole trip takes me 35 minutes.

At 3:30 I have phonetiques. This class ends this week (it was only for one month) and I've got a test sometime soon. The teacher is really nice and we shift from a classroom to a audio room to half way through. In the second half of the class we tape ourselves talking and listen to our mistakes.

From 4:30 to 5 we have a break. During this time I've discovered a great little chocolate store. It has really bad sandwiches but amazing rice cake. It's two euro for a big gooey slice of amazingness. I've also grabbed coffee with Bridget and often do some homework.

From 5 to 650 I have my French grammar class. My teacher is pretty attactive and all the boys drool over her. However, I got frustrated with her today because yesterday we have aquiz where we wrote 200 words imaging who this girl was and her likes, etc. I had 10 mistakes (out of 203 words) and got a 5 out of 10. The girl behind me had 27 mistakes and got a 7 out of 10. Ugh!

From 650 to 730 I run home to grab dinner with my family (we eat together Monday-Thursday). We always have four course meals and I love it. The French ALWAYS have dinner at home with their family and I think Americans should pick up on it. These dinners are relaxing and a great way of winding down and sharing your day with each other. I've finally started speaking some French with my family and they're very helpful.

After dinner I'm told to go to my room... This is aparently common because every other student says the same thing. So from 830 to bedtime I'm hauled up in my room. Once again, this is a great time for homework, chatting, and reading.

I usually hit the sack 11-12.

Day two (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

720 wake up. Then I grab breakfast and get ready.

I run out the door at 805 sharp. Today was an utter mess! My train stopped between stations and went completely dark for two minutes. Then I get off on the wrong stop and get on the wrong train (thinking I'm going to the Sorbonne instead of the Accent Center). I eventually figure everything out but I was 20 minutes late to class (first time being late). I usually get there 5 minutes early.

From 9-11 I have Islam in France. This class is really interesting and we've discussed immigration in France and what it means to be French, etc. Fascinating. I learned a new fact today too! Did you know that in Britain, Italians were put in internment camps during WW1? Weird.

From 11 to 130 I have a break. I usually grab lunch (most often a chicken baguette, a soda, and a chocolate cookie for 6.55 euro). Then I usually do some homework and chat with people.

From 130 to 3 I have Paris Culture and Civilization. It's an interesting class and I like the professor, but some of the stuff he says just throws me. He's a literature major from Cornell but he says it's okay to cite Wikipedia on our paper and he didn't read one book before assigning it.

From 3 to 330 I rush to Phonetiques.

The rest is described in the first day.

There are plenty of variances. Usually there's one day where some friends and I go to a bar and have a drink or two. We also usually have lunch on one of the days we don't have class until 330. Weekends vary a bunch!

The Attractive French TeacherWhat's wrong with this picure? Look closely. It's an advertisement all over the metro.
Bridget. We're becoming close friends. Notice the legs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Only in Paris...

While in Paris I've noticed several things that wouldn't (or just doesn't) happen in the US. Here are a few of them:
Four of the girls in my group from left to right: Tracy, Kirsten, Amanda, and Michelle.

Amanda enjoys some wine as we sit along the banks on the Seine River.
You can buy cups of wine to go.
This car was touching one and had literally two inchs of space on the other side.
I don't even know what car this is, but it's adorable.
Aparently Rome doesn't have that many 2 euro coins... Amanda had several.
I hope you enjoyed the few pictures I shared with you. I plan on adding several more as the semester continues. Maybe one of my room too when I get around to it! I was able to go to Rouen and Giverny yesterday and had a great time, although an early morning of 630. Rouen was where Joan of Arc had her trial and was burned alive. Giverny is where Monet's house and gardens are. Rouen had some great chocolate stores and cheap sandwiches while Giverny was amazingly gorgeous.
I have a few trips planned and a couple I really want to go on. I'm going to Rome in October and Vienna (to see Bethany and Stephen) in November over my one and only break (of two days). I also really want to go to Istanbul, Turkey and Budapest, Hungary. I've got the flights picked out and everything, I just need some consent and some money : ). Amanda, her roommate Lilly, Bridget, and Ally are interested in going with me, so I wouldn't be travelling alone. I would love to see places outside of Western Europe (and Prague barely counts)!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I've been in France for the past week and a half and I've been having an amazing time. My host family is adorable and extremely nice. I'm in a group of seven people from my school. We're small but we all get along, so that's great. I've had excellent four course dinners with my family four nights a week and I'm totally looking forward to the rest of them. I've been trying new things and am enjoying 98% of them aside from Apricot Chilled Pudding (or something, I hate apricots), tomatos, and a very undercooked pizza. However, I've tried eating half an alvacado and vinegar and really like it, never would have seen that coming.

Any suggestions as to what I should do in Paris that I wouldn't do otherwise in the States? Food suggestions? I love escargo, so I'm already on that one.

The only bad thing about this is that I have class Monday through Friday and one 5-7 pm. This really limits travel which is definitely a part of studying abroad. However, I'm still travelling! I'm going to Rome this weekend and I can't wait!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Digging for my life

Ho there! It's been a while since I've posted, but that's due to a lack of Internet. The dig was amazing. The site: Dilston Castle, part of it from 1417 still standing, the rest from the 1600s was destroyed because the Earl James Radcliffe supported the Jacobite Rising (to reinstate the Stuarts as kings), he was one of only two leaders beheaded, we're digging the kitchens, servants areas, etc. The people (aside from two) were great, the site was amazing, and I spent less money than I thought. We bought our food at a grocery store and made our meals, aside from a few nights out at the pub. Of course my meals mainly consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, soup, and granola bars. The food at the pub though was really good. I had their Alston Pie (included ham and a bunch of good stuff) and their Chicken and Ham Pie with an amazing fluffy, toasty roll. One day I went into Hexham and went around the marketplace and a little greek restaurant for lunch. The people: Sophie 1, Sophie 2, Sarah, Beth, Jo, Donna, Holly, Grace, Frank, Kevin, Tom, Rob, Brian, Michael, and Max.

In the last week things became pretty exciting because on Wednesday Frank fell into a hole. This hole turned out to be the Castle's bathroom. On Thursday Max, Rob, and I dug out a bunch of treasure. On Friday Sarah, Sophie, Rob, and I continued digged and found even more gorgeous objects. These included: almost four full plates (one this amazing piece was blue and white with a nude Chinese woman, showing that they were really wealthy if they could afford Chinese pottery, two with very interesting and different brown and yellow designs, and another blue and white plate), several glass bottoms of bottles (some worth around 1,000 pounds), several pieces of bowls and chamber pots (one with a complete handle), several pieces of a glass perfume bottle, a really amazing top of a wine bottle, a couple vases (one with a complete handle), a brass button, a metal ring of some sort 5 x 5 inchs, several shards of window glass, metal nails, bones, etc. It was amazing.

I'm now in France, one hour away from talking to someone about my host family and three hours away from meeting my host family. I'm kind of terrified. I have yet to meet anyone from my program, but I will soon. I'm going to grab some food though before I talk to anyone so that my stomach will stop grumbling! I'll update you more later!