Friday, May 28, 2010
Last Day of Classes
It is so very hard to believe this changed scene from when I was writing on this small blog during my first days in France. Darkness seemed to last longer than home. Over half the time I was tongue-tied and feeling culturally out of place. Now it is spring in both the literal and figurative sense for me. Daylight reigns from six in the morning to past ten at night and I’ve made the mental transition from being just a citizen of the United States to being a citizen of the world (aka not culturally ignorant in the middle of France).
This has been one busy week and next week will be even busier. Well, I can’t even say that. I’m already starting finals tomorrow. We had a class party in my General Language class. That is what the pictures are from save the ones with people on the stage. That is to be explained in a little bit. The "fête" was incredibly fun. I was trying all sorts of food like stir-fry, sushi, “rice made the correct way,” and quiche among other dishes.
My peanut butter cookies were very much appreciated by every one of the Asian cultures in my class, which was an honor. Many of the girls take cooking very seriously as was evident by their attention to their food that they brought and also how much food they brought. Much of their conversation between each other was on each other recipes and techniques. At least, that is what one Chinese classmate translated for me (Incredibly nice of him. He just started doing it when I expressed a curiosity about the Chinese language.).
We also got to exchange cultural information was well. Our Japanese classmate explained the fundamental rules of etiquette with chop sticks and our Taiwanese classmate explained that often women in her region will hold chopsticks in certain ways to show what sort of man they would be interested in marrying. It was a very multilingual scene, as those who spoke Chinese would sometimes have to converse with each other for translation help and then sometimes turn to Anglophones like me to ask what the French word was for some English words. Crazy, but fun.
Earlier this week I attended the International Soiree. One of the best activities I think that CIDEF offers, it is just necessary to go. It is not often one gets to live and study in such an international setting and have the chance to enjoy the cultural gifts of so many nationalities in one night.
After I post this, I’ll be returning to studying for my test tomorrow. I predict it to be the hardest so it is great to be able to get it over with from the start. After that, time is going to pass by very busy and very fast but I’m determined to write still. I need something to make me pause and reflect before I go crazy from stress.