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 "fĂȘte" 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.


  1. what's with this "Citizen of the World?" You sound like an Obamanazi. Glad you're having a good time and good luck on your finals. I've been done for two weeks now. :p

  2. Dear Liz, We actually DO have one hour more of darkness in the winter and one hour more of light in the summer than in central Illinois. New York and Lisabon are on the same line of lattitude. Illinois is farther south than New York. Most of Europe is way farther north of Lisabon. Neat isn't it? It took me a coulple of years and one lost bet to figure that one out.

    PS I'm proud to be an Obamanazi. The world certainly needs more of us.

  3. You certainly have been enlightened through this experience, as have been those of us who have followed your blog. Your analogy with the change in hours of daylight is perfect. I have to admit that I'm a bit jealous that you still have light well into the late evening. I remember being in Alaska and walking on the streets at midnight and it being light outside. I thought it great until I realized the trade off during the winter months! At that point I was content simply to be a tourist at the right time of year. We'll look forward to hear of your last few outings in France and transition to England.

  4. Liberals... so open minded their brains have fallen out.


Angers, France

Angers, France

About Me

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For this moment in time, I'll just share a quote from Nelson Mandela. I think it sums up what I'm experiencing right now. "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."