Monday, September 21, 2009

le 21 septembre

1. I am starting to get the hang of laundry machines over here.

2. I am becoming way too obsessed with Longchamp, reading status updates on Facebook, and making collages.

3. I just finished reading an incredible book. In French the title is Elle s’appelait Sarah, but I believe in English it is Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Thank you Jessica Phillips for recommending it!

4. Classes are really difficult. Who knew that in the French language there are 6 different ways to speak in the past tense (and that each is really specific and has a definite right or wrong time to be used based on the nuance of the sentence)? Not to mention that real French people don’t use three of those ways but my teacher is still making us learn it. My GRAMMAR BOOK doesn’t even have one of the tenses we learned. Thankfully, this is the last week of the “intensif” program…real classes start on October 5th and will be much more laid-back. Instead of grammar, I will be taking French literature, culture, and classes of that nature.

5. Next week I have a vacation. My itinerary: Ireland and Paris. YAY!

6. Better blog coming soon. There is so much I want to write about but haven’t had time lately. Coming soon: “The secret Paris of Coco Chanel”; “Why 1989 is the most important year in modern history (and it’s not because it’s the year I was born)”. Stay tuned.

7. For a class project, I had to interview French people about national pride. When I asked, “At what moment have you been most proud to be French,” four out of five responded: the moment France won the World Cup in 1998. It was definitely a great moment, I remember. Nonetheless, the frequency of this answer surprised me…a soccer match is really how they identify themselves as French? Another answer that surprised me: Opa telling me that he is not proud of the French Revolution. I said, “but Opa, you believe in democracy and liberty, right?” He said, “bien sûr, but one must remember that if it weren’t for the kings of France, there would be no France. The revolution was too bloody and violent.” He has a point. But it still surprised me. Considering that he is Napoleon Bonaparte’s #1 fan (if you’ve ever seen his Napoleon-ornamented office, you know what I mean), I figured that he would be a fan of the revolution, too. The only response that all the interviewees had in common was that they are proud to be French because it is the birthplace of le droit d’homme…the rights of man (thank you Montesquieu, Voltaire, etc…). This is home of the democratic promise, and it is interesting to see how the government and the people relate to that idea in an era of diminishing global prominence and an increasing immigrant population…a population of people who come to France to be part of that promise. It’s quite a controversy these days in the French media.

8. I used today’s blog as a means to procrastinate from writing a paper based on the research done in #7. I should probably start writing my paper now.


  1. It sounds like France is wonderful! I hope Ireland is perfect.

  2. That's a really good interview topic! In China, they never came up with anything better than "What's your ideal mate?" or "Are you satisfied with your job?"

    Clearly the French are more tactful and polite.

  3. I've ALWAYS wanted to go to Ireland!! Take lots of pictures!
    Also, thanks for the journaling advice. I like it alot. And I can't wait to see your collages.

    German has a tense that nobody uses as well, and another that only newscasters use (I think?) But I think that's it.

  4. Sounds like you're still having a great time.

    I had to do that research in China over the summer. "Why do you love your country?" "Because I'm Chinese." 10 out of 10. It's one of the biggest differences between Eastern and Western patriotism, imo.

    Good luck in class...I know how it feels.

  5. Reading this makes me so excited to go back to Angers. I did my project last summer about life after lycée and it didn't turn out too well. I ended up just like, making people up after doing a lot of research.

    For some reason, it seems so right that Opa is obsessed with Napoleon. I can see it.


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