August 31, 2010

all registered for school!

Today was a really exciting day! I got to register for school :) and...... drum roll please.... I'm in Terminale!!!! instead of Premiere. I am so happy! Side-story: At first my school had me registered in Premiere, which is the grade for 16 years olds (like Junior year) and when I emailed them and asked to be switched to Terminale (Senior year) they said it wasnt possible because it was determined by level not age. Anyway, I wasn't too stoked about being in the same grade as 16 year olds so when Patrice and I went to register today I asked again if it was possible and this time they were very nice and let me switch! :) im very happy now! Also, at first they had me in spanish class for some unknown reason, but I got out of that too! Ask and you shall recieve :)
Registering today was really cool because I got a tour of the school and got my schedule! I was really surprised when I saw inside the school because it was sooo bare. The hallways are pure white and there arent any posters or pictures or murals anywhere haha. Its like a hospital or psych ward haha. but oh well! school is school i guess. In France, the students are split up into different groups depending on their interests. There are three groups- Economique et Sociales (ES), Sciences (S), and Litteraire (L). I am in Terminale ES, which means I don't have to take any science classes or reading classes :) woooohooo!
Okay, here is my schedule :) each day has different classes at different times for different lengths haha .

Monday 8:15am until 5:15pm-- English (tres bien!), Math (I dont know what level), History, Lunch(one hour), Math(again!), Economique et Sociale(not sure what this class entails :S), Break (one hour- this might be filled with a French as a second language class), Philosophie

Tuesday 9:10am until 4:20pm-- Government (i think), History, Lunch(one hour), Economique et Sociale, Philosophie

Wednesday 8:15am until 1:05pm-- History (for some reason this whole class is in English!), Economique et Sociale, Math, English, and then Optional Theater (its optional because the French have Wednesday afternoons off so they can play sports or in my case do theater! If i do theater I will be done at 4:20)

Thursday (awesome day because I only have two classes!)- Philosophie from 10:20-11:15 and then History at 3:25-4:20. My French class will probably be added somewhere in here too.

Friday 8:15am until 5:15pm-- English, Break(one hour), English (again!), Economique et Sociales, History, Lunch (3 hours! haha either filled with a study hall or a French class or maybe i'll just have a super long lunch!), English (again!!!! 3x in one day. this is because I got out of taking Spanish... now those slots are filled with English)

And then I lucked out because normally French students have classes Saturday morning, but since I'm in Terminale now Saturdays mornings are used to practice for the bac (the huge test at the end of the year that decides if you graduate or not!) and since I don't have to take it im off the hook! :) whew.

After I registered for school, I filled out and mailed the form I need to get a French ID card (i think haha). My first time filling out a French envelope! :) and then Patrice and I went to the city hall to get my bus card and then to the post office to send my letter. It was fun :) Oh and I watched most of La Belle et Le Bete (Beauty and the Beast) and then I watched Little Miss Sunshine in French with my host mom :) It was a good day!

Oh French update- at the school today I understood a lot of what they told me, not all but a significant amount :) and when i met some of our neighbors I understood most of what they told me! yayyyy!

Okay well this was a really long post haha. my fingers hurt...


my agenda book from school-
haha I wasn't allowed to smile in this picture!!!! I felt very French since they rarely smile in photos, but I also felt like I was getting my mug shot taken.... This picture is for my school ID and for my bus ID...The city hall of Vaires Sur Marnemy first French envelope!

August 30, 2010

my first french store!

This morning I woke up at about 11, ate breakfast (toast with the peanut butter i brought haha), then Amandine and I went to the store for a few things I needed. I bought some toileteries, cosmetics, and a planner for school. It was fun to look at all differences products they have here and to go through the check out line :) good thing the cashiers didn't ask me a lot of questions! Everything here is extremely expensive though! Sometimes I think im getting a good deal, but then I remember that 1 euro is more than 1 dollar! Oh well, what can you do?
One thing I noticed thats cheaper here is perfume. In the store I went to today there were bottles of perfume for about 15 dollars when here they are around 50 dollars! I will have to stock up :)
(don't worry mom I won't get the same kind I have at home that you hate!)
The rest of the day was really laid back. Both Patrice and Isabelle worked today so Amandine and I just sat around the house, reading and such. I didn't speak very much French today haha. But i did finish me book! and I started my first French book :) Its a book for 9 year olds but it teaching me a lot of new words so thats good. I only got through 5 pages today because I had to look up so many words! Quite the endeavor. Alright, well Im off to bed! Bonne Nuit!
Oh, here are some photos of my house---just for you Aunt Jenny, my faithful follower :)
street-view the living room the kitchenthe backyardmy room

August 29, 2010

My first Sunday

Today was a really laid-back day. It was nice! For breakfast I had a croissant with Nutella (which I absolutely love!) and orange juice. Then after i got ready, my family and I went a bike ride :) it was so fun! there is a lake really really close to our house and so we rode our bikes on a path that goes around it. There were a lot of people canoeing, kayaking, sailing (Dad and John, you would love it!), and wind surfing. It would be a great path for running too, if I'm craving exercise. Its really windy here and only about 60 degrees but it still felt good to get out and enjoy nature :) I learned that I start school on thursday, well I get my schedule and meet my teachers but then classes don't actually start until monday. Im so scared!!! I've never had to go to a new school before haha. But it will be really fun to meet other teenagers :) even if I can't understand them!!!! Also, today I found all of my family's Disney movies which is so cool because they are all in French! When my host parents are working and Amandine is riding horses those will be a fun way to pass the time and to learn more French :) Okay, well I am off to bed!

Grosses bises!


Ah, today was amazing! my first real trip to Paris. I got to see Le Louvre, Notre Dame, Le Musee d'Orsay, and La Tour Eiffel :) It was so incredible it took my breathe away. I love Paris :) all of the buildings beautiful! We toured around Paris from 4pm to about 8pm. After that Amandine and I went back to the pool with two of her friends and after that we ate at this really cool restaurant. It was a lot of fun!
I slept in until 1pm today haha. I think I'm still recovering from jet lag, but I felt a lot more awake today than the other days. My french is still really bad but I will keep you posted on any improvements :) At the restaurant with Amandine et her friends these guys came up to us and started talking really fast and it was really embarassing because I didn't understand any of it but they looked at me for a response haha. Thankfully the girls jumped in and saved me :) its really funny. I have perfected my deer in the headlights look. Also, when we were at the tour eiffel a lady just walked up to us and started speaking english! she didn't even ask "Parlez-vous l'anglais?" Luckily, I did but I still found that very odd. No wonder the French are sometimes impatient with English speakers haha.
I got to eat my first french crepe today! it was delicious. It had lemon stuff in it... yum yum yum.

This is really random, but one thing I love is seeing posters for movies! Most of them are American movies but the titles are translated funny. For example, I saw a poster for Grown-ups but here its called "Copains pour toujours" meaning Friends For Always. haha and it doesnt come out until September 8th when it came out here in June! Another crazy thing is that the taxis and buses here are mercedes! I couldnt believe that when i saw it!

Okay well anyway i had better get to bed!

August 27, 2010

Bonjour France!

I am offically an exchange student in France:) it's so crazy that I am actually here. Surprisingly enough, the flight over went pretty fast. my plane was awesome and each seat had a tv where you could choose to watch whatever movies you wanted. I watched 3 :) haha.
My town, Chelles, is really cute. The houses are all small and have red roofs and flowers in the windows :) very very French. I like it a lot. Mais, oh la la! Let me just say that learning another language is extremely extremely difficult. I can only understand when my family talks directly to me and only if they slow wayyyyy down. I feel like a little kid again. Its so hard. I have so much that I want to say but I dont know how yet haha. Jean, the foreign exchange student staying my family, told me that he finds it really hard to introduce himself into a conversation and I know exactly what he means. By the time I can recognize a few words in the conversation and think of something to say on the subject, the conversation is over haha. Also, I tend to think people are asking me one question when they are really asking me something else so I get a lot of confused looks :) but no worries. Everyone is really patient with me and I am trying not to get too frustrated :) It just needs time.

Anyway, today i got to go to the pool with my host sister Amandine and I met two of her friends. They were very nice, even though I couldnt understand most of what they said :) The pool was in Paris on a barge type thing floating on the Seine! It was really cool. Also, I ate in my first French sidewalk cafe :) I had a creme brulee :) yum yum yum.
Well, its pretty late here so i had better get to bed.

avec mes parents :) a l'aeroport.

August 6, 2010

Bonjour :)


wow, my first post on my new blog :) how exciting! i started this blog because my departure date is quickly approaching... only 9 days until I arrive in France. I am starting to get nervous, but there is also a lot of excitement mixed in. I finally received my Visa! Applying for that was quite the endeavor.... let me tell you. Anyway, I have been e-mailing back and forth with my host family and they seem to be very very nice. I asked them what they would like me to bring from America and out of everything they could have wanted they asked for chocolate chips (pepites de chocolat) :) I thought that was pretty funny. They said they don't have chocolate chips in France and they would like to make cookies with them.
Here is a rundown on my French family.
My parents are Patrice and Isabelle Lasserre. They have two kids- Amandine (19) and Baptiste (17). Amandine attends the Universite de Paris, but still will be living with us and Baptiste will be on an exchange to Finland for the year. The town I go to school in is Chelles, France. Its 12 miles away from Paris (20 min train ride). Population is around 50,000. The town that my house is in is Vaires-sur-Marne and it has about 11,000 people. Both are considered suburbs of Paris, so really I am getting the best of both worlds. :) Well, until next time....

Grosses bises (many kisses),