September 30, 2010

île flottante.

Tonight we ate dinner at the restaurant Le Val d'Aoste. It was an italien restaurant, so I had the ravioli au fromage and then l'île flottante for dessert. It was really good :) Ile flottante is a meringue (made from egg whites) with crème anglaise and caramel over it. I love trying all the French desserts :) whats a few extra kilos, right? hahaha.
my dessert---

Anyway, today school went well. I start at noon which was super nice. My first class today I thought was a French class, but it turns out its a type of math class.... Its actually pretty weird because im the only student in the class and im pretty sure its just for helping me with the math that im learning in my actual math class. Its like a tutoring session? But hopefully I can get out of it because I don't need help with the math.... I told my prof that I had already learned everything that my class is learning this year and I told her that I am in France mainly to learn the language, but I don't think she understood that that meant that I didn't want to have this class haha. oh well, ill talk to my actual french professor about it :) After that class I had sport which was fun. I ran pretty well! One crazy guy in the class yelled "Allez, ma petite anglaise!" when I ran by (don't worry I set him straight and told him i was american haha) and then after he asked me about 100 times if i would do his english homework and then said some ridiculious things he knew in english... the things people say to me... oh dear- haha

Well, after sport I had history, which was alright- nothing noteworthy (haha literally actually, I just added to my page of drawings today.) I did catch, however, the words "americanized" and "McDonalds" so I really wish I could fully understand... I do know that he was badmouthing the USA so thats good :)

well im off to bed.


September 29, 2010

just another day in france.

It's still surreal that I'm actually living here--- but anyway, today was pretty much the same as last Wednesday. School, lunch, rock-climbing, errands, tv, dinner, blog. haha thats the short version :)
So, on wednesdays I have my history in english class which you think would be super easy for me, but unfortunetly I'm terrible at history and during high school I just memorized everything before the test and now have forgotten it all, so its actually kind of challenging! The teacher doesnt actually teach the history- its more of a class to prepare the students for the Optional European part of the bac where they recieve documents that they have to analyse and then talk about in English for 10 minutes. So, the teacher basically just gives us a document and either has us write an essay or an outline for a speech. Writing an essay or giving a speech in English is of course easy, but writing an essay or giving a speech on a historical event that you don't remember much about is not haha. Today we had a political cartoon that was of two guys fighting. One said East of its shirt and the other said West... We were given the date of cartoon and there were a few other details in the cartoon, but not enough for me to get that it was representing the "Iron Curtain"!!! haha and even after I found out that it was about the Iron Curtain I didn't remember much about it so yea...... oh well, ce n'est pas grave :) since my grades don't count!
Wow, that was a long rant about my history class haha.
Rock climbing today was fun! I learned how to attach the rope to the wall while I'm climbing, so I felt really cool :) I've always wanted to learn that. There are some really good climbers in the club so it inspires me. I'm excited to have a whole year to improve my climbing.
For dinner tonight we had la nourriture chinoise. It was good :)
tommorrow my classes don't start until 12:20. I'm so excited to sleep in.

September 28, 2010

cutting and glueing...

my french class is really funny---it makes me feel like such a little kid! first off, my teacher looks exactly how you would picture a kindergarten teacher. :) She wears really bright colors, overalls, and homemade jewelry. haha and today, in order to review prepositions, we drew a picture of a bedroom and cut out little pieces of furniture and then she would tell us in french where in the room to glue the different items. I sure didn't feel like I was 18, but it was still fun :) and actually pretty helpful. I like that class because she talks really slowly and makes sure to explain everything in way that we can understand. I have 2 different French classes on tuesdays- my morning one is a little more difficult because its with kids who have immigrated to France and who have to take the bac (the huge exam the french take to get their diplomas), so the class is geared towards preparing them for that. Today we were given a political cartoon and we had to describe and analyse it. It was pretty challenging... But my afternoon class is geared towards just learning French (conversational and written) so that is when we do activities like cutting and glueing and drawing. haha.
But anyway- I am pretty tired. Grosses Bises!

September 27, 2010

Pirates des Caraïbes

Today I finally got around to watching Pirates des Caraïbes (Pirates of the Caribbean). It was really fun to watch in French and I also learned a few new phrases and such because I have the english version pretty much memorized :) Well, nothing else too special happened today. I had French, History, Math, and Economics. They all went well. It was really hard to wake up this morning though. Its always like this though once the excitement from the new classes wears off haha. Good thing i get to sleep in on thursdays and fridays (and of course saturdays and sundays!) Oh in Economics I got back my graded homework (the homework that I was proud of myself for doing!) and I got a 3.5/5 which the other students in the class told me was really good! Woot Woot! I was really surprised! I think my teacher was probably just trying to be nice, but it was still pretty cool that I got a passing grade :) and then in French we revisited the conjugations of etre and avoir, which was a little bit too easy for me so hopefully we start learning stuff that I don't know yet (theres plenty of it!.... haha). But I just used the time to really try to get the accent down for those words. I have been really trying to listen closely to the pronunciation of each word. The French really love to make their language sound as beautiful as they can, so listening to it all day long is really quite fun :) We'll see with time if I can do the language justice. haha
Oh and for diner today we had this really beautiful dish (i forgot to take a picture! and to ask what it was called...). It looked like a cute little wrapped present! haha (hard to image without a picture, sorry!) but it was like a crepe filled with goat cheese, herbes, and tomatoes. The way it was shaped was really cute.... haha i can't really describe it. but it was delicious :) Well, Im really tired--- my brain's working in overtime! so goodnight!

September 26, 2010

my official first month!

goodness, i cannot believe i have been in France for a month already! le temps passe vite! I suppose I'll stay the rest of my exchange ;) I think le fromage made that decision for me! I have already learned a ton, but i still have a loooong way to go. Some days I understand a lot and really feel like i'm getting the hang of it, but then other days I feel completely lost and say "Je n'ai pas compris" about a gazillion times. haha but thats just the life of an exchange student i suppose :) the kids here start learning english at around 10 or 11 years old, so when people hear that I've only had 3 years of French they are really impressed by the amount I can speak and comprehend, so that makes me feel good! (I have Mme. Creek to thank for that :) ) I try not to get discouraged on my off-days because I know that its normal when trying to learn a new language...
well, anyway today I went to this event at the school for seeing eye dogs in Chelles with Patrice. they had booths set up and had a demonstration showing what the dogs are trained to do. It was really interesting and the dogs were really cute :). However, il fait froid aujourd'hui (It was really cold today) so I probably would have been able to enjoy it more if I had dressed in warmer clothes! I am in need of a shopping trip for warm clothes... I packed a lot of sweaters and such but no gloves or hats or even a warm coat (oops!). But ill get it taken care of :)
We ate lunch at the event- I had a ham and butter sandwich- isnt that funny? I've never had that before but it was surprisingly good! oh and for dessert I had a beignet avec Nutella :) (i think thats the right name for it haha). and of course it was delicious like every dessert here is.
When we got home, Patrice made me chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) and then started a fire in the fireplace because we were freezing!
Oh something cute I learned today was that cotton candy is called barbe à papa in french which means Dad's beard. haha i thought that was fun :)
okay well i better get to bed!
grosses bises!

September 25, 2010

la champagne

today I spent the day touring one of the many places in France where champagne is made. I went with a few Rotarians, Milton (the other exchange student), Nicolas (my 2nd host dad), et Patrice. It was really interesting and really beautiful! We were in the Champagne-Ardenne region which is just east of Île-de-France (my region). there were miles and miles of vineyards with cute little villages tucked in between :) It was about a two hour drive, but it went super fast for me since I slept pretty much the entire way there and back.... but whats new? haha. Last night, the dinner with the Galphins was really fun. I really like them :) We got finished eating dinner at midnight! its that funny? that was definitely something new for me. But thats probably why I slept the entire drive to la Champagne. haha Its a little chilly today with rain, but not too bad. During the tour we got to see how the different stages of fermentation and how they seal and decorate the bottles. and we got to try a glass too :) it was really cool to see the process. Oh and after our tour we went out to eat lunch and I had a delicious Croque Monsieur :) and Crème Caramel for dessert. it was like tasting heaven. thats the only way to describe it...

:) bisous!

September 24, 2010


mom, don't be too jealous, but i found out that my 2 hour french class on fridays isn't actually a french class- its a calligraphy class!!!! it was so fun :) my prof is really really nice and everyone in my class is from another country so she talks really slow for us and is really hands on. Today we practiced writing our names with a font called "Caroline". We get to use these bamboo pens that we dip in ink. i really really like it :) Next week she said we were going to start on capital letters so that should be fun too!
And the rest of the day went well too. Fridays are really easy now that im done with school at 1! After school today I went with Nina, one of my friends from school, to the mall thats right next to my lycee and ate lunch. it was fun. I have become so grateful for even the littlest invitations! i just like to do things!
Anyway, after lunch I had to go and get a doctor's physical so that i can be in the rock climbing club. The doctor was very nice and the appointment was super quick.
And after that I played a little guitar hero haha and then made some guacamole because we are having a family over for dinner tonight. I think it will be fun :) they have a son who is in my grade (he's Baptistes's best friend) and he is really nice.
Welp, thats all folks!

September 23, 2010

au revoir, philosophie :)

guess who doesn't have philosophie anymore?! yay me :) haha i went and talked to my counselar since I didn't understand anything in that class and since my prof wanted me to be doing the homework and he told me that i didn't have to go anymore! i was very excited. especially since that means that on thursdays I start at 12:10pm :) whoot whoot! and monday i get out earlier too. ahhh life is good.
Anyway, in history today i had my first test! oh la la. the tests here aren't like american tests... you never have multiple choice or true/false! its all essays. and the french write about a page for each question!!!! haha i just tried my best... there were 4 questions and I only knew 2 so I wrote about a paragraph for each :) not too shabby haha. It will be the first time I get less than a 50% on a test. oh how I love grades that don't count-
Oh today was another grève (strike) so the buses werent running this morning and there were just sack lunches at the cantine (cafeteria). For lunch there was just bread, pâté, cheese, and yogurt... it was weird not having a true main course... and unfortunetly, I didn't like the pâté so I didn't have very much to eat! this was the first thing I have tried here that I didn't like! I just couldn't get past the fact that the meat was spreadable.... but I think I should try it again when its not from the cantine...
anyway--- thats about it for now :)

September 22, 2010

faire de l'escalade

so today i joined the rock climbing club of my town :) haha they meet wednesday afternoons for 2 hours. We actually started climbing today too so that was fun! I learned how to work the ropes and tie the knots and all that jazz. Hopefully I'm not too sore tomorrow because I went up the wall quite a bit today and Im out of shape haha. The prof in charge of the club was really nice and made sure to explain everything really slowly to me :) I think it will be a really fun activity for wednesdays since I don't have school.
oh and guess what I had for dinner? Eggs and toast! isnt that funny? I told my host family that we were eating a truely american breakfast ;) The french don't eat eggs for breakfast, only lunch or dinner... this includes omelets and everything! But Patrice asked me if one of these days I would make a true american breakfast, so it should be fun for them to try haha. Also, for dessert we had a yummy tarte aux pommes that Patrice made. delicious :)
anyway, all is well over here in France! :)

September 21, 2010

emploi du temps!

so i recieved another new emploi du temps (schedule) today! i think this is my 5th.... ridiculous hah. this time the change was because i get to take more french classes. I am not going to have 10 hours of french a week! I did the math and thats around 400 hours in a year ;) yay! my dreams of being biligual might actually come true :) Its going to be exhausting i'm sure since 5 of the hours are in one day (!) but it will be worth it.
anyway im going to go watch desperate housewives with amandine and isabelle! au revoir!

September 20, 2010

lundi, lundi, lundi

it was a little difficult to wake up this morning which was understandable since I didn't get much sleep this weekend haha. but it turned out to be a pretty good day. I had my first French class which I really like so far. my prof seems nice :) He is from Africa and moved here either when he was 9 or 9 years ago (thats my French for ya!). But he told us that became fluent in just 3 months! so theres still hope!!!! :) he gave up a lot of pointers and also asked us what are difficulties are so he can tailor his lessons for us. I thought that was really nice of him:) I'm really looking forward to that class.
Oh- this is random, but I also learned that no one in my host family has tried a peanut-butter and jelly sandwhich!!!! I guess I shouldn't be too surprised since they don't eat peanut-butter, but I still thought it was crazy since pb&js are pretty much a staple food in America. I'm going to have to make them one even though they thought it sounded weird when I was explaining it to them. :) i love culutral differences. okay, well anyway I'm tired so off to bed! night!

September 19, 2010


il a été une belle journée. First, Disneyland Paris and then a fun dinner chez Gabelotauds.

I absolutely loved Disney today. It was so much fun!!!! it truely is the 'happiest place on earth.' I felt like a little kid taking pictures with the characters and riding the children rides in the Magic Kingdom, but I didn't care! And it was perfect because Jack, the other exchange student I went with, loved it all too :) But we also went on the awesome rides like the Tower of Terror, Space Mountain (which was way better here than the one in the US), and the Rockin' Rollercoaster (which was better in the US, so there are pros and cons of each). We got really lucky too because when we went to the Rockin' Rollercoaster it was just reopening after maintenance and the line was only 20 minutes long rather than the 80 minutes it was when we checked before! And we got fast passes for the Tower of Terror so there was too much waiting in line. Not too shabby for the weekend crowd! It was really crazy go to Disneyland in another country because it looked exactly the same except for some really minor differences, so I kept forgetting that I was still in France and not Flordia! The really funny thing was hearing Mickey speak French during one of the shows :) but for some odd reason Minnie still spoke English. It was like they couldn't decide what language to use for everything so they just used both.

Well anyway, after Disneyland we went to my 2nd host family's house for dinner. It was really nice :) Oh and I got to meet Milton, the other foreign exchange student in Chelles. He's from Mexico. He doesn't speak French, but he speaks a little English so sometimes I would have to help translate which was difficult for me because I would have to switch gears a lot haha. It was hilarious when my host dad wanted me to ask Milton if he liked to ski and after I got his response I turned to my host dad and accidentally said "He doesn't know how to ski, but he would like to try" in English. hahahaha. I even repeated it again in English because I thought his confused face was because he didn't hear me, not becasue he didn't understand English. Sooo funny haha. Its crazy going from language to language.

but anyway, after such a fantastic weekend, I need sleep!

au revoir :)


ma premiere fête française!

So, its 2am right now and I have to wake up at 8 for disneyland tomorrow so don't expect a long entry ;)
I just got home from ma premiere fête française(my first french party). It was a birthday party for one of my host mom's friends so it was a lot of grown-ups but I still had a lot of fun! there was a dj and karaoke and great food and drinks :) I probably ate my weight in candy haha. There were delicious chocolate marshmellow gummy bear things... yum. oh and these strawberry candies. ah so good. Oh and I sang "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas on karaoke with Amandine and two of the other girls at the party. it was fun :) It was a good night!
Oh and today Isabelle taught me how to play two new french games so that was fun too:)
well goodnight! have to rest up for disneyland!!!!!!!!!

September 17, 2010


Vendredi is a fabulous day :) i love them and im going to start loving them even more now that i recieved a new emploi du temps (schedule) and starting next Friday I only have 3 hours of class :) i was extremely happy to find this out. Anyway, today i helped my english teacher spell a word which was fun. I appreciate the little moments throughout the day when I feel smart because they are few haha. I have noticed that I have started talking a little bit more which is good! slowly but surely making improvements. the kids at school are really helpful too. each day at lunch they teach me the french word for anything on my tray that I don't know. Plus, they like to learn the english words so its good for all of us!
School went well today. I had English first and then had an hour break where I went to the library for a bit and wrote in my journal and then spent the rest of the hour outside, talking with Emilie (one of Baptiste's friends who I really like. She really tries to engage me in conversation which I appreciate a lot!). Then I had economics and history which were fine haha.... nothing too special... Oh lunch today was a little weird--- it was a plate of some sort of grain with a curry like sauce. No meat or anything haha. There was also fruit and bread. Not my favorite meal so far, but still not too bad. I was pleasantly surprised by the food at the cantine (cafeteria) Everyone told me it was really bad, but its not. I think I like it because the food is a lot different from what you get served in the USA....
Oh, so I don't know if I already said this but Sunday I get to do to Disneyland Paris! I am sooo excited- especially because one of my friends was telling me today all the different rides and they have the Rockin Rollercoaster here!!!!!!! I can't wait. (Kt et John- i'll ride it a lot of times for you! don't be too jealous...) I am going with another american exchange student who lives in Paris. I hope he loves disneyland as much as I do because I am going to want to do everthing! haha I think it will be really interesting to have it all be in French. especially having the characters talk in French... hah that will be different.

Well, A bientot!

oh and here are some pictures of my school!
I had to hurry and take this picture while the prof was out of the class because the profs are soo strict here! notice how there are no pictures or posters or colors for that matter! Its not aesthetically pleasing, but I think it helps keep the students focused so thats a good.

outside of batiment D -

The hospital-like halls- haha

oh, and just for you mom- a picture of one of my friends notes :)

my powerpoint for the Rotary presentation----

rotary presentation-

so, today I had to give a presentation to the Rotary Club of Chelles about myself, my family, the USA, Idaho, and Twin Falls. Oh and did I mention it was all in French?!?! haha overall I think it went pretty well (besides the fact that when I was introducing my family I accidentally said John was 40 insead of 14 haha but they corrected me haha) It was really fun because the meeting was over dinner so I got to eat at my first French restaurant. It was really yummy :) I forgot how many different courses there were though! First appetizers and drinks, then we sat down and had cantelope, salad, and some kind of cold cut meat. After that the plates were cleared and we were served our plat principal of steak, potatoes, and vegatables. Then after that the plates were cleared again and we had our cheese course (Brie!). And then finally dessert, which was a really yummy pie (I think) with rhubarb and meringue. Its a good thing I didn't get completely full after the first course! I learned while living here that when in doubt, save room for more food ;) since what you think is the end isnt really the end.
Anyway school went well today also. I started at 10am so that was nice and I had my PE class which was pretty fun. my first sport is athletism (track and field) and the event I chose was running. I was the only girl.... haha but the boys were impressed with my time for the 500m we ran so I felt pretty cool ;) I haven't completely gotten out of shape, thank goodness!
Still have a bit of a cold... but its not too bad.
Well, its super late and school's tomorrow.
A demain!

September 15, 2010

chinese food and shopping :)

today was fun :) I love wednesdays because theres not school in the afternoon! So, Isabelle, Marie Pascal (Isabelle's sister), and I went to lunch at this yummy chinese restaurant and then went shopping. i bought an umbrella! too bad I didn't buy it yesterday because it rained so much this morning! Oh good news- I get to go to Disneyland Paris sunday :) yay! im excited.
But I think i have a little bit of a cold :S which is no fun.... but i'm going to go get some sleep so I get recover quickly! sorry for the short post!

September 14, 2010

je suis fatigue!

haha "je suis fatigue" --- story of my tuesdays! I had all my difficult classes today, but luckily I got out of history and didn't have to go to one hour of economics so it wasnt too bad! During history I met with my counselar and figured out when I could take the french classes. I now have 3 hours a week of French. that should be helpful :) and I didnt know this but my 5th hour of economics is only every other week! thank goodness!!!! Also, I don't have my 2nd english class anymore! the teacher thought it was pointless so I don't have to go :) yay! that means on fridays i get to sleep in. Afterschool today I did my homework- History Anglais and math so I could actually understand it! and then for dinner we had lasagna and bread and salad. it was delicious :) oh and of course we had fromage and dessert! yumyum :) oh and I just got done watching Desperate Housewives with my host mom. It was fun to watch in French. and France is behind by a season so I actually could understand what was going on since I've seen it before. So that was nice.
Random Observation----- When the radio or TV plays American music (which is all the time!) they never bleep out the swear words! Well, I guess most of the French people don't know that they are swear words but it still catches me off guard when I randomly hear the F-word coming from the TV!!!! its crazy! ha. Also, today at school a boy was wearing a shirt that said "I like sex, it's nice." I couldn't believe he was actually allowed to wear that! Maybe the administraters didn't understand it? but I would think that they would because the french word is spelled the same.... haha anyway I thought that was a pretty interesting oberservation.
Alors, je suis fatigue ;)!
bonne nuit!!!!

September 13, 2010

Day 20 of my exchange!

today was just another day at Lycee Bachelard haha. nothing too significant happened today... Oh in economics we turned in our homework from the other day and it was hilarious because my was about 3 sentences and everyone else's what a page and a half! I had no idea that it was that intense of an assignment! haha. the other students got a good kick out of that ;).
Its really funny when the other kids at school find out that I'm american because they love to use their english and so they always say crazy stuff to me :) One boy really loves using his own form of pick up lines---Friday he came up to me and said "My love for you is underground." haha he meant super grand but i thought it was hilarious :) and then today he told me "You're smile is like the chewing gum commercials." hahaha.
After school today i finished my rotary presentation and practiced it with my host family, so Im glad I got that all finished! oh and I attempted my econ homework but wasnt very successful...
Anyway, I took pictures of the school today but Im too lazy to post them right now so Ill get those up later. Plus tomorrow is my hard day so I need sleep!

September 12, 2010


What a rejuvenating Sunday I had :) woke up at around 10 and had a delicious breakfast- a delicious croissant with Nutella (surprise surprise) and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice! A great way to start the day. After breakfast I was going to go on a run, but it started raining so I worked on my Powerpoint presentation for the Rotary club dinner I have this Thursday. Im pretty much finished so thats good :) At around 4ish, it was finally dry enough to go run, so Amandine and I went on a nice jog around the lake while Patrice rode along side us on the bike. It was really nice to get some fresh air and exercise. Crazy to admit, but I actually missed running.... Later in the evening I skyped with the fam, which I always look forward to. I love hearing how everythings going back at the house and get to talk face to face (i guess it can be considered face to face)! Thank goodness for technology right? :)
Ahhh for dinner tonight we had crêpes! so delicious. I think counting both dinner and dessert I ate about 7 or 8 crêpes haha. granted the dessert ones were small, but still thats a lot! good thing I went running today ;) Anyway, for dinner I had one with ham and cheese and another with shrimp, bacon and cheese. And then for dessert I had some with lemon and sugar, some with nutella, some with chocolate chips and sugar, and some with jam. hahaha. Oh goodness- a lot of food, but so worth it ;) I adore them. and there were extras so i get them for breakfast tomorrow too! yay :) Okay, well i have school bright and early in the morning. Mince! Weekends are too short.... well bonne nuit!



oh how I love saturdays! sleeping in today was soooo nice. I feel rested for the first time this week! For breakfast I had a smoothie and toast with Nutella. I could honestly live off Nutella. Well, Nutella and French cheese. :) oh how i love them. soooo delicious. Its crazy how much I look forward to meals here. I love waking up because I know I get to have Nutella for breakfast, I love lunch becasue I know I get to eat fromage, and I love dinner because I know that I get to eat a delicious dessert after. I haven't disliked anything that I've eatten so far! Boy do the French know how to eat. But they never over eat I've noticed. Its a good habit to have- they stop eathing because they are stuffed.
Anyway, after breakfast I went to the bank with Patrice and I opened up a french bank account! I can't believe I am going to be living here long enough to have a bank account. Crazy to think about. After the bank, Isabelle taught me how to play Chinese Checkers which was fun! I've always wanted to know how to play it! Plus, I'm proud of myself for being able to understand her french instructions! :)
At around 4ish, I went to Paris with the same girls as last weekend aka my first french friends ;) haha. It was fun! How could Paris not be fun? We didn't much sight seeing in today because we weren't there very long, but I got to see the Centre Pompidou and the Forum des Halles (a really cool shopping mall). We just sort of just meandered around the quartier and watched a lot of the street performers. I love big cities because even just walking around is entertaining! I am really grateful that the girls invite me to do things on the weekends! They are really helping me integrate myself. :) The language barrier is still really difficult for me to work through! Its hard when I'm with them, or any group of French people because I feel a little bit like an outsider since I can't understand most of the conversation. Its kind of awkward at times because they will be talking and then start laughing really hard and I have no idea whats going on so I end up being the only one not laughing... But I realize this is just a part of being a foreign exchange student! I just need to give it time :)
Anywho, after my evening in Paris, I came home and started working on the presentation I have to give to my Rotary club here. I have to talk about the USA, Idaho, Twin Falls, my family, my school, and other things about me--- ALL in French. ohh boy. haha I'm a little nervous! Hopefully they can kind of understand what I'm saying despite my dreadful accent haha. The powerpoint is coming a long nicely though! so thats good.
You will never guess what time we ate dinner tonight... 9:00pm! haha isn't that funny? (Mom, I told my host family that sometime you like to eat dinner at 5:30pm and they couldn't believe it) I don't mind it because we usually eat a little afternoon snack so its perfect! The only problem is I don't usually very long after dinner before I go to bed haha. I get tired really easily here. But I think thats normal for exchange students.
Welp, I guess thats about it for the day! :)
Centre Pompidou- I'm not quite sure why, but there were a lot of people dressed like fruit walking around- Street art out of chalk-yummy! patisserie-

September 10, 2010

c'est le weekend!

Whew. I made it through my first week of french school. Boy oh boy am I glad its the weekend. I get to sleep! yay! This week wore me out! My brain was working in overtime.
Anyway, today was a good day :) I had a three hour break this afternoon haha. So I ate lunch for the first hour, wrote in my journal the 2nd hour (for the entire hour haha! its a nice outlet because i can say exactly what i want to.) then the 3rd hour I hung out with friends. Super easy day :) After school today I did my first French homework! I have a few math problems due monday and then I have to answer some questions for economics. The math was super easy, but the economics not so much haha. I didn't understand it so I just did the best i could. Its funny doing homework that doesnt count for anything! Im pretty sure my responses to the economics questions sound like a child but oh well :) After that all my new French grandparents came over for appetizers and drinks. It was really fun. they are all very nice! However, I ate wayyy to much! haha. but Im super tired so I'm off to bed! goodnight!

September 9, 2010

i love thursdays!

Thursday are officially my favorite day of school :) My classes don't start until 10:20am! its so nice to be able to sleep in. And then I only have 3 classes- philosophy, sport, and history... I still don't understand anything in philosophy or history, but thats okay :) My philosophy teacher writes the notes down on the board so that's really helpful because I can at least kind of follow along and I noticed that there are a lot of cognates in philosophy so thats good too. So I can understand the words that she writes down, but the only problem is that I can't understand the overall meaning and concept haha. I've never taken a philosophy class before and its extra difficult having my first one be in French :) but oh well! Oh and the notes i took for history class today consisted of pretty little drawings down the side of my page haha. My teacher just lectures without writing anything down so I can't catch anything. I believe we are learning about how WWII effected the countries involved economically, but I'm not sure. I really wish I could understand because he says les Etats-Unis (USA) and les americains a lot, but I don't know what he's saying about them! haha. very frustrating. However, I love this whole no stress thing ;) its awesome. Something I noticed while sitting in class (not taking notes) is that the french students are very serious when it comes to note taking. Their notes are so neat and tidy! If I learn anything in class its going to be how to take notes like them. They color code different sections and use rulers to make straight lines and highlight key points, I feel like they all took a class teaching them how take amazingly organized and beautiful notes (John, maybe you'll learn this in touchstones haha ;) ) anyway, the few notes that I do have are terrible compared to everyone else in the class. Even the guys have crazy organized notes. Im jealous. Oh and the paper they use is a lot different than what we use in the US. Its like graph paper but with more vertical lines. Hard to explain, but I think it might be a reason for everyone's neat handwriting here. Im still not used to writing on it. There are so many lines! Oh and they ALWAYS write in pen. Even in math class. Everything you turn in and all your notes are in pen. I couldn't believe that they did math in pen. I was always taught never use pen when you do math. The whiteout business is the business to be in here ;).
I think im going to like my sport class too! Today we just got to pick groups but next week we start playing sports. You could pick 5 different groups and each group does 3 different sports throughout the year. Super confusing haha. But the group I chose does handball, track, and badminton. My teacher was really really nice and told me that since i didn't know what handball was and since I don't have to take the bac (the huge test at the end of the year that determines if you graduate or not) I can try a sport and change if I don't like it :) Everyone was jealous. The other sports I can try are ping pong (yes, theres a pingpong class here!), gymnastics, dance, weight-lifting, basketball, volleyball, and aerobics. I think it will be a fun class. Plus a lot of my new friends/acquaintances are in it. :)
School got out earlier for me today 3pm instead of 5pm so that was nice :) Oh and I had 2 hours for lunch! awesome :) Anyway, this evening Isabelle, Amandine and I went to the Poney Club where they both usually ride horses. I met a few of their friends and then we watched the members ride for a while. It was cool because I haven't ever seen horses jumps and stuff before. Plus, I got to go see all the little ponies :) they were cute. Ill post some pictures later because Im too lazy to go get my camera right now.
Welp. tomorrow I have 4 hours of English class.... a little pointless, but oh well!
off to bed :)

September 8, 2010

2 weeks since departure!

I have officially been away from home for 2 weeks now! I think its a new record... Its so crazy that its already been that long. Its going really fast now that school has started and my days are occupied! I miss everyone a lot, but I'm loving it here too :) learning a ton each day. Today was a much easier day at school than yesterday. I had Histoire/Geographie Anglais this morning which I found really helpful because now I'll be able to follow along better in my other Histoire class (Francais). I was told that my teacher was going to have a really bad accent, but it was fine. Its funny because they take British english here so they learn a different accent. Probably shouldnt help my friends with pronunciation! haha. Also, my teacher told me to make sure and tell him if he makes any mistakes hah. I doubt he will, but its pretty cool that I can help if he needs it! And for once I could answer some of the questions he asked the class! Too bad I suck at history though.... Anyway I also had math today :) And I answered a question!!!! it was easy but i was proud of myself for 1. knowing what he asked, 2. knowing the answer, 3. knowing how to say the answer in French :) progress! haha. whoot whoot. We are reviewing limits right now (which I love!), but im nervous that I might not understand once we stop reviewing and start learning new stuff. Hopefully its all stuff I did last year :)
Oh, today it rained sooooo much! It was ridiculous. I got absolutely drenched waiting for the bus. But oh well :) Oh and I made cookies! haha chocolate chip. I didn't have the exact ingredients for the american recipe, but I made what i had work and they turned out okay :) definitely nothing like Albertson's cookies (which I miss a ton!!!!) but my family liked them so thats good! Im pretty sure this was the first batch of chocolate chip cookies I have ever made haha. how funny! I love not having the stress of school and homework because it seems like I have all the time in the world !
Today for dinner we had Croque Monsieurs ! :) yum yum yum yum. I absolutely loved it. delicious. Its funny how much I look forward to meals here. I can't get enough of the cheese and bread... and having dessert for both lunch and dinner every day is pretty nice too! Gotta start gaining those kilos hahaha.
One thing that I find really funny is that back in the states I was obsessed with the French. If I heard someone speaking French I would get so excited and then just sit and eavesdrop on the conversation. Also, I would try to find books and movies in French everywhere I went, but they were all really expensive.... But now, I am completely surrounded by the language. Its surreal. I can't believe that I get to listen to people speak French all day long and that I have a whole bookshelf filled with books in French (I have the whole harry potter series in my room!). What an amazing experience....
well, bisous!

September 7, 2010

oh la la!

School today was crazy! oh mon dieu... I had 5 hours of my economic class throughout the day! 5 hours!!!!! It was so hard because I couldn't understand what was going on and my brain was working in double time trying to translate. On top of the 5 hours of economics, I had history and philosophie... Haha lets just say that tuesdays aren't my easiest day by any means. I got a head ache during my last class, probably from a mixture of exhaustion and from eating a lot of candy throughout the day hah. But it wasn't a terrible day. I still learned a lot. My friends were making fun of me today for my accent haha. I can't say r's the way the French do so they were asking me to say all these hard words with r's in them haha. My accent was terrible! But then I got back at them by making them say words with that have the "th" sound :) They couldn't say "through" hahaha. also, they have problems with our "r" sound. I loved hearing them try to say "boring" :) Ahhh language is funny... Oh, today was pretty interesting because it was a national strike! 80% of the metros were closed because the operators were marching in the strike and our school cafeteria was closed too! I thought that was so crazy that its a nation wide thing! Im not sure about the details of it, but it had to do with the Union because upset about a decision Sarkozy made dealing with pension for retirement... I think haha...
But anyway, Im exhausted! so off to bed :)
xoxo em

September 6, 2010


I thought my head was going to explode today! It was my first day of classes and boy, was it difficult! Well, it started off easy with English :) everyone had to introduce themselves to the class and talk a little bit about themselves in English which wasnt too difficult for me ;) We also had to write a paragraph about ourselves which was funny because everyone around me was asking me for help. After English I had math, which I think could possibly be my favorite course this year depending on how the others go. I was nervous that this math class was going to be stuff I hadnt learned yet, but we had a few problems of review and I understood them all :) annnnd got all of them right ;) I didn't realize how much I missed math until today. Yea I'm a nerd.... The only hard part of the math class is that the notations and vocab are different, but after I get used to that I don't think it will be a problem. Then I had history which was really hard to understand! The teacher talked really fast.... But I got some notes down which was good! Just what he wrote on the board but I think that still counts. If I understood right we are studying the results of WWII. My teacher is really strict and I was scared of him at first, but after class he pulled me aside and asked if I understood and then said that if I needed extra help to just ask and he could try to break it down for me in a way I could understand. I thought that was very nice of him. He was the only teacher to do say that to me. The I had lunch with wasn't bad--- pasta, bread, and fish (I thought it was interesting that they served fish at a school... Id never seen that before!) then this cake thing for dessert. Pretty basic cafeteria food. Then after lunch were some more difficult classes- economiques and philosophie. I dont think I understood one word in either class haha. It was so weird being in class and having no idea what the teacher is saying. Id never experienced that before haha but I have a feeling I might have a few more classes like that!
Tomorrow is a crazy day. Throughout the day I have 4 hours of economics! and 2 hours of Philosophie and 1 hour of history! man oh man... the 3 classes I can't understand at all hahaha :) how funny.
Well better rest up!

September 5, 2010


This morning I had a district rotary meeting where I got to meet all the inbound students (like me! just starting their exchanges) in my district and all the rebound students (French students who just finished their exchanges). It was really cool! All the inbound students in my district can speak english better than they can speak french so there was a lot of english used today. There are a lot of other americans in my district...but even the students from mexico and south america and the one from germany could speak more english than french. haha we all have a LOOOOONG way to go ;) but after today I feel a little bit more confident about my french because I saw that I was a little better off than some of the others so that was encouraging :) Also, talking with the rebounds was fun because they told me all about their exchanges and it made me really excited for the upcoming year :) Anyway after the rotary meeting, Patrice, Isabelle and I went to this crazy garage sale type thing that happens once a year in Vaires. I hadnt seen anything like it. I would say its like a farmer's market but its not haha. Anyone in the town who wants to can set up and table and put out all the stuff they want to sell. It was like going to 200 garage sales. They were just lining the streets. It was really cool. Also, there were booths that showed the different clubs you can join in the town and other things like that....But my classes start tomorrow so I better get some rest!
xoxo, em

September 4, 2010

an afternoon in Paris!

I can't believe I am lucky enough to be able to just hop on a train and be in Paris in just 20 minutes :) I had such a fabulous day. Kahina, Valentine, Krystel and I all spend the afternoon in Paris- sight seeing and walking around. They are girls I met at school :) my new copines! haha I am so happy that they invited me today! It was fun to hang out with teenagers and to get to go to Paris again. I could probably visit Paris everyday for the rest of my life and never get bored of it. La Tour Eiffel takes my breath away everytime I see it! Today, I ate at my first French McDonalds haha (le McDo, as the French call it)... but it didn't compare to the McDonalds in the US. Just not quite as good ;) After eating we walked down the Champs Elysees! So fun :) It really is a beautiful street. Tons of really expensive cars parked along it haha. there was a huuuuuuuuuge Louis Vuiton store on the Champs Elysees... so big that while we were looking around we got lost and had to ask the clerk directions to the exit haha. Then of course we saw L'arc de Triomphe! I couldn't believe how big it was. Ah it was beautiful :) I've been looking forward to see all these Parisian sites for so long now that I don't think it has fully hit me yet that I actually saw them! After visiting the arc we went to the Eiffel tower and rested in the grass in front of it for a bit. It was a day with a LOT of walking but it was well worth it :)

Oh, and a quick recap on last night---- Isabelle, her sister, her sister's friend, and I went to this really cool cinema a few towns over to see the movie "L'abre" or The Tree. It was an Australian movie so it was in English with French subtitles. I really liked it :) Also, it was really good for me to hear the english words and also see the French words. Sometimes the French even helped me understand the Australian accents :) so that was nice!

So, anyway- all is well! I am really really really loving it here. I'm learning a ton each day and I am truely grateful for all of the new things I am able to experience here :) La vie est vraiment belle.

l'arc de triomphe!
La tour eiffel with my new copines :)-
L'arc de triompe again :)---

September 3, 2010

My first week!

I forgot to say it yesterday when it was official, but I have lived in France for exactly one week and a day now! Thats so crazy to me. Especially to say that I live here haha. I have learned so much in my first week and I can only imagine how much more I will learn during the duration of the year!
Today both my host parents were working and Amandine had school so I was home alone. Nothing too exciting happened... I ate breakfast and then decided to go to the lake thats just a short walk from our house. It was really nice today! High 70s or Low 80s I would guess. So i just soaked up some sun and wrote in my journal while I watched people canoeing and such. I have been writing in my journal a lot. Its really nice because its one of the few ways I can fully express myself and say exactly what I am feeling and experiencing. I am very happy I brought it with me :) Anyway after the lake, Isabelle came home and we ate lunch together. We had this Spanish dish that we bought at the store a few days ago. It was a mix of rice, vegtables, shrimp, and mussels. Really yummy :) and then after, dessert of course! I had this Nestle treat that was a vanilla cream pudding with a layer of hardened chocolate on top! yumyumyum! Then the rest of my day was also low key. I watched a movie and then went on another little walk, but this time around Vaires, looking at houses and shops. Like I said nothing too exciting, but I am still grateful for everyday I get to spend in France. I know that this is a once in a lifetime experience and I appreciate everyone who helped me get to this point :)
Well, its almost dinner time, and then after dinner I think Isabelle and I are going to the cinema with her sister and, if i understood correctly, I believe the film is in english with french subtitles! haha parfait ;) Oh and some of the girls I met from school invited me to go to Paris with them tomorrow afternoon so I am really looking forward to that as well!!!!
Groses Bises!
at the lake---

September 2, 2010

Rentree Scholaire 2010

Ahhh. I am extremely tired after my first day of school! Well i didnt have any classes today but I met a ton of people and got my books and met 2 of my teachers. Anyway, overall the day was really really good :) People were very nice to me and one of Baptiste's friends, Emilie, introduced me to all of her friends, so i have a lot of acquaintances now who could become friends :) I probably did the "bise" (kiss on each cheek) over 50 times today haha. Its crazy how much people faire la bise here! I couldn't believe it. Even if you walk up to a big group of you friends, you still fair la bise each one. I think its really fun because you acknowledge everyone individually rather than in the US were you might just say "hi everyone!" :) A few of the girls got my phone number and said they would text me tomorrow if they do anything so hopefully they do! haha. Oh another thing is that a ton of the teenagers here smoke. Right outside of the school too! Its crazy. It doesnt seem like they are pressured to do it though. I got asked a few times "Tu fumes?" (do you smoke?) and when I said no they didnt seem surprised at all so its not like everyone smokes :) They asked me really funny questions about the United States too. I got asked about the "pom pom girls" (cheerleaders) because they dont have them here and about the size of American cars (because all the cars here are tiny! I have yet to see a car the size of my Explorer at home) and about our school schedule and the age you can start driving (they were shocked when I told them 15 haha)... It was fun :) oh and another thing I noticed is how much the French listen to American music! it kind of caught me off guard at first because I was sitting at a restaurant with Amandine and her friends a few days ago and "Still" by Dr Dre started playing. haha Now i notice that the radio plays mostly american songs and the teenagers have mostly american songs on their iPods. I have to admit that its kind of nice to hear some English here and there ;) Anyway, Im really really tired so im off to bed!
A demain,

September 1, 2010

Apres le diner :)

What a delicious and fun dinner! The Gabelotauds are so fun and outgoing. I really like being around them :) Plus, I understood some of the conversation! woo hoo :) Ohhh and I had my first glass of French wine---- le vine rosee (its pink!) and my first glass of cremant d'alsace (just for you Jean!) Oh, but dont worry parents--- they were very small glasses! For dinner we had pizza that we made and green beans and salad. For dessert we had a really yummy fresh fruit salad. It was a very nice dinner. Anyway, tomorrow is my first day of school! Well, I dont have classes but I meet my teachers and find out what supplies I need and such.... all the students will be there.... Im scared!!!!! haha but today Patrice introduced me to one of Baptiste's friends, another Emilie, and she is going to come over and go to the bus with me haha :) I dont have to go until 1:20 so thats nice :) Anyway, school's tomorrow so I better get a good night's rest!

Oh, but before that a few other things I noticed--- Wedding rings (of course, because im obsessed with looking at peoples wedding rings) The women here, well that I have seen so far, don't have big flashy wedding rings. No diamonds, just a gold band...
Also, to set straight the infamous sterotype---Woman and girls here do shave their armpits and their legs haha :) Just like I thought.
Oh and my mistake of the week--- When i went shopping with Amandine I thought that I bought body lotion but turns out its a body wash for the shower! haha It was in the same type of bottle that lotion comes in here and it was cheaper than the lotion that Amandine showed me so I thought hey what a good deal!!! My leg is all sticky now because I tried to use it like id use lotion ha. . . oh well! And one last thing--- The French accent really caught me off guard at first, but I'm finally starting to get used to the way they pronounce English words, cities, and names! haha when i tell people where I'm from I have to say eeee-daho in order for them to understand... Also, it took me awhile to understand who George Clooney was because when my host mom said it it sounded like Josh Cloonay. :) Oh and when I was on the RER with Amandine, Claire, and Emilie, Claire asked if I'd been to A-why and it wasnt until she spelled it for me that I realized she was asking about Hawaii :) I really love the accent. I need to start working on mine haha.
anyway, this turned into a lot longer post than I intended!
Grosses Bises,

le super marche

Ahh le super marche! The Gabelotauds (my 2nd host family) are coming over for dinner tonight so I went with my host parents to the super market to get groceries. It was really fun to see all the different foods and such! They have a much bigger cheese section, alcohol section, and bread section in super markets here, but what did you expect? They have pink wine here! I had no idea that existed haha. Also, I got a few school supplies- a notebook, a few pens, white-out. I learned that the French don't use lined paper for school, only graph paper and the students have to do all their homework in pen!!!! I couldn't believe this because in the US we are taught never to do our math homework (or any homework for that matter) in pen. That will take some getting used to. Especially since I am going to be writing in French.... oh mon dieu! After our trip to the grocery store we had delicious paninis for lunch :) You buy semi-cooked dough thats shaped like paninis and then fill it with meat, cheese, and tomatoes, and then grill them! ahh soooo yummy :) I dont know if I said this in a different post but lunch and dinner go like this ----- Eat your main course (meat, salade, bread), clear the plates, get out smaller plates, eat your bread and cheese course, and then after those two you eat dessert (yogurt, fruit, pudding, carmel cremes, or chocolat). Its awesome :))))) I have learned to save room for the other 2 courses because the 1st day I wasnt expecting it. Anyway, after lunch I helped Patrice make appetizers for tonight. (Mom and Dad, you will be happy to know that I made guacamole!)
Random Observation---- the movie The Hangover is called A Very Bad Trip. hahaha I got a kick out of that.
Okay, well i better go help more with dinner.
Au Revoir!

In the wine section of le super marche----
Le Super Marche----