Première Semaine

It’s been a full week of me in France now and I almost feel like my French has gotten worse. I cant definitely feel it getting worse throughout the day, which is fascinating. Like I wake up and i can speak but as the day goes on the long words become harder to stay without mixing up the syllables and trying to make compound verbe tenses? Forget about it. I’m sure it’s just me realizing how much more there is to learn (which I already knew) and perhaps becoming more self-conscious about it.

Class at Paris VII are supposed to start on Monday but I haven’t signed up for any and they aren’t listed online and the ones that are normally offered don’t look like they’re going to work for various reasons. All that to say that I’ve been having a multi-day-long “what have I done” moment. Leaving the certainty of Smith’s curriculum and their path to actually get a chemistry degree to go live in a foreign country with a family whom I know nothing about in seems veritably insane right now. I kept thinking I’d make a chem course work this semester but now unless some magic happens (which apparently is what tends to happen, but I like things to just *work*), I might not be able to take any chem courses this semester. Major bummer.

I’ve now met my host parents’ daughter and her husband. We had dinner together the other night and wow was that an experience. Normally I can mostly follow dinner conversation but NOPE not then.

  1. There were 4 adult french people talking over each other.
  2. They were using slang while talking over each other/having multiple conversations at once.
  3. They were talking about a shared history, and were all excited so they spoke faster than normal.
  4. They were talking about a real-estate search and I can’t even follow those conversations in English.

It was quiet an experience.

I of course have some more commentaries on Parisians now that I’ve lived here for all of a week, but those are for another day.

Song of the Day: The Breach by Dustin Tebbutt

4 thoughts on “Première Semaine

  1. Total Immersion, Baby!
    Once your mindset completely adjusts to all things French, you will be perfectly fine. I’m giving it a week. You’re experiencing some mental fatigue. Seriously. Every single moment is a brain callisthenic at this stage.
    And Good Grief! There must be some class somewhere that you can actually attend. What a pain.
    I am looking forward to your Parisian commentary with anticipation.
    You’ll soon be turning up your nose as you call us “américains.”

  2. Bonnie hit the nail on the head with the mental fatigue issue. As the day wears on you become more fatigued. It’s no wonder your speech suffers then.
    Family dinner conversations….ah yes….completement normale, ma cherie! Dans quelques mois tu comprehenderas tout!

  3. Mairead, they’ve said it all so I won’t. (I was delighted to be able to comprehend your sentence, Veronique!)
    Today began Parents Weekend at the Academy. A did a great job announcing in his “super hero voice”! Of course he was reading in ENGLISH!! I met some of his comp sci professors and got to see all their “toys”- expensive toys that all the geeks were excited about. I was able to try a virtual reality game which A recorded; I’m not a video game player so I looked fairly ridiculous!
    Later in the day I sold “goodie bags” as a CO Parent Club member/volunteer. I talked with many parents. One was from Arlington and her daughter had graduated from Wash.Lee. Small world. I also met a dad of one of the cadets from Bridgeport, CT. You just never know who you’ll meet!
    US is in Savannah and they lost power for 10 hours due to Hurricane Hermine.
    Also had an International Baccalaureate Pinning Ceremony for R tonight at the HS. It was a non-stop (but a good one day…)
    Love,
    AK

  4. You are brave and fabulous! I so wish I had had that type of experience when I was younger. I am excited to take this journey with you via your posts. Thanks for sharing with all of us! I feel like an ignorant American reading your mother’s comments so just to join in the fun I will wish you Bonne Chance!

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