Published: October 7th 2011October 7th 2011
So I just finished my fourth week of classes at the university here in Rennes (plus the two weeks of classes before that) and everything is going swimmingly--except perhaps, trying to type on this French keyboard. Did you know you have to hold shift just to put in a period. Ridiculous.
It is nice though that I am starting to find a routine which makes me more comfortable. It is strange how similar France and the US are, however, it is all the little differences either in cultural or habits or ways of living that throw me for a loop sometimes. I am used to the fact that the toilet and the shower are in two seperate rooms, but it is things like how direct the French are with you. Professors will tell you in front of the whole class that the paper you wrote was horrible and explain why (luckily this has not happened to me). Parents and teachers are really direct with their children/students, so sometimes when I think they are being too mean, I have to remember that the kids are used to it, and that is how they need to be dealt with. I am used to eating bigger portions, but I am not used to eating at noon and then waiting to eat until 9 pm. Thus, it is nice that I have found a routine because there are little things everyday that are a little different from what I am used to, so they throw me off a bit.
I believe classes are going well. Grades are not as strictly kept/updated here as they are in the US. More importantly though, my French is greatly improving everyday and though I am still far from fluency, I am much more comfortable with conversing in French and my reponses are more spontaneous rather than thought out or calculated. This is really why I am here, so I could not be happier.
I also have met so many people from all over the world and it is nice to have a group of friends here to go through the same experiences and enjoy our free time in Rennes together to learn more about French culture by actually experiencing it.
Nothing too exciting this week besides classes. I went to the Opera last night which was fun. We all got dressed up--I even wore a dress--and although I may have gotten more attention than desired on the bus ride to and from the Opera, overall it was a lovely night.
Oh! Teaching is going splendidly. I love all my students. The middle schoolers are like any other middle schoolers so I have to work hard to keep their attention on English and not each other, but when they are focused they are so funny and have a lot of enthousiasm. As for my little ones, they do not know a lot of English, but they are full of curiosity and have so much energy. We sang Old McDonald yesterday and I taught them all about Minnesota which was so much fun.
Tomorrow the group is off to the South of Bretagne to enjoy the great outdoors. It is supposed to be cold, windy, and rainy and I think I am getting sick, but those are not reason enough to enjoy myself so I am sure it will be a lovely weekend.
Hope all is well with you and sending my love from France <3