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October 2nd 2011
Published: October 2nd 2011
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Hello everyone.

My apologies for such a long time between posts. There has just been so much going on. I've been in class for three weeks now and everything is going swimmingly. I love my Cinema and History classes and my language class are fun too, of course, but in a more academic way. What's more exciting though is that I began my teaching internship last week!

I am at two different schools--an elementary school with CE 1 (which is like 2nd grade) and a middle school with 3eme (8th grade). The first week went swimmingly. I mostly observed, but I also presented myself to the students and let them ask me questions and we had mini-discussions about America and what I was doing in France. It was great to meet the kids. They're wonderful.

This week I had half of the middle schoolers with me because they were making posters so we split up the class to give them more one-on-one help which was fun, but also very interesting. I'm having to really "study" my native language and re-learn all of its intricacies to better explain things to the students. It's the same with the elementary students because I really have to use the most basic of English with them and when I'm asked to teach US civilization to seven year olds who only know how to say colors and animals, well it gets a little interesting. All has gone well so far though. Of course it's a lot of work, but it's worth it.

I've also had a few adventures since my last post. I went to Normandy last weekend with my program and it was so magnificent. It was nice to be with everyone again (since we're all in different levels/classes now). We started bright and early at 8 on Saturday morning and I greeted my friends by doing flips in the bus. I had so much energy! Our first stop was in Caen where the WWII museum is. It was wonderful/strange to see the history of WWII seen through the European perspective. Once it reached the section about D-Day, it was so appreciative and grateful to the Americans who "saved" them. I had never thought of it that way, but I suppose that all those young men came to a country that they didn't know anything about, didn't speak the language, and simply did their duty without question. It's hard for me to even fathom that, so I definitely gained a new perspective.

After the museum it was off Bayeux where we saw this incredibly old, but intricate tapestry. It was fascinating to "read" the history of warriors and kings all on this continuous cloth. Just needle and thread and a whole story was laid out before one's eyes. Then we hung out in centre-ville and had an exquisitely delicious dinner. Then we all hung out in a lovely park because the weather was so gorgeous.

The next day we visited the American Cemetery and Omaha Beach. It was so moving and I reflected a lot that day on the beach. It was the weirdest feeling being on that beach because it was a beautiful day out and the beach was so pleasant and lovely, but it was the same beach where so many men lost their lives at such a young age. It was a place of bloodshed and loss, but all I saw was a sun-soaked, gorgeous beach. After the beach we went to Place d'Hoc where the land is riddled with bomb craters and blown-up cement forts. It is literally a place of defeat and destruction and yet it is still lush and green and has the most picturesque view of the ocean. So once again I was left pondering about such things as life and death, but overall the weekend in Normandy was an up-lifting, though though provoking weekend.

Another new adventure was going to a club soccer game on Thursday night. Rennes has a club soccer team so we saw them play Madrid. It was such a new experience. The culture of soccer games are so different from football or basketball games. The crowd is like on giant cheering machines with all these pre-programmed chants and flags and scarves galore, and even some sort of drum. It was invigoratingly stupendous.

This weekend was lovely as well. Friday was spent at home with my host family and some neighbors. We ate, drank and played "Domination" which I did not dominate at. Saturday I went to Nathan's soccer game. I love watching 5 year-olds play soccer. Too great! Then I did homework and went over to Yoann's house. A few of us met up and we all made dinner together and had a lovely night of wine and board games. Then today Kat and I went to Mont Saint Michel and it was magical. No, really. It's a giant church/city/village on an island. It looks like Hogwarts. It was awesome. The weather has been so nice here the past two weeks. It may be October but I'm pretty sure I got sunburned today. So nice out!

Well that was most of my adventures from the past two weeks. Like I said before I should post more often on this blog, so I will try my best.

Well wishes to you all. Always choose joy 😊

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