Pictures! And the first day of class


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January 18th 2010
Published: January 18th 2010
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Thanks to Christine, for suggesting that I borrow her camera and take pictures for you guys! I hope this gives you an idea of where I'll be spending the better part of the next five months.

Before I get into my first day of class, I'd like to tell you about a game that I recently invented. It's called Trashball.

HISTORY: invented out of bordom and laziness.
YOU WILL NEED: one bag of trash, and one dumpster.
OBJECTIVE: to get the trahbag into the dumpster.
HOW TO PLAY: after tying up my trash and relizing that since it was the weekend, it would not be collected for another day, but still anxious to get the smelly bag out of my olfactory radius, and relizing that there was a dumpster near by building, I thought about taking the bag down and depositing it there. I didn't think long, however, before I decided that it was in fact too long a walk, and that it would be better for all parties involved (aka, me) if I could but throw the bag from my third floor window into the dumpster below. I decided it was a silly idea,
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surrounded by the Doubs river
and went back to whatever I was doing. Later that day, I was still thinking about launching my trash out the window. I was curious to see if I could make it. The dumpster is about 20 feet outwards from my window. I thought about it some more, and on a whim, a picked up my trash bag, aimed, and executed a very elegant free throw out the window, where it landed dead center in the dumpster with a thud. SCORE! warning: this game is best played when there are no people standing or walking below.

Ok, so CLASS. Though the classes offered are posted online, the time and place of meeting are only available in the main hallway of the fac (campus). So I woke up early this morning, and reached the fac by 9am, hoping I would have time to plan my schedule and attend some classes. However, standing before the posted information, I suddenly realized that what I had thought was one course, was actually made up of 2 or 3 mini courses. So for example, a class called "Art and Archeology of Rome and the Middle Ages" would have four one hour to one and
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this is what I spent hours trying to figure out. let me know if you have any ideas!
a half hour sessions a week: Roman art, Medieval art, Roman culture, and Medieval culture. And what's more, there were sometimes multiple choices for times you could take a certain course. Or, a certain course might be listed as in the morning for the first couple weeks of class, and then switch to an afternoon class in the 7th week of the semester. Confusing!

I saw a course that was happening soon, called something like "Writings on Art" and went. It was in the Archeology lecture room, which was filled with old books. There were only about 10 of us, and the professor gave an introduction of the course and gave us a short text to read. I noticed French students take a lot of notes! Then the professor asked a student at my table what they had to say about the text. I'm thinking "Oh crap! I thought French professors didn't encourage discussion in class. What am I going to say?!" Then she looks to the guy to my right, and he says something smart sounding. Then she looks at me, and I hesitated for a split second and then tried to sound intelligent, though my internal dialogue
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the view from the main square and to the right
was "#$%#^@!!!!!". She nodded and moved on, so I guess it worked. She talked a lot, but I understood everything. At the end, she asked me where I was from. I told her, and she said she wouldn't have guessed American, that my accent was only light. I was surprised, because I thought as soon as I opened my mouth, it would be obvious!

After wards, I went back to the main hall and tried to figure out my classes. I saw that instead of taking the classes with multiple components, I could take courses that make for 3 hours in a row only once a week, though they are more advanced courses. Cool! So as of now I'm testing out: Greek art, Contemporary art, Theories and Methods of Archeology, and Roman art.

This afternoon, I went to Greek art. (It was the same professor as this morning, a woman who looks like she could possibly by an archeological fossil herself.) On arrival, she said that the class was actually only 2.5 hours long, not 3 as posted. I've heard things like this happen often. However, this class felt at least 3 hours long...She talked about what we
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The main square, with St. Peter's church
were going to study and listed (literally) like 20 Greek painters and 20 texts and their authors and why they mattered. Then she gave us a suggested reading list for the course that is two pages long, and includes texts in English (yay!) and Italian (boo!). Thankfully, we're only expected to pick and choose a few to read. BUT, the bad news came she she told us that we were expected to do an oral presentation on a suggested topic. Again, the sirens were going off in my head: "WHAT?! I thought French students were never asked to do presentations! What's going on here?!" She said we could work with a partner, and that the presentation needed to be 30 to 45 minutes. Ahhhhh!!!!

So as people were grouping up and signing their names under certain topics, I made a new friend. I scooched closer to the girl next to me and asked her if she wanted to work with me. She seemed a little hesitant, and I explained that since French wasn't my native language, I was nervous to try by myself. I think the pity factor worked, because she signed on after that, and we picked a
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the view down Grande Rue. I took this right before I ran into Regane on the street!
topic about some tomb of some prince. After class, we exchanged numbers and talked. She's really nice, and by the end, we had warmed up to one another.

After class, Christine picked me up to take me back to her house to collect the laundry we had done last night that was now dry. Last night, we ate a delicious cabbage that she prepared and I taught her how to play Go Fish. She promptly beat me. Then we had talked about me coming to her house in the mountains this weekend, and maybe a day trip to Geneva, which is not far (depending on the snow). We also talked about the possibility of a trip she's thinking about doing to Spain. Cool! I told her I'm a go for anything. Tonight, we had some tea and I took a shower (let's not talk about when I had the last one...), which was amazing! I really enjoy spending time with Christine.

Tomorrow: I plan to do some writing in the morning and try out another class in the afternoon. And then at night.....it's international student night at the university bar!




Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


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I think this is called l'Eglise Magdalene.
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The Doubs

the river that encircles Besancon
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some other chruch that Chrsitine and I went inside on the way to the library
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the oldest roman ruins in Besancon!
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some cool fountain
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Don't tell!

I took a picture of Christine's cute French kitchen (shush!)


21st January 2010

Glad you are settling in and getting into the class routine! I'm sure you are doing great! Can't wait to come visit and check it out for myself :-)

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