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Published: November 2nd 2005
fall in paris
Blue sky and hesitant leaves
Alrighty, I have spent the last week a bit melancholic and not quite living up to my seize the moment philosophy and suddenly realized it was time to delete Edith Piaf from my iPod and temporarily hide some Billie Holiday songs in my iTunes. This grand gesture of cutting the dangerously sad music out of my repertoire seems to have done something so I look forward to another day with adventure ahead of me.
I know I left you all hanging on my issue with needing a Sorbonne course for far too long, never fear the resolution is here!
I had only two options it seemed for my course at the Sorbonne so off I went last Thursday night bracing myself for 5 hours of French university courses…..yikes.
Course number one was the Poetry of Comedy. It is a very interesting course with a fantastic reading list and a…………syllabus! (the Holy Grail of the Sorbonne)Wow. The professor spoke French as quickly as I speak English (I’m workin’ on it!) and she had covered a bit of ground in her first two classes, needless to say I was mainly lost. That is until after our break at the two
Winnie et moi
an 80s rocker and a pirate. Yarrrrrr we be maties....wow, tough crowd
hour mark when she popped in Looney Tunes to relate a play to my dear friends Bugs, Daffy and E. Fudd. As soon as Bugs said “quoi de neuf docteur” I was right in the ballgame. I enjoyed myself and even understood the remaining hour better because I could see her connection. I knew though that if I took this course I’d have to read 3 plays in a weekend so my stress level was through the roof!
My peers in the course were far more interesting than the course actually. The kids behind me talked the entire class at a normal volume. The teacher would look at them from time to time and say “please” and they would whisper for a moment and then were right back to normal volume! (grrrrrr) The notes they take are impeccable! They had about 4 or 5 pens out on their desks and were really quite meticulous about the entire process, for a while. Then they’d pull out something else and sketch for a while, do a cross word and then suddenly hone back in. At the break people leaned over the person next to them to fill in their holes and
Liann, Mer+ and Winnie
Liann brought the pumpkin hat from home....just in case. Mer was a pregnant movie star (it looked real, the French people thought she actually was) and Winnie
shared their notes liberally. The students who came in late were a kick. They all said “bonjour” to the professor and then some found a place while others stood next to her until she stopped the course and they asked their question and then sat down. It was really quite an experience to see how the other half operates within the education system.
Course number two had much more going for it. Why? Because it is only an hour and a half on The History of Rock n Roll! WOO HOO. Nothing like American rock form a French perspective. It is a huge lecture hall with a wonderful professor who wrote ideas on the board (thank goodness! Something to latch onto!) and spoke at a more reasonable pace. Oh, and I don’t think we have homework, just an exam at the end sometime! This makes me sound like a slacker when really I just don’t want to be in my room all the time.
The students in this course were something else! The girl in front of me spent an hour and a half writing notes on papers, crumpling them and throwing them at a kid two rows in front of her. Another kid was taking pictures of himself with his camera phone for at least an hour. Interesting…..
Friday courses were stressful so I wandered around the Louvre for a few hours by myself and then dove into a rather introverted weekend with a lot of homework and strolls about the town.
Then came Halloween! Invasion of the Americans on the 31st of October.
We had quite a party at Winnie’s apartment (her flatmate was in Turkey) that was really quite amazing because it was a mix of French, Spanish, British and American kids all dressed up in random costumes and speaking whatever language best linked those involved. I was grateful that the French close down on November 1st for All Saints Day so we could sleep without guilt and had time to clean the mess that had replaced Winnie’s apartment!
The weather here has been really warm and sunny. The leaves are all still clinging to the trees, they seem nervous (should we drop the leaves or keep them?) and are wrought with indecision!
I am back on the horse and ready to enjoy Paris again, I think the pensive time was needed though.
For now I am off to try to understand Structuralism, yikes.
(Oh! The rioting is not within Paris, although I am sure it will come in some form or another at least the reverberations will be felt here, but don’t worry-I am being extra aware just in case.)
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