I think it’s been about a week since I’ve written, and it seems that the time is starting to go by a little quicker here! The first week of classes came and went. I think I wrote about my French professor, but I don’t think I mentioned my phonetics class. Well, I’m taking a phonetics class. What does that actually involve, you might ask? Well, I wondered the same thing before it started. It’s broken up into 2 half-hour sections (that fly by in a matter of minutes). The first section is in a classroom, and we learn a quick lesson of, lets say, how to connect certain words when speaking, its called ‘enchainment’ in French, like chaining words together (you see the root ‘chain’ in the word). Our professor is named Aude, and she is very classy and always wears high heels and dresses and chic sweaters. She is also very Parisian, and this being the case, while speaking she connects her words like it’s her job (ha, it is!) making it very hard for us to distinguish the individual words in the mush of enchainments. Apparently that is an especially Parisian thing to do. So she repeats sentences, some a bit long, and we’re asked to repeat the sentence after her. Sometimes it’s quite comical because, if we can’t distinguish the actual words in her sentence, we just have to go on the sounds we’re hearing, and sometimes it’s a bit hard to remember all those sounds, so the class just ends up mumbling the last few bits. I can tell she’s trying not to laugh, but not in a mean way at all; it is really funny! The second section is in a language lab where we each sit at our own cubicle with fancy recording devices built into the desks. We are each given our own headset with a little mouthpiece, which makes me feel like I’m a part of air traffic control – I think I enjoy it a little more than I should. Aude first speaks examples of the rules that we just learned into the headset, and we repeat after her. After we’re done, we get to rewind the tape and hear ourselves speak in order to judge how we’re doing. That process is repeated over. I like it; it’s actually kind of fun.
I’ve also been meeting some new friends, which is a really nice comfort (note: this does NOT at all discredit my amazing Goucher friends that are here with me! Sam, you’re probably reading this and I love you do death, Kat, same goes for you if you are…). Meg and Molly live in my foyer and they are in IFE, but in the program that I’ll be doing next semester. Then there’s another Meg in both my phonetics and French classes who’s actually from San Francisco and goes to UCLA. En plus, I went with John the other night to dinner at his friend Pia’s apartment. She’s his friend from home, and she’s also living in Paris this semester. She lives in a funky little studio apartment in the 6th, and I love it and I want it. She invited her 2 friends Davis and Zoe from her program, and we had a lovely evening! We all just seemed to click really well, it was really great.
What’s on the agenda for next week, you might ask? Well, I have to write a small paper today for my class tomorrow, and we have our first weekly IFE classes starting Wednesday. We have a phonetics/methodology class on Wednesday evening, and a culture class called Paris-France-Paris on Friday morning. Wednesday is going to be busy once our internship starts, oy: Internship from 9-12:30/1 roughly, then phonetics from 1:30-2:30, then French from 3-5, then Methodology from 6:30-8! That’s a busy day, yo. But I’m kind of excited to be busy; its felt like vacation here for a while. I also have my interview for my internship this week – I’m so excited to start that!
Even though I speak English for the most part when I’m with American friends, I’m starting to feel like I live here, and not like a tourist, which is really nice. But don’t worry Mom and Dad, I’m not speaking English all the time! I’ve actually been told by a few French people that my French is really good, which always makes me feel nice :)
Alright, that’s about it – I should get going on my little bitty paper. Then I think this afternoon, Kat and I will go to the Louvre for a bit. Mmm, yay.
Thank you all for continuing to read, it really means a lot!
Love love love,