jeudi 30 octobre 2008

George Brassens 'Au marché de Briv'-la-Gaillarde' et Manu Chao

Octobre va finir a bientot! The beginning was pretty slow, the first month felt like a year, but once I’ve settled in, it’s going by pretty fast! I changed schools in the beginning of October, from college (6th to 9th grade) to lycée (10th to 12th grades), which is really where I should be. Everyone was really nice at college, but I think its better that I’m with people the same age, and that I can make friends that aren’t the same friends as Lucie’s. It’s a little weird because it’s like I’m starting over, but I really like it.

My class has only 3 boys in it (none of which are too cute…) and a bunch of girls, who are all really friendly. I’ve become friends with girls named Samantha, Orane, Charlotte, and Lea, who I eat lunch with most of the time. But after school (sometimes school ends at 3, so we have to wait a couple hours for the school buses) I occasionally hang out with Charlie, Elise, Noemie, and Marie, who go to the Troubadour (a restaurant/ice cream place/bar/et cetera place) in Ussel, where they play pool and such. Noemie and Charlie smoke, but after I said I didn’t, Charlie said “Good! Don’t start!” And I probably won’t (don’t worry Mama). Drinking is more common too for teenagers, but it’s not the same kind of drinking that a lot of teens do in the US. I mean, they don’t get really drunk or anything. As 15 year olds, we can go into any bar or restaurant in Ussel, and order a beer, and it’s perfectly normal. It’s weird to think that if I was in the US, they would ask to see an ID, or, more likely, refuse outright. (Well, the drinking age here is 16, which might be a part of it)

Anyways, my classes at lycee are a bit harder than at college. All of the professeurs expect us to take notes while they dictate, and we have a controle (a quiz) about once a week in each of my classes. (And they’re hard!!) I really like my Physic/Chimie class though, (which is odd, because it’s a subject I hate in the US) because the prof Mme (Mademoiselle) Peyre, is really nice, and I actually understand what we’re learning (how to calculate light years and things like that). And Espagnol, which is surprising, seeing as I’m terrible at it and can’t understand anything the teacher says. (I think if I could understand what was going on in my classes, I’d be really confused) The thing about lycee, is that it’s a lot more relaxed. When a teacher isn’t there, or we don’t have a class at a certain time, we can leave the school to walk around Ussel, or sit and talk at school. Normally, school starts at 8 AM and ends at 5 PM, except for Thursdays, where we finish at 3, and Wednesdays, where all the schools finish at 12.

Life with my host family is great, as usual. Everyone liked the snickerdoodles, and tacos I made for them (not simultaneously of course). I’m still scared of the horses a little bit, but I go with Lucie and Pauline sometimes, and I start tennis lessons on Saturdays next week. I finished my first book, completely in French! (Cette chanson-la by Sarah Dessen, which is an American book translated into French) Pretty soon, though, I will be reading Le Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais for Français, and Un Secret by Grimbert for Histoire/Geo.

I don’t know what else to say. Vacation has started, and the past couple days I stayed at Yolaine’s house (a girl who will be going to the US next year, and who is hosting Ione (no idea how that’s spelled) who changed families this month and is from the US too and is now part of the AFS Correze group, (me, Victoria from Brazil, Miyu from Japan, Marton from Hungary), and who is just generally awesome. Everyone, except for Marton and I, lives at Brive La-Gaillard, and so we all got together to hang out in Brive, and visit Tulle (where Marton lives). Ione and I also had our own mini-halloween, and carved pumpkins. (Yolaine thinks mine looks like Salvador Dali?) These past couple days I had a kind of bad bout with homesickness (J’ai mal de pays!), but I talked with Frederique (the Correze coordinator, who everyone calls ‘Fred’) and we decided that I need to get out more, talk nonstop, buy a portable (cell phone) and find bus routes to Ussel from Liginiac. It’s mostly because sometimes I’m stuck a la maison with nothing to do, and that’s when I miss home.

But mostly, I’m pretty comfortable here. And it's snowing outside! (no joke!) And it’s really weird to write in English, too. I tried to read the English book that Papa sent, but it took me like…a half-hour to read 8 pages. Mais, ce n’est pas grave! À plus tard! Here are some pictures too! (pictures from lycée will come later, sorry)
Miyu and Marton being silly

Ione carving the pumpkin

My pumpkin...

the chateau!

Charlotte!! (hehheee)