I’ve spent the better part of this week getting myself oriented, situated, and settled. We started classes yesterday and I’ve been doing orientation meetings all week as well. The orientation meetings have been less than thrilling, but the classes themselves aren’t that bad. Three of my classes are entirely in french, and the other, thankfully, is in english. In addition to a basic french class I’m taking:
- Globalization and its Effect on France and the European Union
- The Shape of Things to Come: the Evolution of Science and Society (the one in English)
- The Artist’s World: The Workshop, Patronage and Public in 19th and 20th Century France
What’s cool about the last two is that there are LOTS of field trips. For the art history class, each week we go to a different museum and actually see the art that we are learning about. I’m very excited for that since seeing art is a whole different experience than looking at some ugly copy in a book.
And now for what everyone’s really been waiting for… PICTURES! I eat my breakfasts alone since the host mom is a teacher and the brothers go to school also. This means that I had some time to snoop around the house and take pictures without seeming like a stalker or something. As a warning: the words I’m going to use will sound like I’m a washed up real estate agent, but I mean these in their literal sense, since this is actually a REALLY large apartment for a VERY expensive area.
This is their tiny kitchen. That table is really just a breakfast table, and doesn’t get too much use. But otherwise, it acts like a kitchen. Nothing too weird.
And this is the dining room, where we eat dinner every night. Unlike America, its very important to the French for a family to sit down and eat together every night. When I tried to explain to them that some nights I didn’t eat with my whole family, they couldn’t even fathom why. Answers like, my sister is at the gym or I had work were unacceptable. So here we are. I usually sit in the middle facing the fireplace in case you were wondering.
This is probably the most, erm, French room in the house – the living room. It’s this kind of hodgepodge assortment of chairs and couches (that have considerable dents from where their dog, Cricket, sleeps). And get this: The chairs DON’T center around the television. When they watch the news every night before dinner, they swing the chairs around to face the TV. Things are clearly getting a little too foreign for me. In the second picture is the staircase in the room. It’s very rare for an apartment to have two floors here so it’s kind of cool. But as you can see, the staircase is minute and must be taken very slowly.
I’m going to save a picture of my room for the moment, because I still have a couple of things to unpack, so I’ll show you a picture of their terrace (!!!!) for a finale. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet since it’s drizzled every day so far, so let’s hope for good weather!
And why not. Just something really French. Sunset from the Sacré Coeur. Au Revoir!