Monday, January 24, 2011

La première semaine

I can officially say I have survived my first week abroad, which amazingly enough i can not say for some of my fellow trinity programmers! I am finally getting a routine down and figuring out how to not spend a bagillion dollars in a single day which Paris seems to think has been a perfectly normal thing to do :) After a week of sight seeing the weekend was a much needed repose, where I slept in each day until noon! I have never slept so late before but I am finally over my jet lag and am ready to take on Paris for another 5 months!  Friday we officially signed up for classes which is such a relief. i am so excited to finally have my schedule and my classes are pretty outrageous!
1. french culture in french - this is the required core class that is just basic french culture and I think we do cool walking tours around different neighborhoods and other things like that
2. french 301 theater - Each week or so we read a different play in french and then have an excursion to a different small theater around paris to actually see the play! it sounds amazing and an experience i never would really have if i wasn't in the class. I am really excited to see the different areas we will be visiting and the teacher is supposedly really great !
3. exotic fare - basically french food and wine class !! So far we have already had a required wine and cheese tasting which was sooo just awful! i mean who wants to go to a fabulous winery, learn how to understand the different types of wine and cheese and french culture ..and all before the sun's gone down? the teacher is really hard but we only have a midterm paper a final paper and a final presentation so it sounds pretty amazing! o and for an extra .25 credits we get to go to restaurants and try the foods and wines and experience the different things we have been taught! - what a pain right??
4. Paris: A Museum City or a City of Museums - each week we have two classes, one in the classroom and one exploring a different museum around paris! there are only reading assignments throughout the semester and then a final project where we pick a specific museum and design a pamphlet explaining how we would personally change the museum in its layout and pieces and in our specific tastes
5. Paris: Art and Architecture  - similar to the museums class but we go all around the city taking walking tours and just looking at the gorgeous architecture around the city

i never have been legitimately excited to start classes before but this semester i can't wait.
this weekend we also went as a group to a pretty cool bar called "bar trois."  at first it seemed weird and sooo small but then they lead you downstairs and its a big cave with different rooms and a little dance floor. we all had a great time and it was great hanging out with all of the kids from trinity! then finally i went to bed and it was soo nice to be lazy on sunday. everyone had been so exhausted from the orientation week that i barely saw anyone. we had an assignment to see the luxembourg gardens. our teachers thought it would be fun to send us on a scavenger hunt around to get a better sense of the park... i don't think they realized its been 30 and raining everyday and the map at the kiosk had all of the different places they were telling us to go to. after about 20 minutes my three friends and i gave up and went to our respective beds to curl up and continue the lazy sunday. all and all it was fabulous and a perfect way to end an exhausting and amazing first week!

so one week is over and still nothing to complain about! i miss everyone from home!! but its been great!! more adventures to come... xox Magpie

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Its hasn't even been a week yet and I already feel like im well aquainted with the life of a parisian...the parisian's may think otherwise, but that's not really the point! So far the trip has been amazing! I mean its been more like a vacation where I wander around petite french streets eating crepes and attempting to get people to understand my french. Fortunately for me, we have three hours of french class every morning and i live with a French family so my french is getting better and better everyday! I will finally get down to details of my trip..i feel like i haven't actually explained anything in full detail yet!

chez lecat!
My family consists of an older couple, Dominique et Francois. They are soooo nice and live in such a beautiful home!! I have my own room with a big bed, desk and dresser and even my own bathroom. There are two other students here too, one living across the hall from BC and another on the 6th floor and they are both really nice. Unfortunately/fortunately I have been extremely busy wandering the streets of Paris and in class so I have not gotten to know them very well yet! We have had family dinners which are really nice though and I am getting to know more about everyone.  My homestay dad is super interesting, working as a judge at the Palais Royale and I think he is really important because he works beaucoup and answers teh phone at dinner. dominique is always apologizing because she knows that is "so unamerican but its for his work." Francois and Dominique also used to live in the Congo while Francois helped write their constitution, so all in all they are pretty awesome.

les activités
we have already done so much the 5 days since i've gotten to paris its amazing! yesterday alone we took a walking tour, guided by the two heads of the trinity-in-paris program, around St. Germaine des pres which is the area our school is in. it is an amazing area where so many philosophers artists and writers began and even has the oldest restaurant in paris there! we found plenty of places to eat and shop and it was amazing. after that we decided to be true parisians and buy a baguette and some pate to bring back to one of my friends apartments! the apartments Trinity managed to provide us with are actually amazing! then we went back to school and had a bus tour of paris, it was so beautiful and made me realize that i have sooo much too see! he brought us all over paris, to the arc de triomphe, notre dame, champs elysee, the eiffel tower and everything else famous in paris! i felt like such a tourist but i dont even care!
today had french class from 9-12, which will be happening everyday until next friday! it is so painful sometimes between our teacher making fun of our accents and how american we are, and then how horrible some people in my class actually are, but the different activities with our trinity program make up for it. for example, today we had a wine and cheese tasting. it was so much fun just in that environment, but then tasting all of the delicious cheeses and learning how to swish and smell and breath the wine the right way so that you can get all the best flavors out of it. dad, you would be so impressed with my wine tasting skills, i can actually understand why you are so into wine!
we went to the eiffel tower the other day which i think so far was the highlight of my trip! i am shocked at how enormous it actually is..i dont know if that is me being ignorant but the eiffel tower is HUGEE it is so beautiful at night especially when all of the lights are flashing too! but anyways... we went up and it was so pretty! unfortunately we could only go to the second tier because it was too windy but it didnt even matter! and did you know that the eiffel tower has an ice skating rink on it, that is the next thing we are going to do!

mes amis
i have made lots of friends, dont worry mom! and it is pretty crazy but nearly everyone on this trip gets along really well even though almost none of us were friends before we got here! i am also so fortunate to have been in france before because i know people here now! my friend who i exchanged with in high school, capucine, is actually in paris for the month and i get to see her! it is going to be so fun being reunited with her i can't wait! ....ok this is excessively long and sounding unintelligent so i am going to be finished soon but i thought i would end with some of the bizarre rules that i am given by the lecats.

 so french! haha

1. no flushing the toilet after midnight
2. no showering after 10
3. no skyping after 10
4. you have one tupperware to put food in, all other food should be kept in your bedroom...(i think my mom would kill me if i kept food in my bedroom (: )
5. telephones should not ring
6. guests are only allowed to study and even then, must leave by 11 - visitors do not stay here and even sibling will be a thought out exception to the rule

soo they arent the craziest ever but supposedly they are really strict...i heard my housemate getting in trouble at 1030 for showering last night haha well.... anyways i know this wasnt the most intelligently written blog ever but i wanted to update it! here are some pictures from the wine tasting and a couple of other events!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm in love!

with Paris of course! After my first day, I literally can't get enough of it! the shops, cafes, bars, people everything has been amazing and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. I visited le champs elysees, got attacked by friendship bracelet makers at the sacre coeur, walked across the seine, saw the artists at monmartre and stared/gawked at the flashing lights on the eiffel tower from my friends' apartment. My homestay family seems amazing, with insane house guests like today's ambassador and two head nuns of the vatican, I see a bright future ahead with the Lecats. This is only the beginning!!! i will write more and with more detail later! here is the first picture taken in paris!
one of many tourist attractions i will have visited, i had to see the sacre coeur right away after spending all of my previous education learning about it!

this is my front door, so french! 
with love, magpie

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

False Alarm!

so just kidding about the paris thing...looks like God wants me to miss the first days of the program! France, i'll see you on Friday!

Paris Bound

Paris! Paris! Paris! So many new people to meet, adventures to have and places to explore I actually can not wait any longer! This is my first post, seeing as I haven't even left St. Louis yet, so obviously I don't have much too say about my future city.  Even though I'm still in the US of A I figured I would start writing now, hoping that it will motivate me to write everything down about my trip. I want to remember every great moment, and hopefully anyone who reads this will enjoy hearing some of it too! There will be much more to come, but now I better just try and take on the feat of packing.... wish me luck!