Thursday, February 17, 2011


Ah! I can't believe so much time has passed since my last post, the time is really flying! I am going on my first trip tomorrow for our February break with three of my friends to Berlin, Prague and Vienna and I have been so busy figuring all of our trip plans out I totally forgot about this... So the past two weeks..they have been amazing as has this whole trip! i dont even know where to start hmmm basically classes have really started and my teachers all have decided that their class is the most important. this means 2 hour classes are 2 and half, one hour classes are 2 - to put it simply i have been to the louvre for 8 hours in the past week for one class :) i mean how could i honestly complain about that but it seems to be getting a little excessive.
sites in the past 2 weeks
- for a class we went on a walking tour of monmartre which was gorgeous, and i always love climbing the stairs to Sacré Coeur. I attempted to brag and whip out my "Etudiant de la Sacré Coeur" passport but then everyone realized its on a business card and weren't quite as impressed...
- being an American, i love the super bowl. not for the game, solely because i dont understand the rules, but for the commercials. because of this desire to see the best gathering of american commercials in one day on tv. i gathered my friends together at 1 am to watch the game at a canadian bar. We got there only to meet tons of other american students from all over the US but much to our dismay they aired french commercials! my friend sarah and i were thoroughly disappointed and after watching Christina Aguilera flub the national anthem, went to the only restaurant still open at 2 am and ordered fries.
- this past friday was quite possibly my favorite day in paris thus far. it was 63 degrees!! Luckily for me, my classes end at 12 on fridays so I casually went to the gardens of the Rodin museum, nicely situated across the street from my house, and sat, attempting to tan and do work for 3 hours. it was absolutely heavenly and for about 3 minutes i had even convinced myself that i was french.
- anywaysssss for the weekend a bunch of people from my program decided to go to a famous fondue restaurant called Refuge des Fondues where they serve wine in baby bottles. although it seems completey absurd the atmosphere was so fun. the restaurant is so small that when you walk in the owner literally pulls out a chair for the women and tells you to "climb"(one of the few english words he knows) and you literally have to climb over the table to get in on the other side. i cant wait to go back soon with friends that come to visit!

- Sunday it unfortunately was rainy and freezing again so what better thing to do than march around underground with the dead bodies in the catacombs. I never really realize how clausterphobic i am until i get into small areas like these. adds a couple thousand skulls, arms, and legs and you have me literally shaking in my boots. the ceilings were about 6 feet tall and your arms could nearly touch the side of either wall. while being super freaked out, it was a very cool experience. to think that someone literally spent hours and days taking bodies out of their burials and nearly rearranging them in an underground cave is pretty crazy. the quotes around the bones were very interesting, all with the common theme - death- but still somewhat inspiring.

Finally the end of this post and the most interesting thing i have learned so far in Paris - the word dingue.  pronounced dangggg it means crazy and for some reason my roommate and i feel like it is the most fun word in the french language. i have decided that when i get back to america i am figuring out a way to add this to everyone's daily vocabulary - dang that girl is dingue! ...anyways try it out and let me know how it goes! i am off to berlin, prague and vienna so i will have plenty to add next week too! Happy almost spring!!! 

xoxo Magpie

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Can we use personal pronouns?

at an exhibit on the "bon gout" de Andrée Putman...i think that's her name at aleast

the last day of french class!! alleluia!

in front of the gates to versaille

the hall of mirrors!

 attempting to do the brady bunch in the gardens at versaille

Soooo school has begun... definitely a bit of a shock when you have 3 papers and a project in the first week and someone asks if we can use personal pronouns in our journals and I have to mentally remind myself to google what a personal pronoun is when i get back to the house! anyways i figured out what a personal pronoun was long before i got online but i am counting that as my welcome back to school brain fart for the semester. anyways... my classes all seem great even if i am going to have a ton of work this semester! Most of my classes are at museums every time or at least once a week which is amazing because i would be going to them either way on my own time.
okkkkk so its been awhile since my last post - what have i done?
Orientation is finally over! it is such a relief to not have to wake up at 7 for our 3 hour french classes every morning and then our 4 hour "fun walking tours" around the city. i can finally officially say i have a routine with life here. our final part of orientation was a trip to Louis 14th chateau, versailles. It was unbelievable! The amount of gold in that place is insane, everything from the glowing gate outside to the trimmings on the wall, the balconies, the tapestries, his bed, and pretty much anywhere on the walls. Fortunately for my program, we have two teachers who are professionally designated as Versaille and Versaille garden experts so I learned every little detail about the chateau that I wouldn't have if I went alone. The first day we went on the tour with the public through all of the "grand apartments" to the hall of mirrors and finally louis's bedroom. he literally has gold woven into his sheets! its a little outrageous if you ask me but then again...i wouldn't mind curling up under those covers! then we had dinner and i attempted to translate the French news on Egypt to my friends until we all passed out from museum exhaustion. Little did we know what was coming for us the next day. We were surprised to find that although the itinerary said we were starting at 1:15, our first private tour was at 9:25 am. Of course it was with a curator from the museum taking us to the private "petit apartments" so who could really complain? These apartments were also gorgeous and we even got to see some hidden rooms where the servants were kept and the opera which is not open to the public. finally it was lunch time when disaster struck! we were served celery puree with some sort of meet on top and for some reason there was a massive stomach for everyone involved the rest of the day. our teachers magically did not feel the same way and decided it would be a perfect time to tour the gardens for 3 hours and then roam around for the extra two hours before our bus got there to pick us up! It really is a gorgeous garden/s so i can't complain that much and all in all it was a really great trip!
Lucky for me the next day I had a surprise visitor. My dad and grandpa's friend happens to visit Paris often every year and he was in town. I had a delicious lunch with him at the famous Drugstore overlooking the Champs Elysée and the Arc de Triomphe and then we went to the Musée d'Orsay. It was so nice to be with someone from home and hear fun stories about my grandparents and dad and enjoy paris all at the same time. The Musée d'Orsay was really wonderful and I finally saw van gogh's famous self-portrait which was a surprisingly mind blowing experience. Its one of those things that Mrs. Groneck showed you pictures of every year over and over since I was 4 but when i saw the real thing in person i was almost speechless.
the best news so far that i've heard is that mom is coming to visit!!! we are just in the process of planning the trip now but i can't wait to see her and have part of the fam back in my life!!! i am also planning my trip over february break and it looks like I am going to Berlin, Prague and Vienna! I have an exciting few weeks ahead of me !! I will write alll about them soon!!
xox Magpie