Sunday, November 11, 2007

Things I have done this weekend:

1. I went to the Saturday morning market. It is becoming progressively smaller in terms of the number of produce sellers, but the Turkish dry goods sellers (shoes, clothes, random stuff) are still out in full force. I bought some tomatos, strawberries, Orangina (ok at the little minimart) and a baguette. It was FREEZING, like below 32 degrees F.

2. My private tutoring student came for her very first session! It went very well. Apparently, to pass her high school exit exam (it's called the Bac, short for Baccalaureat), she only has a written English section. But because after high school, she's going to a two-year prep school and then a private business school for the equivalent of her bachelor's degree (I think), she really wants to practice her spoken English. Her spoken English, by the way, is impeccable. Minor idiomatic errors, minor pronunciation errors, some weird word choices, but her verbs are conjugated correctly and she speaks fluidly and without hesitation. I'm really looking forward to this hour and a half each Saturday, and hopefully Monique will be able to bang out a letter every once in a while to her. That would be sweet.

3. It's really cold here. It rarely precipitates, thank goodness. (I hate rain.) The water in France is notoriously hard. I don't drink a lot of water despite the French obsession with bottled water. I spend at least an hour outside every day walking to school. Add all this up and my skin is VERY dry. So I went to the pharmacie across the street to find some lotion. All I said to the very nice pharmacienne was that my skin is dry and I need some lotion, preferably without a scent. She was very helpful. As she was ringing me up, she asked, "How long have you been in France?" BUSTED!!! Ah she was really nice though. "No, you express yourself very well, your verbs are conjugated correctly..." Oh good. My teachers would be so happy to hear that. But anyways, I have nice French body lotion that already made my skin feel tons better last night.

4. I like planning lessons now that I have a very familiar format to follow with all of them, I know what I'm going to do, and I know how to do it. I have all my lessons for this entire week planned out - all six of them. Ah it's a rough life.

5. During the week, I eat lunch and dinner either at the high school cafeteria or at the school I'm at around lunch time. This is nice because it's really cheap, there are people to talk to, and the meals are very well-balanced (appetizer, main, cheese, fruit, dessert, and bread). During the weekends, I cook for myself. I've developed a really yummy pasta recipe:
-one serving's worth of long pasta (pasketti or the like)
-sauce: clove of garlic sauteed in oil or butter with salt, pepper, and an herb blend called "fines herbes" (no idea what's in it but it's good) and a chopped tomato
Cook both at the same time in different pots obviously and then toss the pasketti with the sauce. It's really tasty and has veggies and starch so I feel ok about it.
I also drink unnecessary amounts of tea.

6. I'm also starting grad school applications. Schools I'm seriously considering:
The University of Iowa Ph.D in Second Language Acquisition
The University of Minnesota MA in Second Languages and Cultures. (this is also where my long-time buddy and childhood friend Erin is sutdying to be a vet!)
University of Wisconsin - Madison MA in Professional French studies (this was highly recommended by a former English assistant in France)
Mom emailed me the world's longest list with virtually every school in the continental US that had a linguistics program. Thanks. I'll, um, look through it.

France is cold. France is silly. But Rose is feeling fairly content.

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