Sunday, November 18, 2007

Time flies when you're...drinking amazing red wine.

So whenever I make it tothe grocery store, I make it a point to pick up a bottle of wine because it's super cheap and it's practical. I know I like dry reds (thanks Mom) and I haven't yet developed a taste for any whites. I have found that I looove Côtes de Rhone, a very smooth and dry red from the center of France. So I picked up a bottle completely at random and apparently it was excellent. Delicious.

Anyways. Blog entries have been sparse because apparently the magic internet box has to "reset" itself periodically. My manual says it should take "une dizaine" or a couple ten minutes of so to do its blinky business and find its new favorite satellite, but my magic box is apparently remedial and takes DAYS. I don't understand it. Let's be insular Americans and mark this oddity in the "Golly France is silly" column.

Friday night, Ben and I went to the Eglise Saint-Martin to attend a Corsican music concert. We were warned ahead of time by the marketing teacher Karine that these sorts of things could either be very very good or very very bad. About half-way through the concert, we realized that we had no perspective to decide one way or the other. So we decided that it was delightful and entertaining and truly a nice way to spend a Friday night. The concert ended around 11:00pm. As we walked home, we realized two things: (1) Ussel has no nightlife. 11:00pm on a Friday night and the streets are deserted. (2) Because there are no cities for a good couple kilometers, the night sky is FULL of stars. Unbelievable. We forgot the icy night air that was freezing our tootsies and just stared up at the stars. Beautiful.

Saturday I went to the market to find veggies, bleu d'Auvergne, fruits, and a hat. I found the cheese and bought a (unnecessarily expensive) hat that looks super-cute on me. However, it's November and the produce is pretty pathetic. Yay for rickets.

Saturday evening, my private English tutee came over. If she was my daughter, I would be so proud of her. She's so conscientious, intelligent, bright, quick, and sweet. Oh my goodness. Since the first lesson was basically a getting-to-know-you deal, this lesson I actually planned. Although I wasn't entirely sure if the activities I planned would work, be helpful, or too easy or hard for her, it went very well. We did some grammar exercises from my Bedford Handbook that Mr. Bender made us buy in 11th grade AP English Language and Composition. That went really well. There's an entire section in my edition of ESL trouble spots, and she did really well. Granted, it's pretty much what they do in class but I think it was still really beneficial. Then we did a pronunciation exercise. I found this Learner's Dictionary from Miriam-Webster for ESL learners, and that was awesome. She's so good. Since in class they had been studying social class and the Industrial Revolution in England, I found the most amazing Wall Street Journal article. She read it aloud and we discussed it. She's really smart and expresses herself well. A very enjoyable and easy hour and a half!

Today I am going to visit Jean-François and Alexia from School One. J-F is a preschool teacher who is doing his "habilitation", or basically being certified to teach English, and Alexia was a French assistant in Scotland. I've mentioned this. But I'm going to hang out with them for an undisclosed and probably uncomfortably long amount of time this afternoon. I'm bringing a bag of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups I brought in my suitcase. They're still good, I tested them.

I have started the application for the Second Languages and Cultures Masters at the University of Minnesota. Here's hoping that anyone responds to my plaintive emails for recommendations! Ahhh.

Good times. Ben is going to the store to buy toilet paper so it's a good day. Now to be productive.

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