So as I type this, one of my host brothers has a bevy of friends out in the living room. I am sad to report I have been breathing in secondhand smoke ever since I got home a few hours ago. While my host mother doesn’t smoke (Paqui, my Spanish host mother, did smoke but she only did it downstairs so it didn’t bother me as much) two of my host brothers do, to their mother’s great chagrin. Every night one of them likes to go to the kitchen and attempt to smoke out the window… unfortunately I smell the smoke as it wafts into my room since I live right next to the kitchen. Well as long as they don’t do it to my face, I’m good!

Oh and since I’m eavesdropping on my host brother’s gathering, he is telling about how when he visited the good ole US of A (I know all of my host brothers have been to the US at least once if not several times). Apparently (according to him anyways) Americans like to fawn over French tourists and are so amazed by their Frenchness and just in awe of their stylish and cultured ways.

That’s too bad that’s never happened to me. While I get the occasional “OMG you’re French that’s sooooooooo cool!” no one has treated me like royalty. Nor have I noticed anyone swooning in my dad’s presence when he walks into the room (I think that effect wore off on Mom a long time ago… hehehe I KID I KID). However I guess my dad is an exception since he’s lived just about the same amount of time in NY as he has in France. I guess people become immune to your Frenchness if you live in the US too long.

I guess you have to make your Frenchness obvious? I guess I was always discreet about mine. Nobody ever guesses I’m French right off the bat really. I’m obviously not fashionable enough. Mi hermana who has always had better taste in fashion than I apparently milked her Frenchness for all it was worth back when she attended RHS. She even fooled (or maybe confused is the right word) most of the student body into thinking she had grown up in France. When people found out she actually grew up in Westchester and our own mother had graduated from RHS (and also grown up in Westchester), this caused quite a scandal. Such a scandal in fact they even mentioned it during some speech at her high school graduation because harboring a French poser is obviously one of the most exciting things to happen in our town since… well ever.

Hmm… too much to ponder. Anywho, I started classes today at the oh so picturesque campus of the Mirail (apparently calling it a poop hole is not appropriate for this blog because future employers might want to read it… at least that’s what la madre said in the 10 or so emails I’ve gotten so far about it.) In both classes I take there, there is at least one other Dickinson student. The first class I had this morning was a Lit. class and it looks like I will be getting up and personal with a lot of Victor Hugo. The prof seemed really nice and he knew all about Dickinson since he’s actually taught there and BFF with our program director. The class will focus on poetry and theater. Another prof will teach the other day the class meets so I’m hoping she will be nice as well. The other class has 5 students from Dickinson, myself included. This class is a history class focusing on France’s history since WWII. While it is interesting, the class is 4 hours long… I’m not sure why French universities like to torture their students this way. I can barely hold an attention span past 2 hours. The prof is nice enough and won’t make us present orally in front of the class which I’m thrilled about because I hate oral presentations.
Finding classes was actually a breeze and a lot less complicated than I thought it would be. Hopefully I get the internship (no news yet) so I am not forced to take a 3rd class at the Mirail.

I will say the metro stop for the Mirail is literally right in front of the campus and the metro was running every 2 minutes. It was a literally a sea of students that got off the Mirail stop. What an experience! or as Jamie likes to say in her blog “What a hoot!” (I’m going to start saying that aloud if I don’t watch it… that and gadzooks! I really need to stop reading Tintin) Hmmm in fact I believe I have heard my OWN mother describe things to her friends by going “It was such a hoot!” Whenever I hear this expression, I think of Ellen Degeneres imitating an owl’s hoot.

So I might go to Carcassonne this weekend! Here’s hoping the weather behaves and doesn’t try to cut off power and uproot trees again.

Ok I should probably go… be productive or something.

Amelie