Tuesday, January 19, 2010

des petits eglises sousterrains et les grands cathedrals

I've officially been in France for 20 days! It feels like I've been here forever, in a good way, but these 20 days have passed incredibly quickly, which I suppose is also a good thing.

I finished my Intensive French class. I don't know how I did on the written final, but my almost-impromptu 5 minute oral report on the French Revolution went surprisingly well (I think I may have written about that earlier). Yesterday we had a separate test that was mandatory for all of the non-native French speakers, and I don't think I did too terribly. The oral section was kind of bizarre in how little the tester expected me to say (she kept cutting me off after two words), but I was actually using grammer that I had learned in the intensive French class, so I guess it was worth something.

On Saturday they loaded us onto two buses and took us to Saint Emilion. It was very cool, I recommend it. The little historical/toursity part is centered around an old underground church with magic water, and that was cool. No pictures though, because for some reason that part is privately owned. I understood our French guided tour, too, so that was a success! Then we got back in the bus and they drove us to a wine factory, which was boring because there were echos so it was hard to understand the guide, plus I have yet to progress to understanding French chemistry terms. But then they gave us Grand Cru afterwards, so everyone was happy.

(It was raining, heavily, in Saint Emilion allll day).

(Saint Emilion was a hermit apparently).

Also, the other big news is that my cathedral was finally open when I happened to be nearby!

It was bigger inside than I expected. There were around ten people inside total, and I've obviously never been somewhere like this so relatively alone, so it was kind of a bizarre experience. I haven't had the time or energy to really look around at every detail, but it's obvious to me so far that Saint Andre ie every bit as beautiful and impressive as Notre Dame. But probably better, because it doesn't seem to attract the same crowds.
Also, it's apparently the church where ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE MARRIED KING LOUIS, and also, even cooler, THE CHURCH WHERE RICHARD II WAS BAPTIZED!!@#$%^&* (I obviously chose the right city for my study abroad time).

On Sunday four of us when to Utopia, the indie movie theater (within walking distance!) that plays films in their original language with French subtitles. Here's a blurry picture of the outside of the theater:

Yes, this IS the movie theater that was converted from an old church. So cool. The seats are red and velvety, and the ceiling of our theater was ornate, and there were statues and paintings and Latin on the walls.

We saw Bright Star, because it was in English. It was a good movie, and MAN did those people know how to write. Obviously, anyone who can write letters like that is GOING to be famous, never mind the poetry. But it was also incredibly depressing, and I don't recommend you see it if you are having any issues, in general. It was probably for the best that I didn't see it alone, because I would have been a mess.
But again, it was a good movie.

We started Methodologie class today. It's put on by the UC program, taught by a French person, and it lasts all semester but the goal of the class is to teach us to write like French students are supposed to write, which is apparently very different than we've been taught so far. It's frustrating though, because I'm pretty sure I KNOW the technical stuff she taught us today, it's just that I don't understand what she's actually saying, because, like everything here, it's in FRENCH.

I'm getting over my cold, knock on wood.


  1. Sounds wonderful! Except for the rain and your cold, of course. That's the movie about John Keats, right? What "issues" . . . pray tell?

  2. I just mean ANY issues, in general. It was a depressing movie.