Sunday, February 14, 2010


Never fear, I am officially BACK to being happy.

While I'm sure I will have many more moments on not-understanding ahead of me, I'm feeling relatively good about my classes. And I am learning new terms everyday, and remembering and using more of them than usual.

On a different note, there is an official rule here that we aren't supposed to take the CM (big lecture) final exams with the actual Bordeaux students, possibly because they are graded anonymously, and our non-real-French won't be able to measure up to the standard of the graders. This means that the TD (discussion) professor can let my grade for the discussion count as my ENTIRE grade, if they so desire. If this is true for all of my classes, then I won't have to BE HERE for finals. Which means that my time as a student will end BEFORE THE END OF APRIL. I don't know if this is actually my personal situation yet, because I still have to discuss a few more details with two of my professors.

BUT IF this is true, then after the end of this month (which is now officially half way over) I literally will have only two more months as a student at the University of Bordeaux, which I can't even fathom. I feel like I'm still in my adjustment period, so realizing that I'm actually going to be leaving pretty soon is kind of upsetting. I feel like I need more time to adjust to student life here still, so I'm not ready to leave.

The other thing that's unsettling is this: before I left, this trip was being discussed by everyone I know as "Six months in France! You will definitely learn the language!" and now it's almost like "Two months in France! You should probably start learning something now before you find yourself on the plane back to California!". I don't how time flew by so quickly.

Again, this is a happy blog, so I should remind myself that things are coming slightly easier than they were before -- when I learn new words, and really concentrate on them, I actually do remember them, which is major progress for me. The other day, when my new brother Ynel and I were eating madeleins out of a bag and bonding in my room, I accidentally apologized for my room being salty instead of messy. But now I understand the difference, and the little things like that are sticking in my brain.

I'm writing this in a positive mood, so I don't know why it's beginning to sound so un-positive......on the subject of leaving sooner than I realized I would be (because sixth months seems endless at first), I don't know how I'll feel about leaving France. I'll miss the ability to practice my language #2, OBviously, and the public transit, but I don't know about the rest........I won't miss the University of Bordeaux. My friends and I are always talking about how the little problems at our respective UCs will no longer annoy us when we return, because life so easy at school for us in California, and about how this whole experience is making us thankful to go to school where we do. The biggest thing I've decided is this: It's worth paying the price of getting an education at a UC, even with the massive fee increases, and I can't agree with anyone who says differently (I'm sorry!). Going to a university where tuition is free, like the University of Bordeaux = lots of graffiti, terribly kept facilities, gross bathrooms, terribly few choices when it comes to which classes to take, MASSIVE drop-outs after the first year because there is less motivation to stay, un-heated classrooms even when it's freezing outside, no real space for students to hang out, barely any clubs, a library that closes at 7PM on week nights and is not open on weekends (and you can't even eat there!), and no campus bookstore. Some things are worth paying for.

ANYWAY. Long story short: I'm happy with all of my classes, my brain is successfully being taught how to formulate French-style essays, and I'm learning some new words, but I'll probably be home before I realize it.

Toulouse pictures soon!

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