Tomorrow will be the end of my first week of school, and I’m not even counting down the days until the weekend like I would be in The States. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be exploring all day and discovering new places (and food), but for school, this isn’t too bad. Classes count for 4 credits here, so I’m taking French and Culture 1, English Literature before 1800, History of Western Civ. from 1500, and History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. My brain works around science and math and logic and reasoning, so these courses are presenting a whole new challenge for me. Some general liberal arts credits are required for my major, and I could not be more excited to be enrolled in these classes here. At Ole Miss, I would be in a class with 100 other students required to take philosophy and just trying to pass, but here I am in a class of 20 students who really care about philosophy. There are only two Americans in that class including myself, and I think every other person (or, almost) is from a different country. All of my classes are pretty similar to this, and it’s making the learning so fascinating. Learning about literature and philosophy with students who have totally different perspectives than you’ve ever encountered is eye opening and challenging. For once, I feel excited to learn (I sound so lame right now, I know) because I’m learning even more than just the subject matter! These courses are difficult for me, but I think these are the areas where I can really develop as a person. Now French class is a whole different story. My Southern accent that I try so carefully to hide is seriously ruining any chance I had at pronouncing anything correctly. For example, in class we had to say, “I say ‘I love you’ to my mom.” Naturally, I said, “I say ‘I love you’ to my sh*t.” Like real life…. pronunciation is killing me, obviously. Aside from that, I truly am falling in love with this language and currently have another tab open for how I can take 6 weeks of intensive French for the summer (we’ll discuss this later, mom 😉 ) I don’t have class on Wednesdays, like most other AUP students, which is seriously awesome. No Fridays would be nice for travel, but this is like having two 2-day school weeks, and it’ll definitely help me stay on track. I’ve been taking my lunch to nearby parks and studying in the grass by the Eiffel Tower, which is just a 5 minute walk from my classes. When I was there yesterday, little French children were playing soccer and a little French girl came and told me Au Revoir! when she left. It’s such a fun area to be in! Tomorrow I’m having a champagne picnic there with my roommate after class, so that’s tough to beat. Also, the kids are totally fashionable and look like Gap models. I wish I looked as good as French 5 year olds.
Aside from school, the most exciting thing (like, so exciting) is this new place I have come across.. Picard! It’s a frozen food lover’s (aka bad cook’s) heaven and it is FABULOUS. It’s like a room of frozen meals from goat cheese lasagna to chicken tenders to macarons. Life in Paris has now forever been changed.. and has me spending 2euros for dinner instead of 15. I was told this was the Trader Joe’s of frozen foods, and it’s even better. Someone needs to open this in USA stat.
Since we didn’t have school Wednesday, we went to a nightclub called Le Duplex on Tuesday. I’ve learned pretty quickly that there are the touristy, ratchet clubs and the nicer, French clubs. You cannot get into these French clubs without connections and style. The bouncers literally look you up and down (even with connections) before letting you in. My roommates went with a French friend and said if the bouncers didn’t like their outfits, they wouldn’t have been let in. So Tuesday, we ventured to the club with many international students and had a lot of fun! It was 15 euros which included a drink, but still pretty pricey. I met people from France and Mexico and really all over. Also, if that’s considered ratchet, I don’t know what The Corner in Oxford would be considered… I didn’t think this was so bad. We didn’t get home until 5:00am though and that just really kills me, soooo Paris night life will have to move on without Jamie for a week or two.
Although I really wish our washing machine didn’t take 3 hours and I knew where to buy things like highlighters, it’s all okay because baguettes that are about 2 feet long are 95 cents and I’ve mastered ordering that in French! Peanut butter doesn’t exist in Paris (except at the American store called Thanksgiving and it’s like 15 euros), but does anything beat Nutella? I walk A LOT, but my walk to class begins with a windy walk over The Seine River with a straight view of the Eiffel Tower, so who can complain? Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than Paris.