NERD ALERT. I'm going to talk about my classes so if you're not interested or don't want to hear me gush about how great all my books are then feel free to stop reading.
I am taking four classes, two in English and two in French. My favorite would have to be French Civilization, even though the entire class is in French, I really enjoying straining and pushing my focus every second for that hour and a half. Last week we briefly cover some of France's history and culture by identifying clichés. Now we're digging into French politics, which I must admit I wasn't all that excited for but I realized it's the debating and lying part of politics that bothers me, not so much the systems themselves. Anyway, France has somewhere around 12 political parties with all different viewpoints and shades of gray. Their left party (gauche) is similar to the American Republican party in that they believe in big government and not a lot of change or taxes. BUT the left party is ALSO all for social progression and reform like gay marriage for example. They are also called the "socialist" party. Confusing. The opposite side (reminder: nothing is completely opposite), or the right party, is for the states and adores taxes but with social issues they are against change. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is abortion. Everyone is pretty much okay with it. STRANGE since that's a hot topic in the states. Once you understand the parties, during the election, France has somewhere between 10 and 22 candidates. Yup. Enough on that topic.
So the next class I have in French is Advanced French II. It's terrible. Right now we are reading articles in magazines or newspapers and then the whole class discusses and debates about them. This is all fine and dandy if your French speaking ability is great -- mine's not. The last time I took French was a year in and a half ago. It was a very hard class so yes, I know a lot and I've been taking French for a long time but because it's been so long I don't remember how to speak. The only thing I've got going for me is that my vocab is better than most people but I can't put a sentence together correctly...
Classic Literature is just what it sounds like. We read books like The Odyssey and Herman Melville's Billy Budd etc. and I have a crazy wack professor who wears glasses with one circle lens and one square. He spends most of the class going off on different stories about religion or philosophy. ZZzz
And lastly Creative Writing. It's not my forte. I like the professor a lot and so far, she has really explained writing in a way that I can understand what I need to do. That whole "doing" thing isn't quite polished yet. We write for twenty minutes and each class and we are starting to edit some of the drafts that we have created. Maybe by the end of the class I'll produce something that is worthy of sharing..yeah probably not! On the bright side, we have talked a lot about France itself and the people here in Aix and we're going to the THEATER to see The Wizard of Oz in March. That's how the professor won my heart.
Here are some pictures of my everyday life in Aix.
Happy 93rd Birthday to my Nana!
This is my room:
The stuffed tomato dinner we had last night:
My cute little terrace attached to my room
The doorway on the far right leads to a staircase and to Salle Lynch where I have Creative Writing on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The library from the doorway
Another building where I have Classical Literature on Tuesdays and Thurdays (below)
^ This is the lounge/lobby of some of the professors offices
The Institute for American Universities (right) This is the main building of the university on la rue de Bon Pasteur. I have both of my French classes in the main hall.
^ The French Political Science University next door to the American University.
A small road (chemin) on my way home from school (left).
The Cathédrale Sainte Sauveur across from my university (right).