Monday, May 21, 2007
Another typical day in the life if an exchange student
.....Me from the top of the Eiffel tower on last weekend's trip to Paris
My new friend Vincent (6 years old) in the midst of impressing me with 10 sit-ups
The beautiful Breton coast.. Sigh...
So I thought this kind of stuff would stop by the end of the semester...
Having been up rather late last night, I woke up today a bit disoriented for my translation exam, which I had noted was to be held in amphitheatre L A.
I arrived in the building around 13:24 for my exam at 13:30.
I purchased a coffee, because I wanted to make sure not to fall asleep during the exam.
I commenced searching for the amphi...which turned out to be harder than I thought as the amphitheatres in Building L all seemed to have number names, not letter names... Hmm. This was worsened by the fact that the L building is laid out rather confusingly: hallways wind in and out of each other, and it's also the language building meaning that there are disorienting sings in numerous languages all over the place. I ran into my friend Marissa who said 'hmm, is it a lab? Try upstairs." At this point it's about 13:26 and I am sweating from running around in too many layers on an incredibly humid, rainy day (very typical Breton weather). Not to mention I'm trying to drink my coffee while doing this...I've been on about every floor, tried to open some doors and been locked out when at one point as I am standing on a balcony, a girl from my constitutional law class sees me and waves. She asked me how I am doing, and I, with a clearly distressed face and relatively large circles under my eyes, reply that I'm doing fine, except for that I can't find my amphi. She asks which one, and I reply
"Amphi L A."-- said out loud, I realize that "A" in French sounds a whole lot like "1". It dawns on me-- perhaps I am looking for amphi L 1. hmm.
It's 'dommage' really, as I'd love to stop and chat with this girl that I'll likely never see again for the rest of my life. She asks me when my exam is. I say "right now." She looks at me with compassionate pity.
I say see ya! and go downstairs to try and get into the amphi.
I realize that there's another door upstairs, where I just was.
I go up the stairs, and walk in, disrupting 100 students in the middle of an exam.
"Odd," I think to myself, "There's only about 20 students in my theme class."
I approach the nice gentleman offering the exam, explain that I am an exchange student and looking for my exam. He looks through his papers and says it's impossible that I have an exam in amphi 1 becuase they're passing a civilization exam at the moment.
I said, "Maybe 15: 30 then?"
Nope, not possible.
He continues to look, and then says "Aha! There is a second year theme exam in Amphi 1, at 13:30. Tomorrow." Then he says it again in English: Tomorrow.
"Excellent," I say, feeling like the typical idiot I've learned to be this last semester. I say thanks and leave, frustrated that I can't go to bed now because I'm hyped up on coffee.
It all worked out though. I'm spending the day inside as it is POURING rain currently out my window and I have an extra day to study.
On another note, it's come to my attention that some people have been concerned by a former entry concerning the night bus and an Algerian security guard. I want to pass on the message that it may have come across a little less safe than I intended it too. I am sorry. You should also know that I have encountered no such situations since. Everything is rolling along smoothly.
This week, I have to turn in a 15-page portfolio on the slave trade and it's relation to the nearby city of Nantes. The good news is I have French friends who like to edit.
I suppose I should also tell you (er, maybe since it's only Mom that reads the blog, you already know) that I am considering returning to Rennes to study for a semester next year. The process has turned out to be more complicated than imagined, and if you know me you know that I have a hard time deciding what to eat at most restaurants, so a decision of this scale is enormous for me. What I mean to say by this is, if you could be in prayer for me at this time it would be greatly appreciated. I know that God will use me wherever I am, but I do want to know where I will be best capable to serve him.
I take off at the end of this week for a huge youth conference in the south of France with some other young people from my church and Bible study. It's going to be a blast! You could pray for safety on our journey and that we would learn a lot from the experience. Matt Redman (English singer) will be there!...A day after I get back, I leave on a jet plane (heh) very early in the morning for the United States of America.
I'm looking forward to coming home and seeing the sunny Michigan beaches as well as sunny Michigan faces of friends and family!
Lots and lots of love from across the ocean.