Weekends Always Win in France
Best way to start off the week? Dissecting some sort of animal heart. I was told that it was a lamb’s heart, but it was a little smaller than the size of two fists put together so I’m still not so sure. I was proud of myself for remembering a lot of the heart’s parts and the function of most of those parts even though it was an already informative lab.. The only thing I wasn’t totally okay with was when my lab partner would toss the heart from one hand to another and not hold it directly over the tray and get blood on the table, to which I was the one who was chosen to clean it up. That’s normal for an exchange kid though, being the cleaner-upper since, in most labs, we can’t usually keep up with all the steps. Also did I mention that everyone has to wear white lab coats? I find that fun.
Also that day there were burgers at Fast (the fast-food cafeteria)! This week I only ate at fast twice and each time the person in front of me got the last burger. Which I guess turned out to be for the best because I took a salad instead. Before I wasn’t a fan of salads but now I’ve realized that salads aren’t as hard to make appetizing than I had originally thought.
In general I’ve learned how to take food that I previously found boring or bland and make it into something I don’t want to stop eating! I can’t wait to cook authentic french food for my friends and family. I also can’t wait to bring back all french culture I’ve learned!
Speaking of learning, this past week had been my first full week of school since vacation! It wasn’t as hard as I thought to get through. I’ve become very used to having to be at school for eight to nine hours most days. Plus the bus. However, I’ve come to enjoy taking the bus and having to figure out what time the bus comes. It makes me feel more independent.
Back to talking about school now. Tuesday I have art history which is about a three hour class and that day we were supposed to have an oral presentation about Grizzle Man, the movie about that man living in the Alaskan wilderness with the bears. For whatever reason we didn’t have to present our ten minute presentation. I was a little bummed honestly because I had written a summary (corrected by a girl in my group) of the documentary and practiced it and was all ready to go. So instead we had to revise our powerpoint to make it more detailed and informative. Then send that to the teacher for a grade. The three others in my group actually trusted me to do some research for the powerpoint and when I had a question they were really nice and helped me versus just having me sit there, not talking and just observing like I do in most group projects.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this but the french do their school work very, very neatly and precisely. They have to set up their tests and notes a certain way on their paper, their handwriting is something you only see in fairy tales, anything underlined is done with a ruler, a four colored pen is a necessity, and even the little boxes in the color key for a map have to be a certain size! In not having had to do this my whole life in school thus far, I’m not very good at it to say the least. I was drawing in the areas in Africa that don’t have enough water (or something like that) in red pen instead of purple colored pencil because I didn’t have colored pencils and my desk partners didn’t have any either so I thought it wasn’t a big deal since we didn’t have to turn this paper in for a grade. My teacher would have none of that and made me redo it all. At least that was the last class of the day and I got home in plenty of time to go out for a run.
It hadn’t rained at all that day and the weather said that there was only a 40% chance of afternoon showers, so I took my chances went ahead and took my phone so that I could listen to my music. Ten minutes into the run it started to shower for roughly thirty seconds before the almost-pea-sized hail came pelting down. I always run with a baseball cap so at least the rain and hail wasn’t hitting my face, but it did kinda hurt everywhere else they were hitting my body. It was like that for the last thirty minutes of my run and I came home to my family telling me I was crazy. Even though it may not have been ideal, it was fun running in that intense weather. And my phone survived so that’s also a plus!
Wednesday was another day of doing nothing in my classes. We were going to finish filming but it started to rain. After school my host mom took me to the Gare to get tickets for my weekend in Paris that is coming up here in a few weeks. I didn’t feel like working out that day so I sent out some over due emails and went to the store. That evening I got a wave of homesickness crash on me, which hasn’t happened in a while. Having to go back home has been getting heavier on my mind now that it’s only a little more than a month away!
Thursday didn’t help with my homesickness because in my two hour history and geography class, we talked a lot about water in California and specifically Palm Springs. Then my teacher made fun of Californians because of how much water they use. Which, hopefully with the drought, is much less than what these old textbooks are telling us.
I also had a two hour french class that day and we had to look for certain things in a chaper your group was given. I was really proud of myself because I read a few pages of the chapter out loud and even was able to find things we had to underline! My group praised me on the french I did know and happily helped me on the french I struggled with.
Have I mentioned how I haven’t had EPS (PE) at all since vacation? Well, I haven’t had it until this Friday. I didn’t have to get to school till ten because my french teacher wasn’t there that morning. I had no idea what we were doing for EPS since we had finished our swimming unit. Turns out we were starting our acrosport unit! Which is building human pyramids and doing weird partner poses. So after warming up we got a partner and had to do a pose that we found on a worksheet of pictures of poses. I wasn’t very good at it but I enjoyed myself for the most part! We also had to do a three person pose then a four person pose. It was all fun until I got a painful knee in the back from having to be part of the base of the pyramid. My chiropractor is not going to be happy with me. I just realized that this is probably the longest time in years that I haven’t been to a chiropractor! I have a feeling the first few visits back may or may not be a little painful for me.
Anyway, that Friday evening, a family friend who lives a few doors down was having a little get together. The only age groups there were forty and older or thirteen and younger. So Faustine and I left kinda early to eat dinner at our house. Erica, Faustine’s good friend, came over and we all made a raspberry and apple crumble together while dancing to Katy Perry. Another one of Faustine’s friends came over and together we ate most all the crumble before heading out for brief night stroll.
Saturday was a day full of firsts! I went to the big market in downtown and got some fresh fruit for my family, then, Eliza and I discovered our new favorite cafe and sat there drinking tea and eating a cookie. We were there talking and laughing about life, school and books for over an hour before we had to meet Saku for a lunch date. We had invited most of the other exchange kids at our school but they were all busy. The three of us had a really good time devouring our pizzas at a cafe in St Anne, a really popular spot in Rennes with a lot of cafes and restaurants. It’s also a popular smoking place among the students at my school, but we didn’t see anyone we knew besides our English teacher. We talked to her for about ten minutes. Or should I say she talked to us. We barely got a word in because she was telling us all about her choir and this other job she has and she went on telling us about how her husband doesn’t like pizza after we had told her the three of us had just had pizza for lunch. It was a little bizarre to say the least.
We didn’t stay in the city very long after lunch because I had told my parents that I would be home after lunch and I also had wanted to have plenty of time to work out because I’ve now started using the Nike+ app and it definitely isn’t easy.
Sunday I woke up sore muscles from acrosports on Friday and then all the walking and the Nike workout from the day before, but I still did the fifteen minutes of yoga anyway. Even though I didn’t feel like moving I was still excited to go to out with my host parents. After lunch the three of us went out (my host siblings prefered be in their rooms all day for some reason). We started at Paimpont Abbey and walked around there for a short while before getting back in the car to go to Chateau de Comper which is the Arthurien Center. You know the Author who took the sword out of the stone? That one. There was some sort of Medieval festival going on because there were a lot a people there dressed up in medieval attire. And after we did some walking around I figured out that it was more like a medieval weekend because there were medieval tents with beds and everything all over. We stayed at that location for a while before heading to our final destination which also happened to be my favorite. I can’t remember the name of it, but at this place there was a lot going on. There was ziplining, paddle boat, a large snack bar, dancing to a woman singing and playing an accordion and a small beach. All the the three places had a large lake at it, but this one was the most scenic. Natalie, Stephan and me sat down on a rock over looking the lake with all the paddle boats with the accordion music in the back ground. It was a really nice way to end the day. Or so I thought, because we went last minute to eat dinner with Stephan’s mother at her house. I was actually happy because she’s so nice and welcoming. We picked flowers for a bouquet and cabbage for a salad all from her very impressive and well-kept garden. After dinner of salad and pasta, we all had a cappuccino and snacked on candy before we headed home for the night.
After the last two days I was totally exhausted and very thankful for not having to wake up early the next day for school.