Friday, January 29, 2010
And I'm going to write about my daily life, because before I was here, this was what I loved hearing about most.
I start the day at anywhere between 6 and 6:30, depending on how energetic I feel. Usually I lean towards the 6:30 side, meaning that I have to rush as fast as I can so I don't miss the bus. My alarm goes off at 6, then every five minutes after that. I then get up, turn on my computer and read any messages left. Why? Because during the day when I'm bored I can then compose the replies in my head. Although I know if I didn't do this it would make me not have to rush so much. Anyways. I then go downstairs (praying that I don't fall like the first morning) and step on certain floorboards as to not wake anyone up. I hope. Breakfast is a bowl of cheerios, and bread with nutella. Then back up to my room to pick out clothes, then shower and brush teeth (this is usually when I start rushing). Back up to my room for my bag/anything else I need for the day, race downstairs, grab an apple, 'a tout a l'heure' to Evelyne, who has usually just woken up and is in the kitchen by this point, and race down the stairs, out the door, and, depending on what time it is, running or walking to the bus stop. Usually running as I'm paranoid about missing the bus, which leaves at 7.15.
On the bus I usually try to sit by myself, mainly because it's kinda awkward sitting next to a random, but also because I possibly fix my hair and makeup on the bus. *Cough* To get to school, it takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic etc. I then walk about five minutes to school, and this can range from, mm, it's a nice morning, to fml, get me out of this freezing cold. Good old France. Anyway. I get to school at about 7.45, and go through to the 'lycee', or high school area. I walk through to the bathroom and check that my hair and makeup are ok (because I don't have a mirror on the bus, haha) and by the time I am done, Flora and Salome are usually there. If not, I will go and put stuff in my locker etc or say high to other people.
Then it's time for school! The day starts at 8.10, but this depends on what classes I have. This is my school week:
8:10-10:00: Science (one week biology/geology, one week physics/chem) I understand chem. Wow.
10:00-10:15: Break. We usually stand outside, for some reason I haven't quite figured out yet, and share a kitkat.
10:15-12:05: French Lit. This is where I sleep. Ha. We are currently reading Rousseau, Les Confessions, and I couldn't even tell you what the book is about. Neither can the people in my class.
12:05-14:40: Break, as in lunch. I go with Flora and Salome, and usually we sit with some other people, which is nice. Lunch can range from not bad to totally gross, depending on the day. I have a healthy diet of bread, yoghurt and water.
14:40-15:35: English. The bane of my existence. This consists of an extremely hairy teacher that doesn't do enough buttons on his shirt up with bad breath saying words that don't exist forcing me to read out things in French, which I hate. I'm fine talking with my friends, kind of, but reading out stuff in class? No. Also, the teacher cannot speak English. 'So is the car.' 'The car has good road-holding.' 'Egypt is the craddle of civilisation.' I'm not joking.
15:35-15:50: Break, again with Flora and Salome.
15:50-17:40: English litterature, pretty much. At the moment we are reading My Antonia, which is kinda disturbing but still quite good. I love this teacher, as he actually cares whether or not I am following the lesson and is always like, 'this is just to give Kirsty a bit of vocabulary!' and makes sure that I understand, and asks about how school is etc. Oh, and he can speak good English, very proper, but good and with the poshest English accent ever. He'll also ask me if that's what I say, and doesn't mind if I correct him which I did once- I can't remember what it was but it was just a phrase he said incorrectly. He was like, 'oh, you are right, of course, my mistake.' I wouldn't dare correct my normal English teacher. Oh, and he self-corrects all the time, which I like- he's not afraid to show that he makes mistakes.
9:05-10:00: French. We're reading Tartuffe and I sort of get the general idea. I think the teacher likes me, at least.
10:15-12:05: History/Geography. I would love it, if not for the teacher. We learn about a lot of different things and I can't wait until I actually understand so I can learn.
14:40-16:45: Maths. For the first time in my life, I actually understand this class. But they are doing stuff I have already done. I think the teacher hates me, she doesn't even acknowledge me. Then again, she doesn't really do much teaching in class either, other than, 'no, you're wrong.'
09:05-10:00: Spanish. I'm doing this class because I would love to learn Spanish, but I don't think that's going to happen. Oh well. I'm learning Spanish myself...I got a children's book out of the library the other day, 'My First Spanish Book!' and can already say some basic sentences. Class kind of gives me a feel for the language though- pronounciation etc.
Wednesday is my short day, so I have nothing else that I have to go to! The bus leaves at 12, so usually I just walk around Pamiers- again, good exercise. I also love to explore.
Wednesday afternoon consists of either socialising, or staying at home bumming around. I don't mind either, and I love the whole idea of an afternoon in the middle of the week off.
08:15-10:00: Education Civique, Juridique et Sociale. Basically political and legal studies, as far I can figure. I'm meant to have this every second week, as every other week there is a two hour test on whatever subject, but obviously I can't do them, so I go to ECJS with the othe class- so I have one class a week with Flora and Salome, yay!
10:15-12:05: French. Two hours. Enough said.
Time for my big walk! I spend Thursday afternoons walking places- like to McDonalds, 40 minutes away, just to take a photo because I'm cool like that. Or to the park, which is gorgeous, if small.
10:15-12:05: Sport. I actually haven't properly done this yet. Why? The first week, I went through the classes with Michelle. The second, we were not at schoo, instead at Toulouse for a thing about universities. This week, my teacher wasn't there, so for some crazy reason I went with Flora and Salome and did sport with them. And it was surprisingly fun because no one took it seriously, it was a laugh and we just had a good time and sucked. We played handball, which is a pthetic sport, in my opinion =P And they all found it hilarious when I screamed when the ball came my way.
12:05-14:40: Lunch. Woot.
15:35-16:45: Every second week, English. Yay...
At 18:15, it's time to catch the bus home. There's about a five minute walk to the bus, but I'll take a small walk around Pamiers usually, just so I get some exercise in my day, if I haven't gone for a big walk before.
I get home at about 6:45, and eat dinner pretty much straight away, which is quite simple, usually just pasta, or some meat or something nice, but small. I also have bread (with Vegemite!) after dinner, and what I think is pureed apples- at any rate, I LOVE it. After clearing the table, time for hot chocolate in the kitchen with my family. Sandy then goes to shower and I talk to Evelyne, until it's either time for a tv show, ie Bones/NCIS/whatever, or until I go up to my room and reply to emails etc. Bed time should be around 10 but is usually a lot later, which is not good for me. I have to work on that...
Friday nights I have dance, which is at the cinema, about 200 metres away- weird I know, but they have a stage. It's good, very easy and not a high standard, but the dances are okay- we are currently learning dances for our concert in June, yay! So far there's a Bollywood one (which I actually totally love), and three contemporaryish type ones, to a random song, Pirates of the Carribean, and a song by Rhianna. I'm just glad to get out of the house and do some exercise, and meet some new people.
Saturday is different each week, but in general, I sleep in, I wash my hair (how boring haha), go buy bread, and talk on Skype with people back home. So it also tends to be my homesick day, but oh well. Also we spend time with family-Gary or Sebastian, my host brothers, who happen to be like 30 haha, and their families will visit, today we went to the grandparent's house etc.
Sunday, we get up early in the morning to go skiing! This is both a good and bad part of my week. Why? Well, good because I'm in France, skiing, obviously haha. And bad because I am freezing cold. I've skiied a couple of times and have only falled two or three times, yay! But I'm really scared of falling so I don't really ski down anything too exciting haha. After ski, we hope over to Andorra, just for a bit of shopping- we buy cigarettes and other groceries there as the products are cheaper because they don't have tax.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Let's see. Things I've learnt include that when EF say you'll be in Paris airport for six hours with someone taking care of you, they actually mean twelve hours with someone who has no idea what they are doing. "Yes, you'll be going to Toulouse by train. "Train? But it's only one hour. And the others have a flight that arrives and leaves at the same time." "No, it's a train." After much insisting that he check, "Oh, you're right, it's a plane." Duh. Also, host mummy knows best. As in, it's going to be cold today, wear your jacket. You're going to be hungry, take some food.
I totally love my host family. My mum and dad, Evelyne and Bernard, are totally awesome- they are extremely patient with my French and very encouraging. They correct me when I say something wrong, but not in a mean way, just a 'we want to help you' way. I always laugh when Evelyne speaks English (she really doesn't speak much at all haha) just because she sounds so happy when she gets a word right and it just sounds amusing. But I don't laugh in a mean way =) Anyway, they are wonderful and always laughing and joking. My host sister, Sandy, has hit her stubborn stage so there is a lot of crying, especially in the beginning when she got jealous of me. That was bad. However, now it is all going good- she's (kinda) accepted that I am here to stay!
School is good. I started in my second week here, because there was too much snow to go in the first week, when I was meant to be going =) I was terrified, of course. I've learnt that being the new kid really isn't easy, especially with the language barrier, and I think I'll always be the kinda random, weird, not-many-people-like-me kid. However, this doesn't matter. Exchange has made me so much more confident and I have discovered that as long as I have one or two close friends, being 'friends' with lots of people is fine.
Several things I have learnt about being the new kid:
- It takes time to make friends!
- Every new kid will be taken in by the 'popular' group in their first week or two.
- Every school has their populars.
- Everyone else will not like the populars.
- Then you'll get taken in by the incredibly enthusiastic, oh, new kid, be nice be nice, I want to get to know them type people (usually me in Australia). This is great, especially when you're like, I don't like the populars, so who do I hang out with? For some people, they end up becoming friends (my bestie in primary school was the new girl in year 4, I still remember her first day...).
- Then you'll find people that you really do like hanging with and they will develop into friends. And you'll have your little jokes and your daily routine and such.
School is okay. It's school, you know? Haha. I don't really have many classes, but the days are super long- I'm there from 7:45- 6:10, that's when the bus arrives and leaves Pamiers. Yeah, fml, I know. But during my breaks I can walk around Pamiers, which makes it all good. I try to walk a lot to get some exercise, and also so I can explore. Today I walked for 40 minutes to McDonald's, and then 40 minutes back again, just to find where it was, to take a photo, and because I felt like it. Haha.
It's amazing because in Australia I never would have been so daring. I would have been like, no thanks, I'll stay at home, but here, I am already so much more open. I will go into a cafe and order something, I will talk to people I don't know... I was terrified of having to ask someone if I could sit next to them ont he bus, so guess what God did a couple of days ago? Yep. I had to ask. And He's made me do it quite a few times since, and now, it's fine. All it is is a seat =) I really am growing.
What else? I have a dance class I go to every Friday night now, yay. Also, ski every Sunday. Once ski has finished, it'll be horse riding and maybe ice skating. I love the oppurtunities that I am given here. Last Wednesday me and Lily, another exchanger, went over to Andorra for some shopping, just because we felt like it...gotta love Europe =)
Also, I really want my mum to come visit me, just so she will have some idea of my life here and what it is like etc. Hopefully it will be during summer and we will get to Spain and England, which I really want to go to. And then she'll be here for my 18th as well! Yay.
Basically, life is good, exchange is good, all is good. I miss Australia, but that's a story for another day.