Thursday, May 28, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

State of the French Learner Address: May 18-24

lundi 18 mai
Right before I left for school, I bought a train ticket for London (woo!). I'll head there (Montpellier-Paris-London) on July 1 to stay with Hannah and Herm for a week or so. At some point I'll buy a flight from London-Madrid.

We started this week with the imparfait (one of the past tenses) and talked about when our grandparents were young. Grandma, I mentioned how you and all of your siblings would play all around town by yourselves when you were young.

As I was leaving, my friend Asami mentioned she was going on a walking tour that afternoon, put on by the school, and invited me along. In an effort to shake up my routine, I told her I would go.

I'm actually pretty sure I wasn't supposed to be there (that maybe it was for new students who paid for certain "excursions" at our school, whereas I only pay for the "Standard" course, no excursions, but oh well—they let me stay!) We walked around the center, places I'm most familiar with. I learned a few little new tid-bits, and it was good to listen to French that whole time.

Ah, and I saw my third Space Invader!

• • •

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Marseille: Group day trip

Yesterday I went to Marseille, which is a coastal city in southern France. Whereas Montpellier lies about 15km from the sea, Marseille is right there on the coast: 

Every week our school has optional "excursions" that you can go on if you pay for it, and this was one of those trips. Most places you can easily get to on your own for much less than what the school charges, but I decided that the Marseille trip was worth the price tag.

Here are a few Marseille basics (courtesy of Wikipedia), interspersed among photos:

Population: 850,636 (2nd after Paris)

• • •

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

State of the French Learner Address: May 10-17, 2015

Here's a little bit about my second week in Montpellier, France, where I'm living for two months while studying French and working:

dimanche, mai 10
During the day I worked for a few hours and did some cooking.

That evening I went to the same language exchange as last Sunday. I only had one repeat French partner from last week, so it was cool that so many were in attendance.

I've started color-coding my planner so I can easily see how much time I've spent in each area of French: speaking (yellow), reading (green), writing (orange), and listening (pink). I also forgot to mention in my last address that on my first day of class, I borrowed the book "James and the Giant Peach" in French from the resource room (with tons of books and DVDs for check out). I'm reading at least a chapter a day, since they're tiny, and writing down new vocab.

• • •

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day trip to Lac du Salagou

Yesterday, some friends from class and I went to Lac du Salagou (Lake Salagou), which is 30 min. from Montpellier according to Wikipedia—though that must be by car. We took a tram to the outskirts of Montpellier, then caught a bus, and then walked about 2km to the lake.

Montpellier is over there on the right, and Lac du Salagou is the blue lake-looking blob on the left side of this map:

We walked past some vineyards on the way to the lake.

• • •

Thursday, May 14, 2015

State of the French Learner Address: May 1 - 9, 2015 in Montpellier

Montpellier is so awesome, you guys! I am absolutely loving it here.

About the size of Madison population-wise (pop 252,998), Montpellier is a city in southern France, not far from the Mediterranean nor Spain. Here's where it is:

Map showing Montpellier in France

I arrived here on May 1 and will be staying through June 30, while taking a 6-week intensive French course at the ILP (Institute Linguistique Du Peyrou). Briefly, here's a little bit about how my first week went.

vendredi, mai 1
May 1 is a holiday in France. I took a direct train from Madrid (1:30 p.m.) and arrived in Montpellier around 8 p.m. The train station is but a 10 minute walk from where I'm staying, and I found the apartment easy enough. Being that it was a holiday (aka long weekend), I arrived to an apartment with my roomie (Tatiana), her younger sister (visiting for the weekend), her brother (lives in Montpellier) and her brother's wife. Oh, and two (real-sized) dogs!

• • •

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Resolutions Checkpoint 2015: April

This has been almost complete, just sitting here in my drafts since the end of April, but since I'm trying to avoid English while in France, I've kind of unintentionally been avoiding the blog.

So here it is—rather quickly:

April Progress

1. Reach a high intermediate level of French.
  • Keep doing 10 minutes of something French a day.
  • Buy travel insurance or whatever it was that the French school requires so they let you in! - Purchased 4/12/15
  • Write one page in French each day (in my new lovely 'lil notebook I got from Sarah Schwartz's Letter-Writing Campaign) - Only made it through about a week and then somehow the month was over.

• • •