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!

Afterwards Asami and I got sorbet/ice cream and talked for a while. Then I went home and worked on a writing assignment for almost two hours.

mardi 19 mai
Today we focused on the imparfait/passé composé, and read a short (clearly fictional) story about this girl Joelle who has a birthday party, and ends up disappearing right after she blows out the candles. Afterwards, we role played: Patricia (our teacher) was the police, trying to figure out what happened to Joelle during the party, and each student was someone from the story. I've discovered I rather enjoy role play as a foreign language exercise. It's more interesting and quite enjoyable!

I worked on homework for at least 2 hours, as we got another writing assignment which always takes lots of time. We had to write what happened to Joelle—in a letter from Joelle to her parents/friends. I said that she had been given a wand and spell book earlier that day for her birthday, so when she blew out the candles she got transported to Hogwarts, where she'll study to be a wizard.

My roommate left for another week of vacation sometime during the day; she'll be back next Monday night.

I went to the GoLingo exchange that evening, and followed it up with an episode of Un village français.

mercredi 20 mai
We had a "new" student in class today from South Korea. I think she attended the school a few months ago, and decided to start some more classes today. I gave my "exposition" today, which I'd done once last week too. You pick an article from a newspaper (I've been buying the Montpellier Gazette every week to read, so I chose one from that) and present it.

My article was about someone who got hit by a tram last week (which is rare, by the way), and how pedestrians with their smartphones or earphones in really need to pay attention to the trams. Pia presented an interesting article about a French man who—as a young teen—was sent to join a jihadist group. He tried to leave, but ended up spending two years at Guantanamo Bay. Since then, he's written a book and talks to schools in France about the dangers of these groups (since they actually get lots of recruits from France).

During lunch the girls from class and I went to the boulangerie where we frequently go to buy lunch, and then we ate on the patio of my apartment since I had the place to myself.

During conversation class in the afternoon we talked about volunteering and non-profits and stuff like that. I also signed up and paid the secretary for an "excursion" to Montpellier this Saturday. It's 35 euros, which is why I hadn't gone on any excursions the first two weeks, but this one seemed worth it since it's all day and farther away.

Asami came over after conversation and we worked on French homework/study for a couple of hours.

The Spanish/French language exchange was cancelled due to lack of people, so I quickly searched "On Va Sortir" (kind of like a French-Meetup site) and found a free meditation/yoga/relaxation event happening at 20:00 just two minutes from my apartment. Again, in an effort to shake up my routine this week, I RSVPd and went. It was great, and good to try something new.

jeudi 21 mai
We read a short piece about roommates in class today, then did a funny role play in which we all had to share a house. There were three bedrooms: one with a single bed, one with three separate beds, and the last room had one large bed that three people would have to share. So as a class we had to decide who would sleep where, and why.

In an effort to snag the single room, I said that I snored really really loudly, and that no one would be able to sleep if we were in the same room. During our vote, the single room went to Asami, who said she's a drunk and gets really violent, so it'd be best if she had the room to herself. It was another silly role play!

I ate lunch with the girls from my class outside of the church that's not far from my house. Three of them went back for intensive class in the afternoon (I'm just in the standard class), but I went home to work.

That night I went to an improv show with Pia and Nanomie. I knew it would be super difficult to understand the jokes and skits, and it was, but I still understood some funny parts.

In the second or third skit, the MC pointed at me and asked for a verb! The first thing that came to my head was se coucher (to go to sleep).

Afterwards Nanomie and I got another drink at a bar called "The Egg," then I did some cooking late before going to bed.

vendredi 22 mai
We had conversation in the afternoon after class, so most of my classmates ate lunch on these stairs in a plaza not far from school:

Some big shopping weekend event started today (my boulangerie was closed today because of it). After class the girls went for ice cream, and then dispersed for various shopping needs.

I got sucked into this used bookstore with a huge sale, and ended up buying four books (French books, of course) for a grand total of... 1.60 euros! I'm cutting myself off as far as buying more books, though, because last Saturday I bought four books too, and books are heavy.

I worked for several hours that afternoon/evening, and then it was off to bed for my trip to Marseille on Saturday.

samedi 23 mai
I went to Marseille today, an excursion put on by local French schools. Here's the whole post (mostly all photos).

Exhausted after the day, I watched a few episodes of Un village français that night.

dimanche 24 mai
I did a little bit of work in the morning, and then had a picnic (pique-nique) with my classmates at the Parc du Peyrou, which is less than a 5-minute walk from my apartment. (Have I mentioned the location of my apartment is perfect?)

Right next to us was a band, all wearing tons of pink and sparkling clothes:

That evening I did a few more hours of work, and I'm assuming I then watched some Un village français.

The state of the French learner is strong!

State of the French Learner: May 1-9
State of the French Learner: May 10-17
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