Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Paris Routine

I have finally decided all my courses. For my friends in school in the U.S. who are going through midterms right now, yea, sucks to be you. In Paris, there are no midterms, and school doesn't start til October, and not even really then because they have to strike about some things for a while first, so we're just now getting going. (Apart from cancelled classes for a few days and a more-crowded-than-usual metro, the strikes haven't really affected my life.)

Ok, so here are my classes: at Dauphine (Paris IX) I'm taking Economy of Development; at Nanterre (Paris Ouest) I'm taking a Cinema Studies course on fantomes and fantasmes and an Art History course on the internationalization of Dadaism and the surreal. I like the latter two the best. I'm really only taking the Economy course because I feel like I can't consider myself a student of post-colonial theory without understanding the mechanism of imperialism (which is capitalism and our contrived economic structure). Plus, every time I say I go to Dauphine, everyone always acts really impressed, so that's fun. Required by and taught by APA are also French Culture and a French language course. I managed to get myself into the top level of the language course (couldn't weasle my way out though) and am taking the advanced writing course through APA, where we're supposed to be learning stylistics, but really we don't do much of anything.

I'm going to be doing a ton of reading, that much is clear, but I won't have more than three graded assignments for each class, apart from the writing course where we turn in something every week. My favorite course is my cinema course. I mean, it's Friday morning for three hours, so it has to be really good to keep me from doing what all my friends are doing on Friday mornings, which is sleeping or nursing a hangover. It's a Masters level course (I did weasle my way into that, at least), and there are about nine people in it. The professor is a tiny little woman with big glasses and short hair who talks to us intellectually about movies like The Shining and our incest taboo and why we hate dead bodies. Oh, and there's this cute boy in it who gave me his email address in case "I ever missed a class and needed his notes." Hehehe...

Courses only meet once a week for three hours, so I've got some free time to fill. I am doing a once-a-week conversation with a French student at Dauphine who wants to work on his English. We're alternating talking in English and French. I am also going to be volunteering in an elementary school English classroom, and hopefully take some jazz dance classes too if I haven't missed the regestration deadline. I eat dinner three times a week with my host family, so the other four nights I either have a baguette or get together with two of my friends and cook dinner. Most students opted to have dinner six nights a week with their host family, but the three of us were the cheap ones. Fortunately, we all made friends with each other before knowing that we had the same meal plan, so we've started cooking together to eat more cheaply. We've been doing dinner for three on about 7 euros total.

Apart from that, I spend (like I said) a LOT of time on the metro, so it's good that I consider public transportation one of the wonders of the world (put into the context of the post-industrial revolution world; I still think the industrial revolution was no good; buy my future book if you want my full, not-so-educated opinion on the topic). I am also knitting myself mittens and have gotten sort of addicted to How I Met Your Mother and I'm writing a decent amount. I would love to travel, but now that I have a Friday class it's going to be difficult to schedule. Plus, it's expensive.

So that's about it! Life on the farm feels pretty far away...

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