L'examen et La Ville

07.05.2011Today, I woke up at 7 a.m. French time to go to schoolÂ…aka 1 a.m. US time. I was so tired from yesterday that the time change hasnÂ’t really been too much of a problem yet. I woke up and got dressed, and then I ate cereal, orange juice, and a little coffee for breakfast. The coffee here is WAY stronger than the coffee in the States, so I had a cup that was half coffee and half milk. Rachid walked me to school, which is only about 10 minutes away on foot and super easy to find. I met up with the other students in my program, and we listened to an hour-long welcome message from the president and vice president of the universityÂ…it was all in French! I actually understood most of what he was saying, probably because he was talking so slowly. He also introduced out moniteurs and monatrices, the French students who are kind of like our guides and will be helping us with everything throughout the program. After the presentation, we took our placement test. It was actually really difficult! The listening part was super hard because the recording was super fast and we only got to listen to some of the questions once. I felt pretty good about most of the other parts, except the comprehension was a little difficult also. Then came lunch at 12:15 p.m. in the cafeteria. Lunch is the biggest meal in France and they allot about 2 hours per day for the extravaganza. They eat it in courses; we had the sides first, like rice, tomatoes, fruit, etc. Then we had chicken, and after that we had cheese and bread (because what is a French meal without bread?!) THEN (yeah I know, so much food) finally, we had dessert which was a whipped egg-white (like a meringue I think) with sliced almonds and a caramel sauce. Needless to say, I was so full afterward. And then I found out why French women really donÂ’t get fat; our moniteurs and monatrices took us on a walking tour of Angers and I burned everything I had eaten. Seriously, everyone walks or rides bikes here. ItÂ’s kind of awesome. We got to see the important buildings, like the post office and bank, as well as the recreational side where the shops and restaurants are (can you say giant H&M?) The city is bigger than I originally expected, but it seems to have a lot to offer. I made a mental note to return to many of the places we saw today because they all look amazing and I donÂ’t want to miss anything. IÂ’m also starting to have some trouble thinking of words in English. As IÂ’m typing this IÂ’m translating it into French in my headÂ…totally backwards of what usually happens. Although, the fatigue is wearing on my French a littleÂ…itÂ’s a little more difficult to construct coherent thoughts when your sleep is totally wacked, but hopefully this will fix itself soon. As for now, I am going to relax for a bit before meeting up with the other students and the moniteurs and monatrices. Bon soir tout le monde! ItÂ’s weird to say that when itÂ’s barely afternoon at home, but cÂ’est la vie!