47. H.I.L.L. this one's for you...

in response to post 16 of Pieces of Me:
(it wouldn't let me comment & i just had to...)

one of my deepest fears is to lose my childhood. that's probably why i act so silly all the time. & that's the one thing i hate about philosophy, blogging & reflecting--i think everytime i do it, a little bit of my childhood dries up. :(
it's a good thing kids don't mind if you spend some time with them just so you can benefit from their silly goodness.

i agree whole-heartedly; kids are wonderful little creatures.


9/27/09 3:34 PM


46. So No One's Perfect?

you know that feeling when you find out someone's not who you thought they were?

that's a bit how i'm feeling.

i found out this afternoon that someone i've "idolized" for the past two years doesn't actually possess the qualities that i looked up to him for. it's a foamy mixture of disappointment & betrayal i'm feeling, not that it's his fault in any way.

this person is efficient, quick-minded, intelligent, has great judgement, patient & is a great teacher. he is also very motivated & pushes others forward. he always seems so sure of himself & all the time, my question to myself when i'm unsure is "what would he do in this situation?"

but darn. i found out he has as many doubts as i do.

i'm going to go bake now...


45. i miss you

i've officially reached the point where the littlest of details remind me of people back home. it's so bad, i know but it's pretty much inevitable.

songs are the worst.

& not only do i think about people, i dream of them. which is when i'm NOT conscious, which is more significant than if i am, i would think. i also can't help wondering what my friends are up to; how they are, how they're moving forward. & i can call, i guess but i think that's awkard & i don't really know what to say. plus, in general, i hate talking on the phone.

but that's not to say i'm not enjoying france, cause i had my first crème brûlée today! this one...
(sry, it's not really a good shot; my host sister's boyfriend made it & i had the pressure of the whole family watching me take a picture of our dessert under natural light; you know how i get under pressure...at least the details came out crustily right :))

nostalgic w/ <3,



44. Wednesday Afternoon...

i just got back from school & it's 4:30. that's very early for me, which is why i'm here, blogging. most importantly i'm going to do so with a load of pictures, that way i have explain less. (a picture's worth a thousand words, remember? so that takes a load off me cause i've got a DM (devoir maison) & a philo commentary to do...speaking of which...

today is wednesday, which is also known as test day. the entire morning is dedicated to examinations & today, it was a 4h philosophy commentary. i love philo cause i can blab & let my mind go wild but i've never written nor read a commentary so i went in having no idea what the structure was supposed to be...well, i just winged it.

in my opinion, what i said was pretty good but i don't know if it's what they asked for...plus i ended it with a joke. lol. i don't know how well old-fashioned french teachers take stupid french jokes from anglophone exchange students...:S on vera.

anyway, i ended up writing enough but not having enough time to recopy everything, which sucks cause i think it was decent. so i handed in my scratched up brouillon which was written in pencil on that horrific french paper; possibly the worst combination for legibility but perhaps the french don't see the crazy lines anymore.

ok, now the pictures...i'll explain as i go along.

& B-DAY SHOUT-OUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to Mom, Willbilly & Anthony! (sry if i forgot anyone...:S)

last thing: the picture from post 43. was taken from the inside of the Cathédral de Notre-dame d'Amiens. candles were illuminated & placed along the floor so as to make paths.

i drink tea at least once a day here. & only with my favourite mug.

the rap my bro wrote for me. he makes me teary-eyed.
studying for my first math exam. don't get me started.
not low fat. high fat.
eat the blue ones last: an ocean apart.
french country. from here on, the pictures are from my afs weekend.

cabbage? not sure.

potato fields.
town hall SLASH school.
the church of a town of 120 ppl. we snuck in on the next day...there was no one inside. cree-py stuff. the church is surrounded by tombs. but my camera died.
i was there.

this was actually a really freaky part of town.

a cat getting comfy in the fields. (actually, the one in the next shot)
ah...this one. i was getting frustrated that my camera coudln't capture the vastness of the french countryside cause i wanted you to see what i saw so i decided to take a panoramic. that's to say that this "shot" is accurate in general idea but not in detail. hence the "appearing car". i purpose captured it in my middle shot to see what it would give...& voilà!
someone's garden vegetables.
note the colours of the cows.
(all these pictures are shown in chrono order(...see next shot))
the sky opens.
left-over potatoes: it's tradition for farmers to leave behind some of their spuds for the poor to pick up. i actually saw ppl take bags home although they're not necessarily poor.

in the cornfields.
out of the cornfields. (4 of the girls & our "tour guide")
a manor; last stop on the scavenger hunt.
this is the Cathédral de Notre-Dame d'Amiens, which is NOT THE Notre-Dame cathedral but it does have the longest um..."length?" in europe. (sry, i don't remember what it's called...)
illuminated saints. it's very neat cause on patrimonie weekend, which happens once a year, all cathedrals & such open their doors for public viewing for free. & here, what you see is carvings of the outside of the cathedral that have coloured light shone on them. notice the details in the lighting cause the cathedral is actually stone gray.
waiting in line for the cathedral tour; it's three of the girls & me.

i forgot to mention that i drank on cathedral night. nothing big but it was a cultural thing with the family that took us in for the weekend. at midnight, they decided to take us to this club/bar where i had a monaco, which is beer, lemonade & grenadine. i didn't really know how much i could take i drank it all & i went to bed at 2:00 a.m. i got up at 9:30 fine.

the following night, i got a massive headache...

from lack of sleep.

now i'm off to a trial dance & i think it's with advanced kids my age...i hope i don't crack. but what's another challenge?




43. Photo-sharing...

(forgive me for editing but this post is actually not done; i've got dozens of photos & they're coming :))

42. Epiphany

during a treasure hunt this weekend.

this weekend, i went up even more north to a little rural town of 120 ppl. it was an afs weekend at the lady who matches families with participants' house. it was absolutely amazing because it reminded me why i was here.

ever since school started, i got sucked into school life & forgot to enjoy everything. i a little upset at myself & i know how much i would regret it if my year finished & all i could take from it was school. so that's what that nightmare was about...(i don't know if i mentioned my reccuring nightmare where my year finished & i can't remember anything except the two weeks so far; it's a "where did my year go?" nightmare)

i want to take my dog out for a walk, explore the town. honestly, i don't know the place i live. i want to go grocery shopping with my host mom & bake chocolate chip cookies for my family. i want to take dance lessons & go see the sheep at the nearby farm. instead, i come home every night to study, study, study & honestly, i get nowhere. it almost disgusts me thinking about wasting my opportunity.

however, i can't say that i wouldn't be extremely proud if i got my french bac. i know i can by i will be near death, i promise. not only do i have to go through this gruely programme, i have to past the first part of the bac that everyone else passed last year. that means another course added to my already plentiful timetable. yeah right. maybe i'll just wing it? i don't know if they'll let me.

anyway, the fact that i'm on the computer right now & not doing my commentaire for philo is a step forward...i guess.

a few last things:
-when we do climbing in gym class, apparently "it will be harder this year" so we have to hold our own weight...what!? uh oh...wtv that means :S
-kids here are taught so old fashioned that they don't know how to use basic computer programs (word, excel, etc.)...aye...
-i love the girls that i get together with for afs. there are 2 italians, 1 costa rican & 1 chinese. we all get along & we're going to paris to get our hair cut. we're also going to paris for my birthday with afs. woot!
-first test back: it was math & i got 8,25/20. i've never been so satisfied to fail.



p.s. i've got sooooooooooooooooooooo many pictures i might get fb...what do you think? not really for pictures of not me, eh?


41. Back On Board

ok, so now that i've semi-mastered this french keyboard, i will start blogging again...

but firstly, i'd like to apologize. i promise, i do think of this blog everyday but school is so hectic that i have minimal time. & seeing as it takes up most of my life at the moment, i've decided to make it my "first" post.

my routine is this...
Monday, Tuesday & Friday: alarm (6:35); class (8:00-5:30); home (6:00); dinner (8:30-9:30); bed (11:00)
Wednesday: alarm (6:35); exams (8:00-12:00); class (1:30-3:30); home (4:00); dinner (8:30-9:30); bed (11:00)
Thursday: alarm (7:35); class (9:00-5:30); home (6:00); dinner (8:30-9:30); bed (11:00)
Saturday: alarm (6:35); class (8:00-11:15 OR 12:15 depending week A OR B); home (1:15); dinner (8:30-9:30); bed (11:00)
"Weekend": Saturday afternoon to Sunday night...sure..

so yup, if you'd like, do the math otherwise i'll just tell you that i've got no time but at least i like school & i've always got something to do. BUT, my point is that i shall make blogging a priority again' which shouldn't be too difficult since i've got an endless list of blog topics ;)

let's start easy...we'll go through my courses for this post & do my best to not bore anyone. :)

before i begin, i'd like to discuss french teenagers & lycée life in general, me being a rather observant person...

a) it's true they all smoke. ok, not all cause there's a good number who don't. it's viewed as "cool" but not a good thing. most ppl started a while ago so by this age, it's more embarrassing & "i was foolish". many are occasional puffers but i know a pack-per-two-dayer. mostly though, i think smoking is a fashion. it's part of 3 main styles (as in the way they dress):
-the british style (navy stripes, oxfords, ray bans)
-the delinquint style (leather jacket, wtv attitude, clean look)
-the rugged on-the-road-musician/singer-can't-afford-much style (checked shirts, skinny jeans, tuque)

b) it's true style is big here. whether you're all-out rugged or all-out punk or all out sassy, you go with you style all the way. it's awesome cause more than ever, you can wear whatever you want. & that includes heels, dresses, leather jackets, sweats, boots etc. my point is, i guess that no one looks at you funny if you're feeling dressy one day & want to put on a nice dress to go to school. but then again, it's probably cause i'm going to school with older ppl.

c) it's true that french ppl pronounce "th" with a z-sound. either that or their accent is british.

d) it's true that they eat good food. everyday, my lunch is 3.40 euros. that's water, an appetizer (une entrée), a main dish of meat (chicken, fish, pork etc.) & side of starch (rice, couscous, potatoes, etc.) or vegetable (haricots, broccoli, veg mix etc.), a dessert (changes every day), cheeses & all the bread you want. yum.

e) but it's NOT true that they eat slow. i've taken to racing the ppl i eat with & i haven't won once yet & they aren't even aware that i'm racing them. it's crazy! i'm usually quite when i eat cause 1. i prefer just listening 2. i'm racing! but they down their food so fast while chatting amongst them. but then again, i'm probably the one that eats EVERYTHING i take. i've even tried taking less food, but i always lose...

f) it's NOT true their all snobby. at least with what i've experienced in the last two weeks...there are catty girls but i don't affiliate with them so that's no bother. you have the same ppl in every class & i like my class so it's all good. :)

quickly now cause it's already 8:00 & all i've done since i got home is eat yogurt (with maple syrup...hehe) & blog. homework!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (probably the only cool thing about a french keyboard is that you don't have to hold down shift for an exclamation point!!!)

-physics/chemistry: sound waves, light waves & such. can't understand a lot of terms but i'm trying. i've got to catch up on what they did last year. love/hate the teacher. typical science guy. glasses, lab coat, very smart, clear in explaning but lazy in explaning. i hate that cause he goes fast & skips steps. hate him cause he doesn't like me. he never wants to help me or answer my questions cause he's too lazy. typical. he knows i can barely understand & makes me ask my friends for help. sry but they're nice & all but they get a lot of stuff wrong...&&&&&&& he flirst with these 5 girls in class. & one sits with her boyfriend in the class. stupid, rude, annoying man.

-math: ha. ha. my teacher is one of those typical skinny cold-looking old ladies, who is also too quick in the brain to slow down & give me a private lesson (not even). but she's AMAZING cause if "math anatomy" existed, she wrote it. her brain moves at light speed (3.00 x 10^8). she walks around the class & she tells you where you went wrong as she strolls by onto the next person. it's crazy! math is also my worst subject cause 1. i don't understand the math terms in french. (say greater than or equal to in french...ha) 2. i didn't do what they did last year. we're doing series, which requires limits & derivitives, which i didn't do. plus division euclidienne. no idea.

-biology: my teacher has the highest voice i've ever heard a person have. (topic: evolution)

-philosophy: i don't get the french enough to do the exams, which for this course are 4h long (wednesday mornings) but my teacher is great. she is a little different (she eats an apple skin, flesh, core & stem; when she was little, she wanted to give her parents more worms for the garden & with a knife, there were no worms etc.) i love her way of thinking & she fascinates me. & i love taking her notes cause they're literally just paragraphs; no formatting required like in math. i wish i could understand more than only 30% of what she says.

-history/geography: i have the same course in english & french, which is good cause i like history; i just can't remember it. it's basically the second half of the 20th century starting with WWII, & the cold war & such. my english hist. teacher is pure british & his cardigan he wore last class was definitely Zara material. my french hist. teacher has the worst reputation cause apparently she's biased. i've got her 3h straight tomorrow.

-english litterature: interesting. i'm getting into analyzing literary works so it's fun even though it was a summer read that i didn't read. it's "the white devil" by john webster; a play written in shakespearean. it's cool cause we really go deep & analyze every detail. the class is an extra for english-speakers so we're only 10. i've got to read "The God of Small Things" by mid-november but i don't have the book yet...my host mom ordered it. the only annoying thing is that my teacher (who's actually french) makes up "big words" that aren't real or don't make sense in context. she ALWAYS says "ironical" but i prefer "ironic". but it's annoying cause her ideas are all correct but her pronounciation is atrocious. "woeful" she said "who-ful" today. shame.

-spanish: another language teacher who's originally french. but i trust her a little more, at least to re-teach me the basics that i've forgotten. she says "hm?" at EVERY pause. quietly but every time! it's a french thing though.

-english: a joke & i was bored out of my mind. i've attended three classes & can't take anymore so i got myself exempt, hehe. it's only reading comprehension & i swear i have NEVER EVER been in such a quiet class. NOBODY talks or moves. it's louder during an examinations, when pencils are moving. it's so quiet your ears start to hurt & still, nobody says anything. the teacher is this guy from guatemala who has a really strong accent so last class, he was reading about a beach & said "bitch". then he corrected himself in trying to fake a british accent. plus, english from the islands/coasts tend to leave out the "s" for plurals & so he does that...how can he be teaching english???????????

-gym: boy is it serious stuff here. you're marked on EVERYTHING. you have to come up with strategies on how to beat your opponent & such as well as your performance, skill & EVERYTHING. & guess what? we're doing badminton-climbing-soccer. we've had one badminton class so far & each class is 2h so i'm sore. girls & guys are marked the same. in the intro class, i played my teacher for fun & he freaking SMASHED the birdie at me at a speed greater than or equal to a n00b smash (sry n00b). my point is, my teacher's a pro. en plus, our warm up was a 5-min. run, sit-ups, some shuffle/sprint stuff around the court & push-ups. oh là là.

it's EXTREMELY old-fashioned here. you walk in a class & you wait for the teacher to give you the permission to sit (although i haven't remembered once yet cause they're not strict about it). the first thing you do is take out your stuff, mostly paper cause all you do in every class is take notes. my forearm muscles are so tight, you've no idea. the teacher literally talks at his/her desk & you write down what they say, word for word. personally, it's my favourite thing to do. i love writing (the action, not the process) & not having to think. love it. plus, i'm big on my various fonts, hehe.

anyway, secondly, everything you hand in is also done by hand on these papers that are NOT standard 7mm horizontal lines. instead, we get this stuff....

i hated it in the beginning but now i'm getting used to it. it took me ages to find lined paper i'm used to but only one store had it in pads of 8mm with 4 holes punched. oh yeah, that's the other thing: teachers don't hole punch anything so you have to put all handouts in plastic sleeves & if you do hole punch something, there's 4 holes, which is annoying cause you have to pull the rings twice to open the binders. there's no such thing as "pochettes". i've looked. all they have are these folders that are six-in-one held together by an elastic at each corner.

here, the kids all use fountain pens, which i like. i've got a few. they're awesome. they use other pens too but they all own at least one fountain pen. the kids here also don't know how to use computer programs cause they're so old-fashioned, hehe. word & excel are foreign to them. everything is by hand.

also, apparently they only sell one brand of school bags in this areq (or perhaps france) cause no joke, 90% of kids have the same eastpak backpack in various colours. 8% (girls) have shoulder purse-like bags & 2% have other. apparently also, there is only one kind of shoe for sale: good ol' chuck taylors owned by about 60% of the population.

overall, i'm a year behind. i'm hoping this will push my lazy bum to get my work ethics together.

thanks for reading. hope your eyes aren't too tired. :)

love love love



40. School Is (insert profanity here) Hard

i want to cry.

but here are those pictures i promised...

hunger.pom poms.
view from plane window.

on the shuttle.
view from the shuttle.
my plane.
airplane dinner (before).
airplane dinner (after).
airplane breakfast.

first meal in france.
toilet & bathroom, separated.
converse are truly universal.
meal 2.
parisian sunrise.
for chan & razzaghs.
parisian architecture.
pigeon lady.
an australian called this "condom garbage"
musée d'orsée.
champs elysées.

street vendors.
half of us...

my big fat pony: a very public embarrassment
note the enormous nutella.
on our way...
from beneath.

some parisian guy.

waiting for the train to come...

view from my bedroom window.

more view.

my window.

bulletin board.