Wednesday, January 21, 2009

L'Hiver en Chambery

Bonsoir tout le monde!
Sorry I haven't updated in awhile, been pretty busy and just haven't gotten around to it... till well now :). I guess I'll start with the most recent news and work my way back, that being of course our new president Barack Obama! My American friends Grace and Max came over as well as a local Chambery radio reporter to record our reactions. Grace and Max are both pretty moderate, and don't follow politics too much, but they we were definitely all excited about Obama which was awesome. My roommates even let us watch on their big screen on CNN (until they kicked out about an hour later, sigh) so that was nice to watch it without french dubbing too. Overall an amazing historic moment and I was glad I could share it with some Americans and French. I'm anxious to see how the next couple months pan out and I hope all goes smoothly for Obama.

I've also started some French business classes in the past month and that has also been interesting and much harder than my French classes. I'm taking international economy and international relations both in French. The economy class is pretty straight forward, and the teacher uses powerpoints so it's reasonably easy to follow along and take notes. My international relations class is a bit different. The teacher talks with a lisp and way too fast so by the time I can write something down he's moved onto a completely different topic. He also hates America (welcome to Europe right) and isn't afraid to say it. He also isn't a big fan of Israel, which has also angered my jewish/french friend, Elodie, who came up to me one day in a huff, complaining about him. So it's a very different experience but I find the material of interesting when I understand because I like history, and he's obviously knowledgable on the subject. Oh funny story, the other day we were doing a little geography quiz and he called us up one by one to point out a random country in the world. I was called and he asked where Venezuala was and I knew that one (I would not say i'm good at geography) and he proceeds with "well people say Americans are bad at geography and Europeans are the smart ones but it seems to be the opposite in this class". That drew some groans and well, noise from my classmates, to say the least.

I will say though that French classes are waaayy too long. Most classes are three hours, in the morning or afternoon and a lot of the time people have a full six our day. Three hours a day in one class is too much and it shows. By the end of the day most people around me are chatting online or to their neighbors paying very little attention to what's going on in the class. Which is another obstacle for me trying to understand the professor. I have encountered some very nice people though, who have been willing to offer me their notes or just answer my questions so that's really good. I think I will need that next semester with a full load of French classes.

Last thing I want to tell you about is my first ski experience in my life!! It was probably one of the most exhausting things I've ever done, but a lot of fun and I definitely want to go back. I was with another first timer, my brasilien friend Luciana so it was nice to have a beginner buddy. Also a french friend came with and he was probably mine and Luciana's savior because he is/was a ski instructor and helped us out soo much. I don't know what we would've done without him there. Skiing is a lot harder than I imagined and definitely takes a lot out of you. By the end Luciana and I were pooped! But it was definitely awesome to say I've now skiied in the Alpes, and man was it beautiful. I decided not to take a lot of pictures for fear I would destroy my camera, but I got a couple and I'll hopefully steal some off friends soon.

Well that's pretty much all for now. I start all my finance courses the second week of February and I have a feeling it's gonna be intense so I'll update about that when I have the time. My friend Emily who's in Bordeaux and I are meeting up in Montpellier this weekend so I'm excited about that, getting out of Chambé will be nice. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, à plus!

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