jeudi 21 février 2008

first day of school

Back to school at St. Denis again. I have back to back classes totaling 6 hours from 9am to 3pm. Went to my first which is a grammar with the prof who taught the cinema class last semester. She told us that it was an advanced class (I had no idea), and then passed out a test. She's trying to weed out who belongs and who doesn't.

Oh. Gawd.

Fortunately, it covered everything I've been taught. Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of it. Merde. I knew some of it, but at times I was unsure. I did my best. If I get in, great. If not, I have to find another class! After class, Morgan, Susie, and I got lunch outside. I had this tuna baguette which was so tasty. I can't believe 2 cans of tuna at Franprix cost 1.70 euros here. Unbelievable.

The second class was AMAZING. It's a French literature class. Morgan already took it, and is taking it again. The theme this semester is "Les Rencontres Amoureuses" which is like the meeting of lovers or like two people who meet and fall in love kind of thing. Some things just don't translate well. The prof is great. She explains things well, she gives us work to do--she's basically doing her job. She read out loud an excerpt from Marguerite Duras's L'Amant de la Chine du Nord, and it freaking brought tears to my eyes. This has only happened once before when my English teacher Mr. Powers read "A Love Song for J. Alfred Prufrock" out loud. She just read it so well.

This story is just so funny to me, I have to write about it. On the metro back home with Morgan, this guy gets on in our car wearing a velvet blue blazer and white pants. He's carrying a dish like it's freaking on fire or something. He asks (in French) if he can place the dish under my seat, and I say okay. The seat is the kind that folds down. Then Morgan I continue talking our conversation.

Sometimes I forget that, you know, some French people speak English. Or at least understand it. So with my stupid mouth, I go off saying, "Man, do you smell that? It smells so good. Like really good. It's like...potatoes." Morgan says she can't smell anything. Morgan gets off at a station, and there's an old lady coming in so I offer her my seat so that the dish is still protected and the seat part doesn't come up and people trample on this guy's dish. The lady says thanks, and then the guy says thanks again to me. Then he says, in English, "You are student?"

All I could think was, "Oh God, he heard me talking about his dish." I say yes, and then he continues in French and says that I speak good French (because I spoke to the old lady in French--woot), and I said not really. I never believe people when they say I speak good French, it's just like when you tell a child that his drawing is good when in fact it is crap.

We talk for a bit in French, a really nice guy. I later found out that he baked a tart and not some potato dish like I believed. We bid goodbye a couple stops later. I love weird chance meetings like this. He grabbed his tart, like it was still hot, and exited the train saying, "C'est chaud! C'est chaud!" (It's hot!) An old lady asked him what it was while he was leaving, and he shouted back, "C'est une tarte!" (It's a tart!)