This post was supposed to be a celebration of being forever free from the French education system, but my brain is currently broken from finals, so you’ll have to make do without the exuberant tone.
(No, but seriously. We had 15 hours of exams smushed into 3 days, and two of those days were 7 hours long. On the first day, I handwrote at least 1500 words. During the second day, for one of my oral exams, the professor pretty much told me, “Normally you have time to prepare, but now you don’t, so tell me about tourism in France,” and my basic emotion was “Um.” [Seriously, I doubt I’d be able to just start extemporaneously talking in English even if you told me to tell you about my favorite book. Okay, part of it is because I’d have to choose a favorite book first, but that’s beside the point.] And today, I kid you not, I almost fell asleep during my last exam. I found myself staring at a spot of white-out for at least five minutes because I was just so zoned-out, and I’m pretty sure I made up a few words.)
This semester was a little weird because only about eight of us were actually college-aged; sometimes, I was the youngest person in the room by almost a decade. The majority of the class was composed of actual adults, some of whom have children my age. I did learn, however, that a surprising amount of people speak English, and it’s fascinating how people’s voices chance depending on what language they speak. My Brazilian classmate has a pretty deep voice when he speaks Portugese or French, but it rises an octave when he speaks English. Something else I’ve realized is that no matter how old you are or what country you’re from, nothing brings students together like the stress of exams. In a foreign language.
I’ll write an actual post on my year in France when my brain’s sufficiently recovered. For now, I can definitely say that my experience isn’t something that can’t be summed up with a single word. And at least I have a possible job avenue: the English professor who helps me out here told me that, should I ever want to teach English at the university, to just shoot her an email.
(I spelled so many things wrong. There were so many red lines. Sorry if this post is an incoherent mess.)