Little Study Abroad Things, Part II

Although this list only spans winter break and J-term, it ended up being a lot longer than I expected, so I’m posting it now. I’ll make another list for spring semester.

  • Somehow, both of the final research papers I wrote for my non-French classes still managed to include French. Yeah, I don’t know how I pulled that off.
  • Someone in the seafood department at Kroger gave me a sample of smoked salmon on a Ritz cracker. I started somewhat forlornly at the salmon, thinking about how I used to get 5 euro sandwiches at a tiny sandwich shop, at least once a week after class. My favorite sandwich was smoked salmon with hard-boiled egg.
  • I happily hugged a baguette all the way through Kroger and then all the way to the car because it also reminded me of France.
  • After only writing academic papers and pro/con or opinion essays in French, writing a personal statement was a struggle.
  • Having to phonetically spell out English in my J-term class has led me to appreciate the simplicity and logic of French phonetics. Likewise, apparently I can no longer spell in English. This is fine. (You can easily sound out spellings in French, but that fails miserably for English.)
  • Sometimes French song lyrics get stuck in my head, and I have no idea what my brain is doing because I’ll be simultaneously thinking in English.
  • After going through all the photos I took in France, I made myself sad because the trip down memory lane made me feel like I’d lived an entire lifetime in a year.
  • Seeing it snow for the first time since 2014 at college was surreal. The last time I saw snow was in Germany and Austria, and even then, it was leftover gray street/sidewalk snow.
  • I dreamed that I went back to France and forgot the number of the bus that I always took back to my dorm. When I woke up, I realized with a sudden jolt of panic that I actually couldn’t remember the bus number. It wasn’t until the early afternoon that, with a huge sense of relief, I finally remembered it—22 Croix de Berra. It’s moments like these that are the worst about studying abroad, when memories and details inevitably begin slipping from your memory.
  • Somehow, I managed to drop my wallet three times in a row within the span of two minutes, and there may or may not have been some internal screaming involved when I broke my Venice keychain.
  • I hadn’t noticed it at all, but my friends made fun of me for saying a word with a French accent.
  • My J-term class had an exam that involved finding words borrowed from French. It was my time to shine as a French major.
  • I accidentally tweeted about the snow day in French. Whoops. (I regret nothing.)
  • I walked to Starbucks with my friend, and a pastry immediately grabbed my attention—it looked like the delicious pain au chocolat that I favored for breakfast in Nice. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I walked up to the display case, only to find the pastry labeled “chocolate croissant.” It made me hate Starbucks even more.
  • For some reason, when I’m mentally exhausted, I start thinking in French. I know it seems illogical, but maybe my brain is just so used to the idea of mental exhaustion being linked to French exams (English finals have nothing on French ones), that it decides to think in a different language?
  • After experiencing the deliciousness of French salads, the sight of iceberg lettuce fills me with sadness.
  • I probably transcended French nerd status by writing a poem and deliberately using some French words in it.