Guess who finally got WordPress to work in the teachers’ room? (Thank god. I tried to desperately update my blog last week, but couldn’t, because it turns out that Internet Explorer hates everything. Now I’m using Firefox.) So I’m going to slowly dump all my outdated posts here, starting with September 20-21.
-When I got to Philadelphia, I met up with another TAPIFer, posted in Lille, and we hung out for about fifteen minutes. Right before we boarded, another assistant (posted in Amiens, too!) ran up to us and introduced herself. I probably should’ve tried to sleep, considering the flight was so empty there were 100 unfilled seats and the rest of my four-person row was gloriously unoccupied, but I was just too excited because everything felt so surreal—if I hadn’t chosen to major in French over English, if I hadn’t studied abroad in Nice, if I hadn’t loved my senior year French classes so much, I wouldn’t have been on that plane to Paris, about to embark on the next stage of my life. Before the plane closed for boarding, the intercom announced, “If you’re not planning on going to Paris, please get off at this time,” and a mom and I made eye contact and burst into laughter. Seriously, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to go to Paris, especially with the Pennsylvanian sunset painting the sky in streaks of pink and pouring liquid gold through the windows.
-My first thought upon seeing Laon from the train window was, “Oh my god it’s so pretty I’m going to cry.” (No, I wasn’t jetlagged and emotional, I’m just allergic to feelings.)
Outside the train station, as I waited for for the Claudel teacher to pick me up, I stared in awe at the cathedral at the top of the hill, shrouded in clouds. The teacher’s three children gave me bisous on the cheek, along with an adorable welcome sign, and I had lunch at her house.
She then took me on a tour of Claudel, where my fourth-floor room (I forgot the French count the first floor as zero) looks out upon the canteen and some other buildings. (I’ve accepted I will never have a window view as pretty as my Niçois one.)
Unfortunately, I forgot all the information, not to mention the teachers’ names—I was so tired I would’ve been willing to curl up on the concrete in the middle of a high school courtyard and pass out there and then. Later in the afternoon, she surrendered me to the Méchain teacher for a tour of that school, and then a trip to the supermarket. Finally, I was abandoned at my room at 4:40, where I managed to stay awake until 7:40 before I gave up and passed out for thirteen hours.