Miscellaneous Moments, Part IV

  • Because high school here starts at 8, I usually have to get up before sunrise to get ready (and make it to the bus stop on time if I’m working at Méchain). The last time I regularly got up that early was middle school. I’m not sure if I’ll survive the month, much less the year. Lately, I’ve been going to bed around 10pm like an old lady.
  • Every time I see N, I get beyond excited because he’s a cinnamon roll who lights up whenever he sees me, too. He’s the nicest teacher I work with and the only person who regularly does la bise with me, so sometimes I get really confused about whether I’m supposed to do it with other professors or not. (La bise happens pretty regularly at Méchain, but I’ve never seen any teachers do it at Claudel, which could be an interesting observation on the level of formality among adults at the two schools.)
  • I forewent lunch at the canteen or in my room for a simple sandwich from a bakery, and when I bit into it, I nearly cried over how good it was. I’ve missed French sandwiches.
  • I’m sure I looked ridiculous chasing a crunchy-looking leaf across the asphalt, but it was so worth it.
  • Every time a teacher tells me, “Don’t hesitate to ask me if you need anything,” I’m so tempted to say, “Will you adopt me if Trump wins?”
  • While hurrying to the copy room to make one final photocopy for orientation, I walked past a dog and got so excited that I stopped and smiled at it, and the dog stopped and smiled right back, ignoring the owner’s pleas to get into the car. Sorry, dog owner. (Luckily, she didn’t notice me stealing the dog’s attention.)
  • I’m still the klutz who can’t figure out whether to push or pull doors open. Also, picture: me at Méchain’s gate, trying desperately to pull it open because I’d been awake since 7:30 and wanted to leave, only to learn that I was supposed to push a button to open the gate and escape.
  • Half of the time I don’t know what I’m eating in the canteen—I unknowingly ate some lamb once—but everything tastes delicious. It’s not like Estes where I won’t even go near some labeled foods.
  • I bonded with A over our mutual love of Harry Potter and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • Random teachers will come up to me at Claudel and Méchain and ask how I’m settling in, and I’m like, “I have no idea who you are but thanks?”
  • M just sent a Canadian student off to the library to talk to me for the remaining 30 minutes of class. She’s here on a Rotary exchange, and because her grades don’t count, she’s not trying—she got a 0.5/20 on a test, which is honestly…impressive. Also, apparently Canadians only have 4 hours of high school???
  • In Méchain’s canteen, I was so baffled by the fact that they were dishing out entire personal pizzas that I stood there and stared. I repeat, an entire pizza. And then a cafeteria worker yelled at me for using the priority line for teachers because he thought I was a student.
  • I told a French, Greek, and Latin professor, as well as a fluent class of students, about my Wiki page on Discours sur le Bonheur. Maybe they’ll go read it?
  • It’s barely October here in northern France, but it’s already so cold—40 degrees in the mornings and evenings—that I was wandering through Amiens wearing two flannel shirts and might return to the US sans my fingers and nose. I’ve already turned into a weenie who gets so cold, I might as well become the next cryogenic experiment. (The Niçois winters have spoiled me.)

2 thoughts on “Miscellaneous Moments, Part IV

    • Sarena says:

      I love knitted things! Though I’d probably hold off on gloves because I have tiny hands. And if you’re up for international shipping, my address is:
      Lycée Paul Claudel
      Place Foch
      LAON 02000

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