Hi there, Snooki

French Word(s) of the Day: crème de la crème solaire (crem duh la crem soul-air)- cream of the sunscreen

This was on the metro today:

You’re all thinking, “Thank God America can share the best parts of its culture with the rest of the world.”  That’s what I thought too.

I know, I know.  I never update anymore.  I’ve been really boring and doing mostly school work.  I have to try on these because they’re group projects.  If it’s a project on my own/ a test, I could care less.  Last week, I gave a speech on how to properly go through Disneyland.  I rehearsed it once.  I kicked the other speech’s butts.  See?  Not caring makes you a more interesting person.

Louis, I’m sorry I offended you.  I still had a ton of fun with you all at Disneyland and you’re all awesome, but the Americans just know how to get the bang for their buck.  I retract that it didn’t count.

Speaking of Louis (’cause he was there), we were by the Seine Saturday night.  It was such a beautiful day that being outside was necessary.  Half of Paris joined us on the Pont des Arts (the bridge Big and Carrie met on for all you Sex and the City fans) with their wine.  This time, we weren’t stopped by the police.  They tried to slap us with a 350 euro fine two years ago, something about “drinking in public.”  I assume they’ve given up, as everyone in France drinks in public.  (Don’t tell Snooki.)

The Editor’s Weblog (the site where I work) beat its all time record for number of hits in the month of March.  We had 73,000 hits, I think.  Even if it’s a coincidence that I started working there March 1st, I’m going to take all the credit for it.  I assume you all helped, so THANK YOU!!!!

I wrote an article today using only French resource material.  You should all just stare at it here.  Emma (my boss) also had Federica and I write bios.  I had trouble finding a picture, so I put the one from the Fashion Week party.  I’m such a professional, I know.  Apparently a Finnish guy is coming to join our team on Friday.  I’ll let you know how much we scare him.

Now I must study for a test I don’t care about and write a power point for a presentation I haven’t researched.  Scholarly fail.

Someday, I will give you your fashion update.  Promise.

Pain au chocolat count: 72


Meghan Works in France

French Word(s) of the Day: Je suis toujours en vie (juh swee too-jur on vee)- I’m still alive

It’s been so long that I’m sure some of you are convinced that I went back into the hospital/ have been kidnapped and sold into slavery.  Fear not!  Je suis toujours en vie.

My neck finally decided to start working again on Friday, which was good.  My doctor told me that stress was making my lupus act up and that I should be “all good” now.

It was quite the event-filled weekend.  My friend MJ, Théo and Théo’s dad all had birthday parties this weekend, so my days were spent recovering.  They were mostly in French, and I found that I now understand people when they speak in French.  I no longer have the deer-in-headlights look.  Sometimes, I can even respond properly.  Successsssss.

I started my internship today!  I wrote an article that can be found here (though will probably not interest any of you… look at it solely for the byline): http://www.editorsweblog.org/newsrooms_and_journalism/2011/03/bbloomberg_lpb_the_success_story_that_ke.php

In my excitement, I forgot to properly cite my sources, so anything that says “according to” has been added in by my editor.  Oops.

Everyone was really nice.  My boss took us all for lunch at a cute cafe to welcome me to the group.  Everyone speaks English, but we do sometimes translate French articles/ have to communicate with the French IT guy.  I was misinformed about the French levels.  I’m not sure how good everyone’s French is, but I do know that many of them at least can understand it.

My neighbor and I had to have a talk a week ago when she decided to turn on her television at one in the morning.  She answered her door naked (why?!) and stood behind the door the entire time glaring at me.  I wanted to say, “Look, you’re the one who decided NOT to put on a towel or something before answering the door.”  Instead, I just ignored it and continued to talk to her as if she were fully clothed.

She unwillingly agreed to wear headphones if she turns on the tv after midnight.  This really means that she has just lowered the volume slightly.  As I can now sleep, I don’t care.

I’ve also started classes.  The infamous Madame Dubois is baaaaaaaack.  She seemed excited to see me, and there ARE other Americans in the class, so I’m hoping I won’t be attacked this semester on behalf of my country.  You all are hard to defend sometimes.

I’m off to analyze some poems in French.  A student’s work is never done.

Pain au chocolat count: 58

Pas Mal

French Word of the Day: pas mal (pah mall)- not bad

In France when a teacher wants to tell you you did well, they say, “Pas mal.”  This is the equivalent of “WOW!  THAT WAS AWESOME!”  Although directly translated it means, “Not bad.”

The French and American school systems are completely different.  They emphasize memorization and sometimes give you homework they’ve never taught you to see if you can figure it out on your own.  If you can’t, then they will teach you.

This explains why I had to teach myself the subjunctive tense last night before my test.

In the States, I try really hard to get good grades.  It’s kind of an obsession.  Anything less than an A is failing.

French student’s don’t share my mentality.  France’s point system starts at 20.  The only people who get 20s are people with doctorate.  Imagine my horror when I got a 13.5/20.  In America, that’s a 67.5%.  In America, that’s a D.  In America, that’s bad.

In France, that’s a good grade.  In France, students are happy to get a 10, because a 10 means they passed.  In France, the most important thing is to pass.

The French don’t believe in coddling their students.  They don’t get gold star stickers.  I’m sad for them.  I feel my childhood wouldn’t be complete without gold star stickers.

Look how happy that gold star is!  I don’t know about you, but I feel better about myself just looking at it.

Basically the students in the French system are constantly hit with the knowledge that they know nothing.  I would say this makes for emotionally stable people, but their depressing movies might suggest otherwise.

Maybe I’m just too happy?

I go to the States on Sunday, providing it doesn’t snow here.  I’m not worried about it snowing in Chicago; I’m sure Chicagoans can handle it.  Parisians?  Not so much.  If a snow flake falls, the entire airport probably shuts down.  Let’s hope I don’t have to find out…

Pain au chocolat: 36