Monday, October 11, 2010

I still can't get over how incredible this apartment is.  I know I posted the link to my photo album on facebook, but it doesn't really do it justice.  Last night we had a few of our friends over for dinner.  I cooked in our kitchen.  It was a really simple dinner, with homemade bruschetta and then some gnocchi and pesto.  No one seemed to get food poisoning so all was good.  It was really nice being able to have people over.

Today I had my exposé.  I honestly have absolutely no idea how it went.  Victor, my partner, did most of the research so he did most of the explaining.  I spoke for maybe two minutes, while he spoke for about fifteen to twenty.  It may have been the fact that I didn't really understand most of what he said, but I couldn't really help when we were answering questions either.  But the important thing is it is done!  Almost...  We were presenting at the very end of class, so we didn't have time for the questions.  The students are supposed to ask us more questions next week.

And just like that, thanks to this stupid course, my sense of finally feeling at home in this concrete jungle vanished.  I know, I know, it is only one course and it is literally two hours of my week.  But honestly, for those who haven't done what I am doing it is really hard to imagine exactly what it feels like.  Even before I got to this country, I couldn't imagine that I would feel the way I am.  My moods have yet to stablize fully.

Moving into the apartment definitely helped.  The fact that Aliya is here is awesome.  She and I get along great.  She is really easy going and laid back, which goes quite well with... well, me.  Now here is something that will shock my family... I have learned to enjoy cleaning.  It may be an outlet for my need to be in control of something, but organizing, doing the dishes, washing my clothes, making my bed, all of these things help me cope with this country.  Last night, when my partner was stressing me out about the project (until midnight, literally) I had to go take a break and do all the dishes.  And this was after I cooked.  But I WANTED to do them.  I think it also has something to do with the fact that no one is forcing/requiring/even really asking me to do them.

But right now, I felt like writing this blog because for the first time since being in the apartment, I'm homesick.  This is a huge step forward, because that means I haven't been homesick since Friday.  So that means Saturday and Sunday I was good.  Which was true.  But this course... And what is even worse, is that I went to my professor for help last thursday.  I didn't really know what the assignments she wanted us to do were, so I just asked what they were.  She was really nice and met with me thirty minutes before a class she was teaching.

In our little meeting, she told me about the revue d'acutalité which is basically taking a major legal decision and analysing it in a comparative framework, the étude de jurisprudence which is a five or six page paper analyzing an historic case or legal institution, and the memoire which is our final.  The memoire is a fifteen to twenty page paper on any subject we choose.  Basically we have to demonstrate the fact that we can effectively compare legal systems between different families of law, or different institutions within the same family.

All of this has to be finished before I leave for break.  So between now and December 17, all of this needs to be done.  That is on top of the Press Review and Final paper I have to do for my French Defense Policy, the group project and debate I have to do in my Professions Politiques course, and the midterm and final paper in my Social History of the United States course.

The good news is that I have a lot to look forward to, outside of school.  I know I've written it before, but I need to remind myself that am going to Scotland on Thursday, my friend Anni is coming to Paris to see Michael Bublé in concert and spend a long weekend, and my brother is coming for Thanksgiving.  From then it's only two weeks until I can go home.

That all being said, I no longer look forward to corssing off the days on my calendar like I did before.

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