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Journals from France, Angers

2009-10-03 One week late

Friday, Sept. 25- I had no internet so I'm posting it a little late, but this still applies for that week. So this was our last week of the intensive month-long September program. Even though it was only three and a half weeks long, it seems like weve already been here ages. And the fact that this past month has been pretty terrible, were all looking towards the rest of the semester with anticipation and high hopes. There are more tests for placement when we get back from our weeklong vacation, and they will decide where we are finally placed for the semester. Personally, Im hoping to move up to 7 (out of 8 levels) because thats really where all the best classes are. Theres more variety and I can take more of what I want. Theres a tourism and hotel managing class that seems interesting, a history of music class, and a philosophy class that I can take, all of which are helpful for my LCs in the long run. Im also excited to take choir here. Its an option for most people, and I really hope I have the time for it. Im very interested in seeing how a French conductor organizes singing ensembles. What else can I tell you about Angers? Well, Im sure everyone thinks that everyone walks here--I did, but about half walk and half drive. The etiquette is bizarre and fascinating at the same time. Walkers occasionally stop for cars. For the most part when the walking light is red, pedestrians will stop, but not always. Likewise, cars have their own rules too: dont hit the pedestrians; yes, you may park on the sidewalks, and you may also drive on the sidewalks. Unlike Oregon, there is ALWAYS a sidewalk, bus lanes, and bike lanes. Always. Also amusing are the people who take the bus compared with the people who dont. Of our group of Linfielders, some of us take the bus, and some dont. The ones who take the bus a lot/every day have the same mentality as the Angevins, Im walking--get out of my way. The ones who walk to school, oddly, do not have the same approach; they continue to follow the rules and never cross without a green light. I have not figured out why, really. The French are ber-concerned about being cold. Every day when I walk out the door, my host mom says its cold, why dont you take your sweater? Because its 72 degrees out, thats why! Everyone wears at least two layers and a scarf, either that or three layers. Its another FM- French Mystery. It can be 80 degrees and I look like a ripe radish, and theyre sitting at a caf having hot tea in their scarves and coats! What kind of body temperature do these people maintain!?!?!? Dont mind me, Im just going to sweat it out over here. Merci pour votre attention! Amanda Mattern

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