Hello. Here is an update:
School is getting easier as the days go by. And by that I mean navigating the halls and social scene is getting easier- I've managed to make friends despite the fact that I can hardly communicate and although I missed my bus today, I'm gradually mastering the way this school works.The actual classes are very difficult to understand, so I mostly just try my best to keep up and leave it at that. The friends that I've made in my class help me a lot, and there are three other exchange students in my class so the teachers are, for the most part, very patient with us. 
My history teacher looks like she just walked out of a Pixar movie. It's very distracting.
The school is set up like a campus, with different buildings for different subjects plus a cafeteria, etc. It's very nice and pretty modern- it seems like it was rennovated in the nineties or something. I find French high school to be much more leisurely than it is in America. There are no classes on Wednesday afternoons and depending on what your schedule is like, classes can start anytime between 8:00 and 10:00 and finish between 3:30 and 5:30. Also, we get an hour and a half for lunch every day and have long periods of time to work on homework or just hang out. Even the bell is relaxing- it's very chime-like.

In other news, I find it hard to believe that I've only been here a week and that I only left home 12 days ago. It feels like months. I can feel myself adjusting more and more to this new lifestyle. I've gotten very used to listening to rapid French conversation with only the vaguest idea of what is being said. In fact, I don't know if I can remember what it feels like to have a real, intelligent conversation. Sometimes it's very lonely and isolating and exhausting, but as the days go by I find myself bothered by it less and less. I feel like I'm occupying a completely different part of my mind. I don't really think in English, but I'm definitely not thinking in French. Sometimes I think in English with a French accent for some reason. Or I try to translate my thoughts into French without even meaning to. Most of the time I feel like I'm just thinking without language, not really thinking at all, or maybe thinking on a different level. I know that sounds weird and sort of self-important; but I think there is something about creating a whole new lifestyle like this that completely changes the way you think about everything, and I can feel that happening to me. I have a newfound respect for everything.

When you can't talk to people as much as I'm used to talking to people (like real, deep conversation), you start to live in your head a little more, and then you have really big thoughts.
There is a dirt road behind the house that cuts between some farmland and pastures with cows. There are old stone houses covered with vines scattered around the field. It's incredible. The other night I walked the dog, Zano, out there and was completely taken aback by how beautiful everything is, and the simple fact that I am actually here actually doing this. And as I was standing there having this moving, clairvoyant moment, the cows in the pasture ahead of me all started pooping in unison. Like HUGE cow turds. With big, loud plopping sounds. It was so damn funny, I laughed until there were tears streaming out of my eyes.

Needless to say, I'm having a wonderful time here. It's not easy, but I really do love it. I love my host family, I love the people I've met, I love how beautiful everything is, and I LOVE the food.

And now it's time for me to go decipher my French Lit homework. Wish me luck.

(except in France I've been going by Vinora, and I love it.)


  1. you're hilarious.
    and i really miss you a lot,
    but am mostly jealous.

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  3. Your blog is just fantastic. Well, maybe I am not really objective. I live in Redon, and I was in Beaumont until 2009, so it is quite funny to have your point of view on Redon, Beaumont...etc
    I know Klervi, Lucile, Eloïse, Amélie...so I am sure you will like french life with them ! They are really, really awesome.

    So, have a good time in France, and maybe we'll see each other one day, in Redon...

  4. I wish my school bell was calm and chime-like... instead it's ten seconds of fire-alarm-status piercing sounds. :P :)