Hello, internet.
So it's time for a blog post. It's been awhile. I've sort of been waiting for inspiration to come for me for an interesting blog subject. I had a few ideas, but most of them were uninteresting. So I'm just gonna see where this blog post takes me:
First order of business: some very very exciting news. I think I'm just about fluent in French. I feel dumb saying that, because of course I am constantly still making mistakes all over the place, but here is how I see it: there are many, many levels to being fluent. The highest being that of a native speaker. The lowest being... well, me probably. I understand most everything that comes my way, I can hold up a conversation, I can be slightly charming and interesting (I recently started being able to make jokes!!! Which feels AWESOME. Not so awesome, probably, for the people around me...), and the biggest reason I believe I am nearing the point of fluency is this: FRENCH HAS STOPPED BEING HARD. I'm not sure when it happened, maybe like a few weeks ago? I only really noticed it a few days ago. Suddenly... well I can't really describe it. There was a definite change. Suddenly French feels comfortable. It no longer feels awkward coming out of my mouth. I'm sure I still sound awkward, but I don't notice it.

It feels incredible. And with this shift has come a whole new level of comfort. Suddenly I feel so completely integrated. Not just adjusted or comfortable, integrated. Like I belong here. What a beautiful feeling! I am four months in, meaning I have six months ahead of me to spend in this place. YahooooooooOOOOOoooooo!!!

So anyways, I feel like some of the sentiments expressed above are the same old things I always write about.
Here is some newsy stuff:
1. I went to Paris! All on my own, at the beginning of winter break. I spent three days wandering the city in the snow on my own, seeing neighborhoods, seeing famous things, taking the métro all over the place, spending more money than I rally should have, getting lost and not caring, seeing various friends who were in town. Et cetera. Paris was magical in its pre-christmas state.
2. Christmas happened. Only it was called Noël. Without snow and without my family and their traditions it didn't really feel like Christmas, more like some really good family meals and time spent by our huge fireplace. With presents. It was a calm, quiet christmas. Very sweet. I have a hard time saying how Christmas differs in France, because I don't think my host family is incredibly traditional in terms of the holidays. But I found christmas to be in general a bit calmer, less commercial and in-your-face. But very present, nonetheless. Voilà.
3. I have recently decided to pass the high school exams at the end of the year. In France, students take really big tests at the end of the last two years of high school, so I'll be taking French (as in litterature), Math, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry exams in June. My class will pass their other exams next year. It should be a pretty interesting experience, preparing for/taking these tests. I'm sort of just doing it because all of my friends here will be doing it anyway, and also because I figured, Why not give it a shot if my results do not matter whatsoever? Also I mostly find it very classy to be able to say that I have my French Bacculaureat (that is the name of the exam. Except they call it the "Bac.")

As for more current news, I don't have much. We're back at school, life is good. I'm loving French, loving France, loving the French.

My host mom is making something that smells very rich and creamy and hearty and delicious. So I should probably go.

A plus tard,