It has been 3 weeks since I have written anything. That's ridiculous. I have never been good at keeping a diary or journal, and I suppose blogging falls into that same category. So really, I shouldn't be surprised. But, my lack of communication also means that life is just continuing as usual, which is good! It means I have a routine and that the world around me is not big and scary anymore, which means that buying groceries no longer warrants a blog entry. However, I have still done some exciting things in the last few weeks!!
I am super proud to say that I made a Thanksgiving meal for my roommates! I made everything from scratch and it was amazing. I made roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, butternut squash, green bean casserole, stuffing, and deviled eggs. I even made pumpkin pie, which everyone loved. I have no idea how I did it all without messing anything up. The whole evening was great fun.
|Our Thanksgiving feast!! And me being all proud of my pumpkin pie.|
I spent a Saturday in Avignon, which is only a 2 hour train ride south of Roussillon. It was ridiculously cold and windy! I saw the Palace of the Popes and the Bridge of Avignon. Out of all of the museums I have every been to, the Palace of the Popes was by far one of the best. Everyone received a fantastic audio guide (offered in 11 different languages!) that helped lead you through the Palace. It was really awesome!! The Pont d'Avignon (Bridge of Avignon) was neat. There is a famous song about dancing on the Pont d'Avignon. It was stuck in my head all morning in anticipation, and then again all afternoon after actually seeing it. If you don't know the song, just google it, and you can have it stuck in your head all day too. :) I also saw my first marché de Noël (Christmas market). It's a market of Christmas related items and neat, artsy gifts, decorated with Christmas lights and Christmas music. For someone like me who loves Christmas, it was beautiful!
|le Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes)|
|Sur le pont d'Avignon, on y danse, on y danse (seriously, go look up the song)|
However, not all Christmas festivities here are fantastic On December 8, Lyon holds a Festival of Lights. There are dozens of light displays set up all over the city. Multiple large squares have light projections on the sides of buildings. There are Christmas lights everywhere. The lights were beautiful!! However, the additional 4 million people that visited the city the same day we did made it pretty miserable (all of the visitors more than tripled the city's population).There were so many people, it was actually kind of scary. You couldn't move or walk where you wanted, but only where the crowd was going. The lights were beautiful, but there are always pictures online.
Classes continue to go mostly well. I believe (I hope) that I am becoming better in the classroom. I still have problems adjusting my language level sometimes to some of the lower level classes. I just keep reminding myself to speak slowly and simply. My students still continue to mostly like me, although my novelty as a cool American is wearing off. Unfortunately, that means I don't automatically have their attention all the time, but have to fight for it like a normal teacher. Maybe after the holidays I will explain what I do in a typical class.
|My tiny Christmas tree! It's a whole 45 cm tall.|
It is less than 2 weeks until Christmas, which is unbelievable. My family arrives soon for the holidays and I can't wait!! I am purposefully refraining from cleaning the apartment, doing laundry etc. until right before people get here. That way I have something with which to occupy myself while I anxiously wait.
And then after the holidays, I really don't have that much more time here. Not that I'm counting down because I hate it here, but I'm counting until I get to come home. In counting how many more weeks of classes, there isn't a lot! After holidays, I have 7 weeks of school until the next 2 week break at the end of February and then just another 6 weeks of classes and then I'm done. It may even be less if I get to travel to England as I have been invited on 2 separate week long school trips. We are waiting on the administrative clearance from the French Ministry of Education and the US Embassy for me to be a chaperon but if that all works out, I will be taking 2 weeks again from classes to go to London and York. So really, the second half of my stay might be filled with even bigger adventures than the first.
From Roussillon with love