Thursday, January 27, 2011


If any of you readers would like a postcard, email me ( your address (or post it in a comment) and I'll send you one!

Also, if anyone feels like sending me snail mail, here's my address:

Amy Norton
Tour CIT b. 1024
3, rue de l'Arrivée
Paris 75749
Cedex 15

Semestre 1 est fini! Semestre 2 a commencé!

YAYY I'M DONE WITH FIRST SEMESTER!  Funnily enough, my classes for the second semester at Paris I started the day before I finished my first semester at Institut Catholic de Paris.  So tonight, Thursday the 27th of January, is the first day since classes started in September that I haven't had an assignment hanging over my head. Hallelujah.  And let the (2nd semester) games begin...

Here are some things I've been thinking about recently:

           French gyms suck. As does the work-out culture here.  The male clientele fits into 2 categories: crazy muscle men wearing tiny little spandex shorts/shirts and shoulder-length hair (sometimes earrings)...think Fabio meets the Village People, and scrawny men with no muscle whatsoever, who sit around and pretend to work out when they're really just DOING NOTHING.  I used the assisted pull-ups/dips machine after one guy who was about my size (aka skinny about 5'9"), and he had it set to a full 20lbs more weight than me!  In other words, he needed 20lbs more of assistance to do a pull-up.  It made me feel very strong.

The women at the gyms are a bit more diverse; it ranges from the women who do nothing but sit around and text on the machines or stroll (yes, stroll) on the treadmills, to women who are doing the basic cardio to keep their French physique from getting too grosse, to women who are actually breaking a sweat, lifting weights, and adding extra resistance bands in the abdos/fessiers classes.

Also, what bugs me, is that only about half of the gyms have free-weights.  WTF.  Free-weights are so essential!  Machines just don't cut it, and I'm too lazy to go into why, but this website has gone to the trouble for me.  Fortunately, one of the Club Med branches that has free-weights is near one of the universities that I go to, so I can just go to that one when I'm on a lifting day, and do my cardio at the gym closer to where I live.

Here's what I'm taking this semester, so far:

Histoire des Sciences- Paris I (Sorbonne)
        This class is a history class, but focused on the scientific world.  So how different scientific schools of thought/events affected, and were affected by, other things in the world.  It's quite literally the history of science.
Histoire des États-Unis de 1896 à nos jours- Institut Catholic de Paris
        Pretty self-explanatory.  Sounds like a cop-out, and maybe it is a little, but I'm honestly interested in that period of American history and I think I'll enjoy the class itself.
Littérature et Société Française- Tufts
        This is French 32, a required class for my major.  Your basic French lit.
Poésie et Contes Fantastiques du XIX siècle- Paris III (Sorbonne)
        More interesting French lit, focusing on poetry and the fantastic (as a genre).  Also focused on the 19th century, which to me is preferable to older French lit which I find denser and less interesting.  Awk.

So that's a look at life right now.  Here are some pictures, as well.

Some girl actually wearing Moon Boots on the metro. It wasn't even precipitating.   MOON BOOTS...really?

What would you find in a Darty Box? Sunshine, beer, music, grilled meat?  And what am I gonna have to do for the initiation...

Random American book series in a French book store...hmm

Gustave, one of the kids I babysit. Used to be the squishiest baby ever when I started (and he was 11 months).  Now he's 15 months and getting less sad

The beginning of the snowpocalypse that has plagued New England.  It figures, the one winter I'm gone in a country where 2 inches of snow is a 'dumping', my home state gets the most snow they've ever had in a month.  I just wanna sled...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bienvenue, 2011!

So it's a new year but not quite a new semester.  This coming week is my last week of Tufts classes, and the following week is my last week of classes at le Catho.  And then Tufts classes start the week after THAT, and my cours externes start the first and second week of February (for le Catho and Paris I/III, respectively).

So I don't have a week of complete break, but I come pretty damn close the last week of January.

Best Friend is here, now, for the semester, which is super super awesome!  The day she arrived I went to her apartment and it was like no time had passed. I spent the night and then the following day helped her and her mom shop for/carry apartment items and groceries at the giant centre commerciale Parly 2.  We left around 1pm, returned at about 9:45pm, cooked dinner, and then Best Friend and I went out to some bars/clubs.  I spent the night at her apartment again, and finally left on Sunday to have lunch with another friend and babysit (which is a whole other story...gotta love when a baby poops while you're in the middle of changing its diaper.  Poop was everywhere.  Up the kids back, on his shirt, on the towel, on the changing table, on me, on his hands, etc)

Another close friend of mine and Best Friend (whom we shall call Best Friend's Roommate or BFR) arrives tomorrow morning.  She is super awesome and was BFR for freshman and sophomore year.  She'll be living in an other banlieu completely across paris from me, so chances are we will converge at Best Friend's apartment very often to save the trek.  Tomorrow we'll be having dinner all together, which will be super awesome as the three of us haven't hung out for an extended period of time since this past spring!

Posts might will be sparse in the next 2 weeks as I finish reading/writing assignments before the end of term, but I'll try to post more as soon as I have time/something to post about.  Maybe I'll write a post when I figure out what classes I'm taking for the spring semester...So far I'm looking at another Tufts lit class, a lit class at Paris III, a History of Science class at Paris I, and then I'll need one more class to fill the 4th spot.