Thursday, January 27, 2011

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...

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