After the Sunday I had dinner and babysat for Madame Hughes, the new week began- a new week of studying for new finals! This time I only had two left, but one being a very big one that I was worried for.
Monday through Wednesday, Melanie and I began each day at the library, paused for a lunch break, and then continued to study after. Thursday we met with someone from the class we had together to study with him. (we were both having difficulty with a big part of what would be on the final, so after weeks of thinking it over, I finally just mustered up the courage to ask someone who we knew to be the smartest person in the class!) And he helped a lot! After that we were feeling more confident, but still spent the next few days reviewing the same material.
Thursday was our more “lax” day- after studying with our other classmate, we decided to take a spur of the moment trip to the zoo, and then we had the last “fête” (party) for Middlebury. The last time we would all, or most of us, assemble together as a group before the semester was over. It was such a nice night of tapas and wine even though me and Melanie were the last to enter the restaurant, so we ended up at a table by ourselves getting whatever was left of the large plates. But we went and got crêpes afterward before returning home, so it was all okay ❤ (I want to also note, because we got crêpes afterward, I got home at midnight, which is later than I ever have here before, and my host mom stayed awake to make sure I made it home okay. I could have cried! I still almost do just thinking about it. I got so lucky here! 🙂 a host family that cares about me and well-being so much was more than I could ever have expected or asked for.
Friday, even with being out later than usual the night before, we continued to study. And the same goes for the weekend and on to Monday and Tuesday, our last day before the exam.
Today is Wednesday. The exam was this morning from 9 to 1. It was made up of 2 parts: une analyse d’un poème et un commentaire composé. An analysis of a poem and a composition of an excerpt from one of the books we read. The poem analysis part, Melanie and I studied for a lot. It involves separating the poem with accents and pauses, describing its rhythm, metric, stylistic devices, and more. For most of the week, we had just studied the necessary vocabulary, but yesterday we decided to practice with a few poems. The poem on the exam just happened to be one of the ones we studied just yesterday. Yes, that was very lucky and very much a relief.
However, the second part, the essay, was a little more interesting. We read 4 books in this class- 1 was a book of poems so we knew it wouldn’t be an excerpt from that. (The professors generally give one poem and one excerpt of prose for tests like these). After that, we had 3 books- 2 we had gone over a lot in class, they were fairly easy to follow, and we understood them well. The third was much more difficult- it had bizarre themes and was very difficult to follow. It was pretty much a long list of descriptions rather than a chronological story. The professor also had said in class, it’s much more difficult than the others. We were all fairly convinced he wouldn’t choose this one for the excerpt.
Yeah…. You can all guess by now, of course that was we ended up with. 5 short paragraphs of text that I had not yet read (I admittedly did not finish the book after finding that I was retaining next to nothing after reading sections over and over). I read it a few times, noted stylistic devices, tried to find big themes, made a plan and just stated writing.
I don’t know what happened exactly, but the more I wrote, the more I found to write about. At the end (and I did use entire 4 hours), I had 7 pages filled with devices, themes, and even other information we’d studied like the processes of narration and the senses of pathos, ethos, and logos. I actually walked out of this exam feeling really good.
In other good news, I found out I got an A in one of other my classes at Paris 3!! The professor already graded our exams, and he gave us the chance to talk with him personally about them. He gave both Melanie and I great grades and told us how happy he was to have us in his class. 🙂 he also mentioned he’ll be visiting Ann Arbor later this year and might even teach a class at U of M! (I feel like whatever it is, I’ll have to take it! That would be so cool!)
So … All in all, things are going really well right now. I’m just trying blissfully to ignore the fact that I’ll be leaving this place, my beautiful home (dare I say?). I can’t let myself think about it too much, or I start to get too sad. But I have to enjoy my remaining time!! (with as few tears as possible!) ❤
Tonight I had dinner with my family and it was one of the best we’ve had. Not because of the food, although that was amazing as always (fish & zucchini-comté & bread-kiwi), but because of the conversation. I don’t think it has ever been as natural and fluid in the entire time I’ve been here as it was tonight. I told them all about my exam, then we somehow got onto the topic of getting pulled over by cops. We told stories and laughed and it was so nice to talk and not worry about trying to understand, trying to form a correct response, etc. Everything was natural and effortless! I can’t believe the difference between tonight and the beginning of the semester. I am so happy and lucky I was blessed with a patient and kind host family who helped me all along and encouraged me to do my best. I still cannot believe how lucky I got. ❤
Thank you for reading!
P.s. I’ve started talking pictures of my everyday scenes, in hopes that I’ll never forget the walks I took and the sights I saw everyday here. I’ll share some of them now:
the side of Paris 3 that I walk by every day on the way in (no, it’s not the beautiful campus you would expect to see when you think of the Sorbonne in *Paris*! It’s just kind of like an old high school building!
(quick note: unless I decide to go back, today could very well be the last time I even go to Paris 3! My last exam is at Middlebury, then its the TCF (test of my overall knowledge of French) somewhere else and then I’m completely done!)
Tonight- enjoying the sunset and reflecting on my time here. I am so grateful. ❤
Thanks again 🙂