Just a quick life update.
I feel like I haven't written in a few days. In reality it's just been a long day. I met the director of my school today and had to be there at 9:30. So I got up at like 7:45. I feel pretty lame that getting up at that time seemed such a burden, but I haven't really had any schedule since I've been here, so I've been getting the "normal" 10 hours of sleep each night. I think I'm 80% adjusted to time on this side of the waters.
The teachers at my school are awesome. My main contact, Madame Belaroussi, is super cool and speaks super good English. She's been such a help to me and is very excited to have another assistant come through the school. So far she has been very serious about making sure that people don't try and use more than the allotted 12 hours per week. She's even told people to their face, "You are not allowed to ask him for help." It's nice to have someone stick up for you like that, haha. I would have a hard time saying, "No, I don't want to help you with that." Especially in French. So it's great that she's willing to cut out the riff-raff.
The French schooling system is very different than in America. Duh, right? Let me explain. I'm in a lycée which is their version of high school. There are the Secondes, Premieres, and Terminales. It's seems like it's backwards....but apparently not. Anyway, the Secondes are in like 10th grade, the Premieres in 11th grade, and the Terminales are our Seniors. To graduate students have to take the Baccalauréat (the BAC) which basically determines if they go on to University or if they have to go to trade school. So this one test decides what you're going to do for the rest of your life in France. It's a little daunting, yes?
That's one thing that I've always appreciated about the USA. While I do agree that the fact that a Bachelor's degree is so accessible does diminish its value, I think it's even more important that people's lives aren't irreversibly assigned a tract that they have to follow for the rest of their days. People should have the chance to take whatever opportunity comes their way.
I've also discovered a new website I like. Take a look: www.itmademyday.com
And I leave you with the flying buttresses of Notre Dame (they were very revolutionary for their day, after all).