Thursday, October 1, 2009

Busy busy and Obama.

Phew.  It's nice to sit down.  I've been doing a lot these past few days to get myself situated with everything.  I've found an apartment.  I'm going tomorrow morning to put down the deposit and then get the keys on Saturday (I think) and then I can start moving in whenever.  So it's nice to have that taken care of (finally).

I went to my school and met some of my students today.  It was nice to finally see them.  I only went to three classes though.  I'm not quite sure how  many different classes I'll be going to in total, but this was a nice start.  I went to two classes of 18-20 year olds, and one class of 16-18 year olds.  The two older classes were all guys, which was weird, and then the younger group was mostly girls (or at least half and half).  But today was basically "Grill the American" day.  It was fine though.  We talked about sports, how college and university works, politics and what not.  I told them how much some universities can cost in America and they were all shocked.  I got the inevitable question, "What do you think about Obama?"  I was honest with them and just told them that I didn't vote for him and I disagree with him on a lot of political issues, but I respect him as the president.  Then they started drilling me about health care and all this other stuff.  And this was in the younger class.  They understood me better than the older kids did I think.  I was pretty impressed.  Luckily though I had the upper hand as we were all communicating in my mother tongue.  I would have been much more uncomfortable if I were speaking French with them.  Plus they would have been talking circles around me if that were the case.  But it wasn't, so I won, haha.

So that was today.  Yesterday I met up with all the assistants in my department, Créteil, and they talked to us a lot about paperwork and visas and health care and pretty much anything else you could imagine.  The visa system that France uses to complicate everyone's lives is just now changing.  So a lot of the time the ladies that were trying to help us wound up just saying, "umm...we'll check on that and get back to you."  Which...I don't really know if they even have our email addresses, so it may have just been a diversionary tactic.  It worked at any rate.

We were all in this big auditorium mixed with first and second year assistants.  When someone from the audience raised a hand, they either asked a question, or, using their past year's experience, corrected or amended what the ladies leading the program said.  This was helpful sometimes.  Sometimes it was just annoying.  Especially because there was that girl that spoke about 50 times and each time started out saying, "Last year when I was an assistant, we did this..."  So that was awesome.  What was funny though was that there was this little old lady that had the wireless mic that she was supposed to give to people who were asking questions so everyone could hear them.  Unfortunately though the auditorium was so big she could only reach the students in time to stick the mic in their face and have them say "Thanks."  It was pretty funny actually.

I had been going back and forth on the decision between taking two different apartments for the past few days.  Everything has been moving really fast since then.  I finally decided to spend a little more money and be in the 7th arrondisement than not spending as much and being waaaayyy up north in the city.  I'm very happy with this decision.  And after having taking such pains to arrive at it, I decided to celebrate a little so I made chicken nuggets with "french fries" for dinner.  And I bought heinz ketchup and it was wonderful.  I've been craving french fries lately, actually.  Rather than buy a gallon of fries though, I found a smaller box of like little potato cubes that tasted just like teeny tiny french fries.  Then of course we had some wine and cheese with baguette afterwards.  Il faut.  At any rate, it was delicious and we really enjoyed eating the little buggers.  The ketchup especially hit the spot for me.

I'm going back to school tomorrow to meet some more classes and teachers.  But I have to go first to meet the guy from the realtor and give him thousands and thousands of euro, lol.  Then!  I have to go and meet the person from whom I'm renting the property for the key.  Hopefully that works out, haha.  I don't quite have the full amount to give the guy in the morning because I can only take out so much from the ATMs per day.  So hopefully he'll be fine with that.  Wish me luck!

A demain!

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