Thursday, January 26, 2012

It's already been another week!  I hate thinking about how much time has already gone by; the mid-stay camp for the Belgium exchange students is coming up and will find me saying goodbye to a bunch of friends who were only here for a semester.  Just a few days later is the end of the second period at school. (This I'm not entirely sorry about, as I've nearly used up all my tardies for this period).

That being said, it is kind of nice to have school mostly figured out.  I no longer have to look at my assignment book every hour to see which class I have next, and my friends and I basically have a designated table in the locale des rhétos (I guess senior lounge?) during lunch.  The people in the school have finally figured out that I can understand them better when they speak French than when they try to speak to me in English.  I do still trip up the stairs, however.  They are ever-so-slightly wider than normal stairs, which means that towards the top I step off the side and almost fall.

Not tons has happened since the last time I wrote.  Highlights:

Fire drill last Tuesday.  Instead of the cranky alarm I'm used to, the headmistress' voice came on the intercom telling everyone to remain calm and evacuate the building.  I'm not sure if it was a recording or if she actually has to stay inside the burning school to tell people to get out.  It was unfortunately raining, and our attempts to hide next to the building where we would be dry were unsuccessful.  Apparently it's the only one all year, so I was a little disappointed that it was during English and not, say, Morale (what? did I say that?) and on a rainy day.

My French teacher has been replaced.  She was mysteriously absent the first week and nobody has heard any news... the replacement doesn't even know if she's here temporarily or until the end of the year.  She also didn't realize that I wasn't Belgian-- having a name like Audrey, which some Belgians also have, instead of an "American name" like Brittany or Katelyn really surprises people.  She asked me to read aloud in class, and got a disappointed look on her face when I finished and gave me a  "Il faut s'entraîner un peu, hein?" (you need to practice a little, huh?)  To my surprise, everyone in my class burst out saying that no, I'm American and I read super-bien, which was fun to hear.  One of them also told me my accent was cute and that they liked it when I read because it sounded a little like singing.

I gave a small speech on the Republican Primaries for my English class, which didn't go so well.  I tried to speak slowly and use simple language, but there are some election terms that don't have obvious synonyms.  My teacher wanted me to explain some of the candidates' platforms, but I don't think anyone understood my bit about Ron Paul wanting to return to the gold standard. Ah well.  The teacher, at least, seemed to be interested; everyone else said they weren't interested in politics, but I don't know if it was because it was true or because they didn't want to have to explain Belgian politics to me.

My little brother has been adorably attached to me this week.  Everything from convincing me to play his Lego video game to shooting things with his nerf gun to helping me clean my room today.  He told me that I help him clean his salle des jeux (playroom) so he would help me clean mine.  His job on the windows and mirrors had to be touched up a bit, but I melted a little inside when he wanted to help clean.

There's a grève scheduled again for Monday-- no buses or trains, teachers not coming, and people standing in front of the school to prevent people from entering (or so they say, some people seem dubious)-- so I'll have plenty of time to write about the weekend.

Bonne nuit!

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