La Rentrée

I thought I’d write a post about some of the different school-related stuff here in France as I prepare for classes this week.  As I mentioned before I’m taking classes at multiple locations in multiple schools.  This week is the shopping period. I’m going to visit courses in Paris 7 (Diderot) and Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) this week and then EDUCO courses start next week. As I said before I had to go all around Paris to find secretaries and ask for hours of classes.  I lucked out because quite a few of them posted the hours outside the secretary office so I could go see. Here’s an example:

I’m going to the class “la langue comme fait social” today, it’s a sociolinguistics class.

So I think I’ll start with the university restaurants.  As I said before it’s 3euro10 for a complete meal. These  are all over Paris! I’ve eaten at quite a few different ones and it’s all the same idea.  You get a total of 6 points.

so you can see here how many points each thing is worth.  So typically someone gets a big plate, a little plate, and a dessert, but lots of other combinations are possible.  Bread and water are always free! Here are two examples of what I’ve done.

So here, I got a pizza for my main plate (4 pts), a watermelon slice for my small plate (1 pt), and a vanilla pudding for my dessert (1 pt).

Now here was a more ab-normal style of eating, but I’ve done it a few times.  The salad is worth one point, the cheese is worth one point, the apple is worth one point, the yogurt is worth one point, and the dessert was from the gourmet dessert section so it worth 2 points (and oh boy it was delicious).  Now a typical french person would think I’m crazy because for them cheese is dessert, fruit is dessert, yogurt is dessert, and dessert is dessert… nonetheless by american standards this is still relatively healthy.

Now these last few weeks have been La Rentrée which is when students return to school. It’s a cultural thing here, lots of stores have sales and there are school supply stores everywhere called Gibert Jeune.  Everyone stocks up on things for La Rentrée and all the ads in the métro are talking about what people need for La Rentrée.

The elementary school kids started before the others.  I remember walking on my way to orientation and seeing parents holding hands with little kids dressed up in trousers and button up shirts.  They start dressing nicely at a young age! Plus, the city hires crossing guards for all the streets near elementary schools.

As I mentioned in my last post, my host sister had her birthday party last weekend.  It turns out the junior highs are based on where you live.  So all her friends from school lived in walking distance from her, how cool is that?? However French students have to choose their specialty at 15/16 when they start the equivalent of 10th grade or high school. I think this is crazy, how can a 15 year old know what they want to do? They are still dreaming about being a star athlete or a great actress (don’t get me wrong for some people this happens, but for the majority fame is not attainable).  Nonetheless here’s an adorable photo of a few girls rubbing balloons on the wall to get them to stick!

Another thing about France, they make us get TONS of Cards. Here is a photo of my friend Megan and all her new cards since arriving in Paris.

So we have our EDUCO ID, our Paris VII ID, our card to eat at Student Restaurants, our Louvre Cards (to get in free anytime), and she has a métro pass (I opted to walk most places so I didn’t buy one).  The french really like their cards!

So I also wanted to show the coolest Folders ever! They have them here in France 🙂 Also French paper is longer than American paper, so I needed something to fit the longer paper.

So here is the folder all closed up and the top of it.  I stuck my name tag from Orientation on it as well.

here is the back side, it has little straps to make sure it’s all closed

here is the folder from the top view, when I undo the straps and flip the top cover up.  You can see there are other flaps that hold everything inside, and lots can fit inside, I have multiple papers and a book in this folder.

and here it is with all the flaps down, so you can get at anything you want inside! They hold an ton and I find them super cool! I ended up getting one of these folders for each of my classes.  They are about $1 each so it’s super affordable.

I FOUND AMERICAN STYLE LINED PAPER!!! I was thrilled. It took me about an hour at different Gibert Jeune’s but I found it! I was so happy. I ended up having a sales man help me, and I asked for it , and when he found it my whole face lit up with happiness and he could tell he made my day! They were twice expensive as French-style paper but I didn’t care! Whew, if you don’t understand why I’m so excited, go look at my earlier post where I complain about the mind-numbing French-style lined paper! So my current organization plan is to take notes on these sheets of paper and put the notes into the folder for that class 🙂

These are my updates about La Rentrée (which means The Return, it sounds almost like a movie title in English).   As always, if you click on the photos they get bigger 🙂

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