November Fading

Hey guys, how are you all doing today? I hope you’re having a fantastic day, and that you’ve had a productive week!

Well I’ve done my best to be productive this week and get my work done. I think I succeeded, considering I submitted a 3-page story for my French class. I had to describe my life in ten years, so 2028. Apparently I have an epiphany that makes me want to return to Clermont-Ferrand despite how well my life will be going. So according to this story, in ten years I’ll be a French teacher in York celebrating my 30th birthday, and during the summer holidays I travel down to Brittany to teach English in a summer camp. So, during my birthday celebrations, I have a sudden thought about how much Clermont-Ferrand might have changed in the past decade, so I plan to visit after the new year. My main focus of this trip will apparently to see if the cafés and bars have changed much since my last visit. My French teacher has apparently taken this as a sign that I’m an alcoholic, but I really don’t drink much at all. In fact, being such a lightweight I tend to drink a lot less than everyone else when we go out for drinks. And so far I haven’t done a Jack Torrance from the Shining; I don’t want to murder my friends if I haven’t had a drink.

So, apart from the fact that my French teacher thinks I need therapy to cure my apparent alcohol addiction, I’ve had a good week. In my English Language Studies class, I have to hold back correcting the teacher. I mean, I should really try to help her with what people actually say, but I also don’t want to interrupt her. I fear I might be told to take the class or something like that. The thing is, a lot of the phrases the students are learning are very ‘Queen’s English’, and not many people actually use it. For example ‘Yes, let’s!’. The only time I’ve ever seen this said (along with ‘Don’t let’s!’ is in the Famous Five novels, which are set in the 1950’s. And a lot of the spellings are focused more on American English than British English. I get that there are so many resources in English out there, like on Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services, but the nearest English-speaking country to France is England. It shouldn’t annoy me, but it does when they use spellings like ‘realize’, ‘traveled’, ‘color’ or ‘organize’. I pray that when it comes to the exam, I’ll be able to use either spelling.

Clermont-Ferrand is really getting into the Christmas spirit already. The massive tree in Centre Jaude is all decorated, the shopping centre is adorned with flashing lights, and a market has been set up in front of the cathedral, complete with a twinkling ceiling of lights. 

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Source: (Ville de Clermont-Ferrand)

And with that in mind, I really need to start my engines when it comes to Christmas shopping. Not only do I need to buy everything, but I have to have it all wrapped and work out how to actually transport it all. I tell you what, if I have a family in the future, every Christmas will be a minimalist one. That way, we can sympathise with the families that struggle this time of year financially and simply can’t afford to splash out for Christmas. In fact, we should all think of those people at this time, and try to help in any way we can. Communities should come together during the festive period and help out those in need. Which is why I’m trying to think things through this year, gift-wise. Gone are the days of buying something just because, because I know back home they already struggle with too much stuff. Everything this year will be for a reason, and really mean something. But since my parents work very hard to get by, they’ll be treated this year, no matter how much they protest.

Last night I was at another CROUS residence, and I’m so jealous of everyone staying there. The rooms are so much nicer than here in Lebon, and they feel more open even though they’re the same size. I just wish I had more storage space and a desk that I can fully utilise. In the nicer residences, the desk sits along one wall so you can use every space on it. But here, it wraps around a corner wall so I can only use the section directly in front of the window. There’s a big square section that I can’t use because there’s no space to put the chair under making it completely pointless. I know I should be grateful to have somewhere to stay at all, but it kind of annoys me that everyone pays the same amount when clearly the other residence is so much nicer. 

I think I’ll leave this post here for today before I start to ramble on about French administration (spoiler: it’s not great). Anyway, next week will be December and the real countdown to Christmas. And the start of my exams (great). But for now, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day, whichever continent and time zone you’re in! A bientôt!