As nothing notable happened today, in the exterior sense of the word, we are going to take a brief stroll through my brain.

(For those of you sorely disappointed: Today we reviewed the imparfait, sketched our lovely nude French muse some more, and I wondered, for the umpteenth time, how I can possibly still be hungry after eating so much at dinner. Feel free to skip the remainder of the post.)

Exhibit A: A small crisis of confidence.

My French comprehension is abysmal. No, I mean it. Most of this is inexperience, and perhaps not the best ear for it, but part of it is panic. I am not usually easily embarrassed, but I blush scarlet here at the drop of a hat. Actually that’s entirely misleading, because it happens whenever I don’t understand things being said to me AND when I can’t figure out how to say things, which happens much more often than hats are dropped.

As a result, I went through today in a state of more or less constant embarrassment broken by a three-hour-long sketching session, which wasn’t much better, because shading and I just never learned to play together. And I am downright dreading com/jou tomorrow, an adverb I NEVER use when describing how I feel about class (well, maybe that one block last year. but that was the only time). What to do?!! So my project for this week is to brainstorm strategies to improve my aural comprehension, because whatever I’m doing isn’t going to cut it. Ideas?

Exhibit B: Encouraging encounters with my native language.

On the other hand, I love having two classes that require me to be devoted to the news. I got a twitter account tonight just to follow all the economics tweets (WSJ, the Economist, NYT, Financial Times, they’re all there). Also read up on the up-to-the-minute news re: Greece and the sovereign debt crisis, followed links to some Keynesian theory of standard-currency regulation in imbalanced markets (politically unlikely for the Eurozone but economically intriguing), and rediscovered my favorite think-tank thinker, Jean Pisani-Ferry. I could read this stuff all night. Whether or not that’s a reasonable thing to do whilst studying in French city with notoriously student-friendly nightlife, the jury’s still out. It’s a complicated question.

Exhibit C. Flashback to “goals” of semester.

I had two official goals and one unofficial goal when I left. The former were to learn French (for which see Exhibit A) and study world news from a French perspective (Exhibit B holds promising signs of future success on this front). The latter was to meet people and have fun, which by my personal measure I am doing quite acceptably. But my personal measure is notoriously flighty, and easily influenced by what I perceive to be general opinion, which at the moment disagrees with me rather categorically.

Possibly more on this topic later? Well. Only if I decide to subject my long-suffering readers to more amateur self-psychoanalyis. The days of happy picture-filled posts have not passed, never fear; they will return before you know it.

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