I'm writing this blog post from a hostel on the Rive Gauche. Tomorrow I will be back in Aix, trying my best to finish up these last few weeks filled with presentations and papers. I'd be lying if I told you I'm not freaking out about it... there's a reason why I wrote all my deadlines on post-its I stuck onto my bedroom wall. I have this constant need to keep thinking about the future, and at first it sort of got in the way of my full enjoyment of Paris - I even did some reading during my second night here. And like, okay, I'm probably going to do some reading again tonight, but still. Vacances. My mind kept going back to that poster at the Marseille-Provence airport, which said something along the lines of "Oubliez la crise, faites la valise!"

So eventually, I started to let go... though I think I got a little too lax about it. I was so lax that I uh, ended up overdrawing on my checking account. And my credit isn't doing so hot after finally purchasing my return flight home so yes, I was definitely in a bit of a pickle. But surprisingly enough, even with all of the stress from school and finances, I can safely say I had a wonderful time in Paris. However, like a lot of big cities I've visited (which admittedly isn't very many), I can only take it in small doses.


 
Can someone explain to me how we've already reached the end of March? It is mind-boggling. We've had midterms, we've had our fair share of excursions, and all of it is a not-so-subtle indicator that our semester here is almost over. And rather than get that traumatizing, suffocating feeling that I normally get, I'm just going to recount some of the highlights from March.

 
How do you begin to sum up weeks of new experiences? Weeks filled with new words, new foods, new sights, and yes, new mistakes? It's tough, but I know I have to write it all down before the new-ness wears off.

Language practice has been good. In addition to having a host family, I feel that having an internship really adds to the experience. My internship is with a local theatre company, and so far it's been going really well - I love being around the stage (whether it's singing or acting), so I'm glad to be around people who love it too. However, I still don't feel completely solid in my French (not that I was expecting myself to suddenly become fluent once my soles hit French soil), so I should be speaking with a couple of language partners in the coming weeks.

As far as traveling goes, I haven't been to that many places outside of the surrounding southern cities and the very beautiful (and expensive!) London, England. I know I started off by saying I would want to go see the women saints, but I'm realizing that for me, it's a bit of a difficult undertaking if you don't have a (few?) willing friend(s) to go with you. Now I'm pretty much taking things as they come, but I'm making sure that I at least have somewhat of an interest in the destination before I agree to go there. For spring break I will be in Paris, so I am definitely excited about that. I think I may do a side trip to Lille as well, so... keep your fingers crossed that everything falls into place.

Academically, we're at a bit of a difficult point. That's right - midterms. It's stressful and full of papers, but perhaps most importantly (and obviously), it marks the midway point of the semester. Oh la fuite du temps. It's time to kick it into overdrive.

 
It's strange to think about how it hasn't truly been a week since I've been in Aix. Tomorrow I will be boarding a bus to go to Nice and Monaco for the weekend and I am pretty excited. But before that happens, I figured a blog entry had to be written about all of these new experiences I had during this first week of classes. In true Justher fashion, I will outline these experiences with subheadings. Because subheadings are cool.

Anyway, as the Whovians (and the Francophones) say, "Allons-y!"