10.17.2011

Well. It's not the Sorbonne.

Have I mentioned that Chris is learning French? He goes to FIAF every Thursday night from 6-9pm and learns adorable things like "Bonjour!" and "lundi" and "Ca va?"

C'est trop.

I also go to French on Thursdays, but I'm in a different class. I'm taking a literature and history class and I still can't decide if I like it or not. Some weeks I think "LADY. WE GOTTA PICK THIS UP." and others I am grateful that we reread every page in class, but that is mostly on nights when I had a busy week and had to speed through the homework too quickly to absorb what the heck is going on with Cesar Birotteau.

It's not like I'm the master of this class or anything. Several of my classmates have color-coded new vocabulary notes in the margins, while I proceed with a "blaze through and skip looking up words" mentality since, you know, I'm usually reading on a SUBWAY. Carrying the old Oxford-Hachette around NYC is a stretch, even for me.

I am the only one in the class who is not retired and not a foreigner. Do I mind this? A little. Last week we had to change rooms because no one could hear the teacher. "Too drafty!" one shouted, pointing to the windows. "We must move! Je suis un troublemaker! Ha! Ha!"

The 90 minute class consists of us going around the room and reading a chunk of every page that we'd read for homework. This gives us a chance to hear everyone's indecipherable amazing accents and reminds me a lot of the Art History course I had in Paris when the teacher would spend the entire class pointing out details of one painting.

"Look," he would say. "Here is a dog. You see, he is little! And next to him, a tree. What else can we see? A little man, waaaaaay back here. Charming."

I think he may have mistaken us for preschooler Americans instead of Master's students, but I admit there was something soothing about that class. Taking the time to smell the roses (and identify them one by one in a Caillebotte painting) was pretty damn relaxing.

Perhaps reading Balzac page-by-page will be the same.

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