Voter registartion this week! Make sue you sign up in campus center.. Every vote makes a difference… Let’s get 1,000 more!
Are opinions true, false right or wrong? Philosophy has got me all confused…
I love the Fall. Even though it means that its getting colder and raining every other day in Oswego, it’s still such a beautiful time of year. Every Fall, at home I used to go apple picking with my family, but now since I’ve been to college it’s been a while. This year some of the girls and guys from my Swimming and Diving team decided to go. We had a lot of fun picking apples and then making a bunch of pies and stuff after! Being here in Oswego, we have the opportunity to take advantage of doing the apple picking and things like that with some awesome orchards around. The place that we went even had kind of a carnival with games, food, and lots of people. It was definitely fun to get away from schoolwork and normal weekends to do something different. For those of you who are reading this, THERES STILL TIME! Make a day out of it… nothing like apple picking and some Sunday football after with some apple cider and pie
One of my teammates, Emily!
So this week has been very eventful. My orientation program ended about a week ago and I had an entire week to have fun and explore Paris! Not to mention that I took lots of time to relax before classes started.
So last monday I went to my university, Paris 8: Saint-Denis to choose my classes. I am taking literature and politics, advanced grammer, written and oral expression in french and teaching french to non-french speaking students. I am very happy with my courses that I have picked, but the only class I have actually been to so far is my literature and politics class. The classes are much different here. Instead of having one class 3 times a week for 50 minutes or one class twice a week for an hour and 20 min all the classes are 3 hours long and they are each only once a week. And as a result, I have a lot of free time. I only have classes on Monday’s, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It is nice to have a lot of free time, but I am trying to find a job to fill up the rest of my days. I am waiting for a call from a woman who is looking for a native english speaking person to tutor her two children. Hopefully it will work out, money and a cultural experience what could be better!
Last week I also took a day and went to the neighborhood called Bercy. It is a more modern neighborhood. I had to take the metro line 14 which is 100% automated, there is nothing running it but computers and I felt like I was in a space age in the metro station. It is really cool. Anyway, I took a walking tour of Bercy and I visited the Ministry of France which is a building that was actually moved to it’s current location from the Louvre. My walking tour continued with the Pala omnisports de Paris-Bercy which is a sports complex and it has grass convered walls that slope down at a 45 degress angle. I saw a maintenance man mowing the walls, it was an interesting process. There is a skating rink in Bercy, but it is most used to figure skating and other events like that. It is sad that the French don’t play much hockey. Ice Hockey is so rare in France that you actually have to say I play Ice Hockey, because if I were to only say I play hockey everyone would assume I play field hockey. Oh well, its just another example of cultural differences. Speaking of hockey, there were several hockey games played in Finland recently and I am very sad that I didn’t get to go, I wanted to but it is quite expensive to fly to Finland from Paris. C’est la vie! Outside of the entrance to the skating rink is a water feature that is meant to replicate the gorges of North America, it was very interesting. Anyway I also visited the Cinematheque Francaise which is a cinema museum and a theatre that showcases different periods and styles of french cinema. Right next to the French Cinema there is le Parc de Bercy which is a beautiful park with beautiful gardens and different water features. It was beautiful. I really enjoyed my exploration of Bercy. After visiting Bercy I went to the Gym and on the way home I happened to meet a French guy named Bille, he was very nice. It was interesting to meet a french person and spend an evening talking one on one in french. We visited the Sacre Coeur and then we went to the Champs Elyees. It was very relaxing and it was such a beautiful night.
On Thursday I spent a day sightseeing in the Jussieu neighborhood. I started my walking tour at the Jardin des Plantes. It is another beautiful botanical garden in Paris. There are pathways that are protected by trees which arch over the pathways. It was very magical especially when the sunlight was shining down through the trees. Then I walked to the Mosque. It cost money to take a tour, and I just wanted to see the building and the courtyard, but from what I saw it was a very beautiful building. It was exotic white walled muslim styled building. It was incredible from what I did see. My walking tour then brought me toArenes de Lutece. To me it looked like an arena for theatre or performances, and i learned that it was actually used fcircus and theatrical presentations. Next to it isthe Cluny bath house which took my breath away the details and beauty of the staircase near it was incredible. I was really shocked to see that today the arenes de lutece is used for leisurely activities for the people of Paris. I love when buildings and monuments are used practically and they aren’t just sitting to be looked at. I also walked by the Pierre and Marie Curie University. It is a very modern and chic looking building in the middle of Paris, I was quite surprised.
I think the biggest event of my week was La nuit blanche. It is an event that happens once a year in Paris. Basically, it is a celebration of contemporary art that lasts from 7pm until dawn. There are light exhibits and live music and there were techno dance parties and it was a lot of fun. It was a really big event and the streets were full of people all night. Here is a link to la nuit blanche in english:
So Saturday night I went to sushi restaurant with a bunch of my friends. It was good, I don’t like fish but I had some really good kabobs. After dinner we did some sight seeing in the city until we met up with a few of our other friends. Then we went to the Luxembourg gardens which was the main event location for la nuit blanche and we had to wait an hour to get in, but we hung out and enjoyed the night while we waited to get in. The exhibits the garden were incredible they were all based upon lights and expression through light. I really enjoyed myself. After that we went to a restaurant bar and got some dessert with wine at 4 in the morning. It was a nice way to end the evening. We sat and visited for a few hours. I stayed the night a friends house and we didn’t go to bed until 7:30 am and of course I got up at noon because I had plans to go to the Louvre.
Since the Louvre is free the first sunday in every month I decided to spend a few hours exploring the parts of the louvre that I didn’t visit when I last went in March. It was very relaxing and I had a good time. I went with one of my french friends and it was funny trying to explain the story behind some of the paintings in French when I learned about it in English. After spending a few hours in the Louvre we went to eat a late lunch and it was really fun.
Today was my first day of classes. I had one class and it was literature and politics. I really enjoyed the class. It is going to take a little time to get used to the difference in teaching methods from the US to France, but that is why I am here. I am looking forward to my classes on Wednesday and hopefully they will be as good as my class today!
SO I wrote a lot today. It has been a busy week. I hope everyone enjoys my post and I will try to post more often so my posts aren’t so long. Thanks for reading and ENJOY!!!
Here is a link to my photo album on Facebook with all my pictures from this week, its my post in photo form! :
Ok so I promised that as soon I posted the first blog and once I settled down then I will talk about my summer and plans for the semester. I guess this is great because I haven’t really had time to process anything. For a lack of a better word my summer was ok I guess, I can’t really describe it because I didn’t spend my time going to theme parks, hanging out with friends or family, or going to the beach. All I did this summer was work! My summer was a down grade from how my semesters are. I took an online class which was more adventurous than my days, I also interned at the Children’s Center on campus, which I absolutely loved! It was a great experience; this internship was actually connected to my online class. I also participated in the McNair program this past summer, I spent many days reading articles and doing research, preparing presentations, and preparing for both the LSAT and GRE my summer was fairly hectic, lots of preparation! Summer in Oswego is not bad at all.I spent the summer preparing and I will spend the semester developing and implementing!
For the semester I am facing all sorts of emotions, why?I am not sure, maybe its because I am a Senior! Yup, that explains it all. All I have been thinking about is Grad- schools, my LSAT and GREs… I just need to get the ball rolling to start the new chapter of my life.
October is Fair Trade month! Yay!
For those of you who don’t know what fair trade is, stay tuned to be enlightened:
• “Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers – Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
• “Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships- Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful.
• “Build Capacity- Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence.
• “Promote Fair Trade- Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system.
• “Pay Promptly and Fairly- Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors.
• “Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions – Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor.
• “Ensure the Rights of Children – Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play.
• “Cultivate Environmental Stewardship – Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
• “Respect Cultural Identity – Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change.
(The information listed above comes directly off of the Fair Trade Federation Web site – http://www.fairtradefederation.org/ht/d/sp/i/197/pid/197 )
Students for Global Change is holding an Earth Fair festival on the 30th in Hewitt Union to celebrate Fair Trade. We’re going to have lots of carnival games, Halloween costume contests, candy and snacks, and live music. I am planning the event, so it’s going to take up a lot of my October. But, I love doing this kind of stuff. We want to bring in a lot of kids and families from the community as well as the campus community members.
I think the best part of fair trade is the chocolate. Organic, fair traded chocolate, especially the dark chocolate, is so rich and yummy! I could probably eat it every day . It’s got anti-oxidants; those are good for you!
I think it’s important to get involved with these types of things not only in college but in life. And by these types of things I mean community gatherings. This past weekend was the Oswego Pumpkin Festival, with cute little and cute big pumpkins. It’s a wonderful time to gather together and share in a warm, community experience. It’s nice to get a change from the rigors of everyday life and your everyday crowd. Going to community gatherings provides a new perspective on something that you may not have thought about before. It’s also a lot of fun.
I’d encourage everyone to get involved in some sort of community event on campus or off-campus. Whether it’s a Kidney Walk, Breast Cancer Walk, Relay for Life, Salvation Army clothes/food drive, soup kitchen volunteer, local music festival, sports game, whatever! Go to it with some friends and get a taste of the mixed generations and the lively atmosphere!
Our Earth Fair for S4GC is going to be 6-9 p.m. Friday, October 30th. It’s going to raise money for TransFair USA which certifies products in the U.S. as fair trade and follows the market process from conception to consumption! Free admittance – tickets for carnival games cost $0.50 and food costs individual prices.
GO out and enjoy some community fun!! Go enjoy the fall atmosphere
Dramaturgy “Tool” Contents.
So time does fly by quite fast. I keep feeling like everything is going by so slow, but I have already been here for a month and it feels like I just got here. I am getting more comfortable living in Paris, which is a good thing. Hopefully everything will feel totally comfortable by the time I leave. But to think about it, that is how it always is…you finally get comfortable with something and then you need to leave.
So I am 100% officially a student of Saint-Denis, Paris 8. I got my student card yesterday and I even registered for all of my classes. I am taking 4 courses this semester, and I already finished one 3 credit course since I have been here through MICEFA. The classes here a much different, there is no set time slots for the classes, it is all based upon when the professor wants class to be each week. For example, there is no MWF 9:10-10:05 classes, the teacher decides they want class 12-3 in the afternoon and thats when class is. Oh another thing about classes here is that they meet only once a week generally for 3 hours, but sometimes 2 and 1/2. Anyway, my courses this semester are, Litterature and Politics, French Grammer, Expression through Speaking and Writing and the schooling of non-french speaking students (essentially learning how to teach non-french speaking students french). I am most excited about the teaching course, it is going to be very difficult, but I am so interested to learn about methods of teaching and instruction in France. I am also sure that it will help me be a better French teacher in the US. Europe must be doing something right with foreign language instruction considering almost everyone speaks at least one foreign language.
The past few days have been very ordinary days, even though I live in Paris I still need to do chores and errands like in the states. It is not always the glitz and glamour people think of when they hear you are studying abroad :). I went to they gym, did grocery shopping, did my laundry and cleaned my apartment. The past 3 days have been very productive. Although, I will have to say that doing laundry here was a little bit of a challenge. Once I figured it out it wasn’t that hard, I just had to learn how the process worked. They charge by the weight of your laundry but then you are supposed to know (through growing up and living in europe) that the washers are different sizes. So technically you pay to use a washer and they hold a certain amount of laundry. Then the other big difference is that you have to load your washer, make sure the detergent is in and there is one control panel by the door. You put the number of your washer machine into the keypad then it tells you how much to pay and you put the money in. But to control everything in the laundry mat there is one place to pay and everything has a number, even to buy laundry detergent. The fun things you have to learn in a foreign country and take for granted at home.
That is it for now, I have some more things I have to do today. Enjoy my post for now, hopefully I will post again soon.
Taking on the big ones….
Talked to some great people today at the SUNY Oswego Women Connections Seminar event. It was an event on campus brought to connect women through talking about women issues and all kinds of jobs for women!
It was not easy getting up on Yon Kippur, I won’t lie I was really grumpy this morning. An apology goes out to Tim for dealing with me this morning
However I did get everything done and even passed out some resumes.
Oswego has been so great I even found some more opportunities to follow up the seminar, maybe a job in radio
It is chill for now and I am off to finish laundry and homework. Reeling in big fish by day and average college student by night…Be Ozzy
I’m going to Hohoe, but I still don’t know what I’m doing there yet. I have done some research into what’s there, as well as having met a guy from Accra in my French class who knows about Hohoe.
Kwamena is from Ghana, and we spoke briefly in French class. He said Hohoe is more rural than Accra.
But, I’m looking for an EXTREME cultural immersion, so rural – I can do.
One of the most famous tourist destinations of Hohoe is the Wli Waterfalls. “Wli Waterfalls cascades from a height of 60-80 meters, and is the highest falls in West Africa.” (BridgingDevelopment.org) There are two distinct waterfalls at different heights to view. I can’t wait to see these! Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to make it out into the rainforest on my weekends off. The three that I’m there. This area is also basically a HUGE bat sanctuary. Tons of them live there and are being hunted by the community to regulate the population. The waterfalls are in the Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuary.
The falls are supposed to bring fertility to barren women, and they’re seen as spiritually powerful, according to the Forestry Commission of Ghana.
So, I go for my yellow fever vaccination on Monday. You have to get them before you can get your visa for Ghana, which I will be getting ASAP. Yellow fever is a virus you can get from infected mosquitoes. The CDC says the “illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe hepatitis and hemorrhagic fever.” So, it’s kind of a big deal. And it’s really expensive, but luckily I’ve had more funds come in for my trip, from gracious family and church members.
I cannot wait. I’m getting closer and closer. I’m doing more research on cultural aspects, so until next time… Mia doga (goodbye in Ewe)