Friday, February 3, 2012

Gonna be a bright sunshiney day!

What a gorgeous day!
I have gotten over my negative feelings towards the cold weather for a few reasons:
1. It only feels colder because there is no snow. (this is what I tell myself)
2. It would not feel as cold in Canada because I would be so much better prepared.
3. I'm in France... I've got nothing to complain about. (which makes me think about other things I take for granted... like God, living comfortably, having an awesome family... etc. seriously, life is good.)
4. Last night the sky was so clear that I saw stars, and today it is the most gorgeous blue-sky-and-sunshine day, despite the chill.
Ever since I started running over here, I've been meaning to bring my camera with me so that I can take pictures of where I get to run. Today I was kicking myself because it was such a beautiful day and my camera wasn't with me. I swear, everything I ran past was photo-worthy: the icicles (never spelled that before... what a weird word.) on the trees by the river, the brightly coloured birds in the forest, the trees covered in vines, the way the sun shone through the trees, the picture of the river with the sun rising behind it... yeah, it was incredible. My brain is full of mental pictures. Oh yeah, and I ran for 1 hour 22 minutes today, and it felt GREAT. I am loving it. I think I can actually call myself a runner now!
Believe it or not, I have 3 projects to work on that are coming due in the next couple of months! I know... shocking. They are all group projects. The first is a poetry analysis for literature, the second is a presentation on Olympe de Gouges for history, and the last is a dossier of sorts about a "topique francaise, enquete nantaise", or a cultural research project on a French theme with a focus on Nantes. My group will be looking at the cultural importance of bread in French society. Since I will be looking pretty in depth at these three topics, when I am done them I will share what I have learned!
Speaking of things I have learned. Last night on the tram ride home, my friend and I had the name of one of the tram stops explained to us. The name is "50 Otages" and it is named after 50 French martyrs who were killed in WWII after a German officer was assassinated. Pretty interesting.
On another note of learning, I have discovered the website "pinterest" through some friends and it is rather addictive. I didn't really understand it before but it is pretty cool. You basically create bulletin boards where you can "pin" different photos that link to websites you like. So for example you can have a recipes pin board, where you can post favourite recipes. The fun part is that you can follow other people and they can follow you, so it is a really cool file sharing website.
Tomorrow morning I have to be downtown at the ungodly hour of 6:45am for a weekend focused on Godly things. The girls in my bible study and I are going to Rennes, a city near Nantes, for a Christian youth/young adult retreat where we will be participating in discussions, seminars, worship services, and reflection time with 2500 other French students. We are taking 2 buses there. I am really excited to meet other French Christians and to get to speak French all weekend!
To close, here is a link to a really good article on the Globe and It speaks about the importance of study-abroad and I must say that I agree with it. The part that I really thought was good was when the author wrote, "Dr. Traves worries the public still sees study abroad as frivolous, making student travel a tough political sell." I think this is something that many people think... and to be honest, it is true that my program over here is not as demanding as my courses at Trent. But the value of what I have learned inside and outside the classroom is honestly priceless. To quote the article again: “It exposes you, it transforms you, changes you as a person – you never see the world in the same way again,” (what a participant said). Well said. Enjoy the article!

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