All posts tagged: Musing

Studying French: Language Interference 

Another day, another blogging-in-a-train-station experience as I am once again too early to go through security. I had every intention of studying French yesterday. I really did. But then it somehow devolved into daydreaming in the foreign language section of my brain. I packed up my French textbook, my study packets, my flashcards, my notebooks–everything–and I went a few blocks down the street from my hotel in London to find a cafe that was suitable enough for studying at. (The struggle is so real in Europe to find a place that isn’t solely for drinking espresso, and it continues to be one of my biggest areas of culture shock). Obviously I also brought a book and my baking idea notebook, because what if I finished studying and had nothing left to do? So I ordered some juice, laid all my belongings out on the table in front of me….And then just stared at them for about five minutes. French is hard. When I finally made myself start working, I only got through about one exercise …

The Pressure of Envy: Countdown to France

For those of you who have traveled for extensive periods of time I am sure you have heard your fair share of “Oh you are going to have the most amazing time! I am so jealous! You are so courageous to be doing this all by yourself! I wish I had traveled like this when I was your age!” and to be honest, I’ve said some of these phrases more than once myself. Its just what you do, right? When someone mentions they are moving abroad you ask where they are going, you ask if they are nervous, you mention something about how cool they are, and then you express your envy and jealousy about either where they are going or what kind of person they are. That is just how polite conversations work.¬†Its not really socially acceptable to say “oh my god aren’t you afraid that you will miss your connecting flight, get ripped off by a taxi driver who doesn’t speak your native language, get mugged on the street since you will stick …

I’m Going to France…Again!

So you may or may not have heard….since I tell everyone from my close friends to the barista at my local coffee shop, chances are yes I’ve told you a million times already…but I am going to France! No scratch that, I am MOVING to France. For 8 months! This will be the longest, and probably most important, time I will have spent abroad so far, so naturally I am as excited as I am nervous. Around this time last year I was preparing to spend a month in France, which was basically a trial, see-how-I-like-the-country/learn-the-language/experience-France-before-I-make-a-life-changing-decision kind of trip. I spent a fast and lovely month in Annecy, France, and came to the conclusion that I should go forward with my plans–that I should apply to pastry school in France. Last summer I spent time researching potential programs and applying to schools, and in the end I ended up with my first choice school; a little school aimed at non-French international students with the desire to learn French Pastry located in the south west of …

Disgustingly Cheesy and Completely True Digital Storytelling

This past semester I have been taking a class called Intercultural Communication and Leadership. While a lot of it has been review of prior anthropology and linguistics classes and reinforcing of the morals and viewpoints my university in America instills in its students, there have been some features that have been surprisingly interesting and informative. For my final project in the class, we were told to create a digital story. At first I was let down and a bit annoyed to find that this was not actually a movie but rather was a video made of pictures and voice over. But once I got an idea for my story I started writing and was soon excited to start the process of collecting pictures to illustrate my story. I love writing (obviously…I by choice write a blog whenever I have free time) and I also am very introspective, so it is easy for me to journal and contemplate my life. However. It is not often that I share those inner musings with the people around me. …

Making Friends Abroad and a Sunny Adventure

As a kid, people don’t tell you that making friends is actually a challenging and terrifying process. From birth you are enrolled in play groups and classes where you meet people, you go to school where you are with the same people your own age every day and your parents make play dates for you, you continue on in school with people your own age and you make plans on your own, and then you go to college with people not only your own age but with (usually) a shared interest. And then what? I just realized recently that making friends in the real world is terrifying. You actually have to try to meet new people, and then you have to have similar enough schedules to actually develop a friendship. And while sometimes this happens very naturally, a lot of the time it doesn’t. This is one thing that I don’t think I fully anticipated when coming to France, particularly because my previous experiences abroad were within the sheltered limits of streamlined education. When I …

Understanding the Past and Moving Forward: From Masked to Unmasked

When people think of me now, they think of my baking, my love for travel and language, my education and absurd addiction to studying. Most of my friends now see me exclusively as that person. But even just four years ago I was a very different person. Part of the reason I am taking a gap semester right now is because there are a lot of things from my past that need wrapping up–that need consideration and closure. So I typically don’t talk to people about the real reasons why I am taking this short break from school–because it would be a long story since most of my current friends don’t really know about my past. That sounds so ominous, doesn’t it? I have talked a little bit about my childhood before–particularly when I was in Japan last summer–but I really want to bring it up again here. Partially because May begins Lyme’s Disease Awareness Month and I will be too busy flitting around France to post anything timely or organized, and partially because I …