Friday, April 1, 2011

Sancerre & Simpsons

It's been an eventful week, but a good one. The e-mail fiasco is not yet fully resolved. I haven't yet been successful in re-establishing access to my AT&T/Yahoo account, but I have decided to take the evening off from worrying about it. I have also set up a Gmail account, and will be contacting my friends individually to let them know the new e-mail address; I plan on moving to Gmail permanently as soon as practically possible.

Highlights of the week included Monday evening's exciting semi-final episode of "Top Chef, France", which lasted for 3 full hours, and was riveting from start to finish. I can hardly wait for the final episode next week. Every other Tuesday we have a break from our regularly scheduled morning class, with a so-called "theater" session, which involves lots of improvisation, much of it hilarious. Then there was the Tuesday afternoon grammar workshop, which is my favorite session every week, because - as regular readers will know - I have this bizarre, grammar-loving gene which causes me to enjoy the intricacies of French grammar just as much as the subtleties of the subjunctive in Thpanish. Some people might find this freakish - I'm happy to take life's pleasures wherever I find them. It helps that Liliane, our grammar teacher, is a truly inspired instructor. But the same can be said for all of the teachers at ACCORD - I consider myself really lucky to have stumbled across this particular school.

On Wednesday afternoon, we had another improvisation session, this time with a smaller group, and a different teacher. It's hard to explain how much fun it was to be in a skit, pretending to be a diving instructor, having to explain the dangers of decompression sickness (le malaise des caissons), aka Caisson disease, or 'the bends', to the class. You start out one place, next thing you're explaining how final construction of the Brooklyn bridge had to be supervised by the wife of the principal engineer Roebling, because he had developed such a severe case of the bends that he was too ill to be able to do it in person. Using French words you didn't even know you knew.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Place des Vosges and the Musee Carnavalet, guided by Anne, who takes over as our morning teacher for the month of April. Andre will be a hard act to follow, but I've been really impressed with how Anne conducts the Thursday afternoon tours, so I'm optimistic.

This evening, I'm holed up in the apartment, happily installed with a bottle of excellent Sancerre, watching "Les Simpsons". Later in the weekend, there will be museums to see, movies to go to, an "Asterix & Obelix" video to watch. But for now, I'm happy to be able to put my feet up and have Homer teach me French.

Did I mention how much I love Paris?

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