So today I had my first German class. It was... confusing, to say the least. I mean, German is a hard enough language to learn in English but when you have to translate from German to French to English? It get's pretty mind-boggling. The reason it's so confusing is because I'm already fully immersed in a French language setting so I'm learning a lot of French. This overwhelming amount of new language is pretty much dominating my previous knowledge of German (and even starting to mess with my English, which is becoming progressively less grammatically correct!). So basically, I've forgotten most of my German and when I try to recall and speak it, it just comes out as a muddled mess of Germçais (my invention word for German-French)! I'm sure they'll seperate from each-other once my French gets better and once I start speaking more German in class. Speaking of, I'm in the class that corresponds with my year of lycée which means that all the other kids are much better at German than me. Well actually, I think I understand more because of exposure (Switzerland and Germany, year after year) but they're better at speaking because they've had formal education in German and I've just spoken a little with my grand-parents, cousins and friends. Anyway, I'm lucky in that I already know some (Swiss-) German and I understand a lot more than I speak. Also, the teacher is really nice and she talks in German the whole time so it really wasn't a bad class. I think she likes me now because I was the only the kid in the class who knew who Wilhelm Tell was (thanks, weird Swiss children's tapes about the adventures of a talking parrot named Globi!). Anyway, I'm pretty excited to be learning German because I always wanted to so I could talk better with my Swiss family. Hopefully I'll really learn something so next time I go see my family I'll be able to communicate better!
So directly after my German class today, I had English! Talk about overwhelming languages. Actually, no, that's a lie, English was a breeze. I more or less just sat there and listened to them try to describe a picture, occasionally raising my hand and giving out some perfect answers! It was kind of fun, always knowing the answer. I'm assuming that this class will be my period to relax and do little to no work! Yay!
So beyond school, I also had a fantastic weekend! This whole weekend, there was a big festival in Angers, all day and night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tons of shows and performances, live concerts and art walks. It was really cool and so on Saturday, I went into town with my bro Guillaume and Gabe, my Californian, English-speaking, helping-each-other-survive-school friend (from AFS). We had a couple drinks and walked around checking out the stores and general downtown area. We accidentally bought €10 worth of candy, ate it all, and immediately regretted it. Then later, we met up with the rest of my family for a little, got some dinner at a kebab stand, and the three of us went off again to check out some of the festival's attractions. We found a posting for a electronic concert and decided to check it out. We got there just as it was starting and it turned out to be a pair of German DJ's playing some crazy beats morphed with other popular songs or parts of songs. It was really cool, although it attracted quite a crowd. The pit (we weren't in it, we sat on the side on an embankment) was basically a bunch of crazy drunk 20-35 year-olds. They had bottles and every now and then you'd see one fly up above the crowd and land in the river that we were right next to. A little tourist info: the Loire river runs directly through Angers and carries many boats, most of them the traditional French boat of the region which looks something like an Asian take on a gondola. Anyway, the concert was awesome, with a ton of crazy lighting effects and we had a great time.
On Sunday there was an AFS reunion / meeting for the families and I went with my host mother and brother. We arrived at a kindergarten/elementary school, the location of the meeting for who knows what reason!) and I got to see a bunch of my AFS friends: a couple Kiwis, a couple Australians and a couple Americans that I'd hung out with a lot at the Paris orientation. Anyway, us teens got to go into to town with some of the younger French AFS volunteers and we checked out a couple sights (that I'd seen the night before), but mostly we just hung out and talked and caught up with each-other about our host families, schools, friends, etc. It was fun being able to actually talk to people in my native language and having them understand me so that we could carry out a real conversation. So now, I'm going to celebrating my 16th birthday next weekend with a bunch of them and we're gonna hit the town and have a party! Or something like that! So that's what I've been up to these past couple days. Hope everything went well at home, what with the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 and all. Yes, I heard about it even here. There were a bunch of specials on TV of people who had something to do with 9/11 being dubbed in rather odd voices by French reporters. Anyway, I guess I'll see you all later (since, yes, once again, it's 10:30 and I have tog et up nice and early tomorrow for a first period of math!!).
À très bientîot, for now!