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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day in the Life of a Masters Student in France

Well, it's a give-in that a Master's degree is difficult... I never assumed stepping into a year intensive course would be a piece of cake or walk in the flower garden. Of course I was utterly unprepared for the sheer force that has presented itself to me in the form of a Master's degree in France. The amount of classes, reading, theoretical studying, application theories, group or team projects.

I simply thought I'd bundle up the feeling in the Day in the Life post just so it's clear how hard it is.

I'll take a Monday as an example, which tends to be the day I have a crise and ask myself: why, why, WHY!!!

7:00am - alarm blares. I don't want to get up, bed is warm, but need to make coffee if ever going to make it through the day. I hit the snooze and jump up at 8am stressed already. As my coffee brews I surf for about 5 minutes and then jump into some team work and studying. Around 9am I decide I can't go to school in my pajamas, so I shuffle through clothes I managed to wash over the weekend and splash some cold water on my pufft eyes. I figure just mascara is okay today.

9:40am - Bri clings to me and tries to make me late, I think it is some form of French conspiracy, he is always late therefore I should be to. I peel him off, quick peck goodbye and shoot out the door to barely make it to class by..

10:00am - Class starts. I am feeling terribly rusty in my French and the teach is rapid fire spitting out theories left and right, I note as fast as my hand will allow as this is the teach that refuses computers. In her own words, "je suis vielle France, pas des ordinateurs." Lovely. I scratch out words, highlight and in the end it looks like a 5 year old art project with a scattering of question marks here and there.

11:30am - break. 60% of the class heads outside to smoke. I eyeball the cigarettes warily and now understand why stressed people start.

12:00pm - More rapid fire French. Explication of some project we are doing with the region that has no plan and no direction, but for us to figure it out.

1:00pm - Brian brings me lunch, I eat for 15 minutes and then cry and whine for 45 minutes. Some key words: I'll never pass.

2:00pm - comes too quickly. Today is a work day so I get my first taste of a reunion in France. We have an issue to work through and we crash our brains trying to hash it out. My French is still warming up so it feels like the most I offer is mmhmm or oui bonne idee. The student teacher rolls over and critics us as well as adding a dash of criticism over my writing abilities in French. I feel like switching to English and being all like- "oh bitch, no you didn't!". All our work after 3 hours is apparently crap so we all feel defeated, my brain decides not to cooperate and I say screw it and head to work..

5:30pm - work starts. Nothing eventful except I mention dropping my resignation letter and I get an email saying I owe 200 bucks for an accounting error on an insurance policy that was required that I never even used. I now regret not going to the dentist or something.

6:00pm - realize I have about 4 people to present to instead of the usual 3. My French now decides to cooperate but I think it's just simple exhaustion.  As I get on a roll, I realize about halfway through my presentation how exhausted I actually am.  As all 4 students listen and nod, I feel sort of on auto drive... thankfully I have had experiences in theater so it's sort of like acting... I guess..

7:20pm - finally done with presentation.  Mouth is starting to hurt from the focus on trying to pull off a less American accent.  I plop in front of my work screen and brain shuts off.  Go through the motions until...

8:00pm - why isn't the student done with their lab work yet?? I go and tap on their shoulder.

8:20pm - student finally wanders out, I grab my bags and drag myself home.

8:40pm - come home, Bri clings to me as I try to shuffle around the kitchen and pull some fragments of a meal together.

9:00pm - something is plated.  I eat, without really tasting it.

10:00pm - drag myself to bed, try to read a little bit for my class, type up some notes and then I am out.

And.  That is my life at the moment.


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