Beware of Les Hipsters

Clancy Tripp
September 19, 2013

Day 12 of my sojourn into a foreign land. So far I have gathered that McDonalds sells macaroons (unfortunately they’re not called McMacaroons), the color pink is never worn by French people, and the view for my window makes me wanna go all Quasimoto up in here. I’ll sum up a few vital lessons I learned in the city of love for those of you who actually take the time to read study abroad blogs.

The Metro

The Parisian metro is fantastic; it goes crazy fast, comes often, and people are much quieter than they are on US public transportation. The only possible downside is the doors to the cars. They close violently and without mercy. There is a drawing of a cartoon bunny getting mashed to pieces in the doors placed prominently in every car accompanied by the warning “don’t stand in the doorway, idiots” or something along those lines. While in Chicago or D.C. the metro door give you a gentle nudge as if to say, “hey buddy, do ya mind moving over a bit?” the metros doors in Paris are soulless appendage-eating beasts. I have missed many a metro for fear of losing an arm.

Les Hipsters

Yesterday in my French Translation/Grammar course the professor taught us that “Bo-Bo” (short for bohemian-bougie) means hipster. The only thing better than learning that crucial vocab term was hearing our ever-smiling teacher attempt to explain it to us in English. “heep-stare!” she explained, “you know, the ones that are thinking they are better than every other person, you know?” For this and many other reasons my French teacher is awesome. Because we haven’t started our real classes yet this week is dedicated to grammar intensive workshops. Or, in the class I’m in, learning grammar rules that every other French teacher I’ve ever had has skipped in our books saying “nah, you’ll almost never need to know that.”  I may not have perfected my Parisian don’t-talk-to-me-peasant face, I may not have a taste for pâti foie gras, but gosh darn it I will conjugate the literary pastverb tense in ways that the real French can only dream of.

Le Cinéma

I have already been to the movies twice since I’ve been here. I tell myself that it’s because I’m a film major, that I can see many official Cannes selections here months before they make it to the U.S., that I’m just testing the popcorn to see if there are cultural movie theater differences.  While all of these things are actually true (same popcorn, more expensive), there is something wonderful about being able to understand an entire movie in another language. In some ways it’s easier than a conversation; if you don’t understand what they’re saying you look at the picture and use context clues!

Classes Galore!

Yesterday I finally got to choose my classes. Despite warnings from the registrar (who I’m sure will not be surprised when I bury myself in libraries come mid-semester) I decided to take two classes at an outside university, Paris 8 or St. Denis. I couldn’t help myself! As of now, I will be taking my French translation class, a gender studies class focused on France, and a film/literature class called “The Word and the Image” here at IES. At Paris 8 I’ll be taking film class focusing on movies with gender issues and a gender studies class that looks at gender through art and movies. Why yes, it does look as if my classes are all exactly the same thing, but I assure you that they are just different enough so that, come December, I will leave Paris an expert on gender, film, and everything in between. I am a little scared to take classes with real French students, but I’m thinking about dressing like a cowgirl, braiding my hair, and adopting a southern twang so that maybe they will befriend me – an authentic American from the heartland – out of curiosity.

Later Y’all



Clancy Tripp

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Clancy Tripp is a junior at Claremont McKenna double-majoring in Literature and Film Studies with a minor in Gender Studies. In the past few years she has lived in Indiana, California, Washington D.C., and Chicago studying and working in arts and literacy education. Good luck keeping her in the same place for more than a year. True to form, she will be spending the Fall semester in Paris, France where she will spend as much time as possible with local French children, explore every arrondissement, and sample every pain au chocolat available!</span></p>

2013 Fall
Home University:
Claremont McKenna College
Film Studies
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