Although it's been an exhausting week, chock-full of new classes, changing classes, and getting a little lost, even the worst day wasn't all that bad. That day I was twenty minutes late (after running around like a mad person for my sociology class at the Université de Nantes, which ended up being a fifteen-minute walk from where I initially thought it was) and soaking wet - because it was raining, of course. However, after I came back to town feeling pretty fed up and soggy, I found a chèvre jambon (goat's cheese and proscuitto) baguette for only €3.80 at a street vendor: dejected Laura no longer.
The cherry on top was this weekend. Friday afternoon we visited the Château de Nantes, and that evening a bunch of friends and I went to a wonderful Crêperie - both in walking distance (like most places) from IES.
Best gallette: Chèvre et miel (Goats cheese and honey)
Crêpe beurre-sucre (Butter and sugar crêpe)
Saturday we took a 12-hour trip to Mont Saint-Michel...
Oh yeah, and I defeated a delicious seashell dish-full of moules-frites while I was there:
I guess you could probably tell from the lack of pictures in Saint-Malo that I was most taken with Mont Saint-Michel. But how could you not be?? From a distance, it reminded me of the palace from Aladin. Yeah, wrong country and a cartoon...but it was so...hallucinatory, there, beyond all the cornfields. And after we took the navette (shuttle) right up to Saint-Michel, I just kept falling in love with it. The architecture outside and inside was so beautiful and breathtaking that I just wanted to stay there for hours. Saint-Michel really did give me the sense that I was dreaming, and that's how I've felt ever since I landed in Nantes.
This week will be the third full week I've spent here. Sometimes I forget all the things I've done and wonder how it's been as long as it has been since I flew over here...but then I look back on the first field trips we all took together and I'm amazed that we haven't hit the one month mark yet. It's exciting though to be able to experience so much in such a short time...which is a major reason 'study abroad' is so appealing to me. At the end of the first week of our French practice courses, we were all asked to write a letter to ourselves, full of a list of goals, that we would read at the end of the semester. Most of mine are mental/emotional goals, as opposed to excursion or "bucket list" goals, because I want to make sure that I had a different outlook and experience this semester than when I lived in England my sophomore year of high school. In England, I spent so much of my energy on the people living back in the states, that I didn't quite take advantage of the fact that I was living in a great country. Granted, I was younger then, and the city was not new to me, but after I came back from England the following year, I felt a little dissatisfied. I should have focused more time on the people there. I should have spent less time cooped up in my house, wondering what I was missing back home. This semester will not be like that. This semester I have already begun to have the time of my life: I've eaten new food, seen amazing things, met new people, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. And I love it.
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<p>Bonjour! I'm Laura Schneider, a junior at the cozy College of Wooster, majoring in vocal performance and minoring in French. Apart from immersing myself in these two fields, I enjoy baking - while occasionally tweaking recipes, riding my bike, reading (especially outside), and playing (and watching) tennis. I lived in Bath, England with my parents my sophomore year of high school, and am so thrilled to be abroad on my own this time! After college, I am hoping to further my studies in performance somewhere in Chicago!</p>