Cautionary Tale

Megan Hayhurst headshot
Megan Hayhurst
October 31, 2023


Hidden within the hallowed halls of IES Abroad Nantes lies a secret sanctuary, an oasis of serenity. Picture a heavenly cloud from cloud-land, plucked from the skies and transformed into the comfiest, coziest, most nap-inducing contraption known to humankind. This unassuming object isn’t just a piece of furniture—it’s an engineering breakthrough disguised as a mere couch. My heart will forever belong to this rectangular slice of heaven...this heavenly parallelogram, if you will. Or so I thought.  

This past semester I found myself in a confusing relationship with the IES Abroad Nantes sofa. My first mistake was underestimating the power of this unassuming rectangular prism. Looks can be deceiving—seemingly plain, this sly piece of furniture has a mind of its own, calling students to rest like a siren sings sweet melodies to sailors lost at sea. If my French Grammar class is a treacherous, stormy sea, the IES Abroad Nantes couch is the siren, and I’m the confused American sailor lost in the French sea of conjugations and imperfect tenses. It whispered promises of comfort, enticed me with its lone cushion, and called me to rest in its warm, welcoming embrace.  

And there I was, innocently seeking refuge from the scholarly tornado brewing outside. Approaching slowly, I was shocked to see a household furniture item just chilling in an academic building. Was it a figment of my imagination? Was my sleep-deprived mind imagining this couch? I thought that I would take a moment, just a brief respite, on this piece of cushioned heaven. Little did I know, I was about to embark on a journey into the land of prolonged naps. I had a one-way ticket to Dreamland, and the ticket was nonrefundable. And as my eyelids fluttered closed, it was as though the universe conspired to create the perfect nap ambiance: the hum of distant chatter blending with the occasional tap of laptop keys, lulled me into a state of blissful unawareness. 


victim of the IES sofa

figure 1. "Another unsuspecting student attacked by the IES Abroad sofa." 


Minutes turned into hours, and I suddenly awoke from what could only be described as a temporary possession of my body. The couch had become my accomplice in an accidental nap crime, leaving me disoriented yet oddly rejuvenated. And as I awoke from my heavenly slumber of three hours, I shook off my drowsiness and suddenly became aware of my surroundings. The lights were off, and I could hear the distant humming of a blank television. Alas, there was not a soul to be found; the establishment was empty. How long was I out? Did everyone leave without me? Did I accidentally stumble into a parallel universe? 

Lesson learned: beware of the IES Abroad Nantes French Language Immersion Program couch. It holds within its innocent-looking cushions the irresistible temptation of a midday snooze so potent that it could trick the most unassuming student. Do not make the same mistake that I have made; run from this couch, and do not look back. Better yet, avoid this room entirely. Or change your program location, just to be safe.  

Good luck. 

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Megan Hayhurst headshot

Megan Hayhurst

I became inspired to travel abroad after reading the book "Banner in the Sky" by James Ullman. Since then, I've dreamed of visiting Switzerland and climbing the Matterhorn during the day and snowboarding down the Swiss mountains at night!

2023 Fall
Home University:
Gettysburg College
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