New Sparkler Series! My French Adventure: Part 1
LadyM is moving to France for 4 months—and she's going to share the entire experience with us!—Sparkitors
I, LadyM, was stuck in a rut. I was a bored 11th grader dying to get out of high school and start my university career… but I had this silly thing called Grade 12 standing in my way. One day, on a whim, I decided that I needed to add some excitement to my life. So I left my basement “cave” of computer screens and complete isolation from human contact and said, “Dad, I need to add some excitement to my life.”
Always the enthusiastic patriarch, my father said, “OK.”
After doing some skillful Googling, I stumbled upon a student exchange program. Unlike chemistry and physics, I like languages. They're something that I'm naturally good at (also unlike chemistry and physics). So again, I crawled out of my cave and said, “Dad, I need a deposit. I’m going to France.”
And my father said, “OK.”
FLASH FORWARD 4 MONTHS (like Lost, but less confusing): My amazing exchange partner arrived in Canada, home of snow and maple syrup (represent!). She knew almost no English, but became presque bilingue (almost bilingual) during her 3-month stay. We did many things, including:
-Cedar Point: Best. Whiplash. In. North America.
- Vancouver: Whale watching, tree watching, midnight Rocky Horror watching… which would be a Sparticle in itself if the experience wasn’t so X-rated.
-Niagara Falls: visit the Canadian side if you can. It is the most commercialized, hokey place EVER. And it’s awesomesauce.
-Lots of pony riding
FLASH FORWARD 3 MORE MONTHS (I promise, Lost fans, no flashsidewayses): I am preparing for my impending adventures in France. When I tell people that I am going abroad from February to May, the conversation goes something like this:
Lady M: I am going abroad from February to May.
Random Classmate: What? During your Grade 12 year?!!!????!!?? When you should be pumping your marks full of steroids to impress the universities?
LadyM: Yes. That’s what I said.
Random Classmate: ARE YOU CRAZY??!!????!??!?
LadyM: Define crazy.
Random Classmate: Brainsick: affected with madness or insanity; foolish; totally unsound.
LadyM: Probably. Why?
Random Classmate: Hm. Just wondering.
In the meantime, I have been in such a mad frenzy working ahead in my classes so that I will be appealing to the terrifying leviathans (read: universities) that I have almost forgotten to get excited about the reason for it all. So I decided to write a series about it to help me get pumped.
List of Characters:
Exchange Partner, Fossette: The 5-foot-nothing ball of energy with an impeccable sense of style, a taste for the bizarre (think Sondheim, Rocky Horror, and Dexter), a boyfriend to whom she is Facebook-married, and an adorable French accent. She is the host. A future veterinarian, she loves animals and science. She hates Twilight and is therefore made of sparkle and basted in awesomesauce.
LadyM: The adventurous Canadian who is as socially awkward as she is tall (very), who appreciates all things from Johnny Cas, to Tosca to Glee, and who spends way to much time on SparkLife and not enough time on her homework. Her conversational French is passable, and her written is horrid—partly because her keyboard does not have any accents, and partly because she stops and reads it, and cringes at all the grammar that she does not know.
There will be more characters introduced upon arrival, I assure you.
Themes, Motifs, & Symbols:
French Canadianisms: Everybody knows that Quebec French is a far cry from France French. Whether it’s the nasal, duck-like accent or the antiquated expressions, LadyM struggles to balance her traditional national education with the socially accepted Franco-culture.
Lost in Translation: And no, I’m not referring to the baffling and somewhat anticlimactic Sofia Coppola movie. Actually, this one is fairly self explanatory. LadyM speaks English. The French speak French. Hilarity and humiliation ensues.
Homesickness: LadyM will be far away from all that she holds dear. She will miss her friends, her dogs, and her horses. She will miss her comfortable bed, and the computer that has been with her through so much. She may even miss her pesky little sister. She will not miss her chickens. She really hates those things.
Suggestions for Further Reading: And by reading, I mean viewing, because I am about to direct you to a fantastic French language song that you probably didn’t know. You don’t even need to speak the language to understand its epicness. Click here, s’il vous plaît.
We can't wait for LadyM to take off! Have you ever studied abroad?
Related post: How Old People Will React To Your Study Abroad Plans