"When good Americans die, they go to Paris." - Oscar Wilde

Monday, March 14, 2011

Everyone's Favorite Enigma

As I've mentioned before, public humiliation is an essential part of French education. Today I received my history exam, and I was just happy I passed because UNCA study abroad credits are pass/fail. Apparently the professor wasn't satisfied though, so she called out several girls (me being one of them) and demanded, "Qu'est-ce qui s'est passé? Vous n'avez pas compris?" She even targeted one girl and told her in front of the entire class, "Tu as une gross problème." In America, professors can't post grades in public areas or target students. Or they can, but they get labeled a dick. It's all just a part of living abroad, I know, but it still sucks.

Later, the same professor called on me to explain what we studied in the last class. No big deal, but I felt like she was asked me because she knew I was baffled. I explained what we studied, but she kept asking me more questions and to explain further. I was like, LEAVE ME ALONE. I literally almost burst into tears. My face was bright red. I wanted to pull a highschool freshman and cry in the bathroom, but I bit my lip and moved on.

In phonétique pratique, I shared a worksheet with another student. I couldn't understand what the professor was saying because this student was yakking to me the entire time and asking me why I didn't look like the other Americans and how long my family had lived in the States. Like, really? In fact, Françoise (my Langue professor) talked about immigration today. Lien's a Vietnamese immigrant and she said some Americans wonder about her origin, but not many. They know she's one of them. Then Françoise turned to me and asked "Et toi, Gabriella?" The class laughed, and I said, "Oh, c'est typique." I really don't mind being exotic. I like it. But I don't understand where everyone's coming from. I'm brown, but so are a million other American girls.

On the bright side, I did really well on my compréhension écrite exam. I got a 18,5/20 which is the equivalent of a high A in America. Yay! Also, I'm Skyping tonight with Leah so we can plan our weekend trip for the beginning of April. She's staying in Angers for a few nights and then we're flying out to Germany? Amsterdam? who knows? The world is ours.

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