Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hamburger Pie Hopefully

     I am making hamburger pie for supper tonight. I really really hope there are no mishaps this time because a friend of Marianne’s is coming for dinner. And I have never met her before, and she is French. Oh my oh my.
            Yesterday my group presented our games and I taught my class how to play I Spy in our ‘how to play games with the people you’re in charge of’ class. They don’t have anything like that here, so it was fun to see a bunch of teenagers playing I Spy for the first time. I also had them play an adapted version of scattergories because our group had too much time left over, and that was also completely new for them. Both activities went well, and I think they even had fun.
            Today in English class I tried to teach a friend the difference between the initial sounds in the words ‘feel’, ‘think’ and ‘these’. Both ‘th’ sounds don’t exist in French, so she thought that ‘think’ and ‘feel’ started with the same sound. The spit factor was a little dangerous, but there were no catastrophes, and she started pronouncing it right. And it was rather amusing.
            In French class we are doing an overview of the evolution of theater (sound familiar, anyone?). You know you’re an exchange student when mere mentions of Waiting for Godot, Westside Story, and Shakespeare seem warm and fuzzy and so wonderfully familiar that you could just hug them to death. I think we’re  going to read one of Moliere’s plays this year, which I’m excited about. It’ll probably be really hard for me, but it will be the original French version!
            Another cultural difference here that I have forgotten to mention: blowing your nose here is not discreet at all. Teachers and students blow their nose in the middle of class, in the middle of a sentence, without turning aside or anything, tuck their handkercheif back in their pocket, and continue like nothing happened. Julia has been very attentive to this, because blowing your nose is considered extremely disgusting in Icelandic culture. In public, they sniff with gusto rather than blow their nose. Everyone deals with snot differently, I guess.
            Julia is learning more and more French, and understands a lot more now. Speaking is still difficult, but she can answer a lot more questions now. I can understand the majority of what goes on in class now, but I still have a hard time understanding the other kids’ conversations, especially during lunch when it’s extremely noisy. I can’t wait until I understand their conversations entirely! I will do a major happy dance when that happens. I might even sing at the same time.
            My room is ready to be painted, and Marianne is going to let me choose a color. She says I can pick whatever I like because if the next resident doesn’t like it, they can choose their own color. Do I have a cool host mom or what? I am vacillating between orange and green.
            Well, off I go to mash the potatoes and start the hamburger pie! I will say a prayer BEFORE I get into trouble this time!

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