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Catching Up 1/3: Parents Visit in Mid-October

Bonjour tout le monde,

I apologize for not having kept up on my blog entires. I’ve gotten into a groove and things don’t seem as new as they did when I was more adamant on doing a weekly entry. To make up for this dry spell, I will now write three posts to give you all a peak into what has kept me busy other than school.

School here is, to be honest, disappointing. American schools give homework that keeps students motivated and learning when not in the classroom. Here, there is barely any information given in class and then there is little to no homework. I like homework no more than the next guy, but when the classes are already dumbed down for foreign students, I really wish there would be something to do to prepare for them on a daily basis. Regardless, I have been finding other things to keep me busy such as reading books and making art such as drawings and small oil paintings. I am a terrible amateur but the more I practice, the more surprised I become at my artistic abilities. I only wish I could have some direction in my art so that I could improve my conception of drawing these pieces. That is why I have decided to “apply” (more like, ask to join in on art classes) at the art university in Nancy, ENSA (École Nationale Supérieure d’Art de Nancy) for next semester, in addition to courses at the normal humanities university.

In mid-October, my parents came to Nancy to see where I was living and meet my host family. They only stayed two days on their way to the Danish countryside to do some genealogy, but the time was well spent and we got to enjoy the city together while doing some touristic activities. A highlight was the Art Nouveau Museum in Nancy, which houses art done in the style of Art Nouveau, which was born here in Nancy before being dispersed all over the world. The style of art is well known by its intricately carved wood furniture that attempts to imitate images of nature in three dimensions. This impressive art form was developed by Émile Gallé during the turn of the century: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Émile_Gallé.

My parents and I also had lunch with my host family at the house. Although quick since the boys had to get back to school by 2 pm, the meal worked out fine considering it was bilingual. It was quite weird being the only one in the room that could truly understand both parties. I was absolutely exhausted afterwards, so I was a little glad the meal was so short.

Overall, my parents’ stay was well spent and we all shared a lot of time together at cafés and restaurants around Nancy. It was really great to show my parents all I’ve been doing and my room in the apartment, etc. I miss them a lot!

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I have included a few photos from our time together! There’s even a picture of Laurent and I at the fromagerie where I have been working twice a week! What an experience!

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