The nature of my teaching jobs usually leads me to learn just as much, if not more, than my students. And everyone I teach has taught me something. Usually it’s just new words, but the subjects have also been hang gliding, keeping actual doctors-in-the-house in theatres, and Olympic table tennis. Sometimes the subjects have a more important lesson, too.
I can actually remember every time a person at a convention or trade show has touched me inappropriately. My first year at the Venus Fair in Berlin there was a man who shoved two of his fingers into my panty-covered vagina. It was really fast, like he was standing there one second…
Street harassment happens everywhere to every woman and it’s disgusting, enraging, and very hurtful.
I was deciding how to interpret this theme and assumed the party hosts don’t intend everyone to come unkempt and suicidal. It’s not Halloween so it seems unlikely violent criminals are the intended result. The host’s interpretation of schizophrenia is to dress like a woman, which didn’t clear the definition up for me one bit.
So what’s a girl to do?
I considered dressing like a man to answer the host’s sexism. But that’s boring because my normal style is already more masculine than most of the fashionable French guys that will be there…
Then it hit me. How ‘bout I go as my exact opposite in this scenario?
A stereotypical French Man.
Beret, mustache, mariner striped shirt, knotted scarf. I GIS’d it and couldn’t stop laughing. Maybe I’ll grab a baguette on the way and start smoking again. It’s the perfect costume! Easy to do and clearly interpreted.
But then I realized, it’s possible I’ll be the only American at this party full of French people and this could be their first impression of my country in a social situation. I’d be a total dick to show up completely mocking their culture, right?
Is the hilarity of this worth alienating the entire party?
Although common marketing practice in North America, calling sweet potatoes yams is a misnomer.
The two plants are botanically very different. Many plants in the sweet potato family, Convolvulaceae, are actually poisonous and only one species is widely used commerically. Yams, on the other hand, yield from a variety of perennial vines.
Yams are an important crop in Asia and Africa while sweet potatoes - distantly related to potatoes by the way - have been cultivated in Central and South America for thousands of years.
Last night I was asked which medium I prefer : books, movies, or music.
For some reason my companions weren’t convinced that I am a music person and chose “books” for me.
And I just thought, What a silly question. How could I choose ?
So I said, You don’t have to choose. You enjoy each in a different state of mind.
But they weren’t buying it, so the issue was presented in a more concrete way:
If, on the same night, there were a music festival with all your favorite artists, a book festival with your favorite authors, and a film festival with your favorite actors and directors, which would you attend ? (Assuming each is an occasion to meet and discuss with these personal heroes and not just watch them from afar.)
is amazing. I took two classes last semester(4 hours/week) and just got the bill. I was worried because EVERYONE comments on how expensive the university I’m attending is when I tell them what I’m doing here. It’s private and decent, at the cost of 90€ per class for the semester. No enrollment fees, no books to buy.
Admittedly I don’t think the quality is nearly half as good as the education I could get in the US for thousands of dollars more. But this is affordable, interesting and allows me to live and work in France.
Oh yeah and studying French here is (unsurprisingly) exponentially more productive.
The amount of chance involved in being born as the person I am, into the family and community I was, at the same time as the people I know and the luck I’ve had in meeting the people I have - whom I should never have met if it weren’t for the combination of all these things - makes me feel so grateful for whatever it was that set this universe in motion.