Because I have recently received a lot of questions regarding my state of living, my personal well-being and my health, I have decided to give the general public a quick personal update on how life is progressing in the beautiful region of Basse-Normandie.

I am living in a wonderful little dorm where I have a room all to myself. It’s a corner room which means it’s very quiet. I look over a “football field” which is actually the equivalent of a swamp when it rains and a gravel pit when it’s dry. Nevertheless, the grass outside is green and the sunsets outside my window are only rivaled by the Midwest Sunsets I love so much.

Sunset Outside My Window

My classes are progressing nicely, and with the tiny exception of minor panic attacks over interpersonal issues (not with my professors), I have enjoyed classes immensely. I am not lost or confused or angry with myself over my supposed lack of language skill. It never ceases to amaze me how much you can understand in a classroom where your teacher speaks nothing but the language you DO NOT KNOW. I am so good at this game of beginning French that today I asked for more homework (!!!!!!).

I am currently battling a viral bug that is hanging on for dear life. I don’t understand why it enjoys subsiding in my lungs and sinuses, but for whatever reason, the virus loves me and is lingering. I will survive.

I have learned to adore the following things: crunchy, beautiful, crispy baguettes from the Boulangerie or Patisserie, losing weight due to no salt and walking everywhere, my Own Giant Englishman, my Own Giant Frenchmen, fresh fruits and vegetables at market, mass on Sunday in a church where you can see your breath, living on campus, sunsets through my window, laughing myself sick over bad French articulated in class, French macaroons, Sauce Blanche, NOT tromping through snowdrifts the size of small states, NOT buying gasoline and NOT starting my car in temperatures that cause molecules stop moving.

I currently miss the following things more than I can properly articulate: my washing machine, my refrigerator, the rest of my closet, NON skinny jeans, my own cell phone that has a QWERTY keyboard, reliable internet, my grandparents and my car. In the way of food, the only two things I really desperately want right now is an artery-clogging burger and milk.

I haven’t traveled much, but I have only been here 2 1/2 weeks, so bear with me. There will be many a traveling story. On the agenda as of now (and it will change, I can assure you) is: Rouen, Lisieux, Cannes (for the Film Festival!), Toulouse, Seville and Prague.

I am happy, fairly healthy, not culture shocked to the point of fetal-position-chocolate-scarfing, enjoying the now beautiful weather and making stacks of friends. I am doing my best to communicate in a language I deeply love (and actually sometimes succeeding)!!

Personal best to date: my Oral Communications professor complimented me on my pronunciation and usage of French. Many self-pats-on-the-back were conducted.

That’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned for more wonderful, faux-pas filled adventures, excitement and dates with Dead Historical Figures.