I have recently received quite a few inquiries about what classes are like at the Universite de Caen Basse-Normandie. Because today’s lessons involved Prince Charming and dressing up, I thought that today would be the perfect opportunity to tell you what it’s like to spend 5 hours a day in constant French language immersion.

At the end of my school days, I am about as industrious as swamp slime. I sit, my brain completely fried, in a vegetative state, and although significantly less green than swamp slime, I am about as unmoving. The reason behind my complete lack of cerebral action is caused by the long lectures and hoops we have to jump through during classes conducted completely in a language I swear some days I do not understand at all. But today was different…

Today, when I walked into class after a measly 5 hours of sleep, my professor started a lecture on adjectives again. Oh no, not another diet incentive! But alors! we talked about people other than our classmates!! After covering every personal attribute I thought existed in French, we got to write about our personal Prince or Princess Charming.

I mentioned a few weeks ago a certain person who has made my academic career a bit of a struggle. In the states, we call such people “creepers” because they tend to spring up where you least expect or want them to be. Here, we call them Petit Pigeons (little pigeons) because of the extraordinary annoying qualities that both parties share. I have a petit pigeon in my class, and you can guess how he described his Princess Charming. If you need help, I can send you a picture of myself. So, in retaliation, I wrote the complete opposite of what my petit pigeon looks like.

I went to my Oral Language class later that day and Madame lugged a giant plastic bag with tons of clothing into our classroom. Wigs, belts, hats, dresses, scarves and capes were present and we were instructed to put on whatever clothing we desired and get ready for a fashion show. I put on the most fantastic skirt with ruffles on every surface and a corset that zipped up the side (and horror of horrors, I thought it might not zip). Then, with much pomp and circumstance, we marched down the homemade catwalk (in reality, the building hallway!), strutting our stuff and talking in French about our friends’ awesomely atrocious outfits. We raved and cheered and clapped and oohed and aahed. The spectacle was straight from Fashion Week in Paris.

One guy put on parachute pants with vertical stripes, a Chinese silk shirt, a red cape and a giant black curly wig with feathers shoved into it. He was fabulous. Another American (because it would be the Americans who have crazy fashion sense) put on a polka dotted kimono, a huge ruffled pink skirt with metallic embellishing and over all and a wicked cool pair of MUSICAL SUSPENDERS to top it off. How completely original! Haute couture at its finest!

A real-life model, Olga (with Preston) knew how to talk to the camera even in a crazy hat.

L->R; Seong Yeul, Preston, Christina "Keetina", Danielle, Petra, Me, Laura, Yi, Farshad, Olga

HAHAHAHAHA Farshad struts down the catwalk... HAHAHAHAHA

Petra is so pretty!

Preston rocking the curly wig with feathers... and the cape... and the catwalk.

We twirled, smiled and showed off our vetements (clothing) while the photographer snapped away… because here in France, we know fashion and education and we do it simultaneously. And that, folks, is how classes in France are going.