Friday, 20 October 2017

You probably don't want to read an apology on the irregularity of my posts every time I write on here, so I'll try and cut down on that. But twenty days! Sheesh.
School's been good, but history has been quite tough (non-stop talking by the teacher and non-stop note-taking by us) and I'm still struggling with the explication de texte stuff in philosophy, though it's getting better. Now we have a two-week holiday which, while it means no philosophy classes for two weeks, is going to be nice and hopefully restful! Although my granddad and uncle are coming over on Sunday, so we're going to have to do another manic house clean... And considering we've just emptied into our living room a garage we've been renting for the past six years (to store some of our stuff in), that's going to be even more manic than usual.

Two weeks ago I went to England to go to the Open Day at Sussex University. I went on Friday afternoon and came back on Monday, spending the weekend with my grandmother in London. I went all by myself, too, taking the plane on my own for the first time! It was fun being all "grown-up" ;)
The university visit was really fantastic and the course is exactly what I want to do. It was quite strange after two years of school with pretty much no science to be plunged right into a mass of people all talking about the neurobiological and pharmaceutical courses they're looking forward to! Also, when I went to listen to the short talk about the Ecology course, we were only about twenty so it took place in a classroom. You have no idea what it felt like, being in a classroom with a teacher talking was as if I was back at primary school!

Oh, and before I sign off, do you know what I did today? On the way back from the supermarket I wanted to stop and take a photo, but I'd barely taken three steps out of the car when - ouch. In the long, dry grass had been dumped a random plank of wood with at least two flaming great nails in it which went right through my plastic flipflop into my foot. Needless to say, I gave up on taking the photo and hobbled back to the car where, thankfully, we had some plasters. It still really hurts and I can't walk on my foot. What an idiot!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

The weekend at last, what a relief! Not that it's been a bad week at school, just tiring. 
Cinéma was great, and on Friday we watched the Hitchock film "Strangers on a Train". My gosh, the suspense! Also it was in English with French subtitles, which was more relaxing (well, relaxing considering the context!). 
But we had a mock philosophy exam on Wednesday, where we were given a text by Pascal which we had to explain. To cut a long story short, it was a catastrophe. I didn't even write a whole page, and it was a four hour exam. The teacher hasn't finished correcting all of them, but he said the 75% or so he's looked at would get less than 4/20. At least I'm not alone... But I don't know how to explain a short text which is already very clear, concise and easy to understand! Still, the teacher was positive, at least, and said that we'd work through it and everyone would manage by the end of it. I hope he's right!
I'd better get back to my work. I've got a ton of stuff to do in geography, French, philosophy - and we're going to have a mock exam every Wednesday afternoon!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
- Kierkegaard

Saturday, 23 September 2017

I've just realised I never posted any photos of Thomasina, the shrew! So in case anyone's interested, here you go :) they're not great shots, but I think she looks cute...

Friday, 22 September 2017

I'm so stressed out! All this school - just going there as well as the homework - and on top of it Dad's been away since Monday and it feels like Mum and I have just been constantly arguing. Plus I've volunteered to be the French webmaster for the charity Dad's connected to, which is far more work than I thought, and the contract is for a whole year! And I'm just not getting any time to do what I want to...I got a chance to snap a few photos of a mantis this evening, but that was about it. I'm over a week behind on my diary, I've not been for a walk or bike ride for ages... Still, at least having philosophy classes means I get a chance to philosophise a bit at school, which gives me more free time at home ;)

My other lessons are going well, although history-geography haven't been very interesting thus far. More WW2 stuff to start off with, which, while I didn't know it, seemed fairly obvious, I suppose, and guessable. And in geography we're learning how to analyse maps, which I'm finding confusing since I missed Monday's lesson, where they laid out the basics! Also hopefully I'll soon be given permission to skip English lessons and just catch up on what they've been doing at home so I can focus on other stuff. Honestly, the exercises they take a whole hour over I've finished in ten minutes at most. I'll be able to start at 9am instead of 8am on Fridays, too ^.^

Monday, 18 September 2017

What an exhausting weekend! And I must admit my sister and I were spared quite a lot of it.
First, some context. We rent two places where we store some of our stuff; one about twenty minutes away, and the other in the Aveyron, not far from a small old building we own, which was previously used to store hay and cows in the winter. I think I must have mentioned it before. It's a very camping-like situation. We do have running water and normally have electricity, but EDF somehow made a mistake and cut it off. Not that we have any heaters there, so it's very cold - and it was raining, too, this time. But it's a beautiful area with woods and hills, fog after the rain and all sorts of animals. 

But this time did we get to experience any of that, except from the car window as we drove along? No. Why? Because, wanting to clear out of the storage place closest to us, because it's too expensive, my parents decided to use this weekend to make some room at the other place, and we had to help non-stop. It was cold, tiring and very boring. And there was fog, but I couldn't photograph it because M&D wouldn't stop the car :( plus we did see some salamanders, late last night, dotted all over the road after the rain. Eight of them! Dad stopped the car and I picked up two, which I released near our "house". My sister named them Gilbert and Sullivan!
We got back home around 9.30 this morning, half an hour before Dad was due to get in a taxi bound for the bus stop so he could catch the plane to England - and he hadn't even packed. He managed to get off alright, thankfully, but needless to say my sister and I missed our school bus. I was very annoyed about it at 3am while M&D were still sorting boxes, but now - nearly twelve hours later - I'm glad to be able to just relax at home!

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Today is the "journée d’intégration" for the collège, so I don't have class :) tomorrow is my class's day, and we'll be going on a trip to Sète. I'm not sure why the art and English teachers (who will be accompanying us) chose to go there, except for the fact that there's an El Greco exhibition. I had never heard of him until yesterday, but apparently it's very rare there's an exhibition in France and so we have to go and see it. Hm. Also Paul Valéry wrote a poem about the cimetière marin there, so we have to do some research on him, and we'll also be visiting the cemetry. And we'll be going on a one hour boat trip, which should be fun. I don't think I've mentioned, but there's a new girl in my class (and one boy who was in Terminale last year but has to resit), and she's been hanging out with me and C. She seems nice, and has a horse and a cat.
Speaking of having things, I appear to have a bit of a fever. Sore throat, hot around the eyes and cheeks. Hopefully I'll be feeling a bit better tomorrow, although I've been like this for the past two days or so. Anyway, I'd better get on with my homework.