Archive for the ‘school’ Category

When I was 7

December 14, 2010

I wrote this story:

Late one sunny hot afternoon, there was a cowboy riding his old brown horse.  The cowboy and his old brown horse spied a small pond.  While they were on their way to the small pond, the old brown horse ran into a green prickly cactus.  The green prickly cactus hurt the old brown horse so, so bad that it lifted it’s hind end so fast it tossed the cowboy all the way to Oklahoma!

(I think that we can forgive me for not yet knowing the difference between “its” and “it’s” at such a tender age…)


Beaucoup de parchemin pour ne rien dire

November 5, 2010

I got a letter from my university this week to let me know that because I graduated, I’m no longer enrolled as a student…

Un petit joyau du passé

August 14, 2010

I’ve been going through all my belongings here and I’ve found a few little gems… like a journal I kept in French for one of my classes 8 years ago, before I ever lived or studied abroad.

I didn’t have any reference books on hand to help out while I was writing it, hence the disclaimer inside the front cover (exactly as it appears in the original):

AVERTISSEMENT:  L’auteur de ce journal intime n’avait pas de dictionnaire quand elle était en train de l’écrire.  Ainsi, il faut attendre qu’il se trouve beaucoup plus d’erreurs de grammaire et d’orthographe que d’habitude dans son travail écrit.  Lisez avec caution…

I had a bit of a creepy bathroom experience in our hostel in Paris (for those who don’t know, Mimi Geignarde is the French name for Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter series):

jeudi, 23 janvier 2003

Je suis vraiment convaincue qu’il y a un esprit qui hante les toilettes.  Une petite Mimi Geignarde, si vous voulez.  Quand j’y entre, je ferme la porte, et elle se rouvre brusquement.  La porte ne veut pas être fermée à clé.  Il y a toujours de l’eau par terre.  (Ou bien, j’espère que c’est de l’eau et pas un homme ivre qui a raté son tir!)

Les lumières s’éteignent tout seul.  Quand je veux sortir, la porte ne veut pas être defermée à clé.  Un jour, il m’a fallu cinq minutes pour y sortir.  Cinq bonnes minutes!  Ce n’est pas normale, ça… Et aujourd’hui, j’ai ouvert la porte pour sortir, et il y avait quatre hommes français là qui me regardaient et qui ne voulaient pas me laisser sortir.  J’ai peur d’aller aux toilettes, maintenant…


July 19, 2010

So.  I totally rocked my defense.  My presentation fell together nicely and was right on target.  No computer mishaps.  Cool as a cucumber.  Just some warm weather and sweat running down my back.

My thesis adviser put my translation on par with that of  some of his favorite contemporary fiction authors, and he complimented my academic prose, too.  He picked out one sentence from my commentary and read it out loud to everyone because, according to him, it was the only awkward sentence in the entire 92-page thesis.

I knew I’d be getting a good grade, but I didn’t expect a 5.9!  I’m really pleased. 🙂

Don’t jump!

July 18, 2010

My thesis defense is almost here — 5:30 tomorrow evening.  I spent today polishing my presentation and getting it the correct length.  I’ll probably run through it one more time tomorrow just to be 100% comfortable with it, and then it will be over!

From the cathedral in Bern:

Don’t jump!  There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

It’s official — we’re moving back to the US

June 29, 2010

I finally got a health insurance policy in the States — I’m not terribly thrilled about it, as the monthly premium is 7 times my Swiss premium, the deductible is 12 times my Swiss deductible, and I get about 20% less coverage than what’s provided by my Swiss plan — but I don’t really have a choice about going back because the family needs the income my mom could earn, and she can’t work legally in Switzerland.

Mom is very happy to be going back… I’m not sure whether she’s happiest about seeing her husband, seeing her dogs, having a clean kitchen or having a bathroom to herself.  Or not having to pay to do laundry at a certain time each week.

I, on the other hand, am much less happy about going back.  I’m sad about giving up my job.  I’m sad about moving far from my friends.  I’m nervous about giving up the great network of doctors that I’ve built up here.  Plus I just plain like the Geneva way of life… in my heart, I feel like I’m Genevan.  I love it here.

I’ll be defending my thesis and getting my MA on July 19th.  I finished all the preparations for that today, so now I’m just waiting for the days to go by so the presentation can hurry up and be over with.

I’m not planning on sitting on my butt and doing nothing once I get back Stateside, though.  I’ve found a local synagogue that looks great on paper — Conservative, slightly larger than my current synagogue, lots of adult education classes, a conversion class that starts in October, and a large Jewish library.  I haven’t seen photos of the congregation, but I’m hoping they’ll have a nice selection of young men in attendance — and it wouldn’t hurt if they were cute.

The state of my health doesn’t really let me hold down a steady desk job, but I’ll be looking for flexible freelance work that will allow me to take off time for health problems when I need to.  I’m looking to take the American Translators Association’s certification exams in French and Spanish, and I’ll be registering with the local school district to substitute teach French and Spanish.  I’m also thinking about volunteering to guest lecture on Swiss history/culture/civics and organizing private tutoring sessions, conversation classes, and classes for SAT II/AP test prep.

I’m also going to be taking some test drives around the neighborhood to see whether or not the heart in the middle of my right eye messes up my vision too much.  If it doesn’t, I might be in the market to buy a used car — let’s face it, three working adults sharing one car just doesn’t work well.

I think I’ve pretty much given my mom the all-around Geneva experience this past year… she’s eaten fondue, raclette and fried Lake Geneva perch (and sampled Swiss wine).  She’s been in the hospital (both as a patient and as a visitor), dealt with Swisscom and had a run-in with the little green TPG men.  We’ve been on a boat ride in the lake, eaten a picnic dinner at Bains des Pâquis, and watched the musical fireworks over the lake during the Fêtes de Genève.  She’s been all over Old Town, seen the Reformation Monument, and visited the cathedral and the Reformation museum.  She’s been to concerts in Victoria Hall and the cathedral, and outdoors during the Fête de la Musique.  She’s seen the Jet d’Eau, the Horloge Fleurie and the rose gardens on the rive gauche.  She even got to pet the organ grinder’s cat.  The only things she hasn’t done yet are the UN and the Escalade historical reenactments… there’s nothing I can do about Escalade (she did get to have a marmite with marzipan candies — and she loved the marzipan), but she will be visiting the UN before we leave.

As for me, I’m making a list of all the things I want to eat when we get back… I have to remember to space things out and not gorge myself all at once!  First stop: Dunkin’ Donuts at Newark airport…

Go me!

January 26, 2010

I’m finally back to making progress on my thesis.  This week I made the PowerPoint presentation for my defense, and now all I have to do is double-check all the page numbers in my citations and write a one-page conclusion.  Not bad for someone who’s stuck at home with cancer…

There’s something wrong with this

November 23, 2009

First I convince the doctor to give me a medical certificate allowing me to work (from home, don’t worry!), but my boss doesn’t want me to.  (To be fair, we don’t have much of the at-home variety of work right now, but I’m bored!  I need something to do!)

Then I go to school, only to find out that while I missed the last three weeks of class due to being in the hospital, this week and next week (when I can actually come to class) we have a bit of a vacation.  Bad timing.

Vowel soup

October 19, 2009

Okay, y’all, I am lost in a Hebrew vowel haze here.  We spent two hours today going over variable and invariable vowels and what to do when a vowel is in an open or closed and stressed or unstressed or pre-tonal syllable (and I don’t even know if those are the right terms in English because we did it all in French).

I’ll get it.  I will.  I’m just going to have to sit down and study it for awhile so that it sinks in.

Who knew that vowels could be so complicated???

Alphabetical order

October 17, 2009

The study bug bit me today, and I decided that it would be a great idea to compile a vocabulary list of all the words we’ve come across in Hebrew class so far.  The problem is that during the first week or two of class, I was so busy trying to decipher the professor’s handwriting (because he writes in cursive instead of square script) that I didn’t have time to write down the meanings of all the words.

Enter the handy dictionary in the back of my textbook.  This dictionary lets you look up a word spelled out with all the consonants instead of looking up a word based on its roots (which is a good thing, since I don’t know how to figure out the roots of a given word yet).

The only problem is that the dictionary is in alphabetical order.  In Hebrew.  And while I know how to write down all the letters in order, if you say “yod” and “ayin” to me, I have to think for awhile before I can tell you which comes first in the alphabet.

I have gotten a lot of practice singing the alphabet song today…