Saturday, November 17, 2007

November 13-16

On Tuesday nights I go to a bible study in French. It is called "Groupe des Disciples," and we are studying the New Testament, specifically Jesus' teachings to the disciples. This past Tuesday night's discussion on forgiveness was really good. Maybe it's because my French is improving and I'm understanding more. That is probably partially true, but I think also that I just had a lot to think about in regards to how it related to my own life. So forgiveness has been on my mind quite a bit this week. Forgiveness is very simple and very complex at the same time. It is something that I need to practice more in my own life.
Wednesday, I put my nose to the grindstone and caught up on a bunch of studying. It was beneficial and necessary, but not too exciting. This past week felt more like a normal week as a student, much more like ISU. Some of the novelty of being here is starting to wear off. Not that I don't like it, I'm just starting to feel more settled in and less like I'm on vacation.
Thursday I had a Thermodynamics test. The first test for this class didn't go so hot, but then again, that was only my fourth week of classes in a foreign language. I think this test definitely went much better. These tests actually don't count though, only the final exam. Thursday evening I met with some classmates for a crepes party because two of the guys in the group had birthdays last week. It was a lot of fun. We had crepes with ham and cheese, strawberry or blackberry jam, Nutella, or just plain sugar. We also played some Foosball (baby-foot). It was fun to see some different student housing arrangements, as well as interact with some of these people more. One of the girls in my class and I have begun to become pretty good friends, and it was good to talk to her about some of the difficulties of long distance relationships. This is something that she has experienced as well.
Friday morning, I met a woman for tea at her home. She is in charge of one of the international student groups that I'm in. The group is having a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, and as one of two students in the group from the US, I offered to make a pumpkin pie. I'm really excited about this, because I'm going to make it from real pumpkin! Anyway, I went to this Karin's house to borrow some pumpkin pie spice from her. It was really nice to visit her home to drink tea and chat. She has two small children, and it was really nice to be around them. I think it is the first time I've really interacted with kids since leaving Nebraska. Karin is from Northern Switzerland and therefore speaks Swiss-German, English, and then French. Her husband is from the US and speaks English and German. Karin's a pediatrician and she said that the latest research says that it's better to speak to children in just one language at a very young age, so the kids speak Swiss-German. I wasn't really sure what to say to the kids, since I don't speak the same language as they do, but at the ages of 3 years and 16 months, they don't do a whole lot of talking themselves.

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