Becoming a Professor

There’s still construction going on near our place. I remember hearing some really loud drilling while I was sleeping and thinking “I wonder if it’ll stop and I can go back to sleep…” and then I apparently fell asleep again. Sheila and I got up at 10:30 to do some laundry and have breakfast. She’s starting to come down with something that looks like a cold, so I’ll inevitably have it by the end of the week. I got ready for my class, then headed out after I had the other half of last night’s galette du sarrasin for lunch. I’m noticing that about a third of the class always seems to be missing all of the sudden…

Ella had the grading papers for all three of us, so she gave them to Professor Bruhnes. He filled them out in front of us, chatting with us as he gave us our grades, averaging all of us an 18/20 in the class (he gave us grades on written work which we never had, and an exposé or an oral presentation, I got a 19.5 on the written work, and a 16.5 on the exposé). In the French grading scale, that’s not a B+ (as it would be in the American scale). That’s a grade of “Professor.” In other words, that’s an A+++. In reality, we weren’t supposed to know what we got in the class. I think he knew that. He went a step further and told the entire class our exact grades just to explain how hard it was to do well. He then joked that we would no longer show up to class since he’d already given us our grades. This certainly won’t be the case for me, I still want to perfect my Molière monologue. Speaking of which… Louis (le mec who stole my monologue earlier in the semester) has decided to inadvertently invade my life a little further. He’s whipped out a third piece for the class, and of all things, it’s the opening scene of Le Malade imaginaire. It was actually really good to see Professor Bruhnes work with him a bit on the piece, it gave me a lot of ideas on how to direct the person I will eventually cast as Argan in my own production of the piece. A handful of other people did another go around with their own pieces, but we got out a little early again. A French woman asked me for directions on my way home, so I was able to help her out… in French… and I don’t think she could tell I was an American! Score one for me… I got to Skype my boyfriend once I got home, so that was a treat. He’s planning some kind of Christmas/birthday present/I’m so happy you’re home date for when I come home. I’m definitely excited about that, and it gives me one less reason to miss my flight home, I guess…

We had the tomato-mozzarella salad for entrée tonight, followed by steak haché and mashed potatoes. I noticed a wonderful added taste to the potatoes… “L’épice dedans… c’est noix de muscade?” (The spice in [the potatoes]… it’s nutmeg?) Nailed it. Not that Madame needed to be “caught,” but I caught her. Sheila said she didn’t notice it. Madame remembered that I did a lot of cooking at home, I said that was why I noticed it. Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices to “hide” in things. I find it’s a good spice to add to things to make people go, “That’s delightful, and I don’t know why.” I told Madame that I’ve been known to put it in cakes (that she was surprised at, apparently that’s not something the French put it in) and white sauces like béchamel. She remembered that béchamel requires flour, and asked how I made it. I told her I used one of my special gluten-free flour mixes. As she was cleaning up the dishes, she asked a really bizarre question, and originally thought that Sheila and I didn’t understand how the verb she used was supposed to be conjugated. “Vous lisez?” What the…? Do we read? “Lire?” “Oui… Quand j’ai du temps…” (Yes… when I have the time…) Sheila has a Kindle, so she arguably reads more than I do. Madame and I are on the same page (pun slightly intended), we both see the practicality of a Kindle and other tablet readers, but we both prefer actually holding a book, turning the pages, and jotting little notes in the margins.

I need to do some line memorizing for Wednesday’s class. I also need to do a little shopping tomorrow at the Sephora near Sweet Briar, and I have to do my Atelier homework, but I usually like doing that right before the class actually happens as a kind of review. I managed to get three costume designs done after I published my blog last night, so I was pretty pleased with myself… I’m well on my way to getting this project out of the way, and finishing up my studies. Considering I’ve already been given a final grade in one of my classes…

L’innocence enfin n’a rien à redouter. -Racine. Phèdre

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