Packing Up

Sheila and I were up at our usual Tuesday time, then off to Sweet Briar we went. I thought about sending my Colissimo at the same post office that I bought the package itself at, but considering I knew the thing was around six kilos, I figured it would be a form of suicide to try to carry that thing all through Saint Lazare, so I thought better of it. I made the decision to take it to the post office near our place after Atelier today. We ran into Joan on our way to Sweet Briar, and she’d nearly lost her voice. It looks like she caught Sheila’s cold! Rouge had asked me to tell Mme. Grée that she’d be missing a tutoring session today because of how sick she was too… I still have no idea how I haven’t managed to catch it yet… Sheila and I bought apples at the vending machines downstairs, then headed up to the Sweet Briar library to wait for our classes to start. I made my copies of my set designs, and I’ll have to copy over some of the pencil lines, but it’s a small price to pay to not have to keep erasing things all over the place. Kyle was in the office when we were there, so he chatted with us for a bit. So far, Kyle and I are the only ones that haven’t fallen prey to our own Typhoid Mary…

What’s the difference between “It depends on you” and “It’s going to rain?” In English, there’s no distinction between the two kinds of “it” but there’s a difference in French. Remember that the phrase for “to depend on” is dependre de, so the first sentence should be Ça dépend de toi. The second phrase should be Il va pleuvoir. So one kind of “it” is il, and the other is ça, but how do you know when to use one versus the other? Keep this little trick in mind, ça replaces “cette chose” (that thing) and il doesn’t replace anything since it’s impersonal. How would you say “it interests me?” Ça m’interesse. Why? That thing interests me! “It’s important to understand the situation?” Il est important de comprendre la situation. Why il? Because the “it” is impersonal in this case! Last one: “You have to understand the situation. It’s important.” Tu dois comprendre la situation. C’est important. Why ça (c’ in this case)? Because “that thing” is important. Next lesson: How would you say “I took the right bus in the wrong direction.” You’re dealing with the right vs. wrong thing here, and the French equivalent to that is le bon vs. le mauvais. The correct translation here is J’ai pris le bon bus dans la mauvaise direction. Last lesson for the day: We had three sentences two translate that all dealt with the same basic verb in three different uses. “The prisoner escaped from the jail.” “The prisoner escaped death.” “The prisoner escaped the policeman.” For the first phrase, we’re using the phrase s’échapper de quelque part (to escape from somewhere). That phrase should read Le prisonnier/détenu s’est échappé de la prison. If you’re going to replace de la prison with a pronoun, it’d be Le prisonnier s’en est échappé. The second phrase changes in structure a little bit, now we need to use échapper à quelque chose (to escape from something). This sentence should look like Le prisonnier a échappé à la mort. To replace à la mort with a pronoun, you’d use y and the sentence would be Le prisonnier y a échappé. The last sentence looks pretty similar to our second one, the structure is échapper à quelqu’un (to escape from someone) this time. It should look like Le prisonnier a échappé au policier/flic. For a pronoun… it’d be Le prisonnier lui a échappé.

I headed home, picked up my package (all six kilos of it) and walked the kilometer or so to the nearest post office. Mailing the package was painless. I had already filled out the paperwork for it (even though it wasn’t totally complete, I didn’t need to have all of it filled out), so the postal worker slapped on the label, handed me a receipt and sent me on my way. Since I paid for the packaging itself, I didn’t need to pay this time to have the package actually sent. Back home I went, and walking home was much easier… Madame was going to take Josephine to the train station, and she wasn’t sure when she was going to be home, so she showed me what dinner was supposed to be so I could make it myself when Sheila got home: steak haché that I’d have to pan-fry myself, a salad, and mashed potatoes that needed to be heated in the microwave. I Skyped my big sister to catch up with her a bit after that. Sheila came home as Madame and Josephine were leaving. We ate around eight. Oddly enough, I over-cooked the steak haché by French standards, but it was under-cooked by American ones. Madame made it home while we were on our salad course, so she ate with us. We talked a bit about how we’re only about 16 days from going home. We mentioned that our families were happy to have us back, and I mentioned that my boyfriend has been counting the days for a while. Madame asked how long we’d been together, she was a little surprised to hear three years. That’s when the marriage discussion came up. She got married when she was 24, her mother got married when she was 20. I guess time will tell with me… I got a chance to Skype my boyfriend after dinner, he’s still counting down the days until he can see me in person…

Le génie n’est que l’enfance retrouvée à volonté. -Baudelaire. “L’artiste, homme du monde, homme des foules et enfant.”

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