With President Chirac's proposed changes to the CPE law, and the unions still not backing down until they get exactly what they want, we may have week 4 of no classes this Wednesday (they're beginning to talk of tutorials for us international students). The proposed changes: the contract is only for 1 year, and employers have to tell employees why they are getting fired. Last night we saw a group of protesters blockading cars from driving down the road - it's starting to affect more than just university students now.
Having no classes makes it hard to even get in an academic mindset, honestly. Wednesday night, I went to a bioethics lecture on the value of suffering. To my dismay and surprise, I found it very hard to follow along after being out of classes for so long. I'm concerned that my academic French listening skills are falling by the wayside here. However, it did prompt a very interesting discussion between Lisa and I afterwards - we succeeded in sticking to French the entire time, good for us! Speaking of um, speaking (teehee), I gave directions to a couple of lost strangers in French the other day! successfully! without them asking me, "you are English?" yay! So...gold star for me?
The Story of How I Came Up With My Thesis Topic
So there's an international noir festival here this weekend: film noir, detective lit, anything else that merits the name noir. Freaking out about this since I absolutely loved the film noir class I took a couple years ago, I decided to check it out. On my way, I encountered a African dance ensemble performance in Place des Terreaux, but that's neither here nor there, that's just awesome :D Today they were having a book fair with lots of French noir novelists and even some cartoonists. I stopped to watch that for awhile because the graphic novelists were signing their books with full-page caricatures of each person! If I were a comic book fan I would have been all for getting that but I'm not :P Browsing around a bit, it dawned on me. If I was looking for books to do my French thesis for next year on, this was the perfect place! Where else would I get this opportunity?? I noticed that a lot of the books had some sort of "voyage" in them - so picking this as my central theme, I picked up 4 novels (Les Ombres mortes, Arret d'urgence, Le Train vert-de-gris, et Un Voyageur solitaire est le diable), 2 of which were signed by the authors ! One of the books even takes place on a train departing from Lyon. So excited about this! I've never had any books signed before!! And I can't wait to start reading the books and define a more specific direction for my thesis. This is great. I would never be able to do something like this at UVA, they certainly don't offer any classes like this in the French department! I just have to talk to a faculty member now and see how to make it feasible. But this is a step in the right direction :D
Also, a little shout-out for the Pierre de Bethmann sextet. They put on an incredible jazz concert tonight at the Opera de Lyon Amphi-Jazz! Definitely more of a modern jazz sound, probably the best one I've heard yet. It was just so richly layered and evocative - especially thanks to the chanteuse whose voice was more of an instrument than a voice! I really liked the sound of that fender rhodes (electric piano). also with alto sax, tenor sax, bass, drums, guitar. I'm lucky I got to see it - I got there just in time and snapped up a ticket from someone who needed to get rid of one, otherwise it was sold out, and with good reason!
Today's ponderings: How would you describe a color without using any visual words whatsoever? How would you describe a visual world entirely by using sound? Is music supposed to represent another sense such as vision or emotion, act as a metaphor, or is it to be created and appreciated on its own merit? (Best answer gets a gold star? and a hug? and some crepes?)
Gourmet stylings of the week: Asian food. The Asian market is like crazy ridiculous with all sorts of stuff I have never seen in my life, so now I have to try it :D So you know when someone makes you try a food, but then you can't ever find it in stores and it drives you nuts cause it was that good? Well that was me and lemongrass shrimp thai ramen in the 12th grade. And what do you know, they sell it here in France. so w00tOMGITOTALLYBOUGHTSOMEANDRANHOMEANDMADEIT.