Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Day in the Life of Vicki- An American turned French Teenager

A great day in the French school system always starts with a healthy breakfast consisting of chocolate special K with a very full glass of milk on the side.
That is how I start out almost every school day, except for the occasional nutella slabbed brioche.  Since my school day is very long, I need to eat a good breakfast to keep me going until either noon or one when I eat lunch.
In fact, every school day for me is different, but all Mondays are the same, all Tuesdays etc.  So here is my schedule for every week, I start school every day at 8 am.

8h- Latin
11h-History and Geography
14h-History and Geography
16h-18h- French

11h-Math Spé
14h-SES (Sciences Economics and Sociology)
15h-History and Geography
16h-18h-Arts Plastiques (Art class)

8h-History and Geography


9h-Math Spé
11h-13h-TPE (a group project that we present in March)
14h-15:30- SVT (Sciences of Life and Earth)
16h-18h- Phys Ed

Yes, my school days are very long, except for Wednesdays, but I will get to that .  Now that it is Daylight Savings time, it gets dark around five thirty so I get to walk home in the dark!  It is not a big deal though because I am almost always with Adélie or one of my other friends.  Also, I take karate on Mondays, so I go straight to my friend Mélanie's house with Natacha after school.

My loft
The fall I fear every morning from my loft
I am sure that you are all curious as to what the food is like at school.  Everyone eats at the "cantine". Youhave a lunch card and you zing it once you get in line. There is something different every day, but you get an unlimited supply of bread, then a yogurt or fruit and cheese and sometimes a tart or pie.  Then a small salad or cold veggie.  The main course is not always the best, but I would much rather eat that than the freezer stuff they serve at my high school in the USA.  It consists of some kind of meat or fish and veggies.

Another curiosity is études, it essentially translates to study hall.  But you are not assigned to a classroom, you can do what you want because it is a free hour.  There are rooms for études, simple classrooms where you can work or listen to music or play cards.  Most of the time, I have études at the same time as my class so we go into the études classrooms and work together on homework or just talk.
The family room/tv room

Now the most interesting of days that you will find in France, Wednesdays.  I have class until noon and then Adélie and I go home to eat lunch.  It has become a tradition on Wednesdays to eat Ramen, there are so many different flavors and watch the Simpson until 13:45.  We have saxophone lessons at the Scart-à-B from 14-15:15, so we have to eat before we leave. After the sax lessons, Anne picks us up and we go grocery shopping.  This takes between an hour and two hours, there is a lot to buy!  My favorite part of the grocery shopping is picking the chocolate.  They have a full aisle of it!  Chocolate is very important to the French, and there are so many different kinds and flavors that it takes me fifteen minutes just to look at them all.

The dining room and open space!
Yogurt is also a very important part of teh every day life of the French.  I am talking not just fruity yogurt, but chocolate, caramel and pistachio yogurt!  We eat it as a dessert after dinner very often!  My favorite yogurt is Caramel au beurre salé. Yum!

Benoit's car
Another thing that is a huge part of my every day life here is milk.  We could drink two liters a day if we wanted to.  We drink a lot of milk at breakfast and again at goutez when we get home fromp school.  To add onto it, the milk is amazing!  My favorite use of milk is by far using it to dip brioche into!

Anne's car
As for the normal French dinner, there isn't exactly an average main course.  We eat something different every night, so it could be sausages with potatoes and onions or a HUGE pumpkin filled with bread and cheese.  We actually had taht the other night, I have pictures, no lie.  the pumpkin was so big that we invited people over to help eat it, but even with eleven of us, we barely made a dent in the monster.

The HUGE pumpkin
After the course, we usually take cheese, it consists of multiple types.  My favorite is the driest possible goat cheese and Reblochon.  After the cheese, which we clearly eat with amazing French bread, we take dessert which could be a couple of different things.  It could either be a piece of fruit or grapes, a pie or cake that Anne made, or yogurt.  It really depends on what kind of mood you are in and sometimes you take a little bit of everything because you just can't decide!

My room
As I said before, I continue to play the saxophone here and I take part in an town orchestra called the "Harmonie".  The band has "répétitions" on Friday nights from eight thirty to ten thirty and sectionals on Saturday afternoons.  I mentioned in a previous post that the Harmonie is open to everyone from all ages, from 10 to 70.  The band is really fun and everybody is extremely nice and friendly.  I also have to mention that our band conductor is the strict opposite of Mr. Lordan, her name is Delphine and she is always telling jokes, SMILING (what a concept!!) and laughing with us.  There are always little concerts or festivals that we play at, and of course November 11th, which of course is a huge day in France.  The Harmonie played at three different ceremonies for three different towns that day, each where a very similar speech was given.

Now onto my house here in Bonneville!  The house really is a normal house, I have a bedroom there is a living room and a kitchen and all that.  I am not really quite sure what else to say by way of the house.  The garden is huge and they grow at least ten different kinds of veggies, including that HUGE pumpkin that we ate and enormous zuchini also. 
The front of the house
Have I also mentioned that we have a cat here? They got him a couple of days before they got me, so we are adapting together and sharing the same experience, ok not really but anyways... He is very energetic and il fait beaucoup de betises.  It is weird not having to worry about taking the pup out or feeding her or anything.  I get to feed the cat instead!!

I hope that you all enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or requests do not hesitate to comment, I am most likely over 3,000 miles away so I cannot bite :)

Thanks for reading and tune in next time!



  1. Hey Victoria! The pumpkin dish looks delicious! I think YOU should come home and I'll go to the 2nd semester of high school for you and eat with the Denizot's every night. :-) We miss you and glad to see that all is going well - the little things about living in another place are so interesting. Camille thinks that you are becoming a cat lover though, you had better be careful! Love, Mom

  2. Hi Victoria,
    So glad you had another post! Sounds like you are having an amazing time...the food sounds so yummy. How can you go wrong with cheese and chocolate?! You better not go over to the dark side and become a cat lover!!! Love all your pictures too. Enjoy and keep posting :) Cathy

  3. How did you get the picture of your room from up high? Is there another ladder leading to a higher level?

    Everything looks fantastic... and sounds like fun. Mmmmm, chocolate!

    Thanks for filling in the mental picture with a set of photographs.


  4. you have a loft and a bed!
    lucky you
    i wouldnt want to go down those stairs ever because it was already hard to climb down from the top bunk
    i also cleaned my room!
    we took the top bunk down and now the room looks like 10x bigger
    youll see when you get back

    your brother Zack

    *sigh* Your life looks so cool. Like I wish I were you, really.

    I love you so much! <3

    Wait like your room is so cool. haha your "loft." I can't believe that pumpkin was so big, and you ATE it. That's so awesome! I wish that I could eat chocolate every morning... so. jealous. WAIT. You have to tell me - in France do they have this weird dark chocolate/milk chocolate nutella-looking spread? I found that in Poland and it's not in America. Anywhere. LOL. You still play the saxophone, that's really amazing that you get to continue that.

    :( Okay did I mention before that I sent you an email on your birthday and it got sent right back? and then I cried a lot. OMG. It's Rachel's birthday this week, and we're having a party and I really wish that you were here and coming and I miss your face. And the rest of you, too XD

    I have to run to SAT Class now (fun, right?) but \ I'm gonna check this thing every day and pine for my lost friend :'( REMEMBER THAT PEOPLE MISS YOU IN AMERICA. Specifically, New York. More Specifically, Manhasset. More spcecifically, Kiki.

    This is Kiki, by the way. I'm not sure if you can tell lol. Do you even remember me? Hahaha of course you do! I love you a lot <3

    Love, KIKI <3