Placement Exams are Tomorrow!, but this is really about Rugby

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I’m a little nervous about the placement exam. I really want to place well, which mostly means I don’t want to be in year 1 again. I’m sure I’ll at least place in year 2, but it’d fun to be in 3.

So, instead of focusing all my energy on reviewing for the exam, and reading the books I brought with me (don’t worry I being putting up reviews🙂 ). I’ve decided to get rid of the “Stickie” I have all over my desktop of things I want to write about. Since I have the time, and I like how cathartic writing is- I’ve been stressed, not mentally, but physically, every muscle hurts and I can’t seem to really sleep. I know I’ll adjust to my new home soon.

First Stickie: This is in reference to my NRJ Music Award post. I generated a list, a rather short one of some of the French/francophone artists I saw. One of these artists is actually from a commercial, but the commercial played while I was watching the Awards so…same thing🙂

  • Mika
  • Nolwenn Leroy : If I understood my host dad, she is from Brittany and the song she sang was in the local language, not French. He said she was like the country singers in the US, but French and a pop musician.
  • Shy’M : I actually knew of Shy’M before the Awards. She’s a pop singer, and pretty big in France.
  • Keen V
  • Christophe Maye
  • IRMA
  • M. Pokora
  • Corneille
  • Elise Tovati
  • Magic System: I think this is a rap group…not sure though. I only remember the image.

Of the course of the night I got hear my host mom sing “Sexy And I know It”…true story🙂 and I was dismayed to discovered that my host sister is very familiar with “Beiber-fever”. Luckily, she doesn’t like him either so we both got angry when he got a Award of Honor- basically for just showing up. That being said, no American artists- except one guy from LMFAO showed up. So, they had a lip-singer act out some clips from the featured songs. I was pretty insulted by this. I mean, it is an award show, and there has to be some political pressure for them to show up..oh! wait Shakira showed up, but she’s not American and spoke French or Spanish the whole night. I was embarrassed for America, not sure why exactly, but I was. It’s not like France is some “little-country.” I don’t know…

Besides this there were two other things I saw a that made me question, reflectively, America.

  • There was a music comedy/comedian(?).  It was about the French Revolution… I guess its still a very present realty for the French? I know it was important, but we barely even mention the Revolutionary War in America? Why not? Since we are so “Go America!” why don’t we constantly reference it? It is why we exist. I mean, its how we got our independence. I’ve only ever heard it mentioned in history textbooks…when I was in grade school.
  • In a parfume ad the mention of “sois excessive” / be excessive, was followed by an image of women wrapped in an American flag. Should I be angry about this? It struck me as a blatant statement, but a true one. If you want to be excessive, act like an American. We buy too much, we eat to much, we want everything bigger, because bigger equals better. Big cars, big houses, etc. Why do we think and act this way? I haven’t answered this question yet.

Stickies Number Two: This note started last Saturday, my first day with my family. Over lunch, my family kept speaking with me and being incredibly patient with my inability to comprehend what was going on. We talked about religion, weather, food. They then took me for a walk to show me how to get to the main area of centre-ville. My host sister made it a point to show me where the services for Yom Kippur and Pesach are held. The whole day is a blur because I was in this daze of “I don’t really know what your saying, but I get the gist.”🙂 lol Being tired is just this constant state of being… it’ll only get worse as I have more classes and things to do in French. yipee! ..seriously it’s exciting, and not.

In the afternoon, on Saturday, the game was on!…no, to all you Americans this does not mean football. Even better- RUGBY!!! Apparently Toulouse’s team is one of the best. (I have no way of validating this, so I’m just gonna agree. I mean they won the game…I’m pretty sure.🙂 ) I had never actually watched Rugby before. I mean I knew of it, and I knew it was a full contact sport…but I mean this was ridiculous. All I remember thinking was a)if they wore helmets they wouldn’t be able to gather like they do to start-off the ball [forgive the lack of technical terms, I have no idea what was going on…it looked like they needed to put the ball back into play. So they gathered over a line/cross area and would lock arms and bodies Spartan style and then the teams, literally head to head, appeared to be using brute force to push the other one. Somehow a ball got into the middle of this interlacing pile, and I don’t know what they did with the ball. It was impossible to see.] and b) I kept thinking”How is this French? This is so machismo!” I mean you sort of expect this sterotypical Frenchguy attitude, you know the one with the coffee, cigarette, likes to read and think but not get kicked in the head…but no!! They made sure to get a picture of the guy getting his nose kicked in…complete with the sickening amount of blood that gushed from his face. And then of course the slow motion kick(? it was more like the side of this guy’s head got ran into and then stomped on)..this guy had to have a severe concussion and neck damage. ITS AWESOME!!!!🙂 I loved it. What was even cooler was that there is this local Irish Pub that is owned by a former Rugby player so he has an outdoor area that he fixes with a TV and it was over flowing with guys drinking beer and watching the game. How refreshing… Frenchmen have machismo too. It’s nice when you realize that stereotypes aren’t entirely true. It is true that Frenchmen have more style sense, but this apparently does not effect their ability to adore violent sports. I need to find out more about this sport.

2 responses »

  1. a) On the (our) Revolution: some very inconvenient truths about it. You DO hear people arguing over the ‘Founding Fathers’ and their intentions for the Constitution all the time, so that is certainly a constant presence. In France, the core beliefs of the Revolution remain the actual state motto – despite multiple governmental transformations in the last 200+ years.

    b) Americans do generally have those Live Large tendencies – but the reference sounds more like Sarah Palin, or stereotypical Texas. That’s an easy one to make a broad label out of. Whether we’re all prone to it is another matter, and probably requires a subtler critique – both of US and French cultural expectations.

    c) Make sure your abroad-insurance covers violent sports.😉

  2. Pingback: Busy Weekend!!! « culturalrelativity

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