So I got a facebook message from Mary DeHaan today asking what I love the most about Paris, and it struck me that I really hadn't had to put it down in words yet.....so here was my answer:
[and thanks, Mrs. D, for giving me good reason to sit down and think about it!]
"It really is the language, as much as I gripe haha. Just the feeling of being more cultured than most people get the opportunity to be; it's the mundane things like getting around, ordering food, asking for directions, and hanging out with french kids all in a different language that have become the hardest thing I've ever had to do and yet so completely satisfying! I find myself thinking, 'wow Sarah, you're having a conversation in French, and you understand pretty much everything that's going on...and you've only been here three weeks.'
THAT'S what I love the most ;] "
I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with French; what I do know is that I feel really passionately about knowing more than one language and have always felt that it's a big stain on America's reputation that we don't start language classes at a younger age. Every European I've spoken with here started learning English in grammar school, and every time it's made me so jealous. I understand that giving up direct translation and beginning to think/dream/eat in another language is a daunting process, and I often don't try as hard as I should. But the rumors are certainly true: if one is immersed in another language for long enough, one starts to pick up language quirks without realizing it, like listening to a new song on repeat through headphones and being able to sing along the next time you here it in a restaurant. Sure it's more than that, but I've still had reliable sources tell me French music and film are some of the best learning tools. I looked into possibly double majoring in French today, although I'm pretty sure I wouldn't graduate on time. We'll see, something to pray about I suppose...in the mean time I've got some Frenchies to help me with what you don't learn at University: slaaang.
[New music obsession with a similar mood]