I haven't blogged in a while,

sorry about that. It’s mostly because I have nothing cohesive to say. So here are just a few thoughts:

1) Some of the things the CNED profs correct me on in theme (so, in English) are adorable and wrong. Not so much wrong as unnecessary. Adverb placement where someone who’s read more in English would realize you can play with it more in certain instances. Eliminated pronouns where, actually, yes that’s fine. Turns of phrase that they don’t like because I guess they just haven’t seen enough English to realize that they’re possible and not that uncommon. (I’d be happy to give examples if anyone’s interested.) It’s weird to me because I know these are professors who’ve read lots of literature and literary criticism and translation. Next time I send in a theme I’m sending in a note that I’m a native English speaker. Unfortunately I can’t do that the day of the concours—I have to hope the actual jury is just a little more with it.

Also, one funny thing about using American English: it’s perfectly acceptable, but often the comment is added (not just by the CNED profs), “Be careful to be consistent.” Am 100% sure that comment doesn’t come up in the opposite instance, which is dumb, because I’m always consistent! My attitude is to take no risks and thus use no Britishisms.

2) Casino Géant > Monoprix. Like, 10x. I don’t know what I’ve been doing shopping at Monoprix all this time. Géant is on the way back from work and I’ve started shopping there and there’s soooo much more space and soooo much shorter lines and soooo many better chances to get SNCF S’miles for buying a certain toilet paper (40 s’miles!!!) or yogurt (more like 10). I’d been living in this horrible Monoprix world with no idea of what a better Géant world there was to be had.

3) Speaking of worlds, I just read Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, which just came out as a movie (also written by Ishiguro). Highly, highly recommend. Understated and sad with a little tinge of horror hidden behind the scenes and underplayed. I picked it out on my Kindle because for the concours I’ve been trying to brush up on English-language authors that I know very little about but find interesting. I thought about getting Remains of the Day but then saw that this was available and am so happy I did. It’s a super fast read. I’m sure the movie won’t come here so I’ll have to rent it when I’m home for Christmas. Next I got Paul Auster’s Timbuktu which also looks pretty sad. (Yay for my Kindle.)

4) Am going to Paris tomorrow very, very quickly (like, 24 hours) to get fingerprints done from the woman at the American Aid Society for my FBI background check which might be required for the concours, might not, but I’m taking no chances. So I’m covoituring tomorrow afternoon up to Paris to see ex-students A and C, then have my rendez-vous Monday at noon, and afterwards see Sarah K. and Lauren newly in Paris for the year. Then I catch my train back at 7:45. I have work to get done Tuesday afternoon in preparation for my first second-year class of the year on Wednesday. It’s gonna be fun, we’re going to do the Texas project.


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