My first class at Polytechnique was on Wednesday and I am happy to report that it involved a lot of pictures (yes, they were of fluid flowing around different objects, but still). The professor gave the lecture in English where we promptly went through everything I know about fluids and then some, and then the recitation section right afterwards (where we work out problems and such) was in French. Class went okay minus the part where we had a random 20 minute break in the middle of the French part of class so I hung out with some others and got a snack and such, and came back to find that most of the rest of the class had worked out the problem the professor allegedly told them to do. I suppose I missed that one.
For lunch, I ate with one of my classmates and his friends, the first time I’ve really hung out with students from Polytechnique (because otherwise it’s been mostly fellow exchange students). It’s definitely much different than talking in French with other exchange students because it’s much (much much) faster and they all talk at once and it’s incredibly hard to both keep up and add to the conversation. I was mostly following, but sometimes one of the guys would turn and ask me something directly and one time I couldn’t tell whether he said (in English) “Do you have a dress?” or “You’re such a mess!” or “What did he confess?” or “Did you get the rest?” or “I’m already stressed” and I imagine it’s something completely different because I just nodded and smiled and moved on. Classic foreigner move.
One of the Polytechnic students took me on a tour of the student part of campus after lunch, which was actually super interesting. They have a pretty long hallway extending from either side of a central lounge/bar where different clubs have rooms. There were rooms for everything from recording music to reading comic books to playing arcade games to an entire club dedicated to playing Gameboy Color (can you tell the female percentage is only 17% ?!). It’s always nice being shown around by a local.
Also Wednesday was my last first day of school ever (hopefully)! I would say it’s bittersweet, but really I’m just super excited to be (almost) done.