Here is why the French are ridiculous:
For the second week in a row, my Monday classes have been cancelled à cause de la grève. That means geography, history and grammar will have make-up days during what could have been extra vacation time. It also means that I don't have a clue as to when I'll have to make up our history exam over the French Revolution, Napoleon and the political regimes of that time period.
For three months now our building has been on strike. However, because I'm not in real French classes, the strike hasn't affected me until last week (since we're all foreigners, our exchange coordinators/directors have tried to keep our schedule as normal as possible). Two weeks ago, the students piled all the chairs into one room and turned over all the tables in pretty much every classroom of the humanities building where all of my classes are located. Can we say, "CHILDISH"? Seriously- it didn't change the fact that we IDF (Institut de Français) kids were going to have class- it just made it more annoying for those of us who had to flip the tables back over and find the guy with the key to the room with all of the chairs. Ugh. Everyday I walk into Faculté des Lettres (our building) and a bunch of Frenchies sitting at tables covered in poster board, flyers, coffee and pastries (of which Kelley and I partook one day very stealthily...) glare at me because they know I'm going to class during their so-called "cause". Whatever. I'm not French and je m'en fiche. I'm certainly not going to skip class when that was the major purpose of STUDYING abroad. I don't know how they're getting an education by skipping 3 months of classes. Surely it will affect their diploma???
Grrawr. This week, our classes have all been moved to a building that is about 15 minutes away from my dorm. Je déteste les français. I don't even know where my classes are tomorrow. I just have to keep checking for signs (we're lucky if they'll put one moderately-sized piece of paper on one door of our usual building).
Surely there is a more intelligent way to get your ideas to M. Sarkozy.
AND OH MY GOODNESS. Today one of my professors was trying to compare the French government to ours. She didn't know what she was talking about. And when I called her out about the way our Senate is elected (she said it was elected by the elite like the French senators who are chosen by a select group of governing entities), she wouldn't really admit that she was wrong. First she didn't believe me that they are elected by popular vote in the US (yeah, lady, since the 17th amendment...geez) and then she said (roughly translated), "Well, I just meant that there are members of the US government who aren't directly chosen by the people, like France. Do the people choose the president in the US?" To which I replied something about the electoral college and she said, "Yes, that's what I meant- our senators are chosen indirectly like your president." YEAH RIGHT. Just admit that you were wrong and that America trumps France's pathetic copycat government. She also talked about political symbols in France like their "drapeau tricolore," and when she asked us what the white color of their flag meant, I had a very difficult time resisting the urge to yell, "Surrender!" (luckily I couldn't think of the word in French- remise- anyway).
France sure has made me patriotic...
I almost kicked some German ass the other day. Last week in the same civilization class where the above incident took place, we were discussing labor conditions in France. Our professor asked each of us if the French worked more or fewer hours than salaried workers in our own countries. The French have 35-hour work weeks. America wins again. But when some German girl had the audacity to say, "I've heard that even though Americans work longer hours, they work slower, so they actually work less" (to which the professor could only clumsily state, "I don't know if that's true"), I really had to hold myself down. I might have made a Nazi joke to Kelley. But come on! She had two American girls sitting right behind her!
America is the best. End of story.