Slow Movement Learning: a Student Writes from Week One of The Village!

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“To be feared or to be loved?”  That was the quote in my Mass Comm class today. (Of course the only response I could think of to that was Michael Scott saying, “I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”) While I got more of a kick out of it than my professor, it was still a nice way to start a class. It’s so hard to believe that our first week of classes is almost over! Even with all the homework, I feel like I’ve already learned so much. Being in France while studying French and everything else we’re doing makes all the difference.  So does really good coffee, though it doesn’t come in to-go cups, which seems bizarre to us, but I’ve grown to accept it. The French aren’t worried about time, especially here in the Loire Valley. Life is a lot slower paced, and the idea of rushing out the door instead of sitting and chatting over espresso is foreign to them. It’s made us all slow down an learn to enjoy whatever we’re doing in the moment instead of thinking about what’s next.

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We’re finally starting to blend in! Well, maybe not all the way blended, but we can communicate! (Barely). We can successfully order out breakfast and coffee, and the sweet old man recognizes us now at Cafe Brazza. We can grocery shop and carry on (short) conversations with Francois, the local grocer. He is the kindest person I have ever met. He speaks a little English and is so, so helpful while browsing the aisles. He, along with Julien the owner of the cafe, help us practice our French. Their eagerness to teach and assist us all is so endearing, and I can already see how you might have to drag me home in three months because I won’t want to leave this perfect town.

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This weekend we’re heading into Tours to look at several chateaux and do some shopping (a week with no hairdryers, curlers, or straightener is too long for these princesses with whom I’m sharing our wonderful and historic home. Stay tuned. I know in town of over 30,000 college students, Tours will likely be quite an adventure.

Kyle S. V13

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