Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yes, You Do

I broke the zipper on my favorite pair of jeans. I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this.

Tomorrow marks my third month here. Every completion of a month comes with a victorious feeling, yet a bittersweet one all the same. I've been considerably proud of myself, as I have yet to have a problem with homesickness. Granted, I do sometimes look forward to doing certain things again in America, but nothing that makes me want to jump on a plane within the next five minutes. I've predicted that one of two things will occur:

     1. I will continue throughout the rest of the year without experiencing a bad case of homesickness.

     2. I'm subconsciously shoving any sadness I have to the deepest corners of my mind. One day, an evil imaginary creature will decide it's time to organize my mind, and he'll drag out every single piece of sadness. His organization methods will cause an incredible, outrageously long-lasting breakdown. 

I'm hoping the first one is the winner, but I have been noticing that I'm a very subconscious person. I've found that I'm oblivious to the majority of the things I do. Yesterday's walk to school alone consisted of two subconscious actions. The first one was creepily walking behind a guy and munching the air like a dinosaur. The second was flailing my arms and yelling, "CABOT." Once again, I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about this. 

Seems like I've got a lot of pondering to do.

Monday, November 14, 2011

She's Not Foreign.

While riding the train back to Athus, two girls standing next to me were attempting to prank phone call people. "Attempting," because they were doing a rather terrible job of it. Regardless, I found the situation amusing. At one point, one of the girls received a text message. I assume it was written in English, because she read aloud with choppy pronunciation, "Do you speak French?"
She asked her friend how to say "tu es" in English. This is the moment where I stepped in with, "You are." My unexpected response initiated a brief French conversation that resulted in me successfully convincing both of the girls that I'm a native, French speaking Belgian who learned English as a second language in school. Highlight of my week.

Although I'm the only person who thinks this, I've been doing quite well on my tests. Under normal circumstances, I would enter an intense period of depression if I received a 1.5/20 on a test. But considering all I had to do to earn that point and a half was draw a picture of Jesus in Mexico, I'm quite proud of myself.
Now, this isn't to say I completely blow of every test that's handed to me-- I only do that with math tests. Usually, I do provide a lazy attempt at answering the questions. The relative amount of effort I put forth for my chemistry test, for example, earned me 4 points and a high-energy praise from the teacher.
The only teacher who refuses to praise my low (though existent) grades is my physics teacher. After getting a single question right on a test, her only comment towards me was, "You get to choose three exams to take, correct? Please don't take mine." Oh yes, I'm feeling the love.

Since my arrival in Belgium, I've been craving American Chinese food. This statement has no story behind it. It's simply a statement of sad truth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oh Happy Days, Here Comes the Sun.

I went to a volleyball club practice today. Let me begin by giving a rough, general description of the actual practice:

I had initially expected the two hour practice to consist of an hour of warm-ups, and an hour of competing. Unlike my expectations, it was actually just two hours of warm-ups. During these exercises, I discovered how horribly out of shape I am. By the time the second warm-up had started, I was having trouble not collapsing. For those of you who say Europeans aren't athletic, you're wrong. 

Besides the lack of competitive game-playing (and the large amount of chocolate that the coach distributed during practice), it was eerily similar to my old volleyball club in Arkansas. This mostly had to do with the group of people that were there. The coach uncannily resembled Coach Hal, there was the one overly serious and controlling player, and there was the girl who was constantly singing and dancing in her own little world. 

I couldn't help but to look around and think of America. I love volleyball, but it's what I loved in America. Because of this, I kept experiencing a strange feeling within my self that I am unable to properly describe. I don't believe it was homesickness, but I'm sure it was a relative. For that reason, I wasn't thinking I'd want to continue playing here. I would like to avoid doing things that could potentially trigger nostalgia. 

However, things changed immediately after practice was over and I walked outside. The lovely endorphin rush was finally kicking in and I became so overly happy-- I felt as though the world was drenching me in a shower of lollipops and gumdrops filled with happiness and appreciation for all things around me. For the next hour, I couldn't shut up. I just blabbered, and blabbered, and blabbered some more. I'm pretty sure this threw my host parents for a loop, because, although I try to speak as much French as possible, I hadn't spoken that much since being here.

And now, with my swollen fingers and sore legs, I've decided I should continue attending volleyball practices when convenient. Although the practice itself wasn't quite what I was expecting, the amazing amount of happiness I had afterwards was so brilliant that I'm afraid I may have already become addicted to it. 

To add a little variety to this post, Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 20th child. Welcome to Arkansas, folks!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Il a tombé dans les pommes.

My friend, Jésus, is pretty nifty. He lets me pronounce his name without the accent and add some southern flair to the pronunciation. Today, Jésus "fell on some apples" and crashed into the lockers, resulting in unconsciousness. This incident caused geography to become three times funnier. Praise Jesus! 

This is Jésus. He's so cool. 

I took a math test a couple of weeks ago. The teacher seemed so depressed that day, so I decided happiness was more important than math. In attempt to cheer him up, I wrote cheesy, inspirational phrases all over the paper and drew pictures full of love and harmony. He seemed to really appreciate it, and proceeded to show the entire class what I had done while they were busy calculating various equations. Today, everybody got their tests back except me. I've decided it's because the teacher framed my "test" and mounted it on a wall for never-ending happiness.