The Week Before Les Vacances

This week started off normal. Monday I went on a long walk with my host dad and the family dog. After the walk I met up with Faustine and some of her friends, who were really nice. I hope I see them again. Faustine has a lot of friends, so I feel like every other week I hang out with a new group of people! Also, a few weeks ago she made friends with someone who goes to our school, yet I’ve never seen her before. I met her on Thursday for a brief moment. I’m surprisingly not making a lot of friends through Faustine, though. I’m making most of my friends in my class and then with a few other exchange kids.
Yesterday, I grabbed lunch with my friend Joel from Finland and then went shopping for a few hours. I’m very happy with my buys. I’m still on the hunt for summer shoes and a sundress. I hope these will be easier to find now the weather is warming up. Have I talked about spring in Rennes yet? It’s so beautiful. There are those pink japanese trees and tulips everywhere. Another very noticeable thing about spring is the large amount of bugs. They are buzzing around everywhere. I actually love the sound of them buzzing around and how they make nature look more alive, but I’m a little over that happy feeling as soon as they get in my hair or face while I’m on a run or walking home. Overall it is so cool to experience seasons like this. The weather (with the exception of Saturday) has been so warm and sunny! I feel as though it’s making everyone more joyful.
Now to the part where I tell you how my streak of normal, uneventful weeks has been broken. This week one big thing happened that made me realize two very big things. I’ll tell you what happened before I explain those two things. Wednesday, I was called into my local coordinator’s (LC) office with my friend whose French is better than mine, but not by much. I thought that it would just be a three month check in type thing, but I was very wrong. It turned out to be quite a meeting for me. My friend was there to translate because my LC thought my French was so bad that I wouldn’t be able to understand him. He was wrongHowever, he just assumed that my French skills were the same as they were a month ago when I last talked to him. The meeting was just him angrily yelling at me because my grades are not good and my host family thought I was not spending enough time with them. I’m glad these things were brought to my attention, but I’m just confused as to why my host family didn’t tell me any of this directly.
Based on my LC’s “speech”, I came home from school that day thinking that my host family hated me. When I talked to my host mom about it she wasn’t angry at me at all! She just wants me to get the most out of my experience and she felt as though I could do more things to be more apart of the family and also improve my French. Since Wednesday I’ve stayed away from my room (where I used to hang out before and after meals). Spending this time visiting with my host family has made a world of a difference. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it a million times again. I’m very lucky to have an extremely open and nonjudgmental family.
Okay, now on to the two things I’ve realized: There are signs all over in my school in the classrooms and surrounding areas saying not to yell at other students and to be respectful to one another. However, I find it annoying how teachers are allowed to yell at students all day without hesitating or taking a second to sympathise or hear the students side of the story. Students can’t try to defend themselves because that is considered talking back. I’ve lost count of how many students have been excused from class for simply trying to explain to the teacher why they were talking. I just hate how they teach us the exact opposite of what they do on a daily bases. It’s probably a good thing that I can’t talk back very well because I would tell the teachers that snaps at me a little of how I feel about how they act verses what they teach. I have a fun time imagining those conversations in my head.
THING TWO that I learned is that I really don’t care what my LC thinks of me, in fact I don’t really care what any of my unsympathetic teachers think of me. I’m learning more and more that I don’t care about peoples opinions about me (with a few exceptions). However, I also like to be able to think that, for me, I did my best.  My LC made my day so much worse than it had to be. He could’ve told me in a better way what was going on. I’m sad to say that I don’t look up to most teachers here. It’s not because they are strict, but how they are strict. Some of my favorite teachers back in Colorado were some of the strictest too.
After I realized that I don’t want to be like certain people, why would I look up to them? I feel like teachers should be people that their students look up to. So, my plan is to just do my own thing without getting in trouble. I want to so badly write a letter on how I feel about their whole system, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t listen to a snooty, American teenager. There are a few teachers and counselors that are extremely nice and caringSo at least the students at my school have someone to go to.
Anyway, I’m moving forward from the drama of all that and will just do my best to better my experience. My vacation just started, so I’m very thankful that I don’t have to worry about school for the next two weeks and I can just spend time with my family and better my relationship with them. So far all I have planned for this vacation is going to St. Malo and maybe St. Michel! Also I’m planning to cook my family breakfast and dinner or lunch so I will let you know how that goes

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