The Week of “DS” – Dying Slowly

Don’t worry, contrary to the email subject lines I send to my parents to get them to respond in a timely manner, I am not dying!

“DS” actually stands for “devoirs surveilles”, or what you Americans call “midterms”. That’s right, I said YOU Americans. After a certain “binders full of women” comment I have chosen to dissassociate myself from the good ol’ U.S. of A. for somewhere between 3-5 days (although I have to admit, the Clinton* memes are pretty hilarious. I’ve included one below because I can).

My future husband, ladies and gentlemen.

So this week is midterm week for me, and my life hasn’t been in this much of a downward spiral since I found out “The Hills” wasn’t real.**

Unlike in the typical U.S. class where you are given a ton of little assignments that help pad your grade should you suffer some kind of stroke during the tests (or decide to go out the night before), French grades are typically made up of two components: a midterm grade and a final grade. This is probably the least comforting thing in the history of ever when you are stressed about studying.

I have been lucky this past week to get a lot of help from French students, who have provided me with extra notes and corrected some of my writing. My ingenious strategy has been to sit in the common kitchen of my dorm and corner unwitting French students. This has resulted in a ton of help, and even some free food.

Unfortunately, the professors have not been quite as accomodating. Today, at the end of class, I went up to the teacher and told him I was pretty nervous about the test, being an international student, and asked him for any advice. He responded by telling me if I had any questions I should ask another student. He said it in very sophisticated French, so it was the most eloquent way anyone has ever said “fuck off” to me.

One thing I miss about being at Marquette during midterms week is the numerous comfort spots where one can go to study around many other students and bask in the shared feeling of depression/anxiety. The library here is smaller than my bedroom (ok that’s an exaggeration, but it is pretty small), so I don’t know where students are going to study together. Maybe there is a secret spot where all French students are, stressing to the point that their hair is falling out and discussing the most likely modes of escape (train, bus, marriage to an NFL player), all between cups of coffee and Facebook updates. If such a utopia exists on campus, I am missing out on the party!

Sometimes, especially during weeks like these, it’s hard not to wish I was just taking everything in English. More than once I’ve thought, if this was in English, I would totally be dominating (okay, “dominating” is probably a bit of an overstatement. It’s probably more like: if this was in English, I would totally be performing slightly above average). But it really is during these times that I have to remind myself that this is an amazing opportunity and I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to do. That being said, I still can’t wait until I take the most glorious post-midterm nap of all time.

A bientot, and wish me luck!

*I am all for Hillary and the whole pro-women thing, but I have still not given up on completely home-wrecking that marriage and becoming Mrs. Bill Hottie Clinton.

**I apologize for the whiny nature of this post. I am basically just compounding all the annoying Facebook statuses college students make complaining about midterms into one blog post.


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