28 November 2008

Joyeux Thanksgiving!

A lot of the other girls were feeling a bit homesick and sad about missing out on their traditional Thanksgiving celebrations this year. I, too, was disappointed to have a full day of classes on the American holiday. But, considering I haven’t had a Thanksgiving dinner of any form the last two years, I was quite looking forward to the good potluck/feast Smith was throwing us.

And it certainly did not disappoint. Our amazing directrice Marie-Madeleine decided to shake things up this year and make the dinner a potluck. This way it was more traditional as everyone brought what they thought was ideal for Thanksgiving. Of course the turkey, bread, wine and cheese were all provided, but the Smithies teamed up or worked on their own to make a plethora of dishes. The selection was entirely too vast and, in that way, accurately captured the Thanksgiving spirit of
excess and overconsumption.

Sometimes I question my decision to attend Smith, and I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t choose it again if I had the ability to do it over (a discussion for another time, I guess), but it’s difficult to imagine a more perfect study abroad program. They have pampered us on so many occasions – to the point that some have accused them of trying to make us obese alcoholics.

And it’s more than just the fêtes. The program is a serious one and even if I occasionally doubt my ability to speak French, I know it’s improving because of it. The fact that the majority of Smithies at the dinner were willing to speak French for most of the night (after several glasses of
Beaujolais, I understand the switch to English) is encouraging, and as I prepare my schedule for next semester, I am overwhelmed by the number of classes offered at Smith, the Consortium and Paris VII that I would love to take.

You may think that being in Paris would be enough on it’s own to make study abroad worth it, and it may be true, but the program is what can change an expectedly great year in Paris into an expectation-exceeding one.

On the note of language, I dreamt in French last night. That is a sign of progress.

Happy Thankgiving!


Anonymous said...

WOW! Your Thanksgiving sounds amazing. Did you have pumpkin pie? We had sort of a pumpkin/ squash tart.

Jamie said...

Oh Abby! I love your posts so much. You really captured the feeling of the night. Including Peeb's reading of the New York Times article, which I'm so glad you posted!!!

About halfway into the article, it says "Food, wine, women". That's one of the only parts of the speech that I retained, mainly because I proceeded to give Christine a high-five across the table for that proclamation of joy.

In any case, I had a great time, and if you need help finishing that mac and cheese (or stealing some and taking it away), I'm here for you.