I am glad I decided to delay my summer vacation and work on campus for two extra weeks. Beside the money making aspect, I’m even enjoying my time here.
First, I am appreciative of the fact that I get to work all these odd jobs (catering, waitressing, cleaning) because I feel that I’m adding skills and knowledge to my arsenal. Like:
-the proper way to set a formal dining table.
– As someone who has worked in the business of serving people, I’ve watched how people use their power and wealth or their “social awkwardness” to avoid, be rude to,or belittle those who serve/greet/help them. Whether entering into a store, paying for your coffee, or being served salmon- you should acknowledge the existence of the employee- a little bit of human interaction makes they’re job easier and more enjoyable thus they’ll be more inclined to serve you to the best of their ability.
– and lastly ( and this isn’t a skill but I have to add) I was able to meet the commencement speaker for this year’s graduating class. I learned some details about the actress and can testify that, at least in public :p, she is a lovely person. Her speech was entertaining (maybe bearing too much of a ressemblance to a chapter in Tina Fey’s Bossypants) and spoke about the importance of NOT planning your life. Certainly something I need to learn to let go of doing.
This week has also been exciting in terms of Paris preparations. I found out the address and name of my host family in Paris. If nothing changes, I will be living in the 4th arrondissement, which, to put it into perspective for myself and any New Yorkers, has been likened to the West Village.
So far, I’ve learned that the 4th arr. is one of the oldest- its one of the few areas left that had not been “landscaped” by Napoleon & Haussmann, thus many of the old medieval buildings and tiny, non-grid streets still exist. I’m also very glad that its in the center of Paris- only a 40 minute walk to school (17 minute train ride), a lively neighborhood (not too residential) and I will be living with my good friend.
I have a rendez-vous with my consulate in a few weeks but I’m not all that hopeful that I will succeed- as France welcomes a new president into office, the whole student visa application may change.