Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Haribo, Please!


After running an 18k with Heather a few months ago, I discovered that the perfect running companion (well, in addition to Heather) was a plastic baggy full of Haribo.  The tiny gummies provided the burst of sugar that I needed to conquer every kilometer, and I don’t think I would have made it past 10k without each little bear that I decapitated with my teeth.


This runner’s treat has since become an obsession.  From smuggling back German varieties to wagging a finger at Franprix for not having my favorite (the sour Smurfs), it’s become unhealthy.  Once I open a bag of Haribo, I know it won’t last long.  Bears, Smurfs, crocodiles – no character is free from the wrath of my sweet tooth.  Going for a run is just an excuse to eat an entire bag of sweets afterwards.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

French Lessons to Retain...


Just a few edits...
Next week I finally hand in the final edit of my French mémoire, my master’s thesis at the Sorbonne Nouvelle.  Two years in the making, I’m happy with the results and hopeful that the jury reviewing it will be equally enthusiastic. 

The process, however, has taught me as much as the research itself.  Writing in French is no cake walk, and certainly not a boost for anyone’s self-esteem (even for French students).  I’ve learned some things though that will come in handy during my next writing endeavor that should come in handy…

1. I’ll never do it correctly: I’m not a native speaker, and that’s fine.  I give in.  But after a heavy edit session of 100+ pages with a real live French person, I’ve realized that my written French will never (anytime soon) stack up to a native speaker’s.  More focused on content than structure, I’m a sucker for misusing “de” and “à,” for using less formal “comment” instead of “la façon dont,” and accidentally adding “en plus” instead of “de plus.” 

All of these are shades of gray to me, rarely changing the meaning of what I’m trying to say. To a French speaker, however, they mark the difference between a 10/20 (a decent grade) and a 14/20 (a great grade).