2009: reflecting on the old and looking towards the new!

Bonne Année 2009 et Meilleurs Voeux! Happy New Year, and Best Wishes for 2009! I write this message from the library in Sciences Po. School has been in session for a week now. This Christmas break, I was blessed to receive the opportunity to return to the States and stay with my family for two weeks. It was so beautiful, being able to see them again. I don’t think I really realized how much I missed them until I went back. And now that I’m back in Poitiers, I will admit that it has been a little hard to readjust back to life here, especially since I know it will be another six months before I see them or any of my friends back in the U.S. again. However, I am sticking with my New Year’s resolution to look on the bright side.

Speaking of New Year’s resolutions, I have made a personal resolution to write in my OIP blog at least once a week. The transition to life in Poitiers, and specifically school life here at Sciences Po, was a little rougher than I thought it would be. In November, I meant to write about the weeklong field trip my school takes annually to Salamanca, Spain, and all the fun that I had there. However, when we returned from Spain, midterm season began, and I had a slew of exposés (oral presentations), projects, tests, an exam, and I could not find time to write and do the Salamanca trip justice. Now that it is January, it seems almost off-topic, or old news, to discuss it, but I will do my best to succinctly describe the trip in a later post because it really is one of the things that makes the Sciences Po Ibéroaméricain cycle distinct from all the others.

As you have probably already gathered, since midterms are in December, final season begins in late January, early February. I have exams in all five of my classes. Thankfully, I don’t have any major papers or projects for the rest of the month, so I have time to start carefully and attentively start studying for my tests now and memorizing notes. I think that my law exam will be the hardest, as it is an essay exam with only one question. We have to answer it in six pages, single-spaced, in French, bien sûr. The midterm in this class kicked my butt, so I am planning on getting my revenge on the final and showing this class who’s boss.

After exams end in February, we have a winter break from the 14th to the 22nd. However, as my last exam is on the 6th, my break starts a week earlier. A group of friends and I are planning on going to Italy. I cannot wait! There are so many cities in Italy that I want to see—Venice, Florence, Rome, Milan! It would be so nice just to spend three or so days in each city. I haven’t bought my ticket yet, but I am planning on flying RyanAir again, and perhaps getting a EuroRail Pass to travel between cities. I also would love, love to be able to visit Africa and—if at all possible—see China. But this last wish, I know is a (very) long stretch. We’ll see what happens—two weeks is a long time, after all!

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