Three times a week the Aixois are able to find Le Grande Marché in the center of the city. People set up stands there and sell a variety of quality goods (books, jewelery, clothes, food, music, etc). My personal favorite is the stand that sells paella. I also like to get peaches there sometimes, since they’re cheap and always very good. I even got some books there too, some short ones in French so I could learn things and practice reading French at the same time.
My French class on Fridays usually involves spending 1 hour in town at a restaurant or café and speaking French with each other and with the owner or workers there. I lucked out and got the best French professor in the whole program, who has lessons planned out but lets us ask questions ad infinitum so we can learn whatever we’re having trouble with or want to know how to say. She told us that she loves teaching college students, since she finds children impossible to control. The same is true of me, thinking back to German School…
Last Wednesday I went to a lecture given by a Vietnamese professor who’s in the IAU program to study French and go on academic excursions. The lecture was about global employment, and what potential employers like to see in a candidate. For example, posting things on the internet that contain bad grammar can be detrimental. Showing an interest in politics or world affairs can be helpful, but your particular opinions are generally not relevant. It’s worse for a woman to post “inappropriate material” in the form of bad grammar, vitriolic messages, or photographs, but the usual offenders are male. She talked a lot about differences for men and women in the modern workplace, and at one point I asked what she thought about the huge proportional increase of women in colleges (and therefore decrease in men), and what this says about Western education. She pointed out that this is mostly true in liberal arts schools, and said that overall she hopes that workplaces will be more equal in the future, with the help of new legislation.
Please start a heated debate in the comments below about gender issues, the use of social media in evaluating potential employees, and the importance of the Oxford comma….