Le Handball, les soldes, et une conversation intéressante au dîner

Yesterday, I finished school early. I thought that I could find the motivation to go running as it was still light outside. Instead, I took a nap for two hours. In the evening, I had handball. Handball is always a lot of fun. I really enjoy doing a sport just for fun. Back in the US I was always doing sports regularly. Not for the competition, (for anyone who doesn't know me well I'm the opposite of competitive), but just to be active. Being in France is like a break from life. It's refreshing! I get to relax and simply have fun in whatever I'm doing. :) Since I've been here, I've rediscovered my love of doodling and I'm even learning to play the guitar.
After school today I went to Poitiers to do some shopping. Beginning in January, there are a couple of weeks which all of the stores have huge sales. These weeks are called "les soldes," meaning "sales". There huge price reductions, similar to Black Friday. So Isabelle, Chelsea, Marion, Marion, (<-- That's not a mistake. They're both named Marion) and I took advantage of the sales and spent our Wednesday shopping. We made sure to stop at two stores, Zara and H&M. Both stores are very popular here. I guess there are Zara's in the US, but I've never heard of this brand until I here. Also, H&M is super popular here. The store, H&M, here is very different that the H&M's in America. Here, the selection of clothing is much more fashionable (....in my opinion). Also, everyone pronounces it "H et M (ash-eh-em)."Although it was really tempting to spend all my money, I didn't buy that much as I went shopping last week in Tours with some friends.
At dinner tonight, the conversation was everything from how to make foie-gras to the preferences of the school's bathrooms to class pets. I'll explain. You can research how to make foie-gras because I don't feel like explaining the disturbing process. The next subject: school bathrooms. My sisters were explaining which bathrooms they preferred. This is regular topic at school because there are some crappy bathrooms (*pardon the pun) and some new bathrooms. Most toilets in public restrooms (including schools) don't have toilet seats. Also, at school all of the bathrooms, expect two are unisex...which is a little disturbing when you're in the bathroom and you see your professor...whose a man. Finally, the last subject was class pets. I mean class pets as in the teacher's favorite student, their guinea pig. My sisters were complaining about the students who suck up to the teacher when it's already obvious that they're the teacher's favorite student. Here, a class pet is called "le choucou (du/de la prof; de la classe)." The teacher's "chouchou"(pronounce shoo-shoo) is way more obvious here. At least in America, the teacher will try to pretend that they don't have favorite students. Here, teachers are much more direct with the students. For example, some teachers will read aloud all of the scores of the students in front of the entire class. Test scores here are not a secret. In this respect, I'm beginning to realize that our education in the US is a lot more cushioned. It isn't necessarily easier, it's just different.
I just love this image because of the "Go Girl!" on the upper right-hand corner. I think it's a french magazine for tweens, but I'm not sure.