After some mobile phone troubles and an unintentionally long nap (forgot to change my alarm from AM to PM), I met up with my future roommate and subletter, whom I’ll call A and M, at la fontaine Saint Michel (pictured above). They are both French psychology students who will be entering their final year of school in the fall. M is going abroad for an internship at a hospital outside Montreal, so I’m renting her room for the summer. For about two hours we wandered around the Montparnasse area and Latin Quarter, first heading up to Notre Dame, then to the Pantheon and finally to the Jardin du Luxembourg. I didn’t take any pictures of these, but I plan to go back real soon with my DSLR.
We talked about a lot of random things but the conversation ultimately reminded me of how very easy it is, by comparison, to make friends at school. At school you have the guaranteed common denominators of having class together, living in the same dorm, participating in the same clubs etc. etc. But outside of that, in the real world, there aren’t the same underlying social forces bringing people together.
This is not to say that we didn’t get along. On the contrary, A’s personality seems very bubbly and outgoing. M was a little more reserved, but I think this was because she felt self-conscious that she was a bit out of practice speaking English. (Pretty much how I feel speaking French). One of the more interesting parts of the conversation was when M mentioned that her older brother is studying to become a doctor. Curious to see how it compared to America, I asked what the training was like. First of all, medical school in France is free. Secondly, it takes 14 years. Granted, from M’s description it sounded like the last bit is basically residency. But still, even considering the fact that French students start med school younger because of how the education system works…becoming a doctor takes quite a lot longer than it does in America. Anyway, because a lot of my friends are pre-med, that’s some food for thought. Longer and tuition-less versus…less years but insanely expensive.
We parted ways at the Metro station near my hotel, where we agreed that I would move in on Sunday. And now I’m off to go watch some Sherlock - trying to catch up before school starts on Wednesday.