Monthly Archives: January 2014

Building a Community in Aix

A fellow student (Kathy) with Paul Cezanne.

The beauty of travel always lies in the unexpected. Studying French at IS-Aix, Kathy and I have been lucky in several respects. Our teachers are bright and have a sense of humor. We’re in separate classes so we’ve met twice as many people. The students in our classes – from Switzerland and Ireland, Brazil and…

We Try Our Hand at Petanque

The metal boules bunch up near "the cochon," or little pig, to which players are supposed to get as close as possible.

It’s a game of inches – make that millimeters. The game of petanque may not require much more than a reasonably flat patch of dirt, two hand-sized metal balls per player and a sense of humor. But it actually does demand a bit of skill, too. In the town square of any self-respecting Provencal village,…

Studying French 6 Hours a Day


Today marks Day 1 of my most intensive two weeks of language classes — mornings and afternoons and daily homework. Wish me luck; I’ll need it. Our superb language school, IS-Aix, seemed to stumble a bit in its week-to-week handoff. The teachers assigned no homework, so I watched a lot of television in French (hey,…