Posted on: Martes 21 febrero 2006

I met my friend Sandrine when we were in high school (collège in France). She was a friend of a friend (I don’t remember which one, but I will tell about Audrey and Magali later) and since we had the same interests, sports and music, we sympathized quickly.

There is only one year, the last year of collège, that we shared in the same class (division?) because we had both chosen German as our first or second foreign language. In France, all students have to chose a first foreign language (Langue Vivante I) when starting high school, and a second one 2 years later. At the end of collège students are suppose to have an equal theoretical knowledge of both languages. I say “theoretical knowledge”, since I know that many French students entering university, who have studied German for 7 years, might be able to conjugate verbs in all tenses, but are unable to put 2 words together in a sentence in German/English/Spanish 😛
Anyhow, I remember that in our last week of collège, all the last year students were getting wild: It was almost summer, the next year we would be all going to different lycées… Instead of attending classes, we would spend time sitting in the grass behing the public library, which was conveniently beside the school. We didn’t care about attendance anymore, someone had burned the attendance book. Not in our class though, something else happened to make it disappear.

One of those brilliant days, S and I had a two-hours “free” in the afternoon where we were supposed to stay at the supervised study-room. She was in charge of the attending books that week, and instead of have the chance of getting marked absent, we stole them and ran out of the school! I remember that afternoon because of the sensation of freedom: we were doing something that no one knew about except us. There are a few times in my life were that feeling came back: when I traveled by myself, and the year before getting married, when I sharing an apartment and wasn’t expected to come back at any time by any one.

That day, S and I walked downtown, not knowing what to do with the annoying books which reminded us that we were guilty of something. Our freedom had a price. Finally we were in the commercial streets, and almost suddenly on top of the bridge, crossing the river l’Agout.

Our view was something like that:
(if you click on it you’ll have at a desktop-size image)

It became clear that the objects of our guilt would drown in there!

Our little adventure ended sitting on a bench in a park, people-watching and talking about life (and maybe boys?)

Two year later, Sissi had to cross the ocean to visit me. She stayed home during one month, with our other friend Magali. We had a fabulous time that summer visiting Montreal.

Today she is studying sports, to become a phys. ed. teacher, or a coach, or I don’t really know… (oops?) She is happy with a wonderful boyfriend, who I don’t know yet. She doesn’t even know hubby either 😦 *sigh*

Long distance too has a price.


After writing and editing this post a thousand times, I’m not sure if the story about the attendance books is genuine. I remember us skipping (foxer en québécois, sécher un cours en français) an afternoon of boring “study time” and sitting in the park… but I also recall burning some books behind the public library with friends…

Were those the oh-so-feared books? What is the truth? What is fiction?



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