The Best Blogger Award!

Salut, tout le monde! C'est Sabine! Joyeuses Pâques!
Today, I tried something different with my hair. I didn't part my bangs! I'm not used to wearing my hair like this. It looks so...different. What do you you think?

In other news, I was nominated for The Best Blogger Award by Sophia and Emma. Merci beaucoup!

Part of this award involves answering five questions:

1. What is your favorite post that you've ever created?
My favorite would definitely have to be An Afternoon with Julien. I also like the post in which I surprised Aurélie.

2. What is your favorite photo story you have ever taken part in? 
My favorite photo story was Friendly Competition. It was when Julien visited my American friends, and Chrissa and Micki "fought* over him. It was so embarrassing, but at the same time, it was entertaining. Hey, anything involving Micki and Chrissa is amusing...

3. Why do you blog?
I first began blogging to practice my English, but it became a good outlet for my feelings. I feel that I can express myself best through writing. Plus, blogging is a great way to share my adventures and daily life. I also love all of the friends I've made through blogging.

4. How many followers do you have?
137...we love each and everyone of our followers, and we thank them for following us. However, we also love our readers who haven't followed us.
Though, if you haven't followed us, you might want to! We would like 200 followers by October so we can do a huge giveaway to celebrate 5 years of blogging!

5. Do you like being nominated for awards?
Bien sûr- of course!

Now, it is my turn to nominate five other blogs that haven't yet been nominated. I nominate:
1. Leah from feat. Blue Skies
2. Reese from Reese's Pieces of Life
3. Frankie from Life as Frankie Finds It
4. Cate from The Shoreline Student
5. Mellesse from Mellesse's Great Adventure

Merci encore, Sophia et Emma!

Anyway, for those who celebrate it, did you do anything exciting for Easter today? I'm spending the day with my family, and we are going to eat a delicious dinner. Other than that, it's just like every other day...only with more chocolate! 


Ma chambre temporaire

Coucou, tout le monde! C'est Aurélie, et je suis en train de décorer ma chambre. Maintenant, tout est un désordre! Alors, je vais vous montrer ma chambre temporaire...

Currently, I am in the process of redoing my room. For the time being, everything is kind-of a mess. I decided to take some photos of my incomplete room. I actually think it looks nice for being neither complete or incomplete.
Here is an overview. As you can see, the only piece of furniture I have is my bed!

Here are the few decorations I have on the walls above my bed. I needed to do something to make my walls look less bland!

Here are the fun posters Sabine drew for me:

At my feet are my most prized possessions: my flute and ballet things! I don't know what I'd do without my great hobbies.

I'll definitely share photos of my completed room someday. I know many of our readers are interested in our rooms, and it's kind-of a weird concept to us French to take photos of our rooms and share them since bedrooms are considered highly private spaces. Sabine convinced me that it's a little different in America and that American readers don't see it the same way. 

So, what does your room look like? Do you have photos of it?


Plein de posters!

Coucou, tout le monde! C'est Sabine, et ce soir, j'ai surpris Aurélie!

J'ai eu un examen de vocabulaire espagnol, et je ne voulais pas étudier! Les mots étaient trop simples!
Studying for Spanish is never the hardest task, and I was particularly bored with studying the vocabulary because I already knew many of the words.

I told my mom that Aurélie needed my help with German, and I asked if I could visit her. I kind-of lied, but my mom didn't know that. She reluctantly (as usual) said that I could go. Aurélie is currently having her room redecorated, so many of her belongings are in storage boxes. I hated seeing her walls so bare! Plus, she is currently having a difficult time with her science class. She just doesn't get it, and it's upsetting her, though she studies every free second that she has. To cheer her up, I made posters, and I was going to put them on her now almost-empty walls. I told her to leave the room because I had a surprise I needed to prepare, so she did. I made posters to represent her favorite things:

I then told her that she could come in her room. I stood by the posters and said, "Voici la surprise!

She was extremely happy. She gasped with astonishment.

"Sabine, ceux sont beaux, mais je pensait que tu as dit que tu ne peux pas dessiner?" Aurélie laughed.
Oui, I said that I couldn't draw. I mean, don't we all say that? I'm definitely not an artist, but d'accord, I can definitely make small doodles.

"J'adore," she murmured, pointing at her favorite drawing of a pointe shoe.

I then asked her if she could quiz me on my Spanish words, and she said that she would. Aurélie thought that it would be good practice for her, too, since Carlota is around.

We agreed that experimentar would be a confusing verb for native English speakers. It translates to "to experience" in English, but we could see how Anglophones might think it means "to experiment"! It is a faux ami (or in Spanish, falso amigo). In other words, it is a false cognate!

Have you ever randomly surprised a friend? What did you do?


Le cauchemar

Salut, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine.

I don't really publicize it, but I have terrible nightmares sometimes. I've talked to my psychologist about them, but they just won't stop. I haven't had any for awhile...until last night. It was so terrible that my screams woke up Sabine, who is a ridiculously deep sleeper.

It didn't start out as a nightmare, though. At first, it seemed like a dream of mine finally came true...
I was a première danseuse with le ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris who was dancing the role of Kitri in Don Quixote and hoping that I would be promoted to étoile after this performance. I wasn't sure where I was. I might have been dancing on the stage at the Palais Garnier, or I could have been on the Opéra Bastille's stage. I didn't see my surroundings. I only saw myself on the stage. 

I was right. After the show, I was promoted to étoile! I certainly hoped I was at the Palais Garnier because it is a much prettier place, especially when promotions are announced. The Opéra Bastille is hideous, in my opinion. I looked so happy in my dream, seeing as my dream came true. My talent was being recognized, and people were cheering and clapping...for me. 

Before I could make my way backstage, something terrible happened! A dark shadow stepped out from the wing, and I felt hands tighten around my throat. I gasped for air, but nothing happened. I couldn't breathe. I was dying. The hands were killing me.

That was when I woke up and screamed at the top of my lungs. I've always heard it was bad luck to die in a dream, so I was glad that I woke myself up. Sabine rolled over, turned to me, and said, "Ta gueule! J'essaie de dormir!
Before I could scream anything in response to my obnoxious twin sister, I closed my eyes out of exhaustion and fell back asleep. The nightmare continued where it had left off. Somebody had thrown my limp body in a  storage closet and bound my hands with my hair ribbon while my feet were bound by the ribbons of my pointe shoes. 

Okay, so I wasn't dead, but I was dying. I heard faint voices saying, "Bad things happen to good people, but even worse things happen to bad people." Outside of the closet, somebody placed my fan and flower clip on a note that read, "Voici restent les espoirs et les rêves de Sandrine Giselle Bouchard.
I knew who it was instantly. The bad grammar (saying reste instead of restent) gave it away. It was Ophélie...or the girl whom I thought was Ophélie...or maybe it was the real Ophélie...? 

My vision blurred, and I couldn't hear. I was actually dying this time. 

I woke up and screamed again. Sabine angrily muttered that she was going to sleep in the living room, so she gathered her pillow and throw blanket and did just that. She also grumbled something about how the nightmares were starting again. Whatever.

Dreams like this made me paranoid. Was I really going to die this way? I mean, nobody dreams of dying in a closet in the Palais Garnier or Opéra Bastille...especially the Opéra Bastille. For the most part, all of us want to pass away peacefully in our sleep when we are old. Nobody wants to die at the height of their professional dancing career. 

I also had to wonder what kind of edge the real Ophélie had on me. This dream reaffirmed what I already knew.

I was in trouble, and I had to talk to my Ophélie. I hope she's alive...


Pretty Little Liar

Salut, tous ceux qui lisent ce blog! C'est Sandrine!
Today, I feel like Tintin. If you aren't familiar with Tintin, all you need to know is that he is a stupid cartoon character created by a stupid Belgian writer. Tintin is a stupid reporter who solves stupid mysteries, and he has a stupid dog named Milou; stupid Americans had to change the dog's name to Snowy in the stupid American movie because of course, leave it to stupid Americans to dumb things down. It's not like Milou is even hard to pronounce, but they HAD to change it! I am sure Hergé is rolling in his grave. Anyway, I learned how to read by reading those stupid books, and now I feel that I am in my own stupid Tintin book. 

All I need a stupid name that is similar to Tintin. How about Drinedrine? Les aventures de Drinedrine: le secret d'Ophélie. Um. No. Don't even think about calling me "Drinedrine"...

Just so you know, I secretly still like Tintin. I don't think it's stupid; today's events just made me mad. Milou is my favorite, and I will never forgive the American for changing his name for their stupid movie! 

So yes, back to Le secret d'Ophélie...

I was doing my favorite thing ever. As you know, I like ballet more than I like complaining, shopping, and doing makeup. That says a lot. I wore a pink leotard to practice for our spring show with some girls in my division. My school's uniform bums me out a bit. We have to wear black leotards in boring styles, which means I can't wear my black leos with lace or fun colored leos to class. Thank goodness for practicing with people and summer intensives that don't have strict dress codes. 

One of the girls said something about "that one scary girl from Picardie who visited our dance school", and I I knew that "one scary girl" was Ophélie. My vision blurred, and I hit the ground.

After Malorie's little talk with me, I tried to forget about Ophélie. She was trying to ruin my life! The girl was dangerous. I knew that much. I knew I had to get to the bottom of this, seeing as I haven't heard from her since her disappearance almost a year ago. I told the people I was practicing with that I had to go.

When I returned home, I immediately did a Google search for "Ophélie Ducatel"...

...and what I found shocked me.

I found a blog written by a student at l'école de danse de l'Opéra National de Paris named Ophélie Ducatel who happened to be from Amiens, Picardie. I saw photos of a girl in a light blue Degas leotard. She didn't look like the Ophélie I knew. This girl's hair was my shade, and she had darker freckles and different eyes. In one post, she was explaining the leotard colors and their corresponding divisions. Since she was almost 15, she was in the 4ème division and wore a light blue leo. In another entry, she was talking very openly about her psychological problems, and it made me gag. Those are personal problems; the world shouldn't know! The last entry was from two months ago, and it featured a photo of Ophélie with her family. Her family visited Nanterre and took her out to eat. The girl standing by Ophélie in the photo looked strangely like the girl I knew...the girl I thought was Ophélie.

Something didn't add up. The Ophélie I knew wasn't a student there since age 8! The Ophélie I knew was too old to audition and therefore wanted to enter the Prix de Lausanne and win. The Ophélie I knew didn't have a sister. Not only did I feel like the star of my very own Tintin book, I also felt like this was starting to feel like Pretty Little Liars, only (SPOILER ALERT) both sisters were alive...or were they? I mean, I haven't seen or heard from my Ophélie. She could be dead now, who knows? That post was written two months ago. A lot can happen in two months. 

Whatever. I was now determined to get in touch with my Ophélie, if she is still alive. All of us have our own reasons for lying, but still, somebody certainly has a lot of explaining to do: about her life and about how I ended up in the hospital. 


La chica de España

¡Buenas tardes, todo el mundo! ¿Cómo estáis?
Why the Spanish greeting? Well, Aurélie’s exchange student from Spain arrived back in January, and I realized that I forgot to post about her. Better late than never, right? Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned...

Aurélie was at a ballet class (...or a flute lesson...or whatever else she does) when her exchange student arrived. Since Aurélie wasn't going to be home, she wanted Julien and me to be at her house when her parents arrived back from the airport. Like the good friends we are, Julien and I waited.

I told Julien that he needed to put his hood down because he looks ridiculous, but he said he didn't want the girl to see his terrible haircut. I was annoyed. If this girl was going to judge him because of a haircut, she would be awfully shallow. Besides, it's hair. It grows back. However, being the Hispanophile that Julien is, he wanted to impress her.I laughed and told Julien that he looked ridiculous, but he thought the haircut looked more ridiculous than the hood. I didn't find wearing a hood to be that impressive, but whatever. 

We heard footsteps, and then we saw a girl with dark hair, luggage, and purple sunglasses.

"Bonjour!" She said in accented French. "Comment allez-vous?"
I couldn't take her seriously. Why was she wearing sunglasses? You never need sunglasses in Lille; that's for sure!

"Eres...lo Aurélie?" The girl asked me. I told her that no, I wasn't Aurélie and I was instead Aurelie's friend Sabine. I told her that Aurélie should be home shortly, but we were to greet her.

She laughed and said that she understood, and then she began to introduce herself. Her name was Carlota Alonso Morales. She explained that in Spain, people normally have two last names. Alonso is her father's last name, and Morales is her mom's maiden name. She is from Sevilla, and she has been dancing flamenco since she was very young. Her mom and grandmother used to dance professionally, so it kind-of runs in her family. Her sisters, Julieta and Valencia, are flamenco dancers, too. Julieta then once again said that she understands how ballet takes up much of Aurélie's time because flamenco takes up her time, too. Like Aurélie, Carlota also plays an instrument. Carlota plays guitar. 

I asked why Carlota wanted to study in France for a trimester, and she said that she wanted to better prepare herself for the bachillerato, which is very similar to out baccalauréat. I understood Carlota perfectly! I'm already freaking out about the bac! It's my dream to pass with a mention très bien

Carlota then stood up and approached us. She looked at Julien and said, "Why are you wearing a hood? You're inside where it isn't raining!" She rested a hand on his shoulder, which was just too close to comfort for me. I stood back and tried to relax. 

Julien sighed and explained his terrible haircut. Carlota said that it looked cute and would eventually grow out. She sounded somewhat flirtatious, and again, I didn't feel comfortable. Julien then began to tell her that he loves Spain and hopes to visit someday. Carlota said he would be more than welcome to stay with her family, and I even saw Julien blush!

She asked Julien why he was wearing a hood inside, so I decided that it was only logical to ask the same thing about her sunglasses. I asked in an authoritative tone of voice that would show her that I wasn't happy with her for getting all touchy-feely with Julien.

"Oh, I have to get eye surgery. Sometimes, I wear sunglasses because it helps protect my weak eye. That way, my strong eye doesn't have to do all of the work," she replied. 
I nodded. Interesting. Not that I cared or anything.

Carlota asked if we wanted to help her unpack before Aurélie returned home. I said that I probably should go home because my mom is probably freaking out. Normally, my mom would freak out, but this time, it's just a little lie. My mom gave me explicit permission to be here as long as I finished my homework the second I got home. Little lies like that aren't necessarily a big deal to us French...bienvenidos a Francia, Carlota!

Julien asked me if I was sure, and I said that I was. He told me that I sounded angry, and I wanted to scream my feelings, but I resisted. "Amuse-toi bien," was all I could manage to say, and that sounded very bitter.

"Encantada, Sabine," Carlota said before I left. "We will have to hang out sometime soon! All of us! With Aurélie!"
"O-o-oui," my voice quavered. "Diviértete."
"I didn't know you spoke Spanish, too!" Carlota squealed. 
"Yeah," I said in a bored tone. "French, Spanish, English, and a little bit of German."

"Tell Aurélie that I had to leave in case she asks. Have fun. I'll talk to you two later," I said as Julien took off with Carlota nearby. 

It wasn't that I didn't like Carlota. Okay, fine. I didn't like first, anyway. I like her now, but that is because some very unfortunate things happened that I'd rather not write about right now. At this point in time, though, I thought Carlota was going to take Julien from me. I was disgustingly jealous, probably because I have been friends with him for so long and didn't want him to date her. I even practically killed myself studying Spanish when my Spanish is already good!

Silly me. They never dated, nor did they want to. No, he was never interested in dating Carlota. They just practiced speaking Spanish together. Now that I think about it, I wish he did date Carlota. That way, they would have broken up when she returned to Spain. It would have been a lot better than what actually happened...

Have you or your friends ever hosted an exchange student? Where was s/he from?