Argile Ecossais Wallanklagebank

Monday, September 18, 2006

Classes Coming Soon!

Another jolly message for all you'uns who are interested! The orientation classes are over and i've been dropped like a french tart pie into another gobble of french rouge (red) tape! Time to figure out classes: The averages French student has their classes set out for them depending on their major and year in school. The average American student goes into shock about ten minutes after first seeing the scheduling mess he has to sort through. In stead of one schedule to look at like the average french student, i have six to 9 to look at! Because i am a double major and am picking classes for first, third and fifth semester (2 semesters a year, three years semesters 1-6 in france) I had a much harder time figuring out what classes i was going to take. Thank God some one finally told me that there were multiple "lab" classes to go with the "lecture" classes so i didn't have to worry about them fitting in to my schedule. I was under a lot of stress when people kept telling me that the schedule for the lab classes didn't come out for 2 weeks. hahaha I didn't think the french could make it so easy for me. Salute to French Administrator types who did something the way Peps in the US do.

I will most likely be taking a french grammar class, a french geography/culture class, ancient Greek history, Roman civilization, the mid eighteenth century of French history, Theatre literature of the 40's and 50's and one more class to help fulfill some french major stuff.

I had a fun experience this weekend. I went to a "Lutherienne" Cult (Lutheran Church Service). I understood very little, but I got to take communion and sing in French a song that i know the tune to. It was very good for me. They were a small church with about 35 peps there in a really old church building 189o something.

I am also going to sign up for the Chorale here at Lyon 3. As some of you know from Chi Alpha, i like to translate the songs we sing into French, so it will be awesome to be in an actual French Chior.

In other world events... I finally got to talk to Alice the other day on the phone and I will get to see her on Wednesday!

This just in... Hopefully i will be getting the internet in my room soon so i can add pics to my blog. I need a machette' to get through the french red tape but it will happen.

Salut, A la prochaine (bye, 'til the next.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Contact Me!!

Hey everyone, I got a cell phone and a bank acct. today. I can receive your calls for free, if your brave enough to call me super long distance. The Number to my cell is: 011 336 80 68 57 02 for from abroad and minus the 33 from in France (might have to place a 0 in place of the 33, not sure). I am going to also ack Alice Bartz (my french amie here) if i can use her international phone line and pay her back what I use. In that case you could leave me a message free to you and me by calling 1 800 706 1333 (in US) or 1 800 808 5773 (in canada) then press * follow prompts and enter my Acct # 310 013 6654 and leave the message!! And i'll try to call you back. Mailing Address is: Clay Murdock, 42 Rue des Herideaux, Studio 31, 69008 Lyon France. ttyl,

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Email to Cassie and All of You!!

ARRRRRRRRRRGGGG, and hi Cassie, (oh and Cassie i will probably put this on my blog also: so hi to everyone else also!!!) i just wrote a really long letter and then lost it! so i will give you the cliff notes. I am doing pretty well here, for past info you can check my blog, but as for recently i've been doing an orientation corse that covers grammer, history, literature and some other boring subjects- but they do take good care of us here, i guess tonight we are going to a stand up comedian-in french. I probably wont understand most of it. last night we had a bbq at my appartment complex, there are lots of brits, some aussies and a few peps from up north ( and my family has moved to canada-citizenship still pending, and i dont know what my mum has done aboot this (hehe) but i might get citizenship up there too. if i can have both legally i guess). So yea all the english speakign people are kinda keeping me from using my french because they don't know french so much so it's kinda hard, i cant be like no i'm never speakign english-cuz then some of them wouldn't understand, but then for my own benifit i should be speaking more, but i think i will do that when Alice gets here. I have some friends going to the mediterranium (spelling is not my farté) this weekend and i might go with them. Oh and soon i hope to get internet in my room!!! and recently i went to the big PART-DIEU (dieu means god) shopping mall. it was strangely convient to get there, just take the metro and climb up the stairs of the metro and you are there! It is a little too convienent for france actually. I think there is some kind of conspricy... hummm... en tout cas....(anyways) I was productive yesterday, i decided to fill my new grammer and word book (just a note book (with many many many super small lines) that i put all the stuff i'm learnign or need to learn in). I did that during my history class. and OMY GOSH. I SAW THE CRAZIEST THING YESTERDAY!!! My history teacher was wearing CLEOPATRA MAKE UP!!!!! She had the black around her eyes that pointed back towards her ears!! it was so crazy, and she had blue or green eye shaddow stuff too. it was quite interesting. O and i went to the dentist on friday. I have a wisdom tooth comming in and it hasnt poked out fo the gums so the gums got infected and i couldn't open my mouth hardly and... it was crazy. the dentist pushed back the gums but the swelled back over the tooth, so hopefully the antibiotics take care of it all... I did it in french too! it was fun. well thats all the news i can think of for now. (feel free to tell me about UM and how thigns are gonig there, i'm not too busy yet and would like to know whats happening!) i will ttyl

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Orientating to the Orientation

Well I started going to my orientation this week. It’s a 2 week ordeal, but the international office here pampers us with grammar, tours, history lessons, get togethers, and a super cool hand bag that we jokingly say marks us for sure as foreign. Haha All the profs have been pretty nice-speaking slowly and simply so we can understand. Half the stuff in the grammar lessons are hard to figure out, that leaves the other half more positive. (I’m trying to be more positive, for some reason I like sounding annoyed and judgmental-as a general rule annoyed means I’m fine with it and ticked off means I’m a bit annoyed…) I’ve met lots of other exchange students from Australia, Canada, the us, Ireland and some other non English speaking countries. I’ve also been testing out the local cuisine: they have very good deserts! Pizza is ok ( I like the local version with goat cheese on it though). A couple of days I have lived on just bread and cheese (very good meal!) And this totally floored me but when I was walking around today looking for a dentist… I saw a chocolaterie yum! And… Did you know that some places sell it at 65 euros ($100) per kilo (per 2.2 lbs) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say I found a cheaper store and bought an almond meringue thing for 1.65 euro. O and the dentist, haha always a story… I woke up today with a sore gum swollen-infected maybe-and a mouth painful to open too wide. Yea I guess I have a wisdom tooth coming in and food probably got under the gum and it got infected. I don’t know, but I am going to definitely try to find a dentist tomorrow-sorry Clay no 3 hour literature lesson tomorrow. Shucks!
O and I did get an apartment and I went shopping at the local IKEA nice prices!!! O and I bought a miniature cactus and split blobby looking thing. I have also been trying to contact Alice (my hometown’s senior year French exchange student). It will be so much more fun when she is here-I will have someone who speaks french to speak french to! Hopefully I will soon figure out how to get internet and I will get some pics to go with my blog. Happy Blogging! (click on comment below to comment on my blog)
In the end of this all I believe that I will have a new perspective on exchange students. They are so Blessed and they are survivors.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Bonjour! my address is:

Clay Murdock
42 rue des Herideaux
Studio 31
69008 Lyon France

I dont have a phone number yet soon;(see above for ph #) but then again you probably wouldn't want to call me so long distance. You can always internet me. I dont have the internet where i live soon i hope.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dutch not Deutsch

Well as far as this letter goes I have made it to Amsterdam thus far and it's already been full of cultural surprises. My trips from Billings to Minneapolis and Minn. to Amsterdam were good. I got caught up on the sleep I lost the day b4 I left trying to straighten out my housing situation in Lyon. I sat by a guy from Missoula on my way to Amsterdam- he had an interesting job- Beer tours. I believe. In stead of art and architecture he leads tours of distilleries. Creative I thought, probably wouldn't be interested in going on one my self, but it sounded cleaver with a touch of intelligence. Well most importantly I want to talk about what I've learned since I've been in Amsterdam. The Dutch are so fun. Their language is super cool. When you hear it over the intercoms it sounds like an American speaking but you can only select 20% of the words. They have a lot of cognates… dank u= Thank you, and you can hear a lot more or so it seems, they say “in” and other simple words a lot. Same with German. A sign in the bathroom said something to the effect: “De toilet spalt automatisch” English: the toilet flushes automatically.” I'll attach some photos of things like that, one sign says no smoking and the dutch is really close to the german. They speak English with a British accent and dutch with an American accent (I even thought french a couple of times.) I've been told that people from belgum speak french with an American accent so maybe that's an interesting connection there.Their r's are a very strong haucking lugies sound. So they sound like a cat with a hair ball stuck in their throught sometimes. Haha Fun, Ok I like languages a lot, maybe too much for your interest. Anyways… My tour of Amsterdam was pretty cool. They have really tall and skinny houses with triangle tops (not the stepped kinds though) which I didn't take any pictures of !?! And I guess they have more canals than Venice. I also went to the Anne Frank house. It was pretty cool to see a place that you learned about so much while in school. The place was much smaller than I thought. When I got back to the airport I decided I was going to call the hostels and make a reservation but I forgot the book in my checked in luggage so I had to wait til I got to Lyon. I was super blessed by the people I sat by on that flight. I talked with the wife (from Arizona, husband french, Edee and Francois) for quite a bit of the flight. I asked them what the best way to get to the hostel would be. The husband called the hostels-no vancacy. Then they just decided to take me to a hotel they knew of!!! They said a cab would have costed 50 euro!! Well we found a cheap hotel and I stayed there. They also gave me their number incase I had any troubles!!

The next day (thu) I ate breakfast at the hotel and discouvered that my french actually worked enough for me to ask the questions I needed. (still shakey but gets the job done) A lady at the bus lead me to the metro (on bus then walked me to it explained all what to take to get to the university and back.) I had trouble at the Univesity-we couldn't get ahold of the people we need to to get my appartament. So I went and stayed another night at the hotel. ( I was going to just grab my bags and go to the hostel, but I couldn't make my phone card work to call the hostel. So after that and after discouvering that I had a giant hole in my duffle bag that spilled out a ziplock bag full of coins, I decided to stay.)

Friday I slept in (minus a couple of hours of the day there). Then when I went to ask the front desk person if I could check my luggage again he said (taking a cue from they guy that had helped me the other day) that they would not take it. “Non monsieur, we are not a baggerie!” That really made me mad once I got to thinking about it (I have almost 140 pounds worth of bags! And they knew that (probably why they didn't want to let me leave them-too much space)). So I had to go to the hostel (couple of hours by walking, bus, and metro-bent my rolling bag handle) The university was closed for lunch (45min), then went to the place to get my apartment key, (yes positive point of the day) but first they had to write a contract (1hour), then I had to go get money put in their account (had to call my bank, then recall to tell them to put the money on my atm, not my purchases… another good 30min) Waited for bank to change all that (15min) Went back to office to see if there were still a lot of people waiting like there was, meaning still had I time, and found it closed. So I couldn't get my apartment… (priceless!)

As far as Saturday goes I woke up to get some breakfast, then took a nap…. Till 4:30 in the afternoon ( 8:30am Montana time). I guess I'm still messed up on my time + Jetlag + plus hauling around 140lbs. haha then I took the metro and found a Lutheran church downtown. Bought some bread, a peach and had some cheese that I saved the other night. Then got back read La Bible a little bit and wrote this!

I'm going to try to go to church tomorrow, I don't know what time it is. Then on Monday I start my orientation and hopefully get my apartment.

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