Valentine Van Der Slikke
It’s nice to know someone will take care of you.
This week went by so fast. Last weekend, I traveled to New York City to visit my friends from summer camp. It was so great to see them, because I hadn’t seen them for so long. They live in Manhattan, and the view from their apartment was truly amazing.
We didn’t do much on Friday night, but it was sunny on Saturday, so we walked the famous High Line, which was a lot of fun. Then we had dinner in a really cool restaurant on Bond Street that night.
I was supposed to fly back to Chicago on Sunday night, but the weather was so bad that I couldn’t get on a plane. All flights going into Chicago were canceled. They moved my flight to the next morning, but that flight was canceled too, because we had a small blizzard in New York.
Finally, my airline booked me for a flight on Monday night. I waited a really long time at the airport. It was certainly an experience!
One of our program coordinators, Joanne, told me that it was really typical for flights to be canceled during the winter because of the snow in Chicago. My airline reacted immediately to the situation and rescheduled my flights.
I don’t think that would happen so quickly in France. I feel like Americans are better at handling situations like this. It’s nice to know that whatever happens, someone will take care of you.
We had a special class in our Intercultural Communication course.
Our first month in Chicago has ended. To be short and sweet, I am still really happy to be here, and I’m starting to get used to the cold weather!
This past Monday, we had a special class in our Intercultural Communication course. It was a lot different than our other classes, and it was directly related to one of my passions. We studied Chicago music and talked about the city’s role in the origin of blues music. We also talked about how hip-hop, rap, and electronic music were born. I really enjoyed my time in class. It was so cool!
We listened to the first track of all of these different genres of music and watched old school video clips. Our teacher explained music history to us. Our teacher is really energetic and interesting. I hope we’re going to a couple events with her—that would be amazing!
Besides class, this week we participated in two volunteer activities: One for our Public Relations teacher, Jane Canepa, and the other for Chicago Event Management, the company that organizes the Chicago Marathon.
For our first activity, a marketing promotion for a product, we gave free food to people who were on the street in the snow. That was quite a cold experience! People were happy to get free things, and they were very nice to us. Some people told us, “God bless you,” which is an American way to say thanks, and I love that.
Our second volunteer activity was for Chicago Event Management, where we all volunteer every Thursday. They gave us a poster to put up inside the shops downtown. We divided into two groups and went inside restaurants, gym clubs, and even the university to pin up posters. People were always nice, even if they sometimes told us we couldn’t hang them up. It was a fun experience.
I’m really adjusting to life here.
This week in Chicago was very interesting. We had an awesome music class, where we learned about the origins of jazz, hip-hop, rap, house, and techno. Being an avid music lover, I really enjoyed it. I thought the class was very insightful and energetic. The teacher is very nice, and I’m looking forward to going to music events here in Chicago.
I’m really adjusting to life here. My English is getting so much better that I lose some of my French accent at times.
I’ve gone to see some friends who live up north, so I’ve used the train system here many times. In Paris, I use the train and metro a lot, so I’ve gotten used to riding the train, and I enjoy it. I like to gaze at the landscapes as they pass by. It was cool to see Chicago during wintertime.
Last Tuesday, we volunteered to distribute free snacks on the streets of Chicago with our teacher, Jane. People were very happy. It was surprising to see that, and I liked that very much. It felt great to give to people.
It was nice to find a little piece of home here.
Last Friday around noon, I went to the French Market on Clinton Street. I met my classmates there, as well as another student our Public Relations instructor, Jane Canepa, teaches. She brought along some of her friends, and we all ate together.
The meal was delicious, and the market was pretty big. I was very surprised to find such high quality products, and even some authentic French cuisine, here in Chicago. It was really fun to see everything.
The market had a nice atmosphere, and there was even some French music playing in the background. In the back of the room, there were small tables and chairs, much like a café in Paris.
It was nice to find a little piece of home here. That’s the beauty of this city—all these different cultures can be found here. I think that is exceptional, and something that is sure to lift anyone’s spirits.
We started off just going to buy a pair of shoes and ended up with big bags full of clothes.
Last Saturday, I got up early in a good mood. I decided to go to brunch with Valentine at a nice restaurant called Beatrix, which is located in Chicago’s River North District.
We started with glasses of orange juice, and the server advised me to try the Chimichurri Steak & Eggs. The dish was comprised of grilled shishito peppers, poached eggs, hash browns, and golden fries. It was very good.
After brunch, we decided to go to Adidas to buy shoes, and from there our shopping day began. We also went to Urban Outfitters, H&M, Top Shop, Zara, and Forever 21. We started off just going out to buy a pair of shoes and both of us ended up with big bags full of clothes.
We were tired and thirsty from walking around so much, so we decided to take a break and grab a refreshing drink. We also ate a really delicious pizza with truffle. It was so good, I had to take a picture of it.
In the evening, we met up with Anastasia and Chris and spent the evening with them. We all really enjoyed ourselves.