Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm a certified mechanic! well...kind of!

This morning, I had a 2-hour "car mechanic class for women" at the Nissan car dealership where I purchased my car! Haha, random isn't it? It was awesome!!

A few months ago, I got an email from them saying that they were going to offer this class to women -- the goal was to teach women basics of car maintenance so that we would know how to change a tire, check all of the fluids, change the light bulbs, etc, and all without the help of men! I thought it sounded great, plus it was free, and they said they'd serve free coffee and French pastries! All convincing arguments!! So I had reserved the date several months ago and I was SO excited that the day was finally here!

I didn't really know what to expect, but I arrived right on time, grinning from ear to ear and ready to learn all the ins and outs of my car! There were 15 of us today, and it was the 3rd time they'd done this type of class -- they've had between 20-30 women come each time! It was nice to be a smaller group, as I was less intimidated to ask my questions!

I was the young one of the group and my oh my were there interesting women there! I will spare you a description of each one, but my three favorites:

1. An old lady who had no clue about anything related to a car, and kept making comments like "oh how interesting!" and "ooooooh wow that's REALLY GOOD TO KNOW!!!!" She was super enthusiastic. She smiled all the time at me, and we totally bonded when we changed the light bulb together.

2. There was another lady who was probably in her mid-30s and hilarious. She told joke after joke and made up all these scenarios that had us rolling on the floor laughing. She even pretended to be a cross-wrench model. :)

3. The 3rd lady was a very rich lady, who didn't want to get her hands dirty at all, pretended to know the answers to all of the mechanics questions, but then informed us that anytime she needed to go on a trip, she OBVIOUSLY took the plane. Ooooook.

It made for a very dynamic group!

So after we arrived, they handed all of us plastic aprons and black gloves and we were ready to go into the garage!

Our mechanic was so nice and knowledgeable!

They had a whole bunch of parts sitting out on the table -- used and new to show us the difference. That was helpful.

Then he showed us how to change a tire. That and checking my oil are about the only two things I actually know how to do, but it was still a good review. Some of these women had never changed a tire before!

The mechanic used the machine to tighten the bolts, so we had to jump on the wrench to loosen them. They eventually brought out one of those cross bar wrenches, and that was much easier.

At the end of the workshop, we all went back inside and were rewarded with all kinds of little goodies for the car, AND....

A "mechanic certificate" certifying that I have learned all of the "basic maintenance checks for my vehicle". Woohoooo!!!!! The President of Nissan was there, and he signed it. :) I was so proud! I will hang it up on my wall, I'm just sure of it. 

Not a bad way to spend my Saturday morning! :) The rest of the afternoon was great too, but that's another post for another day! 

Oh, and Hubert, I got you a new pen!!!! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

the time I became a med student for 2 hours

Yup, that was last week! I was invited to join this good lookin' med student to one of his 2-hour classes, in order to experience what it was like to be in medical school. Once upon a time when I was younger, I had great aspirations of becoming a doctor. And then I took biology and well.... if you know what happened in my college biology class, you understand why I realized being a doctor just wasn't for me. :) But I still thought it would be fun to see what one of the medical classes was like here, and when this said med student proposed that I come with him, I was super excited. I promised to take notes and "be just like the rest of the people in class", and seriously, I was so happy! It doesn't take much!

The class was on gastroenterology and we looked at several diseases you can get from different parasites and other stuff in really exotic places like... Africa! You know, malaria, schistosomiasis, cysticercosis, etc. Some parts of the class I actually knew what was going on, and could follow one out of every 10 words or so. It made me think of the times when Mom told us not to play in the dirty, standing water cause we could get parasites-- thanks Mom, you were right! :)

Apparently, like any typical college campus, attendance wasn't at its max capacity. My source told me that had everyone been there that was supposed to be there, the room would've been packed.

I was so nervous the teacher/doctor was going to call on me and ask me a question, so I tried to blend in as much as possible and avoid eye contact. That is, while discretely taking pictures and smiling from ear to ear.

The guy sitting next to me was concentrating really hard and rapidly scribbling down notes -- putting extra symbols next to things he wanted to make sure not to forget for exam time.

I was also taking notes. Though... I was more concerned that my paper look pretty, than getting everything written down and putting symbols next to the important things. 

At one point, the teacher showed us a diagram of how you can ingest cysts-- and get cysticercosis for example. Gross gross gross. Can you guess which diagram is mine and which one is the legit med student's? :)

It was very interesting being in a situation where 99% of the words I was writing didn't make any sense and I had to look at the board like a million times to see how to spell something.

I am so impressed with how much these med students learn and how hard they work! You can keep these diligent students in your prayers (especially the one I sat by!) as they have really difficult exams before Christmas! 

I asked the guy I sat by if I could take my picture with him -- a picture with a REAL medical student! Woah, I'm one lucky girl! 

Amy Putnam, I'm expecting you to understand all of my notes!! :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

the wild wild west came to Rennes

Last week-end, we had our student Fall Retreat and Saturday night was a special "western-themed" night. We had bbq meatballs and potatoes, a hilarious western skit, several games, line dancing lessons, and... a photobooth.

I didn't have enough time to do lots of western decor, but I made a "wanted sign" and glued mustaches on sticks for a photobooth, and it was all we needed! Awww, brother and sister :)

I was so happy with how the pictures turned out, and people got so into it! This was our group!

And a few of the out takes...

Stephanie has one of the greatest smiles and laughs EVER!

Hubert (another staff member here in Rennes, who was our week-end speaker) discovered that depending on which way you turned the mustache, you were old or young. 

I had soooooo much fun making the sign! I was also really proud of the belt buckle I made Joel -- Agape Campus is what CRU is called in France. :)

It was a really fun evening!!