The way our classes are given in benin is different from the way classes are given here in United States. First, we go by years not by semesters. Classes usually begin in october and last 9 months with Christmas break (2weeks), February break (10days), Easter Break (2weeks) and Holidays last 3months(9+3=1year). Second, classes are scheduled for the whole year. It is not about credits like here, you just need to pass levels. We follow the same schedule from the beginning of the year till the end. Classes begin at 8 a.m every day to 12p.m and then at 3p.m to 6p.m or 7p.m. we take the classes in the same classroom for the entire year and the teacher always come to us. Third, we do 6 exams for an academic year, which means 2 exams per trimester. to pass from one level to another, students should have an average of 10 out of 20 or higher. Also, most of the schools have uniform and our public school wear what we call Kaki. Generally speaking, I think american ways to take class are better and easier. Each teacher has his or her office where you can go to discuss with him or her about your problems. And what it great, teachers encourage students to come to them and discuss their issues. It is not like this in Benin. All the teachers have just one big common office and students are not allowed to get in this office. So, if you got a problem with something, you have to figure it out by yourself or with other students, unless you see the professor in the school by random and he or she has time to listen to you. But what I like, is that we don't have homeworks. we have homeworks but actually it is not graded like this. If you don't do you homework you got punished (for example, you can come a saturday at school to sweep one or two classrooms). At university it is even worse. Classes can begin at 7a.m and end at 4p.m with ten minutes break between each class that last three hours. Some teachers are kind and also give us ten minutes break after the first hour and half of their class. In short, I am just figuring out how it is hard to study in Benin. And I don't think any american can study there. I like it here.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Definitely in Benin, neither coffee, nor any tea is popular. I don't know why. However, some persons like to drink Coffee (It is called Nescafe). they say that it makes them feel strong. I don't like coffee. I drink coffee but I'm not in love with it. For the record, my mother loves coffee and she can't eat anything if she doesn't drink her coffee first, at least once in the day. the only times i drink coffee is when i have a test and need to wake up earlier in the morning to get prepared. Now I do love tea (with milk and chocolate) because i enjoy milk. I heard about green tea here in America but I've never felt like taste it. Now we have traditional drinks in Benin. They are made with some specific plants and people drink it to prevent malaria. it is common and beninese people really like this "mixture". I don't because it tastes bitter. Really bitter. The first time i tried it, I almost thrown up on my sisters.Please don't cry for me, I'm just complicated in terms of drinks. Too bad, I know.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
In my country Benin, we dont have a huge movie industry but we have small movie industries. They made and producted just national films. I heard that one of them is about to spread in all Africa but it doesnt yet. Now, if we want to talk about movie preferences in Benin, it depends on people. Actually, children, teenagers and few adults prefer foreign films like american movies, brazilian movies or french movies. The majority of old people watch national movies which are for the most, comedy movies. Personally, i like romantic and adventurous movies, wherever they are from, since they are not french movies. I think french movies are stupid. I prefer American movies. I think they make sence. Whenever i watch an american movie, i live it. i feel totally in the movie. I like Desperate Housewives, 24hours chrono, Prison Break, Hereos. The one i loved and still love is Save The Last Dance. I cried whenever I watch this movie and i am never fed up with looking it. Maybe that is because the movie is about a love story and I enjoy love stories.
Monday, September 15, 2008
My favorite type of music is Slow. Actually i love hip-hop, Zouk (from antilles), Decale-coupe (from africa) and RNB too. it depends on my mood. Slow is the one i want to talk about, the one i choose because Slow really penetrate me. i mean, i'm really touched when i hear slow. my favorite arstist is R-kelly but the song that i'm in love with is 'We belong together', by Mariah Carey.the first time i heard it, i was at a party and i was really impressed. so i quickly go to youtube to look at the video clip and what make me happier was to see Wenthworth Miller in it. besides, the lyrics are great. I really enjoy this song until now. but usually, l listen to R.Kelly's slow or Joe's slow or whatever it is that sound good.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
My favorite food is fried plantain. Plantain is a kind of banana but it is longer than banana. it is made in Benin ( my country) but plantain are more believed to come from Ghana or Ivory Coast. it reminds me the first time I went to ivory coast, the place where i discovered plantain. I like it because it tastes good. Actually, it is delicious. I taught how to prepare it by myself. It is pretty easy. The ingredients are: Plantain and oil. here is the preparation.
- peel the plantain,
- cut it in small pieces,
- heat the oil,
- add the cut plantain in it.
- wait about 7 minutes until the first side gets brown and then turn the plantain so that the other side can get brown too.
- the plantain is ready.
Usually, I eat it with fried chicken or steak.
Fried plantain can be eaten either at lunch or at dinner. but as it is not consistent, dinner is the best moment i think to eat it. for the record, plantain can be find in Carbondale at the international grocery.
Friday, August 29, 2008
I came in u.s on Aug 16. I landed at Chicago. It was great at Chicago during all the 3 days i did there, because I was with my family. My uncle and cousins actually. It was really great, Chicago is a big city and i wasn't expected that. But once in Carbondale, I have been totally disappointed. I was alone. My roommate then, wasn't that nice. It was boring anyway. Now i made some friends and it is better; not so good, but better. I hope i will fit in quickly. A part from that, Carbondale is the ideal city to study i think.