Musique Fran├žais

     Being a French student this year, I've learned not only how to say my phone number and describe my clothing in another language, I've gotten to experience the sounds of another culture. Almost every class session, my peppy teacher brings a video to show us, either of a musician or a short movie. And I wanted to share some of my favorite artists so far.

1. Coeur de Pirate - This particular version gives me the shivers.

2. Zaz- This musician has such spunk and when she sings, she sings with spirit.

3. Patrick Bruel-There is a certain kind of musical grace that comes with age. I think that is why listening to him is so satisfying.

Veronica A.


Cold Hobbit Hole

      I live in a hole in the ground; it's a rectangular hole with two windows. Unlike a Hobbit hole characterized by rotund warmth and the promise of comforting food, my home is cold. Here in the dead of winter, my electric heaters have failed me. My room is only cozy in looks. All day in the rectangular box which is my bedroom, classroom and music room, it can get uncomfortably cool. I'm learning, however, to layer my spring-appropriate wardrobe to approximate winter wear. Or sometimes I'll just go find a brother's unused thermal shirts.
      A blanket works, but restricts movement. Tea or coffee powered heat only lasts for five to ten minutes. Maybe I need to go shopping for sweaters...or just stay in bed.

Veronica A.


Austen Adaptions

      Avid Austen fans don't only read her books, sew gowns for balls they will never attend and watch period adaptions over and over again, they indulge their thirst for Jane's romances by cringing and oohing their way through the modern films. I've discovered some pretty good ones.

Lost in Austen

         Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) is a 21st century girl, unsatisfied by a sloppy, noncommittal boyfriend. She finds herself messing with history's most beloved romance when she discovers Elizabeth Bennet (Gemma Arterton) coming out of a door in her bathroom from another world. The the plot of Pride and Prejudice falls apart as Miss Price tries to get Bingley (Tom Mison) and Jane Bennet (Morven Christie) to stay together despite the constant attentions that Bingley shows to Miss Price. Mr. Darcy (Elliot Cowan) is appropriately disapproving, which contrasts comically with Amanda's Regency missteps. Amanda not only continually embarrasses herself, she discovers that she might not have known the characters as well as she had thought. 


      Austen obsessed and yearning for a traditional romance, Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) spends all her money on the budget package of a Jane Austen-England experience where she hopes to live out her fantasy among period garbed men and in a grand mansion. She meets another guest, a more than out of place Elizabeth Charming enjoying a platinum package (Jennifer Coolidge), who throughout the film makes inappropriate comments and advances towards the actors contributing to the trip. Ms. Hayes also encounters the resident Mr. Darcy (JJ Field), who is way more respectable than any of the other guests or actors. Despite being third class vacationer, Jane does eventually find the love she's searching for but not with whom she thought.

Bride and Prejudice

        This is Bollywood meets Jane Austen in the twenty-first century. And it's wild. The classic story is charmingly brought to life through the vibrant colors of India and hilarious tunes of Hindi films. Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) is the Elizabeth Bennet who is resisting being forced into marriage and hating the awful American man, William Darcy (Martin Henderson), who is trying to westernize the the Indian town with his hotels.  Unlike these other modern adaptions, the film follows faithfully the story of Pride and Prejudice. But it adds catchy musical numbers like: "No Life, Without Wife."

Veronica A.


A Free Verse

Confessing to Fairy Lights
By Veronica Andreades

What does it mean to be a fairy light?
You’re not alone, you twist on green or white,
Do you begrudge the lamps that stand on desks?
Do you desire to be a solo show?

Or is the friendship best for your bright clan?
Stars do not glow alone, but all at once.
The sun befriends the moon to share the sky
Are you the troops that battle back the night?

Is it against your will to keep some pride?
You hang from nails, adorning my white walls,
Can this explain your rich humility?
You light the way that leads to lands of dreams.

You make me think of secrets that I hold,
Some things I don’t wish anyone to know.
My ink black coat conceals the girl within;
I am a pink-clad princess in disguise.

Veronica A.



     I've taken up swing dancing.

     When I mention this to people who don't know what it is, they assume it's some kind of country dance because of where I live. But that's hardly the case. It's a genre of dancing, popular around the '20s,'30s, '40s and 50's. Found among the footwork are the famous Charleston, Jitterbug and Lindy-hop. My brother first introduced me to it when he was home from college (he'd been winning over Southern belles with his skills). After our first living room lesson, I became obsessed.
       I found a Swing club that meets in Lancaster every Saturday night and whenever I get a chance I hop late into the night with strangers from the county. It's a wild time. You get to meet '40s clad cyber school teachers and open-heart surgery nurses. But the evening is also infused with downtown Lancaster culture, there are the tattooed, oxford wearing hipsters who tear up the floor.
       To give you a glimpse of what it's like, I've linked up a video.

Veronica A.


A High School Student's New Year

A sketch I made that morning.
     Sitting in Prince Street Cafe, sipping a cappuccino and munching on a blueberry muffin, watching as the sun gradually warms the frigid cement sidewalk outside-- life is good. The day after I finished my week long extravaganza of exams, I woke up early and motored into Lancaster. I wanted the first sweet, sweet moments of my freed existence to be accompanied by the fresh urban setting. All anxiety had fallen off my shoulders, and I felt like I could breath again. Just me and my journal, no homework; this was the way to start a new semester.
      The coming week held so much potential for better note taking and improved focus. Just as working adults compile New Year's resolutions, high school students establish New Semester intentions-- mine are to memorize things when they are assigned and write down more.
      Although, there was an astounding amount of stress, the Lord did take care of me. Neither would I have gotten out of bed, nor would I have studied and taken the exams if it weren't for God's gentle and comforting but firm hand each morning. In my journal, I wrote down a couple of scripture passages that were encouraging to me. Every day I went back to them to remind me of who I was and who God was. One was Psalm 18. Scribbled on little owl post-it by my desk are the words:
"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall." ~ Psalm 18:28-29

Veronica A. 


     Unfortunately, exams have hit and some other stuff as well. So I will be gone today and next Wednesday. Posts will return on January 21. 

Merci beaucoup ,

Veronica A.