A day in the life of Akilah Sykes

Akilah Sykes
Akilah Sykes © Olivier Combres

A day in the life of Akilah Sykes

Chemistry Major, Macalester College
CUPA Spring 2013

I get up at 9:30 to get ready for my 11:30 class. I really only need 20 minutes for travel, but better safe than sorry. My host mom is already up, one host sister is long gone and the other is still sleeping. I make myself presentable before going to get some breakfast: cereal, un pain au lait and a boiled egg. Then I go to class at UPMC (Université Pierre et Marie Curie). Although the bus provides a more scenic ride, it’s cold today, so I’d prefer to stay underground. My initial worries of doing biochemistry in French have been long laid to rest; in fact, I’m considering coming back to study here at some point. That’s my only class for the day, so I decide to go looking for les murs peints de Paris, a walk I found on the website www.paris.fr. They aren’t great pieces of art, but they give me a reason to discover quartiers I probably never would have visited. I have to be careful though, because some men on the road feel they have to talk to me and will not take no for an answer. But they do make for good stories. Finding les murs peints takes me all over Paris, and by the time I’m done, it’s dinner time. Dinner tonight is ratatouille, grated carrots and gratin. And, of course, the baguette. After the meal, the different types of cheese are brought out (brique is my favourite). For dessert, I have riz au lait my host mother made for me. I then shower and climb into bed, my feet exhausted from today’s expedition. But I’m happy… and I drift off into a deep sleep and dream about running from des loups-garous.

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