Bonjour d'Aix with Ellie Tidman
June 8, 2012
Vanderbilt high jumper Ellie Tidman is spending her summer studying in Aix, France. The rising junior from Batesville, Ind., was born in France and moved to the United States at the age of 11. At Vanderbilt, Tidman is majoring in French and taking two classes while in Aix, Francophone Cinema and Advanced Conversation, with the goal of returning to fluency in the language. Tidman is one of Vanderbilt's top high jumpers. She placed sixth at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships this year and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round with a top-jump on the season of 1.77 meters (five feet, 9.75 inches).
First day in Aix!
I got there in the early afternoon from the TGV station. I had a meeting at the center for formal paper work and proper introductions. I was so excited to get to be back in France given that I was born there but moved to the U.S. when I was 11. I couldn't wait to regain proper use of the language and rejoin the culture that I am so fascinated by! The staff was super friendly, which was extremely comforting! Then, off to the Auberge Hugo where I was to be staying for the length of the program. The Auberge was conveniently situated on a main street right by the Vanderbilt in France center. It is an apartment that I share with a room mate Diana and three other boys. I love it because it is spacious and having a kitchen makes it easy to cook healthy meals. The evening consisted of unpacking, getting to know the room mates and getting myself ready for my first day of class the next day!
First day of class!
Three hours later we arrive at the top after the first group of people. They are already eating their lunches and enjoying the view... I am unaware of the view or the fact that I am starving... I am just ecstatically happy that I can sit down and not have to move for the next two hours! Once I regain some strength and manage to sit up I look out across the mountain and the view is breath taking! It is much cooler up at the top than on the ground and the horizon is cloudy and grey because we are so high up. From here I can see small towns and reservoirs that are turquoise in color! After two hours of relaxation and basking in the happiness of having achieved something we make our way down the mountain most of us practically running to the bus! At the end of the day people were burnt, tired and hungry but happy to have had such a successful experience under their belts!
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