Why is it that in America and Canada, it is acceptable for university students to eat food in classrooms, as if the learning space were a kitchen or dining room?
Why is it acceptable for students to take calls in class, and then walk out of the room even while the instructor is presenting a lecture?
Haha. I find instances like that so normal, but the fact that it happens astounded Miguel. He was so animated when describing the behavior he observed at the University of Ottawa. Even the fact that students can simply stand up and go to the bathroom whenever, was a highlight for him.
In France, he described the student-teacher relationship as more “rigid,” whereas here, he saw such relationships as warmer and closer, as teachers seem to understand that students may be hungry or need to use the bathroom.
Pierre and Miguel were leaving to go back to Ottawa that evening, as they had classes on Monday. So we spent those final hours walking around Montreal some more.
Pierre pointed out that in France, stop signs don’t say “ARRET.”
“They just say STOP,” he said.
Similarly, Starbucks establishments don’t look like this:
They just say Starbucks/Starbucks Coffee. Pierre said French Canadians must just be really proud of their French heritage, which is probably why they include French words in many signs.
Time flew by as we covered the city on foot, talking about our countries and TV shows. (Brooke was particularly fond of “Gossip Girl.”)
We stopped by a bakery so Pierre and Miguel could get some pastries for a person with whom they would have lunch, and we all took the opportunity to make a purchase.
And in the snap of a finger, it was time to say our goodbyes to Pierre and Miguel.
Although it is customary for them to bid farewell with kisses on the cheek, we parted ways with hugs. (In the process, Pierre shared a story of when he was in China. He said was going to kiss some of the girls goodbye and they “freaked out.” It’s just so intriguing to hear about/witness/understand cultural differences.)
Brooke, Sebastian and I went on to explore the Montreal Bisophere.