Field Trip II

Visiting Québec Parliament
QUÉBEC, Canada
January 21, 2013

I'm back in Québec City and back in my routine: Six hours attending language class every weekday. Forty-five minutes swimming laps at PEPS three times a week. Two hours of "conversation café" at the local community center Wednesday evenings. I feel very much back in my own comfortable space after spending Christmas break with family in the Pacific Northwest. Except...

Except that this regular schedule of mine has to come to an end in a couple weeks. February 6 will mark the last day of the term. That's just the final date on the academic calendar--the last day I actually have to go into the university will likely be even earlier. Both previous terms concluded with exams scheduled several days before the final date. I can't believe that my academic year is about to end, that I'm nearly finished with the entire program of Free French. Didn't I just begin?

I'm figuring out onward options. Another course might be an easy transition. A few days ago the students of my class who could potentially be interested in attending a composition course took a placement exam to gauge levels of interest and ability. All but one of my classmates chose to take the test. That should express a sufficient level of interest to form a class. But, even though this next session would also be held at Université Laval, we'd no longer be matriculated students of the institution. That means all university privileges: access to UL's libraries, gymnasium, computer labs, and campus-wide wi-fi--all those benefits will end with my last class in February.

Only One Flag Flies
in Québec Parliament Since
the Last Election
Which reminds me: I'd better get myself into the campus career placement service while I still have status. A representative of that department has come into our class a couple times this term to promote their free assistance creating resumes and finding jobs. I might as well take advantage of what's on offer while it's still available.

Happily, our session is winding down with more off-campus field trips. Today, we took route 800 into town for a tour of the Parliament building. Québec City is indisputedly the capital of the Province of Québec. But, the city and surrounding region are officially referred to not as the "provincial capital", but as la capitale nationale--perhaps expressing some future desire beyond autonomy.

When touring the Parliament building I found it amusing to see with my own eyes something I'd heard fiercely debated in the press. Since the election of the separatist Parti Québecois this summer the red and white maple leaf standard of Canada has been removed throughout the Parliament building. Only the blue and white quadruple fleurs de lys of Québec is left on display.

Well, vive la révolution! Perhaps I'll have the option to get myself a Québec passport sometime after the coming civil war...