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I got accepted somehow into a boarding school where French is only/mostly spoken and the main course of study was music.  It was a very ideal situation, obviously.

I traveled to get to the school via bus or some similar means; it took a bit to arrive, and I was traveling on my own.  The weather was cool.  The time was day.  The light was all white, as though the sun were behind clouds most of the time.

I arrived at the school with worries: I don’t really speak French as well as I used to anymore I felt, and I’m not a very talented musician, either.  But I met with an older, smart-looking woman who I understood to be some kind of headmistress, and the impression I got from her was that it was perfectly all right to be at any level in anything, basically.

I had a light-purple piano with me, which I had won from an older school of mine through some kind of essay I had written?  I don’t recall this for certain.

So I went to my room while everyone else was in classes.  My room was on an upper floor (if not the top), the right, was very modestly-sized and had windows.  The bed had drawers built into it, so I went about unpacking my clothes: jeans, and shirts.  I noticed that a teacher was eyeing me as I did this, so I thought that I should be doing something ‘responsible’; folding clothes seemed responsible enough.  I rehearsed the words I knew in French already, and happily could access at least the ones I was trying to access (basic words for objects around me).  I looked forward to the immersion that would rapidly hone my speaking ability.

Some other kids started to come into the room at this point; a few younger boys and a few around my age.  It was a point that I appeared a lot younger than I was.  But no one made a big deal out of it.

Then it seemed that everyone was either in between classes or that classes were finished for the day, since the floor filled up with kids and everyone seemed to be mingling.  A teacher I recognized entered my room, Mrs. Byron from elementary school’s grade 5: she was dark-skinned with short, wavy black hair, aquiline nose (exhaggeratedly) and was quite short.  She spoke with an accent.  She was interviewing me about my music background and the origins of my piano.  I told her I had won it to reassure her that it was not a piece of junk, as I suspected she was wondering if I knew about how to select and keep a quality instrument.

I said, “None of our music majors were able to get it…”, a point of interest and irony to me, at least, haha.  Not that I could play it.  But evidently playing ability was not a factor.

The scene shifted and we all moved out of my room.  We went into a common area that was divided into two, separated by a half-wall on one side where there was a bathroom, kitchen, dining area, etc.  On the other side of this long room were sitting areas, windows, and other things that probably made it some kind of socializing center.  There were people busy everywhere; it seemed like they were preparing for some kind of party.  Mrs Byron and I were next to each other at the sink, where she was washing and I was trying to either help her, or talk to her to fill her in about myself and about what she could expect from me.  I understood that she would be instructing singing and song writing because that’s what we were talking about.  She was doubting my ability to handle the work to come, I think.  I told her I had a personal interest in the subject (song writing) under my breath, and noticed Julia as nearby, on a couch, and she smiled at me when I said this.  I was embarrassed, fleetingly.

I also remember floating away from them for a moment.  I wandered into the adjacent area, where there was much talking and older people who were already established in the program.  They were all sitting around a long, dark-brown dining table.  There were people congregated around every place actually, even the bathroom, talking.  I can’t remember why or what else I did there.  I wandered back to Mrs. Byron and tried to help her with the dishes?  I picked something up, or was close against the wall as another, short-haired, sandy/dark-blonde-haired girl appeared and retrieved something, or indicated something to Mrs. Byron.  I was watching the water and then went to Mrs. Byron’s other side.  A knife was taken out of the water, and for some reason it was mentioned that “washing them a third time wouldn’t hurt”, or something like that.

I understood then that the dishes were being washed constantly as they were being used in whatever service for the activities being done on the floor.  The dishes got used and reused constantly, so the washing would never really be done with, hence the washing station.  I looked up through the window and heard thunder as well as saw some darkness in the clouds.

I’m forgetting a part that took place in a large, dark theatre, too, I’m pretty sure…

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