My dear brother recently told me about a daily email from a site called theSkimm. Monday through Friday I receive a little dose of the news to my email. But rather than a stoic account of the terrors plaguing the stratosphere, I am treated to short anecdotes that read more like a modern day gossip column. The reason why this works for me is because I am not bored nor overwhelmed by the information put forth. It's also incredibly helpful for sifting through the crap and getting to the bottom line. It even has links to more notable publications if you feel like reading further on a specific subject. Since I spend half my day in commute from student to student or class to tour, etc... It's a really perfect way to get a hit of the news during my travels.
Now, since my French classes are now 45 minutes away from where I live rather than 25, I have also been enjoying a ritual early morning commute this fall. For the most part, it's a rather pleasant experience, and I have been using it as a second means of staying informed. Each day as I enter the metro, I finally say yes to the free news journals being handed out every morning and I take a seat on the metro with my news in hand. As a means of practicing my French skills, I plow through articles that are generally short and to the point, ranging from local to international news. I integrate my French skills with my general news skills and I feel much more cultivated and informed overall.
Basically, I have found two easy, enjoyable, multi-facted ways of paying attention to what's going on in the world rather than burying my head in the Parisian sand. To be fair, I do actually prefer having a bit of a clue, and the world these days is scary enough to light the fire under anyone's need to know. Whether you are in Manhattan or Paris, there's a lot to learn and understand, and I'm simply glad I've found a way to do it in a style that suits.