Friday, 26 November 2010

Welcome to my 4 day weekend!

Once again it's the end of the working week for me. It's only Friday afternoon as I write this, but it already feels like the weekend's come and gone for me! I finished work at 1pm on Wednesday this week, which means 4 days off. My weekend is actually longer than my working week!

Don't get me wrong, 4 days off is definitely a good thing...but possibly a little boring when you live in a small place and only know 2 other people! My friends were both otherwise engaged yesterday and today which leaves me to occupy myself. So far I have managed to watch the 5th and 6th Harry Potter films (essential preparation for HP 7, I'm sure you'll understand) and also Snow White. There are definitely more important things that I should be doing!

For example, I promised Nathalie (one of the english teachers) that I would speak only french with her as of next week. You may read this and think (quite understandably) 'oh but you live in France and you are doing a degree in french, surely this is simple?'. In theory yes. In practice no. Therefore my intention was to revise  verb conjugations during my weeked. Wild plans, I know! I obviously need to lesson-plan this weekend too, for my busy Monday and Tuesdau. 'Winging it' doesn't quite cut it. And my bedroom is rather a mess at the moment (for those who have seen it, I am aware it is quite a small space to become so disorganised!).

An absolutely ESSENTIAL task for the day is to change my duvet. When I moved in the landlady showed me the spare blankets in my apartment and also handed me a second duvet. I exchanged puzzled looks with my parents and pondered as to why I would need a second duvet. Well...I now know why! The duvet currently on my bed is definitely a summer duvet. I'm no tog expert...but I would hazard a guess of around 7! Seeing as snow set in yesterday, it is now definitely too cold for a tog 7! The spare duvet looks around the same thickness, but I'm hoping that if I combine them then I will be as snug as a bug. Might actually put my own duvet cover on whilst I'm at it. The one provided for me is...a bit weird. Whilst I talking about warmth and all that... My radiator in my bedroom still does not work. It is connected to the main house's heating. Therefore this means that my landlady is yet to turn on her central heating. It's snowing! How are they functioning?!

Teaching this week has been...interesting. Generally okay, but I think the students are becoming used to me and are definitely less well behaved than they were before! I am going to have to start getting strict!

My classes on Wednesday definitely provided anecdotal material. I knew that the half of the terminale class I had first thing were the less well behaved half of the class. Nathalie wanrs me of this and always tells them they must behave or I won't have them back. They are always very sweet to me though and well-behaved in class. I fear this may perhaps not be for the right reasons though. When I asked if they like english the boys joked that they do now. Not necessarily appropriate. I was given a list of questions to discuss with them, and I was warned that the last one might have some slightly odd answers, but I thought nothing of it. However, when I asked 'what do you do at the weekend?' one boy replied 'I drink alcohol and I play sex'. Quite frankly, I was taken aback! The class laughed and I had to laugh. I did also have to point out to him that we cannot say that we 'play' sex. But I left it at that.

Then later the terminale euro class I had was also rather unruly! I do enjoy them as a class, because their english is very good and they actually want to be in the lesson and take part in a discussion. However, they just would not shut up! I feel like I can't be too strict with them because they're never rude to me or anything and they do speak in english but they also argue with each other and go off-topic an awful lot. This time I had to move 2 of the boys...they're 17 for goodness sake! When I asked one if he could move his response was 'yes of course, for you, of course'. This is the same boy who told me I look like an actress. And also this lesson said I was 'so cute' when I was getting angry with them. Again, not entirely appropriate. I had to tell them off several time for saying 'fuck you' to each other in jest and calling each other assholes! Their response...'but it is english', like therefore it's fine. They also find the fact that I say 'shhh' and 'shush' to them A LOT incredibly hilarious. (It would appear that they say 'chut' in french when they want a class to shut up). Aaaand obviously on top of that the find the way I pronounce their names funny and kept trying to make me say them! But still...for some reason I like the class! Despite all the laughing at me, I never feel like they're actually making fun of me or being mean. They just get carried away and over-excited. I only have them every 2 weeks though, thank god. I don't know if I could cope with more! Next lesson I am determined to have more structure! I don't want to be boring and strict with them, but I need them to realise I am there to teach them something.

I have discovered there is a student teacher at my school. I have seen him several times before and thought that, like me, he could also easily pass for a student! I didn't realise that he was a student teacher though. I get the impression that he speaks at least some english, as he was participating in the conversation I was having in english with Nathalie on wednesday. I left school thinking he was quite good looking (albeit a bit short), but in reflection I feel I should reassess this. I think being in France changes one's perceptions, and standards definitely slip! As Hannah so perfectly put it, in a text which actually made me laugh out loud, 'if they're not spitting on the floor or they don't have a fag behind their ear they seem acceptable'. This is very true. In northern France anyway. I'm really not sure where this romantic vision that British women have of French men comes from! It certainly isn't from Nord-pas-de-Calais, that's for sure! (Sorry to break this devastating news to you mother. Perhaps they exist in Paris?!)

Well, I am going to go and (at least pretend to) do something productive! I had considered venturing to Arras to sample the delights of their Christmas market. Buuuut the snow, the coldness and the fact that I would be doing so alone makes me want to stay in my nice artificially heated apartment instead. I have food and the internet, what more could I need! Plus I shall be braving the elements for my fun-filled day in Lille tomorrow with Hannah anyway, so I shall get out at some point!


1 comment:

  1. I has always been the accent that gets me.



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