Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Theme For This Week Has Been Insomnia And Sobriety

Tuesday again!

I didn’t quite tell kids that Father Christmas was dead, but they did do a pretty good job of learning how to describe him as a “fat old bastard with an alcohol problem and an unhealthy interest in children”.

I jest, I jest.

However, during the class one kid (who was stalling for time to be away from the teacher – why the hell do these kids like my PowerPoint presentations so much? I’m turning into my Business Studies teacher…I digress) asked me if I had a BlackBerry.  I told him no, I didn’t, but my sister does! He understood this perfectly well, and proceeded to ask me if it was an English word. Yes, it is.

“Et ça veut dire quoi en français, BlackBerry?”
“Euhhhh, en fait c’est un fruit”
“OUAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA les anglaises mangent les portables!”

Shut the fuck up.

Other than that, Tuesday was pretty uneventful. As was Wednesday, although my 5ème class were nice to me after the group of boys who cause all the trouble decided to sit in two smaller groups after what I can assume was an argument.

I can assume this because their argument continued when one boy threw a pencil case at the head of the boy who had got them all into trouble last week by writing “Suck My Dick” on the chalk board (don’t call me out on political correctness, it wasn’t even black) after they’d planned it between themselves. The boy responded by throwing it out of the window (from the 2nd floor – lol) and calling his classmate a pédé. No doubt they’ll be best buds once more by the time I see them again tomorrow, reunited to give me grief. I’m so just showing them Mr Bean videos.

Thursday, I got into work slightly late and very stressed to discover that my teacher was absent for my first lesson at 9.30, and in my next lesson at 11.30, my presence was not required because they were going over some things that just…well. I’d have sat there doing nothing. So yeah, I turned up at 9.30 to essentially do NOTHING until 2pm.

Which was when things got interesting.

That teacher was absent too, so I was slightly irritated at the waste of my day (and very irritable at the lack of sleep I had been experiencing all week – managing 4 hours per night, interrupted by nightmares, if I was lucky) and was about to tell the kids to go to the “permanence” which is where French kids have to go if they don’t have a teacher. Suddenly, one of my students delightedly informs me that the CPE told them I can take the lesson on my own!

Gee, thanks CPE! So nice of you! No keys, no lesson plan, no form of preparation WHATSOEVER, added to the fact that I am COMPLETELY unqualified to take a lesson on my own, and I can take the most difficult 6ème class I work with without any semblance of supervision? Oh, you are so KIND to me!

Now. I want you, the reader, to think back to when you were in school (or to the present time, if you are still at school) and you had no teacher, and a supply had been arranged last minute. They don’t know what you’re working on, they haven’t been given any work for you to cover and to be perfectly honest, they don’t have a clue what they’re even doing.

What was the natural course of action that the class didn’t have to even discuss with each other? To sit down quietly and be respectful of the poor soul at the front of the room who resembles something along the lines of a rabbit stuck in headlights? To open your textbooks to the section you’re working on and give the substitute some idea of what you’ve been doing recently? Or would it be to run riot, throw pieces of paper all over the classroom, pull each other’s hair, shout at each other, argue across the classroom, ignore anything the substitute says, refuse to do anything the substitute says, generally make the life of the substitute Hell for the next hour?

And remember how much BETTER it was when the supply teacher didn’t understand your language properly?

The only reason I haven’t reported these ARSEHOLES to somebody superior is because I know it’s karma for what a little shit rag I was in school. One kid called me a bastard for telling him to move, then claimed not to understand me, and asked if he wanted me to move towards the hospital.

(You’ll fucking need to if you don’t stop being a little prick any time soon, mate.)

Another girl who is normally a sweet little thing got the right raving hump when I told her that she could indeed play hangman, but as long as it was in English and she was to play it on a piece of paper. She spent the remainder of the lesson sulking and defacing Father Christmas on the drawing I’d asked them to do.

One boy drew a really good picture including all the English things I’d asked them to include (improvisation at its best, in my opinion) but decided to include the message “Merry Christmas, bande de cons” (WordReference tells me that “cons” can be translated into an English word that also begins with C).

At the end of my tether, I gave this class a categoric “TAISEZ-VOUS!!!”  louder than I ever imagined my voice could have been. And you know I can be loud when the mood takes me. Some of them gasped in shock. Some of them looked straight at their paper and carried on working. The bonus is, none of them laughed at me. I’d probably, nay, definitely, have laughed at a teacher shouting BE QUIET at the top of her lungs. (Miss LeGoff, anyone?)

They were quiet after this. Bunch of wankers, but it gave me a sense of nostalgia and made me miss being a little Year 7 dickhead myself.

On Friday we had an amusing (yet tragic) situation. There was a stink of burning in the classroom that nobody could locate. None of the kids could concentrate on how bad the smell was (you know when it’s not really that bad but 13 year old kids will do anything to get out of doing some work) and so the teacher went to get the caretaker and the headteacher. The secretary came along for the ride, and we were moved into another room just in case it was a gas leak or a terrorist attack or something. The caretaker came into the new room armed with a different English teacher and informed the class that the smell had gone from the room so it must be one of the kids. The pair of them then started to sniff around the classroom, coming to one young guy and blaming him entirely. Apparently the smell was like some cold remedy that you put on your skin that helps to clear your throat. The boy had put on nothing of the sort. They blamed his hair gel.

He looked like he was going to cry.

This would never have been allowed in an English classroom. I remember the uproar when a teacher brought up the problem of smelly armpits to an A-Level Biology class.

However, poor kid, it wasn’t him, as when we got back to the initial classroom after the lessons, the stink was still there.  We managed to find where it had been coming from, incidentally right next to where the kid had been sitting. Poor kid sat next to a bad smell and it latched onto him.

He’ll remember Friday morning for the rest of his life, definitely.

Not much to report about the weekend, except that Louise now eats cat food and I stayed sober!  I also got some well-deserved sleep after the Hell I’d been through all week. Christmas shopping in Paris on Friday afternoon was the worst. I was so tired I could cry, and people kept trying to con me into making another donation to the “deaf, dumb and blind” fund.

Monday it was back to work for my final week before going home on Friday, and it was rather uneventful except for the boy in English Club who gave me a massive dossier of verbs that he’s been working on to improve his English vocabulary. He’s spent two years working on it, and it’s definitely going to help me with my French. This kid’s a legend. I just wish the other boy in the club wasn’t such a cock to him.

So we’re back to Tuesday. I’ve had my timetable swapped about to give me Thursday off work, so I’m going to spend two days shopping and throwing rubbish out of my flat and gutting the place before I go get drunk before my Eurostar on Friday evening. I have taught my first lesson with a teacher who has just returned from maternity leave, and I showed them “I Know What You Did Last Christmas” which went down pretty well. Unfortunately, my Christmas Cracker jokes didn’t go down so well. Except for the last one, which the teacher found quite amusing;

On which side do chickens have the most feathers?
The outside.

I’d like to note, section européenne, that English humour is normally better than “what’s black and white and noisy? A zebra with a drum kit!”

I’ll tell you what did go down well though. My desktop background. Here it is;













I didn’t realise that the kids would see that when I closed PowerPoint (well….at least I’m not making them copy it like my Business Studies teacher did). But it’s funny how they understood this and not what a Christmas cracker is.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Alors on sort pour oublier de GARDER NOS VERRES

Hiyaa….

I thought I’d write you a blog, seeing as it’s been a while since the last one. Well, about a week, to be exact. Feels like forever though.

Wednesday, after a hangman game with Year 8 turned into my wanting to physically hang them after they decided that “suck my dick” was an acceptable phrase to write on the board, I headed down to the consulate to get my new passport and discovered that the picture wasn’t as horrendous as it looked when I got it taken. Result! After this I wandered about Paris aimlessly, hunting for Christmas presents for people.

Thursday and Friday were a bit boring, Went out Friday night and my card got declined, Santander took three months to realise that my card was being used in France you see. How clever! Not like I’d have noticed the few thousand quid that has disappeared from my account since 20th September or anything, thanks for realising after THREE MONTHS, Santander’s Fraud Team.

Luckily, I have a few awesome friends who looked after me and got me a few drinks so I just danced and had a nice time, then got the night bus home, missing my stop and being lucky enough to get to walk through Corbeil Essonnes at half past three in the morning in the bitterest of bitter cold I think I’ve ever experienced (apart from playing rugby in the snow in year 8 without a jumper – teacher was a bitch).

Saturday, I went out to Paris again after ringing Santander and being told my card was now fine for use. I got to the cash machine outside the bar and BAM! Your bank has declined this transaction, sorry pal! So I rang the bank again, and stood by an alleyway whispering my security checks down the phone like I was enquiring about a very substantial international drugs deal.

Turns out, the guy who had been condescending about me not informing the bank of my departure to France, had decided not to tell the computer that all France-related withdrawals were okay and that the machine should GIVE ME MY MONEY. Now who’s the dickhead?

The very nice woman on the phone fixed it for me, and I took some money out and went out.
The last thing I remember was buying a beer and sitting down.

I have a vague recollection of being very very ill, I just thought I was pissed, until I left the bar after realising my bag had been stolen whilst I was throwing my guts up. All my puking did not sober me up, even slightly, and I then proceeded to spend well over three hours trying to get to Chatelet from TWO METRO STOPS AWAY. I don’t know. I could have got on the wrong train and ended up in Amsterdam and then went all the way back. 

Eventually found Louise on the platform where our train was going to take us home, she took one look at me and said “You got spiked.”

It suddenly made sense, how my words were not slurring but I had forgotten the conversation we had just had, how I was still walking in a perfectly straight line but feeling all over the place, how I had been so sick and not sobered up, how I had spent NEARLY FOUR HOURS trying to get to a station that was about 5 minutes away. I didn’t even sober up on the train.

When I got back to my building, the realisation really and truly set in that I was a bit F’ed. My bag had been stolen in the bar after someone gave my beer some added extra and made me very sick. I therefore had no key to get in the gate OR into my apartment. Over the gate and in through the window it was, then!
The next day I felt absolutely disgusting. I couldn’t face the essay that was due in Monday so I had to finish it in my broken bits of spare time over the course of Monday, before the 4pm deadline. It was tight, but with a slightly shoddy bibliography and VERY questionable grammar I managed to submit it at 15.59.

French time, that is.

Silly me - didn’t realise that I had until 4pm GMT to get it submitted, so I could have taken a bit more time on the bibliography and correcting the grammar. And I wanted to actually do well this year.
Oh well... It’s done now, right?

Now it’s Tuesday and I’m about to go and teach kids how to describe stuff. Father Christmas today. I’m gonna tell them he’s dead. I’m cool like that.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

ÇA VAAAAAA?


Friday Friday Friday.

I went to work, had some pretty successful lessons with the kids, English Club in particular. I’ve decided to stop running it to any sort of plan, they have to come with ideas of what to talk about, and we just chat. One of them asked to talk about family to reinforce what they’d been learning in lessons last week, and so we chatted about our families for an hour solid. One of my students told me that her father has 18 brothers and five sisters. I was sure she was lying until she told me that her father had several step-mothers. And I thought my 26 cousins was an impressive feat.

Friday night, I stayed in with The Third Party trying to watch Harry Potter but we only got as far as the third one, in between a Lidl tip and him talking over all of the films, and pre-warning me every time something was about to happen.

Saturday, The Third Party went home and the plan was to clean my flat and go out for a while before meeting Louise to head into Paris. I didn’t do any of this before meeting Louise to head into Paris. Good effort.

Everything was a bit boring, until The Third Party turned up determined to fall out with us.

Takes the wrong exit for the cinema then doesn’t listen to instructions on how to get to the right place, instead moaning and stressing at me over the phone. Moans about the choices of bars we are visiting that night, not that he is under any obligation to come with us at all. Says he’s going home because we “fucking scrutinise everything he says” when we tell him that if he wants us to go to different bars, he has to do a bit of research and find places for us to go – it’s not up to us to please him. Bitches some more when we don’t care if he goes home or not.

I went to the toilet before the film started (oh, we were at the cinema watching the new Harry Potter film by the way) and he had shut up when I came back, so I thought that might have been the end of it. He came out to the bars we were going to, and even apologised for being out of order at the cinema.

The second this apology was accepted, he started again.

Bitching because he wanted to go home. Bitching because this was boring. He was sat there doing nothing, that’s why he was bored. I was sat there doing nothing but I was perfectly happy doing a spot of people-watching, but this didn’t seem to please him. Instead he’s asking my type, trying to get me to try and pull one of the numerous OLD PEOPLE in this bar. Moaning again because I had a better beer glass than him (wtf??). Bitching that he’s still bored. We go to pay to leave, to please him, and he’s still bitching. Come on Sam, we’re going NOW! The other bar is across the road. I can find it. But we’re going now! But I haven’t paid. Yeah but we’re going now. Go, I’ll find you in there once I’ve paid. 

He goes outside and I hand my money over, he comes back in moaning. Have you paid yet? Yeah I’m waiting for my change. But we’re going now. But I know where the bar is, it’s across the road, I can find it. I’m not leaving without my change (it was 25€, before you start thinking I’m a cheapskate). Ok see you in there. I got my change and he’s outside the bar talking to a couple of girls. I go across the road and wait for them, Louise joins me first and we head over to the bar to be refused entry.

Why?

Because he said so.

Because the manager had told him no. He didn’t know why.

We eventually found out that it was apparently because The Third Party had been too drunk on an earlier occasion and they did not want him in again.

We thought this was bollocks, but managed to find a compromise that if he stopped drinking now in the first bar, the barmaid would get him into the second bar. He starts again.

I feel so ashamed that I’ve ruined your night.
But you haven’t, we’re still getting in as long as you stop drinking now.
But it’s so embarrassing, that it’s my fault you two can’t get in.
No, The Third Party, he said no to all of us before you even got there.
Yeah but I’m so embarrassed, even though it’s not my fault I’m still so embarrassed.
The Third Party, shut up. It’s not all about you. You weren’t the only one pissed last week, they’re making up excuses probably because you’re a guy.
Is that why? Because I’m a guy?
Maybe, I don’t know.
Is the bouncer gay?
I don’t know.
Is he gay though?
I don’t know. 

The “conversation” continued like this until Louise piped up and said something along the lines of “Look. Shut up. This world does not revolve around you, it is not all about you. Shut up moaning, we’ve been told we can get in if you stop drinking so shut up and wait for the lady to finish work so she can take us over there.
A few moments of sulking later, The Third Party pipes up with;

“Do you have anything sharp?”

What?

An argument ensued about how he was an idiot who should really just shut up, and either cheer up or go home. He sulks some more, before storming out of the bar.

Oh, he’s chosen to go home then? Fair enough.

Five minutes later, my phone rings. I ignore it, he’s pissed me off tonight and he’ll only be attention seeking anyway.

15 minutes after this, he storms back in, telling me and Louise that we are both complete C-words. Honestly could have punched him. Really don’t know how I kept my temper. Louise tried to calm the situation, but I felt that the damage was already done. No way was I going to let that pass for the sake of getting him into a bar. I’d rather go home early and hold a grudge.

The barmaid comes along, and tells us that the manager (of both bars) feels that The Third Party is still too drunk and that me and Louise can get into the other place but only if The Third Party is not with us. He invites us to send him home.

Go home.

Smugly, he informs us that he doesn’t know the way (expecting me to say ok stay out let’s all go home together)

I gave him directions to the bus stop.
He flipped.

“I thought you were better than that! This is the end of us!”
Hahaha.

Definitely the end of my putting up with you not letting me get a word in edgeways every time we meet, definitely the end of my letting you stay in my flat only for you to make my hangover worse by commencing your bitching the second everyone’s awake (on one occasion COMING INTO MY ROOM AND WAKING ME UP SO THAT YOU COULD DO SO), definitely the end of my trying to understand why you are such an attention seeking little bitch. Good luck in life.

After this, we actually had a really nice night. Well. Apart from the gender ambiguous 50something that was pressing her hips into my backside and saying “ça vaaaaaa?” in the most frighteningly deep voice I have ever heard. Oh, and the slightly crazy middle-aged woman in the next place who was trying to dance with me one minute, spilling my drink on my sleeve and wiping the “drink” off of my chest all too enthusiastically the next, then going and getting off with her girlfriend, then coming up behind me at the bar trying to kiss my neck and touch me inappropriately. Can’t I just have a quiet drink?

More 4am Italian, got invited to a gay wedding then had a horrendous time trying to get home when the doors on the first train broke.

Spent Sunday in the usual manner, food, chilling and reminiscing over the night before, minus The Third Party. It felt nice for the pair of us to actually be able to speak to each other.

Monday and Tuesday have been fairly uneventful days, with essay planning taking up a chunk of my spare time, along with feeling slightly ill and showing a video of Kevin the Teenager to my 3ème class this morning. Oh, and a mini-fright when my lecturer caused some confusion over the deadline of my resit essay for the unit I failed last year.

I’m so tired.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Apparently it's National Skirt Day, but don't worry I won't subject you all to that


Another blog? So soon?

Yes.

Deal with it.

So, Tuesday I had work, with my favourite bastard 3èmes to start my day. When the teacher finally had them reasonably quiet after handing back some work (20 minutes into the lesson, might I add – nothing to do with her competence either, they really are just absolute wankers) she gave me a group of them to take into a separate room to tell me about their American Dream. One at a time, they told me they wanted “famous, have big house, have Ferrari, and beautiful wife and be happy!” until one boy had clearly done some research into the reality of the American Dream.

“I want to have lots of money, a casino, lots of beautiful cars, a big house with a pool, women for strip tease and I want cocaine.”

Honesty. You can’t beat it.

In this same lesson, a fight broke out, between two boys who are bigger than me. I don’t know why it happened, but after they’d been pulled apart by the entire class about three times I stood in between them for the remainder of the lesson, wondering if it was me who was about to receive a smack in the mouth.

Later that afternoon, I was taking a class of 6èmes under the supervision of the teacher, who had gone to photocopy a document for me to use during the lesson. I set them a small task with a diagram of the human body, and told them to underline the words they already knew. They didn’t quite understand this, and so I had to explain the task in French.

I had forgotten that this particular group still thought that I couldn’t speak French, so a few shocked gasps and some “ah, vous parlez bien français!” and I had to admit that I had been lying. At this point, a rather talkative young man in the corner decided it would be a good idea to say,

“Fuck you bitch.”

Not just once, either.

I’m not sure why he said this, I don’t know if he felt betrayed by my web of linguistic lies or what, but still – his class mates were quick to grass him up the second the teacher got back. A report was written to the principale and everything. Haha.

Wednesday, I had a class of 5èmes to take in the morning, and I was a bit stuck for ideas, seeing as I have literally had this class dumped on me with no indication of what they are studying or anything. I improvised with yet another week on presentations, this time incorporating the third person into it by making them work with a partner. During this lesson, it transpired that one boy is actually almost fluent in English, because his Mother is American. I’m not going to lie, I felt a bit intimidated by this bilingual thirteen year old. His English was at the level my French was at during A-Level – and his French was better than mine. How do I educate this kid? Make him read Hamlet? He must have found the session so boring. Well not that boring, as he asked to stay for the second half with the other group, but work on presenting himself instead – so I gave him much harder information to come up with. This could be a challenge. Bring it on.

I strolled back into my flat after that lesson, feeling a bit crap, so I decided to have a nap for a while before going to the consulate for my new passport.

No such luck – by the time I woke up, I didn’t have enough time to get to Paris, let alone make it to the consulate. Next week then? I decided to go to new fruits and try to feed myself, but I started to feel sick in the supermarket so I left, got the bus into Corbeil to buy a cold drink and to get some air and such like, by which point I was starting to feel better, so I got myself some dinner (and the best baguette ever) out of Leader Price.

My dinner sucked though. Made me feel ill again. I decided to try my hand at brewing some iced tea (which didn’t really go too well – although some more sugar and I think I’ll be good next time) and went to bed.

Thursday was a day with an okay start for me. I’d got myself a semi-decent night’s sleep for a change, so getting ready for work could be done at a leisurely pace. As I left the flat, I noticed that it had been raining. Fair enough, I thought, it’s stopped now; all is well in the world. Headphones in, open gate, make a move.

As I was crossing the bridge, I noticed that the ducks had all got out of the river, and were sitting in a puddle on the bank. Is that water better or something? Is this a duck thing to do? Can somebody please verify this for me?

Got into work, much smoother day than I had had at the same place on Tuesday. No fights, just a kid who didn’t understand “how old is your mum” or “elle a quel age, ta mere?” (well, spellchecker is changing my words so that French will have to remain inaccurate). I don’t know where this kid was from, but I’m sort of lost if I’m working in English lessons in French schools and the boy doesn’t understand anything I say to him.

Oh, and the kids who had decided to battle it out in my class on Tuesday apologised to me. Quite nice of them , actually. Certainly wasn’t expecting it.

On my way out of school, I crossed paths with one of the teachers who was on her way out for a cigarette break – “smoking to forget” - and a small bit of banter ensued about how it is worse for me as I don’t even have smoking as a comfort amidst all these horrendous children. As we reached the bottom of the stairs there was a bit of commotion in the corridor – the teacher broke all these kids up to find that a poor little kid had been getting slapped around the head by about 20 others. It was only when he escaped that I saw it was Mister “Fuck you bitch” from Tuesday afternoon. He pretended to be okay but as soon as the teacher caught up with him he burst into tears. Proper tears. I wanted to laugh at him like I had on Tuesday but he looked so devastated I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Damn you conscience.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Mademoiselle Superman


The nap I mentioned in my last blog lasted 4 and a half hours, you might like to know. However, after that I couldn’t actually be bothered to do my cleaning, so I left it to Saturday morning instead.

Once I’d done that, I decided to head towards Courcouronnes, because I wanted to buy a new jumper for going out that evening. However, someone at Orangis Bois de l’Epine decided it would be a fantastic idea to get onto the tracks, and as a result went underneath it, meaning that all trains were diverted past that section of the line, so in effect I had no way at all of getting to Courcouronnes, unless I went back to villabe and got the bus. Allow it. I went to Paris instead, there’s a New Look in Chatelet so I bought my jumper in there instead. It was also reduced – bonus! So I treated myself to a pretty tasty chicken salad baguette and a bottle of coke, for the very reasonable price of 5€.

It beats a 151€ passport, anyway.

I headed back towards home, and once I reached Corbeil I headed up to the Centre Commercial at Villabe, by bus though, as I couldn’t be bothered to walk up that godforsaken hill. I went into Lidl and picked up my predrink and some stomach lining products for Louise and I, a dirty pizza that I will not be buying again.

In true Beezley fashion, I got myself pretty tanked up and by the time I reached Paris I was already quite far gone. But, ask yourself, when has this ever stopped me?

Correct. It hasn’t. So I carried on, knocking back the beers and whatever else was put my way, talking to strangers like they were my best friends, falling over in the street, you know the drill. I bumped into Kyle which was nice, but lost him as soon as I’d found him pretty much, but to be honest he was probably horrified at how drunk I was and so decided to get his friend very far away from me. Haha.

I have genuinely lost a good couple of hours of Saturday night, some of which Louise has very kindly filled me in on. We decided to go for something to eat, and the next thing I know we were sat in an Italian restaurant at 3am. I ordered spaghetti Bolognese, which is very unlike me – I never order that in a restaurant as I find it a fairly boring thing to choose when you have a menu full of interesting stuff.

So I bet you’re wondering, well why the hell did she have it then?

Honestly? I couldn’t read the menu.

Not because of the language barrier, or because of the font, but because I was so drunk that I couldn’t read the words. In fact, I couldn’t even see them.

We EVENTUALLY got home, after a very long wait and some amusing/bemusing events that aren’t really worth mentioning, apart from being fascinated by a family of rats having breakfast in a bin. Went to bed, and didn’t resurface until about 4pm. At this point, I realised just how badly I had fallen on more than one occasion the previous evening, because of the sheer pain in my legs that is still there now. Drew went home after a while and Louise and I stuffed our faces on lasagne. I walked her to the station afterwards for some much-needed air, then came home and monged out on my sofa for the rest of the evening.

I went to bed at about 1am, but I was woken up repeatedly by bad dreams, involving a crocodile trying to eat me (he got my mp3 player though – and the funny thing is in real life I don’t know where it is now), also finding out I was in the wrong destination on my Year Abroad and having two days to get to somewhere in Africa before they sentenced me to death for going AWOL, oh and Tony Blair giving a sex ed lesson on Southend Pier.

I was so tired, but honestly – I couldn’t wait to get up and out of that ridiculous dream state. It left me feeling rather fragile.

Today at work I had the 6èmes who I like (mainly as I only work with 5 at a time and they are so easy to amuse) and we worked on telling the time. In the staff room at lunchtime, I was given some red wine, and also some duck stuff on bread. It was like a pate sort of thing. It could have been poo. It tasted more like salmon than duck. It was awful. English club, they really are getting hard to handle, this younger group. There are two who just won’t shut up, one who wants to learn and one who is too shy to even look at anyone, and when I ask her a question the keen one always tells her the answer. It’s okay in lessons to help each other out like this from time to time, but the shy things not gonna get any better like this – and it’s equally infuriating when I’m asking her opinion on something and she’s getting the words whispered in her earholes all day long. THINK FOR YOURSELF WOMANNNNNN!

At least they’d done their work though, and next week will be showing me their new designs for the Union Jack (incorporating Wales, you see). They’re starting to grasp the concept of idle chit-chat in English too, as when I gave them the freedom to choose their topic of discussion for the second part of the lesson they even managed an argument (in English) on what they wanted to talk about.

After work I ate some beans and relaxed a little before going to Mennecy to give Louise back the make-up she’d left in my flat, and to also have a slight bitch about the world (again). On the way home I bought a baguette and some cheese for my dinner. These two things are, without a shadow of a doubt, the best thing about France.

Now I’m here, writing a blog. I’ve not got much interesting planned for the rest of the week, so I think I’ll have to make my own entertainment, in between writing up my plan for my work report.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Quick update - too stressed for a witty title, or a funny blog!

Le Stress.

As you will have expected, after heading out to the police station last Satrday to report the loss of my passport, I went out in Paris and got very drunk. Very drunk indeed. Saturday night won't be in a chronological order as I don't remember what happened in what order, but still.

Had a few predrinks on my own whilst waiting for Louise and Drew, by the time they both got anywhere near me there was no time for in-flat drinks as the last train was coming to Villabe. So we predrank on the train instead.

We were sat by the window in one bar when a middle aged woman appeared on the other side, waving a joint around and dancing like Rumpelstiltskin.She later came back into the bar and started waving a lump of hash in my face, asking if I wanted it. Erm, no thanks love, it looks like cat food. I'll stick to this 5€, 330ml can of Heineken, cheers though.

In the next bar, Drew was removed for being absolutely shitfaced so I went out to find him, by the time he had reappeared from around the corner he was completely recovered, so we went elsewhere.

Elsewhere, we were drinking when Drew decided he wanted to go home. He waited outside whilst I said goodbye to Louise, I got out and he'd decided he wanted to go back in. We stayed there until closing time.

It took us hours to get home from Paris, as we waited outside for half an hour waiting for the metro to start, got to the RER platform we needed and waited for over an hour there to get moving, then it was roughly an hours commute, then I had to walk home from Corbeil Station. The sky was beautiful. Multicoloured, I don't even understand how or why. But I took ages getting back as I kept stopping to stare at it.

Sunday, I stayed at home, hanging by my teeth. Not much to report, that I can remember.

Monday it was back to work, where I was complimented on my teaching skills (get in!!) and asked to do some extra work helping out a particularly insolent underachieving african girl (headteacher's emphasis on african, not mine) which I decided to take up, loving a challenge and whatnot. I needed to go to the Embassy to ask for a new passport. What happened?

By the time I got to Paris, the embassy was already closed. I thought "oh well, I might as well find it so I know where to go when I come back Wednesday (when I have the afternoon off). What happened?

I got lost. I took a wrong turning out of Concorde Metro and after walking the entire perimeter of the jardins des tuileries or whatever you want to call them, I eventually found myself at the National Assembly. Which is not where I wanted to be. I got back on the Metro there though, and went to Madeleine instead, wondering if the place would be easier to find from a different angle.What happened?

I took another wrong turning. It was very cold, and raining ice cold rain on my face. I had been in Paris for two hours, walking the length of Rue d'Anjou and back again before finally finding the building I needed.
 It was very dark, very cold and very wet. I decided to head home. What happened?

I got lost again. I was very hungry by this point, as I had forgotten to feed myself all day. I paid THREE EUROS for a bottle of coke to keep me going til I found the train station, where I bought some crisps. On my way home (as in, once I was finally on the train) I was sat there, using everything in my power to not cry. It was tough, but I managed it. I got home, fed myself, and sat down to relax a bit before bed.

I couldn't sleep.

Tuesday I had a fairly long day at work, so after my first lesson I spent a while in the staff room planning one of my uni essays and creating a document I'd been asked to prepare for one of the teachers in the school. In the afternoon I took a class and talked about nationality with them. It went alright actually, and then I went to Courcouronnes for a bitch fest with Louise and Drew, I didn't buy anything, but it was nice to just speak to pople and slag the world off for a bit. I went home and went to bed.

I couldn't sleep.

Wednesday I had one hour of classes with the 5èmes which went much better than last week - I woke up really late, was really tired and had no lesson plan so I made them work on presenting themselves more confidently (which basically meant I snoozed in the corner whilst they recited their sentences to their partner repeatedly. After this I went to Corbeil for photos for my emergency passport, then into Paris to find the Embassy. I didn't get so lost this time but I arrived slightly early, so I went to the Franprix round the corner to grab a bit of lunch and do some people watching for half an hour before going back into the Consulate (as I later found out it was - not the Embassy) and began waiting to ask for my forms to fill in my details. The security check was pretty intense, I amost enjoyed it. I went downstairs into the Passport Services bit and filled in my details for my new passport, where I was informed by a very nice man that I would be able to collect my new passport within a week, all that was left to do was to pay a small fee.

151€.

So, all in all, that's 420€ spent on this rather unfortunate passport saga. Ouch.

Went back to Evry to buy a few things after, but didn't actually get them. Just hung around slagging the world off some more. Went home, chilled a bit, went to bed.

I couldn't sleep.

Thursday morning, I got something of a lie-in, before going to work in the afternoon. Took a pretty successful lesson on how to write a biography, then went shopping, then came home and chilled. The weeks stress caught up with me and I found myself crying quite a bit, but I'm alright now. I think. I took myself to bed.

I couldn't sleep.

This morning I took half of the 4ème euro class for a "chat", which developed into a conversation on peoples favourite singers. There's a 12 year old in this class who is really good, who told me that Lady Gaga has the head of an elephant. Haha. My new favourite student.

After breaktime, I was lucky enough to be given the school's most insolent child to help with her English homework. I was essentially giving her the answers for a while, and still - "je sais pas" "j'ai pas compris" fuuuuuuuuuuck? We did about three exercises over the course of an hour and it was like I'd asked her to climb mount everest with her feet tied together.

English Club went relatively well, they did their work at least. Have set them another task of designing a new Union Flag that incorporates Wales, I wonder how many of them will actually do this. I've accepted two more into the club too, so hopefully they'll get some conversation out of each other (although the likelihood of this conversation actually being in English is pretty low).

Now, I am going to have a nap, as all this not sleeping has just about done me in for this week, and when I wake up I am going to clean my flat.Tomorrow I am going on a shopping spree in Carrefour then back out to Paris to see if I can get as drunk as last week on a lot less money. Hmmmm.