Saturday, 16 October 2010

Robot Slavery and Racism

Hello guys.

Bit of a shorter gap between blogs this time (it’s Friday, but to be honest I’m not sure when I’m going to get this thing online because I broke my 3G Key by being a simpleton) but I feel that enough time has passed for me to have something substantial to tell you all. If you disagree, then well, just gtfo my blog, yeah?

After updating you all on Tuesday whilst I was at work, I went to my next class to find that the teacher was absent because the entire country has gone on strike and she can’t get a train, so I had another glorious hour of staff room nothingness in which I did some extensive research into how the hell the French postal system worked, and actually what a post box even looks like in France. Turns out, they’re little and yellow. There’s one at the train station, so I will be sending off some letters very soon. Let me know if you want a post card. I might send one. I might not.

I did the remainder of my classes on Tuesday before heading home via Leader Price to get some dirty cheap wine, some dinner and some crisps, as I was bloody starving.  The calzone wasn’t bad actually, although it didn’t tell me about the mushrooms that were lurking in there. Much better than the sandwich I bought upon my arrival in Paris, anyhow. I fell asleep, woke up, then proceeded to fix my internet connection by performing a system restore. I am so cool.

Wednesday, I had the other part of my induction, which took me AGES to get to because of the reduced train service. Spent about an hour waiting around on platforms for what is essentially a 25 minute commute. We spent the entire day discussing teaching tips, activities, and whether or not it is shockingly racist to say that someone is “coloured”. It certainly isn’t nice, but the way this girl was bitching about it, anyone would think that the woman had called her an N word. Hello? This is France! You can call people all the blacks and arabs and pakpaks under the sun, and nobody cares, I think the word “coloured” is going to be the least of your worries whilst you’re here. “Oh, in America it’s very rude” Guess what sunshine, this isn’t America. As a gay person, if I went to a country that wasn’t quite as forward-thinking towards homosexuality as the UK is, I would expect all the political incorrectness/offensiveness that this culture considers normal, take it on the chin, and move on. And if I didn’t want to experience that, well I just wouldn’t go. When in Rome, and all that...

I realise that this is the second time I have slagged off American assistants and am beginning to feel like a bit of a racist. Trust me I’m not, it’s just that the biggest idiots I have met so far have just happened to be American females.

Lunch was served once again (despite the grèves) and this time it was mushy peas, carrots and some meat that was pretty tasty but I can’t be sure what it was. I have the sneaky suspicion that it was cheval. It could have been beef, but I’ll keep an open mind.

In the afternoon we were put into groups according to which type of school we were in, given a few teaching materials and asked to come up with a few activities. Our one was a sheet with British road signs on, and I managed to impress the women who were running the induction with my idea of a role play involving pretending to be driving a car, and reacting in the correct way to the signs as the teacher showed them at the front. I am so trying this with my kids at some point. I can see the troisièmes (15 year olds) absolutely loving it. Not.

Wednesday night, I cooked myself a fantastic dinner and went to bed early, as I had Thursday morning off and wanted to use it as much as I could – to sort out my internet connection, buy a hoover, etc.

Or not.

I ended up sleeping all morning, not getting out of my bed until midday. Got to work for 2pm, where my teacher was absent, so I spent an hour in the staff room reading and giggling to myself.

The lesson I did do was with the troisièmes, they were working in groups on film actors/actresses and drawing comparisons between them and other actors. One group told me “Megan Fox is more beautiful than Angelina Jolie because she has had plastic surgery”. It both amused and saddened me, although if I’m honest I’m not sure which of the two actually has had plastic surgery, so maybe the children’s attitudes are correct.

Thursday night, the most amazing thing happened. I picked up some food at Atac after work, cooked myself some variant on croque monsieur (you know that eggy bread thing where I make a ham and cheese sandwich and fry it to death) then decided to go to Carrefour to get my 3G key (which I have broken already) and perhaps a hoover if I could find one that wasn’t going to be too heavy to carry all the way home down the hill. This is where I found my new friend. Mon aspirateur, Electroboy. That is his name. He is my new hoover, he is a...


You stick him in the middle of the room, switch him on, and he wanders around the flat vacuuming everything for me, whilst I sit here and watch him. I paid a slightly silly amount of money for this, but in all honesty I don’t even care. He was nice and lightweight to carry home, he hoovers my carpets pretty well indeed, he doesn’t need a bag, all he needs is the occasional rescue from underneath my bookcase. I love him.

I took myself to bed at around 12ish in the hope that I could get a respectable amount of sleep before work at 8h30, didn’t go to sleep for quite a while, and as such really struggled when my alarm went off. Repeatedly hitting the snooze button, I overslept my alarm by two hours. I woke up, my phone telling me that it was 9am and that I was halfway through my first class without even being there. I jumped into the first clothes I could find, threw some Listerine in my mouth and went into the living room to pick up my keys, where I looked out of the window and saw that it was dark. Not even just that early morning gloom that most people commute in during the winter, it was actually pitch black outside. I opened up my computer to verify that it was actually 9am and that this darkness meant that the world was in fact ending, which is when I realised my error.

I had changed SIM cards in my phone, and the time likes to reset itself to 1am every time I do that. So it was probably not quite 9am, maybe just half 8 and I was only a little bit late, or something. No. It was half past 7.
The reason I struggled with my alarm is because it started going off at half past 5.

Therefore, today I am a very tired Sam. I have done two lessons with 4ème and 3ème (year 9 and year 10) and am back in my flat until lunchtime club starts in about an hour. I’m hoping to beat my current record of one student, and today I am going to let them tell me what they want English Club to help them achieve. I’m just going to sit there doing sweet FA. I have a meeting at 3, then I’m going to rectify my broken internet situation, find a phone top up, and go take some pictures of the town I live in. Then maybe I’ll get this online, whilst I wash my clothes and Electroboy does the hoovering.

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