Thursday, 7 October 2010

You may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr McGregor's garden.

So  I’m at work with a break between my lessons, so I thought I’d update you on my life. I think I left you on Marmite demands and Spider murder? Which would have been.....Saturday? Wicked.

Saturday night I started to feel really ill, so I didn’t go out. Instead, I stayed at home taking hallucinogenic drugs. Apparently codeine isn’t meant to do that to you, but I was lying in bed and people were grabbing me. Not even in a good way! Needless to say, I will not be taking that again.

Sunday, I felt slightly better, so I spent my afternoon with Cika that awesome lady who helps me with everything ever and her sister, whose name I forget. We ate food, and talked about politics. And films.
Monday, I started work. It was just observation mainly, I watched three History classes, then hid in my flat for the rest of the day.

Tuesday was a bit more interesting. It was my first day of actually working, i.e. getting involved with the lessons, talking to the kids, getting them talking to me, and stuff. I started with a class of 3èmes, taking half of them into a separate room to work on comparisons. Two people stood at the front of the room while the rest of them drew comparisons between the two. They were doing okay, until completely out of the blue, and unrelated to any topic of conversation during the lesson, one girl asks,

“Comment dire homosexuelle en anglais?” followed by an explanation something along the lines of “oh I don’t need it for any particular reason, I’m just asking really”, as the rest of the class snigger. Busted, then. Cheers kids. Cheeky bastards.

Later on in the class, another one decided to make a remark about my “big tits” and was quite shocked when I responded with “Behave!”  “Merde, elle a compris!” (Shit, she understood!) Well yes, I am English, if you speak in English it is quite likely that I am going to understand.

I can handle them though. They’re Year 10 age, all I have to do is remember what an absolute little prick I was as a Year 10 and these gay-obsessed, tits-loving adolescents seem like angels. (Copiez le box?)
The rest of the day, I was working with 6èmes, who are quite a cute breed of French child. None of them look big enough to be 11 years old. And when they walk around the school, they look even smaller, and even more out of place. Aww.

On Wednesday, I had the first part of my induction course. After getting really lost at Savigny-sur-Orge station, I eventually found the lycée where it was being held, and I must say it was a rather over-the-top sort of school. Lycée in France is similar to sixth form/college in England, but this place was more of a Hogwarts than a Havering. Buildings with turrets, vast greens that I don’t think anyone would dare to walk on, moats around buildings, one building for EPS (PE) that looked like Bisham Abbey in its entirety, and millions of other little extravagances that made this place look ridiculous.

When I FINALLY found where I needed to be, I was slightly late, and quietly sat myself down whilst the rest of the group were, one at a time, introducing themselves by name, school, and a characteristic. I managed to raise a bit of a giggle by saying “Hi, I’m Sam and I’m late. Sorry.” Bonus point to me. Thanks.

I was lucky enough to be sitting on the end of a row, with one American girl next to me and two more American girls in front of me, who all kept talking to each other whilst the women at the front were trying to speak. I found this quite rude, but didn’t want to be the geeky kid to tell them to shut up as I couldn’t hear, as when they were being quiet, the women at the front didn’t have anything interesting to say anyway. The entire morning consisted of advice on dealing with administrative formalities that I have already dealt with, so I wasn’t really paying attention.

Come lunchtime, I’m almost falling asleep, so a bit of food and therefore some energy and a chance to speak to some other assistants was very welcome. I went into the canteen area, took my tray, and began to choose my food. Salad, crème caramel, kiwi... RABBIT?

Yes, Peter was on the menu today. And all of his friends too. It was that or “fruits de mer” and if you know me well enough you’ll know about my Mr Bean induced fear of seafood. Langoustines in particular. So, Peter it was.

There was no meat on Peter. It was an anorexic Peter. I got one tiny bit of meat, and I’m not convinced that it wasn’t an internal organ of some variety. Poor old Peter. At least the spaghetti they served him with was of an acceptable standard.

After lunch, I went back to sit surrounded by the American girls who hadn’t shut their mouths all morning. This is where an interesting conversation ensued regarding the accents of the English teachers in their schools, them finding it interesting to hear what their accents are when they change from French to English;
“I have a few who sound so British! What is up with that?”

Words fail me, they really do. Only an American, a stupid one, could possibly take issue with an ENGLISH teacher, speaking ENGLISH with a British accent.

The afternoon was similarly boring, with a lot of the teaching advice being aimed at lycée assistants, so it was still largely irrelevant to me. I was quite amused by the guy who became slightly enraged at the lady who couldn’t say “Ramadan”, though.

After becoming VERY bored of waiting for my last train from Corbeil-Essonnes to VIllabé I decided to walk it home, picking up some dirty cheap wine and some sweets from Leader Price. Bottle of wine, pasta, cheese, sweets. Perfect Wednesday evening, leading to a rather nice sleep.

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