Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Apocalypse of the Internet (written 6/4/11)

About time I got back on this blogging thing really, isn’t it? There’s only a few weeks left of my contract and I’ve been neglecting you all! Not that anyone’s even interested any more.

Last Tuesday, as I said, was spent in work, finding out that knife boy is back in school, and also with Year 7 who were making posters about the things I like, love, dislike and hate. They all had to ask me 5 questions each then add their findings to the sheets of A3 paper that were at the back of the room.

And can I just say, they’re a bunch of lying bastards.

A lot of the things they were stirring up about me (apparently hating their teacher for one) didn’t make it onto this poster they were making about me, but there was still the slanderous accusation that I hate dogs.

Wednesday, as per usual, I did nothing. I might have gone out for a while, I don’t really know.

Thursday, I was back in work in my favourite of the two establishments I’m assigned to, working on comparisons with year 7, which was quite funny. They’re all more funny, more serious, more hardworking than each other, they’re all taller (even the ones who are actually shorter) and they’re more beautiful than each other.

Year 10 were working on things they would change about themselves and things they would change about their past, which went down kinda well. Some kids got really into it, others didn’t want to tell me anything.

I had another year 7 class in the afternoon, knife boy’s class. He was absent though, so I got on with playing Guess Who with them, which was fun. They’re really good at it! At the end of the lesson, their teacher told me she’d just found out he’d been excluded again.

Why?

He bit two of his class mates.

This kid has got issues. Calls me a bastard, a prostitute, talks about his condom supply, brings a knife into school, bites his classmates… I wonder how long it’s going to be before the boy gets sent to prison.

Friday, as you know, was 1st April, and they do celebrate April Fool’s Day in France, except for some reason they call it “poisson d’avril” (April Fish) so I worked with the European class telling them about my memories of April Fools and other various pranks I pulled whilst at school. Like convincing my entire form class that our PE lesson was swimming, making a fake plastercast and wearing it all day so I didn’t have to do any work, and I taught them the “you dropped your Gay Card” prank too. They found this hilarious. What they found more hilarious though, was the boy who didn’t understand the word gay. Fair enough, I thought, I might be pronouncing it weird, I’ll try something else.

Islem, homosexual.
Euhhhhhh, I don’t understand.

It still took him a few seconds to get it after being told in French. At this point, even I felt justified in laughing at him.

I plan to pull this joke on him at least once before I leave.

I got home on Friday night, planning on chilling out online, talking to people, having a few beers and such like. But no. The BASTARDS in this school decided to put me on a black list, meaning that I couldn’t access Facebook or Youtube. Why? Fuck knows. I know they said we were allowed “moderate and non-continuous” use of social networking sites during school hours, and this is all I had done. I had watched about three videos on Youtube the night before, which also wasn’t “during the day” as specified by the technician. So apparently, I had followed everything the technician had said, and STILL got banned? What a prick. I found my way around this block from what is pretty much my only contact with my family and friends at home, by rinsing my internet plan on my phone and using as much Skype as I could get away with, without provoking the fucking apocalypse in the IT office.

Saturday, I really wasn’t feeling going out, so I stayed in bed, and chilled. I really need to sort out my sleeping pattern. I keep getting tired in the middle of the day. It’s not good for my life. Two hour naps after work will kill me. I also need to eat better. My anaemia is mocking me at present, iron deficiency making me feel like death all the time. I’m taking my tablets, we’ll see what a week of steak and salads does to me.

So on Sunday, I decided to head out, otherwise I was going to be gravely behind on my ten trip challenge. Rouen is about an hour away, and I’d heard good things about it, so there I went.

5 minutes after arriving, my camera told me there was no more memory. There was an SD card inside, it was just refusing to read. Helpful! So I took pictures on my phone instead.

Rouen’s only small, so I had pretty much got round it all within a couple of hours. I went home to chill some more (weather had been awful in Paris all day) and talk to my girl using what limited internet access I had.

On Monday, I went to work, played snakes and ladders with the kids, and listened to their presentations on various rubbish. Some of them are a bit sad that I’m leaving, and asked me to come back next year.

Erm….NO! LOL!

The rest of Monday was a bit uneventful, so I think I’ll stop writing about Monday now.

Yesterday, being Tuesday, I didn’t make it to my first class because I wasn’t feeling particularly well. I slept it off, then headed into work to get the kids debating stuff about whether English school is better than French school. I wonder how this is going to pan out…

Year 9 are still working on their own legends of creation, and turned them into posters. Year 7 were doing the Guess Who thing again, and preparing for their oral exam. I did a bit of one-on-one work with the boy who has no friends whatsoever in that class because they’re bastards and he has an anger management problem. Five minutes after I walked away, him having worked fantastically with me, he was angry again, throwing pens at the two girls in front of him. I suspect they had been winding him up, but seriously, the boy’s going to give himself an aneurysm if he doesn’t get help with staying calm at some point. The horrible thing is, after the boy had got himself into trouble for throwing the pens, the girls continued to provoke him, meaning that I had to go and stand between the two tables for the remainder of the lesson.

I just hope this boy gets the level of help he needs before he does something that’s gonna get him kicked out of school.

Upon work, and after eating the worst chicken burger I’ve ever experienced (worse than those at school), I went into the supermarket to get myself some steak and some salad and such like. I was cooking my steaks last night, when one of my flatmates came in with a sponge in her hand, asking me to put washing up liquid on it. I obliged, thinking she was giving her sink a quick rinse, then she told me she was actually using it to clean the toilet.

Washing up liquid…. To clean the toilet.

And yet somehow, it’s always me to be blamed for housework not being done properly?

Anyway.

Now it’s Wednesday. I’ve waited hours for the washing machine to be free, someone put my cheese at the back of the fridge, freezing it, and the washing machine has decided to take about twenty years to clean the clothes I want to wear tonight. I’m going out, you see. I’ve been invited for dinner by one of the people I work with. Should be pretty awesome, hopefully my clothes dry and I don’t have to make the difficult choice between wearing dirty clothes and going naked.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Relationship Invaders, Virgin Vibrators

Thursday I did indeed decide to head into Paris after I finished work, but not before stuffing my face with shite food from Quick. I fancied a bit of wandering around shops, so I decided to hit La Defense to see what was going on in that part of town. It took absolute ages to get there, and I was feeling a bit premenstrual, so my enthusiasm for exploration had sort of expired by the time I’d actually arrived.

I went outside to find the big arch thing that always looked so pretty in films. Mate, it’s just an arch. Bit crap in real life. Another example of how Paris never lives up to the romantic stereotype it likes to give itself in fictional media. (It does, however, quite enjoy living up to the violent stereotypes, but that’s another story for another day)

A bit bored of sightseeing, and starting to feel moody, I decided that retail therapy would sort me out. I found a Virgin Megastore, and was in instant heaven. Here’s a list of the things I stopped myself from buying:

1/ Laptop speakers that look like massive iPhone headphones, I decided that I couldn’t justify spending 70€ on them. However, I keep thinking about them, so I might have to go back and get them.
2/ A portable DVD player. It would make my Eurostar trips go so quicker! But then I do spend half of the trip asleep. But it would be so convenient! I still have a telly that plays DVDs perfectly well. So no. I still want one though, I just might leave it til I get back to the UK.
3/ A new mp3 player. I do sort of “need” one (inverted commas seeing as nobody really NEEDS an np3 player, do they?) since I ever-so-cleverly stepped on mine and broke the screen. It still plays though, so I think I’ll leave that to Amazon when I get home in a couple of weeks.
4/ The 3DS. I can’t even explain how much I want this bit of kit. I miss my DS Lite terribly, and I was thinking about getting the DSi a while back, but my good friend Jon informed me of the imminent arrival of the 3DS, so I decided to wait. However, I never get consoles when they’re new as upgrades normally come out pretty soon after launch. I’ll wait for these. I will have one though.

Another interesting thing I found in there was a range of sex toys. This isn’t going on my list of things I had to stop myself from buying, as it didn’t really enter my head in the shop. I was too busy laughing at the irony of selling vibrators in a shop called Virgin.

After deciding that I would go away and think about these purchases before making them, I walked around a bit, decided that I would bring my lady here when we are in France together in a few weeks time then decided to head home as I was starting to feel ill.

It took two hours. I was unimpressed, majorly.

Friday I was working, teaching year 9 about cocaine in their favourite soft drink then correcting an activity about Aborigines with year ten. I spent my lengthy break planning something that I could work on with year 9, found an article on newsround. I decided to use newsround as it would use a language slightly more informal that might be easier for them to digest, so there I was, searching through for UK news articles, when I found the epitome of British news.

Someone has made a Royal Wedding souvenir… Sickbag.

It went down pretty well, if you’ll pardon the pun. They mostly used it to help their pronunciation (they plan their own activities, you see) and then I went home. I don’t actually remember what I did on Friday afternoon, but I know that I became rather ill on Friday night and even codeine and diclofenac didn’t stop the pain. I pretty much passed out at around half past three in the morning from pain, then woke up in time to get to Lille for the afternoon.

I got my beautiful Haagen-Dazs winning ice cream in order to make my life feel ten times better before getting on my train.

Lille was a bit shit. It rained the whole time I was there and there wasn’t really much to look at. It also took me around 5 hours to get home in total. I did get some new clothes though. And a laugh at multiple falling-over kids. One, for example, who was being a bit flash in the shopping centre doing handstands, and faceplanted the floor.

Sunday, the clocks changed, but I got up in time to go buy things to eat at the supermarket and pop to McDonalds to console myself with more junk food. I then spent my Sunday in my bed, talking to my girl. I can’t wait to get home so that I can have a face-to-face conversation and be able to cuddle up in front of the telly instead of having to cuddle up to my blanket and stare at Skype. She’s a bit amazing, you see, and I miss her roughly 105% of the time that we’re not together.

On Monday, I made the children play more word-games, because I am frankly quite bored of them. Next week is my last Monday ever as an English Assistant, and I can’t wait to see the back of my 6eme who have stopped being cute. English club didn’t even turn up, which meant that I got to sneak off home slightly early. I went home via the kebab shop, as I couldn’t actually wait till I got home to be able to eat something. Out of the 5 or 6 kebab shops on this particular street, I definitely picked the wrong one. There was a dude in there who thought he’d chat me up.

“You’re so beautiful”
“Er, thanks?”
“Can I have your number?”
“No…”
“Why?”
“Because I’ve got a girlfriend.”
“Ahhhh, okay. But, that doesn’t matter, I could join in, I wouldn’t mind!”
“Erm, no?”
“Yeah! It’ll be fine, I’ll join in, it’s fine”

Oh mate, that seals it. How could I possibly resist you? I’ve never heard ANY chat-up line like that, have me now! With your letchy face and your bright red eyes and your incapability of respecting the fact that a woman would like to EAT HER LUNCH THEN GO HOME.

And another thing, what is it with guys who think it’s acceptable to invite themselves into lesbian relationships, or guys who think that a girl is only gay because she hasn’t fucked him yet? You can’t even get a straight girl, how are you gonna get anywhere NEAR two girls in a relationship with each other? Urgh! Rant over.

I spent my afternoon clearing out my room. I’m getting towards having finished it, I’ve just got to arrange everything into boxes and get all the bins ready to be taken out. I’m going home quite the minimalist, you see.

Tuesday, I’m in work, I’ve found out that Knife Boy has been allowed back to school, but it looks like he’ll be going elsewhere for his education quite soon. He’d best be nice to me, or I’ll stab him.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

J'en ai marre, Vincent!

Left you on Monday with a bit of a whiney blog about how they’re bitching about the internet and my flatmates appear to hate me. I can gladly say that they appear to have stopped hating me now, I think they go through phases. Anyway.

Tuesday, I had a glorious half 8 start, which normally I don’t mind as I tend to get Thursday morning off on the week that I start at 8.30. However, one of my lessons had changed from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday morning, so let’s say I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about dragging myself away from my REALLY COMFORTABLE BED.

I managed it eventually, and slowly trundled down the hill to work. I’ve got some funky leg issues right now, which I really need to get seen to, I can walk up hills pretty much sans probleme but walking down them causes agony in my shins and ankles. Strange. But still – I got there eventually.

Spent my first lesson with Year 10 euros practising witness interviews for a murder mystery. Their module is basically a massive game of Cluedo, it’s awesome. Beats the crap I studied at GCSE. Ou est le syndicat d’initiative? DO I CARE WHERE THE SYNDICAT D’INITIATIVE IS? DO I?

As I was saying. I spent an hour working on the witness interviews with the kids, and was reporting back to their teacher about how they worked, and I left the room as another group of kids I work with were lining up outside the classroom.

I say lining up, I mean more in a massive crowd jeering two kids on who were having a massive punch up. This got split up by a couple of the boys but unfortunately, angry children are unbelievably strong and they were failing in a way that would disappoint Charlie Sheen. Myself and the teacher had to get involved to keep the two boys apart as they were screaming all the “connard” and “putain” under the sun. Eventually it all calmed down a bit, and I strolled off up to the staff room to write my blog about the boy (from the same class, incidentally) who had been excluded for carrying a knife.

As my timetable had been altered and a teacher was absent, I only had one more lesson, which was at 1pm. It was Year 9 euro, who have been working on spirituality and legends concerning the creation of the universe according to ancient tribes and such like. Their teacher had first started suggesting that I help them with translating it, but imagination took over and before we knew it we had an entire project planned out where they were to create their own legend about the creation of the universe. They worked in groups, and let their imagination run free. I gave them an example:


But they had better ideas. I’ll list a few.

1/ The world is made out of a massive doughnut, and the ingredients for doughnuts are the recipe for life.
2/ The world is controlled by a massive Chicken God, called Scrambled Eggs, who rose up from underneath the earth, and laid eggs to create the universe, and lays eggs now like Kinder Eggs, with surprises in them.
3/ The world was created when a giant fell off the top of a mountain, and his arse hit the ground so hard that it broke into several pieces which now form our continents.
4/ Our God is a massive multicoloured parrot and we are born from one of the elements, the element we derive from has a strong bearing on our personality.
5/ God is Chuck Norris. One day he wanted to eat some cooked meat, and because he is God, he decided to make a barbecue. But instead, being Chuck Norris, he created the sun.

I was quite impressed with them, I must say. I love that class. I’m definitely going to miss them when I leave.

After work I decided to go into Paris, to wander about a bit and to buy a phone that would permit me to use Skype so that I could talk to my lady as and when I wish rather than having to wait until the computer gods said it was okay. This was very unsuccessful, as I withdrew the money to buy the phone I wanted then was promptly ignored by everyone in the shop when I wanted to enquire about buying it.

So it was home again, with, shall we say, a substantial amount of cash in my wallet. I needed to go to the supermarket, so I popped in there, avoiding the group of criminal-looking kids (I’m sorry but you can’t be too judgmental when you’re strolling round Les Tarterêts), grabbed a few bits and pieces that I could have for my dinner and went over the road to the Lycée where I live, where I found my Brazilian flatmate stood outside. I went over and said hi, and she informed me that she was waiting for the police.

Why on earth was she doing that?

Well, she’d just seen a boy mugging a girl, so she’d phoned them. I was like “C’EST VRAI? PUTAIN!” and as the police arrived, I hurriedly took myself into the grounds of the school where I wasn’t going to risk being mugged for the substantial amount of cash that I’d been worriedly carrying.

Tuesday evening was mainly spent taking bins out, eating bread and cheese (Cathedral City is my favourite cheese ever) and talking to my lady.

Wednesday was a bit of a non-day really. I was ill in the morning, so I stayed in bed in between falling through the corridor to get to the toilet. When I could finally sit up without feeling like I was going to die, I played around with emails, and pretended to be productive.

I popped to the supermarket to get some dinner (I’ve found the nicest microwave meal in the world ever) and as I got home and started putting it all away, my German housemate came into the kitchen and asked me if we could put the bins out together. What sort of social activity is this? She explained something about the bin being “not good” so I assumed that the dustbin was knackered. No, there was just a leak in the bin bag. Why it wouldn’t have sufficed to tip the bin bag into another one, I’m not too sure. And why it took two people to carry our relatively small dustbin out, I’m not too sure either.

Anyway. We got back and it was time to actually clean the bin as it was covered in some stinky liquid and apparently there’d been ants in it yesterday. She tied a cloth around her broom to try to clean it out, this failed, and she got a bit upset that her broom was covered in bin bacteria. Hello? Like tying a cloth around it is going to make a blind bit of difference? She gave up in the end, and scrubbed around the bin a bit before tipping the hot water and cleaning fluid out. I then rinsed the bin out, and to be honest it didn’t look any cleaner, so I took the cloth and cleaned it properly. She was pretty happy after this, so I cleaned the sink out and washed my hands before sitting down to enjoy my dinner.

Now it is Thursday, and I’m in work after a rubbish night’s sleep and having to get up earlier to get into work for 10.30. I took half of a year 7 class for the hour, practising their oral exam, and also trying to stop them all from climbing up on the platform type thing that had been moved from one classroom and piled up in the room I was using. I swear these kids are just, monkeys or something. There was also a group of kids arguing over who was doing what role, and one new girl who was refusing to work at all. Other than that, it was a pretty successful lesson with kids all working hard to get good grades in their test, asking for some pretty interesting vocabulary. One boy asked me a question, and I didn’t know what it was in French, so he drew it for me. A whip. He was punishing his son with lashes for having not cleaned his room. Ouch!

At the end of the class, I was trying to give their teacher feedback, and explaining why I’d given the class bastard a bad report for his work rate. I turned round and there he was, one of the kids from the next class (who had been standing in the doorway with a bit of a Damien kind of expression on his face) trying to break his headphones.

Funnily enough, it was one of the kids who had been fighting on Tuesday. Except this time, he wasn’t crying with rage, he was laughing as the boy whose headphones had just been broken was becoming increasingly angry. It turned into a fight that I swiftly broke up, and only at this point did any other kids try to get involved with stopping it so they could try and gain some brownie points for benevolence or something. I calmed the boy down before sending him off to his next class whilst the teacher shouted at the class, who were still trying to aggravate this kid.

He was very polite about thanking me before he went off to his next lesson to explain why he was late. He’s not a bad kid; he’s just a bastard in lessons and definitely needs some kind of anger management. The other kids definitely don’t help him, but he is a bit of a shit to be fair.

I made sure that the teacher was aware that he hadn’t started it at all, and then I came to the staff room, which is pretty much where I am now, writing my blog, waiting for my next couple of classes in about an hour, and thinking about heading to Paris to benefit from this sunshine for a while.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Caen, and knife-wielding eleven year olds

Caen!

I woke up at 8am last Wednesday, and was really struggling to get my eyes open. I toyed with the idea of staying in bed again, but eventually dragged myself away from my really comfy blanket that was given to me by the school (which I am definitely keeping, by the way)

Got myself to St Lazare where I was very confused, the layout of this station is awful. I found a ticket booth outside, and got myself a first-class one-way ticket to Caen, departing in half an hour.

Eventually found my platform after standing there scratching my head like a monkey with nits for a while (out of confusion, not a nits-ridden head), sat myself down in one of the places isolées (isolated seats, you can has window and aisle at the same time and don’t even have to sit next to someone! Win!) and commenced chilling for the next two hours.

When I arrived, it was foggy as though a cloud had formed three feet from the ground. Balls, I thought. These pictures are going to suck.

I wandered about a bit, trying to find the town centre, and sat down by the river to email my lady for a while before going in search of lunch, waiting for this fog to clear slightly.

I hate lunchtime in France. I’m not a particularly patient person and if I want food, unless I’m cooking it myself, I want it now. Only, at lunchtime, it’s nigh on impossible to get anywhere to buy anything resembling nutrition. I couldn’t even get into the door of McDonalds.

Allow this. I’m not getting into this part of French culture. I’ll wait until all you dicks have gone home or back to work or something, then I’ll stuff my face. The fog was already starting to clear so I got a few semi-decent images (well as semi-decent as you can with a camera with no screen) before I luckily found a “sandwicherie” with not a lot of people waiting and bought myself a chicken curry and mozzarella Panini and an Orangina. It was fit. I still maintain that I hate French lunchtime though.

As I strolled about some more, I found a branch of “Le Comptoir Irlandais” – the shop in Paris that I’d been into on Monday and got a massive Irish flag from. I strolled in to see if there was anything that this place might have.

I found what I’d been looking for.

An Ireland Rugby shirt.

GET IN! I was so excited that I didn’t even look at the price tag and had to act unsurprised when the woman told me I was about to pay 55€ for this thing. It’s not even an official shirt. Worth it though.

So I had clothes to wear for Paddys Day.

As I strolled around, getting some amazing pictures of this rather pretty town, I noticed that the people were a little bit dickish. I lost count of the amount of people who shouted something at me for one reason or another. I thought it was just the Parisians who are arseholes.

I sat by a harbour of sorts to relax for a while as my feet were beginning to cause me a remarkable degree of discomfort, I looked at the boats and I played with my phone some more. Then it got cold, so I went to the café across the road to get myself a coffee to warm myself up a bit.

It was pure dirt.

Warmed me up though, and I spent the rest of my time in Caen bounding along the pavement like a 90’s kid with ADHD and a blue Smarties overdose.

Thursday was also rather non-eventful, I went to work a bit later than usual as my first lesson was cancelled and spent all day telling Year 10 about how awesome it is to drink on St Patricks Day. Then moaning at more annoying year 7 kids.
One of my year 7 boys has been excluded for bringing a knife to school. Legend.
Thursday I was emailing my mother in between getting drunk as it was St Patricks Day and her birthday.

On Friday I went to work, delivered two pretty good lessons on Comic Relief (thanks G) then sat chilling in the staff room for two and a half hours before going to my English club.

Before this, there was something going on in the staff room involving cheese, peanuts, tomatoes and champagne. I stole some of this and nattered to a few teachers (who told me my French was awesome – quite nice of them seeing as I’ve recently been feeling quite demotivated as my French doesn’t appear to be improving anymore) before wishing everybody a pleasant afternoon and heading to my class.
The kids had all gone home.

I really should learn to read the crap that gets put in my newly-discovered pigeonhole.

Oh well, never mind, I never had anything to do anyway.

So I left, and headed into Paris, where I ate the nicest lasagne in the world EVER, then proceeded to get onto the Eurostar to go home for the weekend, to see my beautiful girlfriend and to surprise my mother by showing up at her birthday meal.

The man next to me on the train was very pissed off to have to give up the plug socket to the person who had booked the seat with the plug socket. Should have reserved a window seat then, dick. I might have shared the plug socket with you, but after huffing and puffing over putting your cables away, you didn’t stand a chance. I plugged in my phone, cuddled it and went to sleep for an hour, snoring loudly. Haha. Poor miseryguts. No computer, no peace and quiet. Learn to be a nicer person, arse.

Saturday night I went to the restaurant to wait for my mother after going to see Daddikins at his house. He gave me a lift (mostly to be nice to me because he’s an awesome dad, but I suspect partly because he wanted to show off his sexy new car) and I booked the table, bought Amy and myself a drink and waited for mum. Mums workfriends hid me as Mum strolled into the restaurant. She said her hellos as Amy turned to me and said “I’m waiting for her to actually notice you”. I replied, “yeah, me too.” Then she saw me as Kerry and her partner stepped aside. She cried. Apparently she was happy? I hope so.

In all, awesome weekend. I saw my girl, saw my mum, fed my craving for various items of food, and got to drink Dr Pepper.

Then it was Sunday and therefore time to go back to gay France. We said our goodbyes in the station (for the last time – next time I leave for France she’s coming with me) then I got on my train, back to Gayland. Nothing untoward, I got back to Corbeil, fed myself and chatted on Skype for a bit before heading to bed.

Monday was nothing untoward, until I got home to be told that I hadn’t done my share of the housework last week (erm, yes I had) and also to be told by Colin (in English, actually!) that somebody is using Skype too much and the technician is getting pissed off. He cut the internet off this morning and “has warned that he will do it again”. Awesome. The only thing that makes living here bearable is being cut. Still, three more weeks, I suppose…

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I still want an English Rugby shirt for work.

Well I didn’t make it to Lille as I was MALADE. So I spent my weekend in bed complaining to myself and my girlfriend about how terrible my life is. Sorry, not much else to report on this story.

Monday was relatively uneventful, except for getting scolded by the headteacher for using the staff room whiteboard for non-administrative purposes when I asked for teachers to participate in a survey (like she thinks I can’t read French – never seen an administrative thing on there in my LIFE). I think she just wanted to scrub my writing off so she could write some bullshit about a cake sale. Maybe she’s having it off with the mayor and doesn’t want us to have an opinion on how his election win was a complete farce.

Tuesday I got to go into school late and finish early, as my colleague had to look after her baby who wasn’t feeling too good. One kid in a 3eme class (who is a DICK) refused to touch the oyster card I passed round the class during a lesson on London Transport without his glove. After the lesson his teacher was explaining to me the extent to which this boy is a DICK, when another kid burst into the class and the pair started fighting. Definite DICK.

Tuesday night I had a tantrum with my rubbish internet and took myself to Evry to buy some new bedding and such like. I found a shower mat that was decorated with the word “DOUCHE” written across it in large letters. To any French person, this is completely acceptable, as douche means shower. I, on the other hand, had to stand in the corner of the supermarket to minimise the amount of people who could see me laughing hysterically. Needless to say, I bought it.

Wednesday I still wasn’t feeling great so I stayed in bed once more. I planned to get on with my Cultural Report, but it didn’t really happen.

Thursday I strolled into work, the first class pretty much didn’t fancy doing any work, and the second class got to listen to stories about squirrels. Then it was time for an all-nighter to get the Cultural Report done.

And what an all-nighter it was too. It took AGES.

At around 5am, I allowed myself to drift off to sleep, having sorted out my references and only having a small amount left to write. I planned to get up to my alarm at half seven, and caffeinate myself through Friday.

I woke up at 9am. My first class started at 8.30.

I pretty much ran to work, luckily grabbing a train for the one stop that saved me about 15 minutes walking.

When I rocked up at the classroom door at 9.45 I was expecting the bollocking of my life. I’d missed one class and was late for the second. But nothing! I just helped them correct some work and was asked to have a lesson prepared on Red Nose Day for next week. Fair enough! The teacher was really nice about me being so late. I still told her about how ill I’d felt the night before though, just for good measure.

I spent my 2 and a half hour break in the staff room, putting the final touches on my Cultural Report (which is rubbish, by the way).

The headteacher wandered into my English club today (at a particularly productive moment – I had one girl practising grammar on the board – I must have looked right professional) and asked me if I was going to “portes-ouvertes”. I’m not too sure what this is, although it sounds like an Open Day sort of thing. I didn’t know a thing about it, so she informed me that she had placed an invitation in my pigeonhole.

This is the first time in the history of my employment at this school that I have known about having a pigeonhole.
Never mind, said Mrs Headteacher, if I was otherwise engaged, that was cool.

Which I was – with Kronenbourg and facebook and otherwise doing NOTHING to celebrate having submitted the most (oh my gosh I’m doing that dickish thing where I’ve got an adjective in French but can’t find the English one that works here…) the most, painful 3000 words of my life. (Painful isn’t the word I’m even looking for, oh gosh, I hate bilingualism)

This weekend, I stayed in bed, too tired from enduring the all-nighter to get out anywhere to explore anything.

Monday was fairly uneventful, apart from noticing that my year seven children have stopped being so small and cute and are starting to grow into the horrendous Year 8 kids that every language assistant hates. I still detest my Year 8 English club, but they seem content with having presentations to prepare. I’m getting bored of the special needs boy who brings me something printed out from Wikipedia every week though.

Monday afternoon I went into Paris to buy some Irish merchandise for Thursday. I got a BIG flag. I love it. Then I met up with Leanne and after a bit of searching for some hotels, we went for a drink, which was nice.

Tuesday I’ve had a day off work as for various reasons all my classes have been cancelled. I’ve tidied my room and gone on something of an eating Spree. Caen tomorrow.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

The Beginning of the End (Written 4/3/11)


Hiyar,

Sorry for leaving it so long to get back on dis writing ting. I got back to France on Sunday after a holiday in London that I can only describe as eventful. I had no food in the fridge and by the time I arrived in Paris all the shops were shut, so I ended up buying both my lunch and by dinner from a shitty baguette stand in the Gare du Nord. That was my entire Sunday, in French terms. I missed my girlfriend from the second we parted at St Pancras too, so I felt a bit miserable to be honest.

However, the first advert I did see upon arriving in Paris was one for Paul. This made me incredibly happy as it now means that I can go and watch it again. And I’ve told all my students that they have to go see it too.

Monday was another class with the new year 8’s that I’ve taken on, who seemed happy to talk about their holidays practising the past tense that they’ve so conveniently learned recently. Year Seven, however, decided to play hangman. Their teacher has stopped giving me subjects to work on with them, and the kids have stopped listening to the subjects I give them. So now it looks like the kids are inventing their own lessons until the end of term, right?

English club was fun. I only remembered on Sunday night that the lesson was already planned for them as I had set them presentations to do. However, I’d make them talk about Valentine’s Day (mine was amazing btw) if they hadn’t done their presentations, then swiftly kick them out of English Club. Amazingly, they’d all done it!

One of the new girls had prepared a presentation on her holiday in the Dominican Republic, and presented me with a gift. She did her presentation, she had some white sand in a bottle (that I VERY inappropriately told the kids was cocaine – it raised a laugh anyway so I don’t care, quoi) and showed everyone a fruit of some variety that apparently has cocoa beans in it. I asked what this thing was that she’d given me, and she responded with; “it is errrr haricot……..it is……… bah c’est une decoration madame!” 

It is a decorative bean.

Cheers kid.

I later found out that it is a dried out seed pod, but I’m still going to decorate it and put it on the mantelpiece when I move into my own little place. Maybe with glitter. 

Tuesday I had my 3A, who were little pricks, all lesson. There’s not much else to say about them.

Or the 6eme I had in the afternoon, who completely failed at describing their houses to me. One kid told me in his house there is kitchen and stair. Wow, boy, you live in poverty! Mind you, this is Corbeil. And they all seem to have a meekroewavv in their kitchen too. If I hear that word one more time…

Wednesday = no work = nothing.

Thursday, I got into work at half past 9 for another lesson with 6eme, who were slightly better. They didn’t talk about meekroewavvs, anyway.

I went to another class with a group that I don’t usually work with as I had been speaking to their teacher in the staff room (maybe it would be more accurate if I said I was being peer-pressured into getting a job as a teacher). These kids were bastards. They didn’t even ask me questions in English in the end, which kind of defeated the object.

Then I had my 6eme class in the afternoon who are a little bit MECHANT. Well, a few of them. Some of them are actually quite nice, and clever. One kid, though, is an absolute BASTARD. Too rude for his own good. Definitely needs a slap. Or drowning. Or a slap then drowning. On top of the usual year 7 “look at me I’m funny asking where my condom is rather than where my schoolbag is LOL” behaviour, he also swore at me, slapped his classmates, and generally made everyone’s lives Hell. Die, child, die.

Thursday evening I ate a massive pizza and I chatted on a very temperamental Skype connection to my lady. 

Friday I’m at work, I’ve written a letter that I intend to send to some politicsey people to help with my cultural report (due next Friday) and I’m planning a trip to Lille tomorrow.

Sorry this post’s been a bit boring.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Kangaroos, Two More Sleeps


So I left you with me bitching about how I want to come home after taking my cold meds and getting a little bit high.

Thursday afternoon I did my class, went to sign my documents and went home to my glorious bed. Lots of sleeping occurred.

Friday I went to work, where the kids were working on New York and they had an activity to do based on the famous Frank Sinatra song. Their final task was to sing it. The kids weren’t happy. One girl piped up, with the clearest voice imaginable, “What is the English for mal a la gorge?”  After three attempts, they still weren’t having any of it. So I joined in. Got the kids singing, kids thought I was funny, teacher thought I was insprational, all in all I should sing more often. Got major cool points for laughing at a boy who was pretending to throw his pen at the teacher. I was laughing because he was too pussy to actually do it. Amateur.

English club was…different. They are working on Australia in class, and working on telling a story. One girl was really enjoying telling me all about koala bears and marsupials whilst the other one was getting on with some exam preparation. Next thing I know, my class has turned into a theatre company. One girl is narrating a story of a mother and baby kangaroo getting separated in the long grass and the other two kids are acting it out. Repeatedly. I thought I was on drugs. Nope, they were definitely pretending to be kangaroos.
 
Year eight didn’t turn up AGAIN, so I’ve officially sacked them off, and taken on two new classes who I see every other week. This means that I can use my lesson plans twice. Awesome.

Friday night, I do believe I was ill. Still, casually popped to Lyon on Saturday to commence the best weekend I’ve had in France. I arrived there, did a bit of strolling about and being amused by the cheekiest bastard begging kids I’ve ever met. Do I have a pen? No. A euro? No. Two euros? No. A note then! FUCK OFF! Trying to get me with the disabled charity scam…shitbags.

I met Lauryn in the station when her train arrived, and on the way out we were approached by a very tall, very funny looking black man. He didn’t even hesitate before grabbing my arm and telling me he loved me. Wow mate, with chat up lines like that, I’m sure your success rate is somewhere near 100% right?!?!? He tried following us out of the station, me telling him to fuck off, Lauryn laughing at me. Thanks Lauryn.

We walked round Lyon for a few short hours, casually falling in love with the place (I’m so bringing the lady here in the summer) and finding a shop called Little Britain. Full of ENGLISH STUFF. I was in my element. We walked in, and it was like Hitler had just walked into a room full of Aryans. Amazement. Wonder. Surprise. I ended up buying two glorious litres of Dr Pepper, some Extra Old Marmite (which I’d never even seen in the UK before but is really nice – yeahhhh I relented and opened it, sorry Lauryn) and a couple of Pepperami Firesticks.

Then it was time to leave our new found favourite city (after London ofc) and head black to Clermont Ferrand so we could go to a house party. The train was one of the comfiest things ever. It was, however, such a bumpy ride that I felt nauseous and developed indigestion. And a sudden hatred for trees. And described our surroundings as “bollocks” several times.

We arrived in Clermont, dumped our stuff in Lauryns lodgement, I had a quick facebook chat with the lady I’m a little bit in love with, then we headed out for dinner in an Indian restaurant (yeah, after indigestion. Clever me!) before meeting Dan (our friend from uni who is in Clermont for the next few months studying) and heading to a flat party in what is known amongst the English speaking contingent of Clermont as “The Ladpad”. 

I soon found out why.

I walked through the front door of the flat to be greeted by a shopping trolley FULL of beer. I was glad of this, as the bottle of wine I had bought was pretty rank. I got talking to Dan, and then a load of other people, and in general the night was going really well. Everyone thought I was a little bit G when I recounted some of the stories I’ve got from working in the BANLIEUES, and yeah, I was just really enjoying myself. Got chatting to someone from Leytonstone (East London REPRESENT) before going back to Lauryn and Dan.

Then there was a noise.

A big noise.

Then some more noise.

Then the noise of hundreds of empty beer bottles smashing all over the kitchen floor.

That’s right; the cupboard had fallen off the wall. There’d been loads of empties on top of it and the thing had decided that enough was enough, so it made its bid for freedom. 

Everyone in the flat ran to the kitchen to see what was going on, and in true flat party fashion, proceeded to take pictures of the carnage.

After this, the chaos seemed to continue, with one girl creating a bit of a vom monster by throwing up and falling over at the same time, poor cow. Someone else was sick in the sink, the beer ran out, and I lost my voice. The flat stank of booze and puke, one guy cut his hand to shreds trying to clear the kitchen up, and it was eventually concluded that not bothering to furnish the flat was a good decision made by the 3 guys who live there.

After this it was time to go home, where it transpired that Lauryn had outdrank me by about three and a half miles, and my throat was going to be sore for the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, we were up and out of the house by about midday, and Lauryn showed me the city centre. The city centre, lol. We got all around it within thirty minutes, except for some garden thing that Lauryn forgot about. That’s what you get for 1) being a rimming bitch and 2) drinking half a bottle of vodka on a night that I stay relatively sober, hah. But it’s okay I forgive you.

I went home, where I became MISERABLE to be back in Paris. Such a good weekend was quickly turned sour by the mere thought of being close to the RUBBISH city in which I live. Still. I got home, chilled out, and sat on Skype (my favourite evening activity)

Work this week has been a bit, well, non-existent. Had my first class with my new year 8s on Monday morning, where I found the bitchy gay kid from my English club. The thought of having an extra hour in the week with him is making me think about demanding a payrise. They seem okay though, in general. Tonnes nicer than the wankers I was working with before.

After that, I had my class with my Year 7s, the really cute ones who I really like working with. Their teacher had forgotten to take a list so I was to go to the Permanence to find some kids who fancied a bit of a chinwag. They all refused. Rebels! I didn’t mind, I went to sit in the staff room for an hour having a slight panic over the fact that I couldn’t access my train tickets to print them out. It’s sorted now though, Leanne’s going to print them for me, she’s nice like that. 

English club was once again HORRIBLE with year eight, I sat there for an hour literally talking to two kids. Who were too involved in speaking French for any English to be spoken. Feeling a bit pissed off with them all for point blank ignoring me all lesson, I have set them a presentation to prepare over the holidays. If they don’t do it, I’m throwing them out of English Club. HAH!

Tuesday, I only had one lesson. Year Nine. Decided to get them to prepare a small piece on what they would do during their holidays if money were no object. Theyr ideas were great, ranging from buying a lifetime supply of Italian ice cream, to trips to Miami, Playstation games and…enslaving the world, “muahahahaha”. I love this class. They are definitely one of my favourites.

Wednesday, I’ve had an I HATE SAM day, which normally consists of crying and hating myself and not doing anything or wanting to speak to anyone. I’ve made a conscious effort to spend as much time as possible in my room. My lady has cheered me up 1000000000fold, because she’s amazing. I do feel a lot better now. I haven’t  seen any of my housemates today though. It’s been quite nice, actually.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Under the Influence (written 3/2/11)


Just ate the dirtiest sandwich ever.

Monday was pretty typical, woke up with onset of cold and started to feel steadily worse through the day. When it came to English club I was feeling pretty rough and pretty miserable so I decided, who better to take it out on than the kids? We were talking about English music we like, when the Spanish gayboy started putting his Spanish songs on. And dancing like a queen. I stood there staring at him rather unimpressed, when he changed it to a Celine Dion song (you know that pile of wank from Titanic). I took great delight in telling him that Celine Dion is for girly girls and queers. Amazing what you can get away with in French schools!

Tuesday was a sort of uneventful day, except for 6ème being completely in love with me and racing to my desk to come and work with me. All so keen, I’d finished within half an hour and they were all working really hard too. I spent the rest of the lesson staring at English kids dictionaries. Bliss. 3ème worked quite well too. Tuesday night I bought myself some food and some whiskey because I was feeling tellement HORRENDOUS so I drank hot lemon and whiskey from a mug I found in the kitchen.

Colin’s mug. His blue mug.

Wednesday morning. Yeay, woo, day off, etc. I was still up at 9 because I felt like rubbish. On my way back from the kitchen, Colin saw me strolling around. He asked if he could talk with me a bit. Could I use headphones for Skype after 11pm? Yeah, sure I can mate, sorry I didn’t realise I was so loud/you were always asleep at 11pm despite the level of noise you manage to make pottering about and playing playstation late at night.  Still, yeah, course I can use headphones. Also. There’s a massive pile of washing up that keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Is it me? Because the others say it’s not them and it wasn’t like this before.

Oh really? Despite the letter pasted on the kitchen door dated September 28th 2010 detailing the horrendous state of the communal areas, in particular the kitchen? Despite the fact that I rarely eat breakfast there, I never eat lunch there and probably have my dinner there about three times a week? And I only ever have stuff that goes in the oven, so none of the pots or pans could be my fault?

Averaging three plates a week apparently makes me responsible for everyone else’s washing up, it would seem. I told him – I had three plates to clean that I had put there the night before and forgotten about whilst I was tidying my room, and the rest was down to someone else. He doesn’t believe me. I don’t care.

Third thing. His blue mug. I cannot use his blue mug. It is his. It’s precious to him. His blue mug. Funny how he didn’t tell me the blue mug belonged to him before I used it though.

After a couple of hours chilling in my room I decided to go do my “devoir” for the week which is the kitchen. I did EVERYONE’S washing up before cleaning all the surfaces, inside the microwave, a vinegar splat from the wall, and the passive-aggressive note Colin had left about his blue mug. He thanked me whilst I was sat in my room. Cheeky git. I’ve half a mind to buy all my own shit and keep it in my room.

We had a room inspection, which consisted of “is your sink alright?” then I went out. I bought myself a mug so my weirdo housemates can’t bitch at me for drinking out of the wrong one, and some headphones for Skype. Wednesday night was spent playing with my new headphones and mic on Skype.

Thursday, my cold is still really bad, so I’ve been to work first thing and after having a lesson cancelled I went to a pharmacy up the road and bought some medicine. It had made me drowsy, hence this blog is bare shit. Bear shit. Rargh.

I need to go AGAIN to find the lady to sign these damn documents for my flat what I hate. I tried looking on the bright side, then it got a bit cloudy over there too. The only good thing about it is that I’m not often there.

I want to come home.