Saturday, October 10, 2009

Another week in Paris.

I'm rather frustrated right now with the teachers at my school.  I can't seem to get them to tell me exactly what they want me to do for them.  I understand that I'm here to help them in their classes and to help their students, but I have no idea what they're doing with their students right now!  I think I just need to sit down with each of them and get updated on their students' ability levels and what lessons they're working on at the moment.   So far the only interaction I've had with these classes is a brief 10-20 minute period of being interviewed by classes asking me questions like, "where are you from?" and "do you like France?"  Not only is it difficult to judge a class' ability level this way, but I don't remember which classes are which.  I have 15 or so different classes with five different teachers and five different age levels.

So anyway, right now what happens when I visit a class (following to the schedule I was given) is, first, the teacher forgets who I am and it takes a few seconds for them to realize I'm not a student, then they say, "oh!  Right.  Ok, well, what do you have prepared for today?"  I spend a few seconds explaining that I have no blessed clue what they're even doing in the class right now, so I have nothing prepared.  Then they say, "oh ok, well how about you just sit in and observe."  So then I sit there while the teacher explains something about English in French and then looks to me for approval.  I say, "yup."  And then she continues.  So, up to this point I haven't really done all that much. seems I just got an email from one of my teachers.

Figures.  As soon as I start complaining about all this I get an email from one of my teachers asking me to prepare something about NYC, McCarthyism and the American school system, haha.  (Not all in the same presentation, obviously.)  This is good though!  Direction is always nice.

Well I guess that's one problem working itself towards a resolution.

Last night I went out with some more new friends.  My friend, Kate (another assistant), has a French boyfriend who was going out with some friends, so she invited me to pal around with them.  It was really fun.  I actually felt like I was included in a lot more of the conversations this time.  It was a much smaller group this time, so I think that really helped.  Plus one of the girls had studied for three and a half years in Scotland.  We spoke in French, but it definitely helps conversation to have commonalities.  She's obviously interested in  English and she likes UK culture (which is much more similar to that of USA rather than that of France...that's for sure).  So we hit it off and talked for a while.

I left the bar around 1 AM or so and got on the first metro that I could find because it was raining.  I was at the station to change lines and was sitting for the next train to come and a few French people were looking around and kept asking me if I knew whether or not the line was finished for the night.  By this time it was like....maybe 1:30 AM.  I said, "I don't think's Friday night!  It has to be open late."  False.  About two seconds later the PA system came on saying that the Metro line 8 was finished for the night.  Crap.

But luckily I was only one stop away from where I would have gotten out of the metro anyway, so I just took a nice, long, chilly, puddle-filled, muddy, and slightly creepy walk back home from the metro, cutting across the Champ de Mars (the stretch of green in front of the Eiffel Tower) to get back.  I only saw one homeless person, so that was nice.  I was rather unsettled at first by a person I saw cutting across the field in front of me, but then I noticed it was simply a bass violin case (and not some sort of dead body) strapped to his back.  You can imagine my relief.

I'm going to try and get together with some other assistants later tonight.  Right now I'm waiting for my steak hâché to thaw out for dinna.  It's going to be delicious, lol.

Oh!  And I've decided that I'm going to allow myself to buy one pastry a week.  That way I can still enjoy them, and I won't go broke.  This was an éclair weekend.

It looked like there was gold sprinkled across the top.  I don't really know what gold tastes like, but I really liked the éclair.  I bought it at this place just near my apartment and the ladies were very friendly.  I think I'll be making their establishment my pastry stop of choice.

One more picture before I sign out: It was really cloudy and rainy the other day (actually the past few days), and the top of the tower was almost completely obscured by clouds.  It was eerily cool.

And that's it for now!  I hope everyone reading this is happy and healthy.  If anyone wants to email me feel free.  Especially if you have ideas for a presentation for NYC, McCarthyism or the American education system, lol.

Oh, and congrats to Coco for the job offer in London! Yep, that's right folks, we'll have another one on our side before too long.

Bonne soirée!

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