Today was the last day of school before the breaks, and it seemed like a lot of strange things happened. Or not strange, but funny. Funny tiny happenings.
Anyway, one kid gave me a drawing, which I think he was instructing me to pass on to the American Indians. It's a kind of, well... it's a drawing of a circular shape with a kind of patchwork design inside of it. No idea what it's supposed to be and at the top it says, "C'est un bouguiser." It might be bouquiser, but neither of these are words. I googled them. I'm very curious what it is, and why he wanted me to give it to the Indians. Too bad he got in trouble and didn't get to finish explaining.
It snowed yesterday and last night. It stuck, and school was not cancelled. I'm so used to people being like "AHHHH SNOW, I'm going to stock up apocalypse-style at Wal-mart" and everything being closed. I still had to go to school. There was no pomp; there was no circumstance. It made me miss home a little.
The cool thing about it was... Actually this requires a small preface: I have been keeping cheese and juice on my window sill outside, which reading it now sounds a little like something out of a David Sedaris book. (If you haven't read Me Talk Pretty One Day, I highly recommend it.) Anywho, I've been keeping it there because it's freaking cold outside, and the window sill is more convenient than going down the hallway and three flights of stairs to the kitchen.
The cool thing was there was snow on my cheese this morning. Actually, that's not cool it all. But it is kind of funny. I hope you've enjoyed this pointless story.
(does this look familiar?)
In my morning classes, I reflected on the fact that my French is still very limited. For example, we were cutting out shapes: triangles, squares, circles that became a Christmas Tree. By the way, the kids loved this. There were seemingly random shapes on the page, and I told them what colors to color them, in English of course. When they cut them out, they were more enthusiastic than I could have possibly imagined. Anywho, they also made a complete mess cutting up the paper, so I tried to get one kid to walk around with the recycling bin. I tried. That's the limiting part. I wanted to say, "Hey, kid whose name I can't remember, walk around with that recycling bin because your classmates are making a complete mess with the paper they've cut up." But many of those words do not come to me immediately, and I'm not entirely sure what the word for recycling bin is. So, I have to get by by pointing at the bin, calling it a trashcan, and pointing around the class. Luckily, kids think on this level, so he understood and obliged.
I went to my afternoon classes (I think I am the ONLY assistant who didn't have a SINGLE class cancelled this week.) In the first one I received the Indian drawing. There were also two little girls bleeding. One had a very painful looking something on her arm; it didn't look like a cut, more like a sore, but she was dabbing it with a tissue, and the tissue had blood on it. Another little girl had blood that was, in my opinion, gushing from her finger. The teacher just said, go rinse it off and wrap a tissue around it. Bleeding is one reason I could never teach elementary school.
My first afternoon class ended early due to some kind of program the school was going to have later, so I went to the teacher for my second class and asked if we would still have English. He said a lot of things I didn't understand. Finally, after a second and third interrogation, he said something like, "We haven't done a thing except for a little math this morning. The teachers had a holiday lunch with a lot of rosé. We drank a lot of rosé, so we haven't really done anything. I guess you don't do that in the U.S. In France, we drink a lot of wine..." and so on. This is when I realized he was still tipsy/drunk from lunch.
I said, "So, I can go?"
"If you want... something something something, hit by a car, ok?" he said. What?? Why was he telling me about getting hit by a car? I finally got him to explain slowly, "It's fine if you go, but don't get in an accident or anything because you're supposed to be in my class. If something does happen, they'll be like 'she was supposed to be in your class!!' You're my responsability." HA, that pretty much cracked me up.
"I won't die," I said. "Merry Christmas!" And away I was like the down on a thistle.
Also, I have recently discovered that many tired-out over-used adages are actually necessary, important, even. For example, "never run with scissors." In my CP class (kindergarten), we were doing the same Christmas Trees from random shapes project. The CPs do not have their own scissors, so I had to pass them out. Now, to adults, "do not run with scissors" is logical. It seems overcautious in its warning. But, do not be fooled. Six-year-olds will run with scissors in their hands, probably nine times out of ten. I'm not kidding. One kid came running toward me, scissors flailing, while I was leaning over to help another kid. As the scissors almost grazed my eyeball, I yelled "Attention, attention!" and grabbed his scissors. Attention means watch out in French. It was quite the revelatory experience.
In other news, I received a box of Christmas Cheer from ma mère. It's all I can do to keep from opening it all right now. Her suggestion was to put on Christmas music, drink some cocoa and open them... This Christmas will be my first without my family. It's kind of strange to think about. So, any family out there, I will miss you mucho during Christmas!