Friday, December 4, 2009

Some other things

(drawings from some of my kids)
Today, I went to the train station, only I no longer call train stations train stations. I call them gares. Gare is the French word. I am not trying to be pretentious, it's seriously the first word that comes to my head. There are words that are slowly becoming "french only." Words like maybe and sometimes, pop into my head as peut-être and quelquefois.

Anyway, today at the train station, I walked up to the lady and said, "I would like a ticket for Paris." And she said, "Very good. You speak very good French, but it would be better to say 'I would like a ticket to go to Paris.'" Actually, it boosted my confidence, we finished the transaction in French, and because there was no one else in line, she told me about her daughter who is 17 and want to go to Los Angeles. I told her I was born in San Francisco, and she was surprised I was American. I'm not sure why.

Apparently, French people LOVE Los Angeles, I swear every person I talk to wants to go to LA. I don't have any theories on this, it's just an observation.

Today, we started to learn "Jingle Bells." As I've said, most of my classes are CE1, 7 and 8 year olds. On Friday afternoons at Marcel Pagnol, I have my one class of CE2s.
I like them better.
Lucky for me, they are not my children, so I do not have to love them all equally. The CE2s pick up on things faster, so we have more fun. The teacher is youngish, younger than the other ones I work with, so I don't feel like he's constantly judging my (lack of) teaching skills. He also jokes with me, rather than ignores my existence, as some teachers do.
Today, for instance, as we were "singing" (yelling) "jingle bells" (jingr boells), he and I laughed at their pronunciation. I made them listen to the song, then I would say a line and make them repeat it. Then, I would say a line word by word, with them repeating. However, no matter what I did, it sounded something like "Jingr Boells, Jingr Boells, Jinghh aww d'NOEL."
I figured they were saying Noel because the French lyrics to the same tune are completely different. BUT, I just looked it up, and there's nothing about Noel in the song. At all. HAHAHA
Because the song is, for them, only a series of songs, they kind of assert any thing they feel like fits.
And I digress.
What I was going to say about the CE2s: The class consists of the more-advanced 8 year olds, and 9 year olds, and I guess that is when children start becoming people. I probably sound like a horrible person, and it might have a lot to do with the fact that the smaller children don't deal as well with my accent. But, the CE2s pick up things quickly. So when we play a game, I don't spend 10 minutes explaining and re-explaining and making other children explain. They get it.
They still think fart jokes are funny, however.
Speaking of fart jokes, I was at Jules Verne this morning, and it was picture day. I ended up being in the picture with M. Lecompte's class. My second class is Mlle. Rondeau (Marie). She teaches two different classes, so she asked if I would mind if she left for a few minutes to be in the photo with the other class. I figured I could handle them for a few minutes.
As soon as she left the class, there was more shouting, making fun of, and armpit farting than I have heard since I started. Kids kept knocking over chairs, so I said that the next kid who did would leave the classroom -- a common punishment for kids who are being really bad. Another kid did. He left. Then, a girl said another kid was calling her a pig, so I told him to stop. He made a VERY rude gesture involving a pelvic thrust at the little girl. He was told to leave as well. A third kid was making farting noises with his hand in his armpit, while another one told on him, repeatedly, while yelling. The fart-noise kid also had taken his shirt halfway off.
When Marie returned, she was none pleased to find two students in the hall. After a couple of words from her, the kids snapped into shape, immediately.

I meant to mention, in my last post, the title, "... a Tired Teachair," is what one of my other kids calls me. He is from Senegal and picks up English very quickly. When they learned the word teacher, he decided that was what he would call me. It is rather endearing.


  1. French children are apparently very good artists. Their drawings are wonderful!
    "The tired Teachair" how appropriate-I'm sure it fits most teachairs!

  2. Hey, Allie! It's me, Bro. Dave! Your Mom gave me your blog address... very cool! If you don't mind, I'll read along. Sounds like you're having a great excperience!

    As for why everyone wants to go to L.A., I was one of those. Television depicts L.A. as a very glamorous place filled with beautiful people. (Much the same way as everyone thinks Paris is a glamorous place filled with beautiful people.) So I went out to L.A. for seminary. Turns out, television lies! Everyone looked pretty much the same as the people I knew back home. Oh, well!

    Keep writing... I'll look forward to reading about your experiences.