Today in class, I worked with my CE2s on food. We practiced asking the question “do you like….” and responding either “yes, I do” or “no, I don’t”.
Example: “Hugo, do you like carrots?”
“Yes, I do.”
Easy. They aced it, as proved when Mme. Bricau announced to the class that today would be my last day and one of the students stood up and screamed “NO I DONT!!!!!” to let me know he didn’t like it. I couldn’t help but smile.
Poisson d’Avril!!! The French don’t celebrate April Fool’s Day, they celebrate April Fish Day. There are still silly little jokes involved, although 90% of theirs involve making paper fish and taping them onto each others’ backs when not looking.
Lessons were hard today. As I spoke about April Fool’s Day and how we celebrate in America in one class, or classroom vocabulary in the next, I had to constantly ask children to stop drawing paper fish.
In spite of my lectures, when Léa got up to leave, sure enough, Amaël had stuck one on her back. This resulted in me constantly checking my back all morning and staying at least one adult arm length away from my students. Alix was kind enough to just hand me one of hers. I think I prefer it that way.
In celebration of this glorious holiday, I have bought a chocolate fish. You can see him in the second photo, swimming in a sea of chocolate friends. He is delicious and no longer in once piece. He is also forced to swim in my fridge for awhile as my room heats up. Lucky little guy.
There are three Statues of Liberty in Paris, scattered across the city. Erin, Shiana and I set out to find them on this beautiful, sunny day. In between we shopped in Le Marais, had espresso at overpriced cafés and walked along the Seine admiring the Eiffel Tower (we are only human, you know).
It was an AMAZING day, and I present to you the fruit of our labor.
This is the first time in several weeks that I have been able to say that, but truly yesterday was a good day.
What did I do? One of the teachers I work with invited me to attend an art exhibition at the Centre Pompidou with her and a friend and I gladly accepted the offer. After a quick run to the farmers market for some fresh produce (see previous post), I met her at the train station for the short train into Paris.
We met up with her friend Pascal and another assistant, Erin and headed to the Pompidou. In French, rather than saying “its raining cats and dogs” they say “it’s raining like a cow pissing”, which I personally think is a more accurate - and expressive - way to say it. Truly it was raining like a cow pisses. And I discovered the hard way that my boots are no longer water proof.
The exhibition - (see http://www.centrepompidou.fr/Pompidou/Manifs.nsf/AllExpositions/BCC6CE781B245AA7C125777D0054F13D?OpenDocument&sessionM=2.2.1&L=1&form=Actualite) was really interesting and after a few hours of admiring cubist paintings, we headed to St Germain des Près - a trendy neighborhood in Paris - for some yummy falafel. We ended up sitting next to a fellow language assistant whose parents were visiting from Utah. And there was a guy in a WWU sweatshirt. Read on for how small the world truly is.
After lunch Pascal returned home while Christelle led Erin and I on a tour of Ile St Louis and Notre Dame area. We ducked into the famous Shakespeare & Co bookstore and attempted to get into Notre Dame, but the line around the block put us off. So we headed off to find a nice cup of coffee. En route, a man approached us and told us that we would need to cross the street as a movie was being filmed. We stopped and watched the movie being filmed - Christelle freaked out - apparently they were two quite famous actors in France - which was really fun. One of the actors kept making faces at the tourists in between takes. After Christelle had a few pictures, we found a Starbucks and settled in to warm ourselves back up. I ordered a Grande drink and got a Vente instead, which is way too much coffee for one person, but what the heck?
After drying off a little bit we walked along the rue Montorgueil - a trendy shopping street - that offers the most affordable manicures I’ve seen in France….I think I’ll have to go back there when the weather gets better. Christelle showed me where the Kookaï outlet is. When I picked up a sequined dress that I really liked Christelle’s comment was that I wouldn’t have to pay for such an ugly dress, they would probably just give it to me if I asked. Ouch.
I restrained myself at the Kookaï outlet (this time) but couldnt resist a leopard print purse I spotted at a vintage store in the area. When I returned to pick it up, I noticed that the price tag said 60 euros, whereas I had remembered it being 30…..I told them thanks but no thanks and then they asked me to name my price. I went home with the bag for only 35 euros.
C’est la magie de Paris, said Christelle (it’s the magic of Paris).
The magic followed me onto the metro where, out of all the trains in Paris and all the cars, of all the days, I ran into Lamine Diallo, a work partner of mine in Senegal. He’s in town for the week and we’re meeting up on Wednesday for lunch and to catch up.
Ended up sitting next to two super sweet Nigerian students on the train home and they entertained me with stories of their country for the hour until I arrived safely home in Amiens.
Like I said, a wonderful day. And the perfect start to my two weeks of vacation. Happily this Sunday doesn’t mark the end of my weekend, but the beginning of Winter Break.
…although you wouldn’t guess it from how (in)frequently I update my blog. It’s actually kind of painful to remember how happy I was as I wrote about the farmers market three weeks ago.
The entry was followed by the worst 3 weeks of my young life which don’t need to be summarized here.
I finally made it back to work this week, and it had been fairly unexceptional until today when, while teaching Mme Delaporte’s english class, Alexandre came running in to tell us that Malick had thrown up in the hall. When the teacher went to check up on Malick, he vomited again. On her.
In the flurry that ensued, I understood the teacher’s to say “Oh, I’m so sorry Amanda, but we won’t be having English class today, you don’t mind, do you?”
Of course not! When really, they’d asked if I minded watching the class while Marie-Helène went home to change.
And so I drew with 30 young’uns for 45 minutes, 6 of whom had their names put on the board for substitute-itis (assuming you can do whatever you want so long as the real teacher’s not there, v. common). And then I escorted my “class” to the cafeteria, while Gad Yan asked me if I could stay for the afternoon classes as well. All I could think was “why would you want me to?! I was crap today!”
But at least I didn’t get thrown up on. Life could be worse, indeed.