Sunday, 8 May 2011

la fin

it has just stricken me that am leaving france, officially, tomorrow.
and this is for the first time when i fly out of france.
i'm not returning after a 2-week break.
borrowing a line from the spanish tourism ad, "i need this trip to last forever. i need france."
there's so much i haven't seen, so much i haven't done.
i know that i will come back.
i just hope that this day comes rather soon.
gros gros bisous.
tu vas bcp me manquer.

Friday, 29 April 2011

this is it - la fin de toutes les bonnes choses.

i've had lots of kisses, hugs, tears, laughters, sweets and love today.
thanks my kids.
you'll always have a very special place in my heart.
i love you all.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

je t'aime

trés fort.
spelt wrong, but well received.
thanks master L.
je t'aime, moi aussi.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

genius programme design

the genius assistant programme design involves 2 types of contracts.
a 7-month one and a 9-month one.
the former starts officially from the 1 oct, ends 30 apr.
the latter finishes on the 30 jun.

now that things are coming to an end, you'd be getting ready to wrap things up and leave.
so i was trying to be very organised and started packing up and sorting my stuff out.
but then it came the 2-week spring holidays.
you see, the absurdity here is having a 2-week break in the middle of the calendar month.
this means that you'll work for 4 days or for some lucky people 2.
and then off you go on holidays, after spending 2 happy weeks getting tanned, you'll be back for 3 more days at work.
then that's it, the programme officially finishes.

i don't mind getting paid while i'm lying on the grass enjoying the great weather.
but wouldn't it make more sense to have one single form of a 9-month contract?
then people don't have to worry about sorting stuff out right after their return from holiday yet right before their departure for home.

you won't be able to close your bank account until you've got your very last payment, which, as you've now guessed correctly, is done at the end of every month.
for most people their contracts with the landlords finishes on the very last day of the calendar month, too.
if you're lucky enough to have made some local friends, you could just sleep on their floors for a couple of more days till you get things sorted out.
unfortunately i haven't made one single local friend here in france during my stay.
things have to be done before my departure.

the woman at my bank who always treated me like i was retarded told me that i should try not use my card to make any payments 2 weeks prior to closing my account.
i didn't listen, i mean hello, how is it possible to pay for everything in cash anyway.
especially when you need to make some payments online and didn't have another credit card?

i don't know how things would turn out to be, yet.
as much as i love france in general, i hate all the paperwork involved you could ever imagine and their seemingly "flexible" but rather rigid systems.
i know that i complain a lot about sheepland, but at this moment, i miss it.

Friday, 8 April 2011

my entire life.

last week, i had a new pupil in one of my classes.
the class teacher told me that she was living in the states before.
i thought that doing english would be extremely boring for her.
and yes, i did check if understand what i asked her in english, the answer is NO.

what i asked her was "so, where about did you live in the states?"
she gave me a blank face.
then i went on "do you understand me if i talk with you in english?"
she shook her head and started blabbing away in french.
exactly what i was expecting - i had a french lecturer back home, he had 2 children, both born in sheepland.
when i was playing with the kids, they spoke only french with me...
that was in sheepland, so you would imagine now being HOME in france.
they would do nothing but speak french again.

when other kids teased her for being american.
she said "i spent nearly my entire life living in the states", adding "but i am FRENCH."
what i didn't tell my kids was - worry not, she's full french, only started learning english earlier than you guys and isn't capable of having conversations with english speakers fluently (or in fact, at all).

she made such a proud face emphasising "toute ma vie aux etats-unis".
she's in CE1 - the entire life means 6 years (and a half)...
too cute.

Monday, 4 April 2011

toutes les bonnes choses ont,

une fin.
voila, c'est presque la fin de ce programme.
je suis un peu triste car je dois quitter la france et mes eleves.

(swtiching back to english speaking mode, just finished my class...)

all the good things have an end.
here it is, the beginning of an end.
i'm starting to feel a bit down as i will have to leave this lovely country and my cute kids.

now, it's time to wrap things up, here my milestones:
1. national strikes, or as they call it "mouvements sociaux", experienced: 3 times (or 100kms of rail tracks?).
2. amount of time spent on waiting for my carte vitale to get ready: 6 months.
3. improvements made i.t.o. the french languge: -5 points (totally back to B1 level again).
4. commands learned to train dogs (and/or small children): plenty. e.g. sit, run, stop running, don't scream, go play, go play farther away, shut up, listen, look, jump (i might need to learn "fetch" as well)...
5. friends made: 0.
6. bottles of decent wine consumed: 0.
7. number of stays in paris: plenty.
8. number of train rides: countless. (in fact, i think i've almost used up all the quota of train rides for my entire life during this 7 months in europe... well, come to this, i'm hopping on the train soon again.)
9. number of pre-packed lunch consumed: countless. (if i had to eat more of them in the coming months, i would have to kill myself.)
10. number of kids that i've bonded with: 300.

Friday, 1 April 2011

how many fish (or sharks) did you have on your back today?

it's the 'poisson d'avril' today, literally, the fish of april.
kids will follow you around sneakily and try to stick a poisson on your back today.
i noticed that some teachers didn't take the poissons off.
it was hilarious, seeing paper fish flying in wind on the back of a very serious teacher.
then there were these 2 interns who had like 10 fish (sharks) on the back!!!
it was like a competition.
i had 3, only.