Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Day 24

So today sucked.

I didn’t get much done today in the way of lesson planning. I can’t figure out why my fourth grade classes don’t match. I have three different schools of fourth grade classes and somehow I’m doing three different things with each of them. It shouldn’t be like that. There’s a national curriculum. Granted, the schools use different textbook series, one of which I cannot figure out (prolly should be getting the teacher’s book next week) but it’s the same damn stuff, right? So what’s my problem? Also there’s the fourth grade class that missed their first lesson of the week so I’m trying really hard to figure out if they’re going to be able to cram the entire week’s worth of material into sixty minutes. Probably not because that’s the class that got crosses in their règles de vie (classroom rules) last time. Glorious.

This afternoon, I had four tasks: buy good French shoes, preferably that can be weatherproofed; buy chapstick; have tea and pastry at Céline’s, the at the amazing bakery up the street from us; go to France Telecom and figure out how to hook up the internet. I bought French shoes and they’re pretty good. I’ll test them out tonight. I found chapstick at a pharmacie. Céline’s is amazing, omg I love it there. Depending on whether I can maintain this routine, I’ll be there every Wednesday afternoon for tea, pastries, and leisure reading. Strange, I know.

Then came the France Telecom debacle. We (me and Ben) opened up a phone line for the sole purpose of hooking up a Livebox, which is a high-speed modem with wireless capabilities. No contract, 24.90E/month plus 3E/month for the Livebox rental. Sweet. However, because it is France, we had to wait two days for the (nonworking, as in we can’t hook a real phone up to it) phone line to be opened, and today at the France Telecom store I discovered that in fact the Livebox internet connection is open as of today. After speaking with two different people at the store, I had very specific illustrated instructions to make this magic box work. I think I got it arranged properly on my computer, but when the installation CD tries to connect to the Livebox, it keeps telling me that there’s a connection error, or more specifically that the WiFi security key is incorrect and if I changed the IP address. It isn’t incorrect, and no I didn’t change shit. So as the last resort of any French person, I called tech support. For 0.34E/minute. ~7E later, a technician will be here on Friday afternoon between 2pm and 5pm to work his magic on the phone line, the Livebox, my computer and Ben’s iMac. This will be prohibitively costly, but I just CANNOT figure it out. The lady on the phone with tech support was as patient as she could be but seriously, how many times can you get “I don’t understand” and be patient? I just don’t get it. She said our Livebox is not “synchronized” and I wasn’t even going to go there because I haven’t the foggiest idea what it needs to be synchronized to. Some satellite? Whatever. Some tech dude is going to show up Friday and make it work. He better or I’m going to friggin punch something. It was really frustrating to do all of this because there is just NO way this was going to be a Good French Day. No one was going to compliment me on my French, and I was just not going to understand a damn word. I barely understand what the hell is going on with Time Warner, let alone the partially or formerly state-owned French telecommunications monopoly (holy crap and the French sued Microsoft…gimme a break) and ogre known as France Telecom. So the tech support lady on the phone wasn’t the nicest but she tried hard. “I can tell you’re not French and you don’t really understand what I’m saying…” blah blah blah and other things because seriously, phone conversations are damn near impossible for me. Add vocabulary I’m only starting to learn: example, the little blinking lights on the Livebox are called “voyants.” That’s a new word as of three hours ago. Nice to know there’s still some French to learn.

Today sucked and I had a dream with Andy in it last night. I miss home. I miss my parents and my brothers and Andy a lot.

I haven’t made a single plan for Toussaint, my October break yet. I know where I want to go and in what order, but I can’t find the exact dates for the vacation as every place I look and every person I ask gives me a different answer. Also I haven’t booked any train tickets or hotel rooms because I’m not comfortable doing that on the school liberry computers, although I’ll have to if the internet doesn’t happen on Friday.

My angry French is getting better.

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