+ Françoise, the agente comptable with whom I stayed for the first two nights in Ussel, and I had a good talk. I will slowly move into her spare bedroom in her apartment on the high school campus during the week after vacation. I will keep my room clean and will contribute to the household chores. I am allowed to keep having my tutoring student over on Saturday evenings. I will contribute the same portion of the rent that I pay currently for half of the apartment I share with Rocio. I may use her internet, phone, TV, and washing machine. This is an excellent situation. How to thank her.
+ Penpal letters went more smoothly. This entire project is showing just how much more planning was necessary. I had no idea, I swear. I'm very surprised and very very grateful to Mom and her colleagues for putting up with me. I must write a significant thank you.
- School One's third graders cannot handle the centers activities. I am super bummed. What am I supposed to do with twenty-three eight year olds?? They are so needy!
+ Sylvie paid me before vacation for the private tutoring lessons with her daughter. Sweet!!
+ Sylvie's fifth graders did well with the new seating chart. Except T*. He's a bright kid but oh my goodness give it a rest with the girls until middle school, will ya?
+ All of my cahiers are graded!!! With minimal missing pages! This marking period has shown me that careful and methodical planning will lead to results I am comfortable with. I am not good enough of a teacher to fly by the seat of my pants.
+ I went to the Musée du Président today! This was an optional field trip sponsored by the high school. Four students went, two of whom I recognize mostly because they're the most visible students (they dress really hippy-like). And also Polo, the retired French teacher who talks a mile a minute, hasn't taught at the high school for years but basically still lives there, and coaches theatre. And also two of the conseillères pédagogique d'éducation and their assorted children. This museum is a collection of the gifts that former President Jacques Chirac has collected from state and official visits throughout the world. He gave them all to the Conseil Général which displays them quite nicely in a beautiful museum in a beautiful part of Corrèze. I really liked it. However the bus ride put me to sleep.
+ Excellent food at the cantine. So good in fact that while passing through the line today at lunch, I asked the woman in charge if I couldn't have a second entrée. I took a picture.
+ I am so so so excited for vacation!!
- I am also a bit apprehensive. My Spanish skills will be tested. I'm not 100% certain how to get from the train station in Toulouse to the airport in Toulouse. I'm not 100% certain how to get to the airport in Barcelona. I don't have a map of either Madrid or Barcelona other than my guide book. I even have wiggle room in my plans between Madrid and Spain - I have Tuesday April 8 booked in both Madrid and Barcelona - something I never do. Will Maggie have fun? Is our week too ambitious? Is our week organized appropriately, both time- and money-wise? Oh my goodness is my paycheck minus the 100€ deducted for Orange and MAIF going to hold me? (Abuse of the American credit cards must be held to a minimum, if not nothing.) Will I be safe? AGH. These are questions I always have about vacation. It's just a different country. I have become so comfortable in France that I no longer outwardly worry about safety or logistics - I just know what precautions to take. AH stop worrying Rose. You're going on VACATION. To SPAIN!!!
Tomorrow: School One's fourth and third graders, School Two's ridiculous fourth graders, lunch with Merci Madame (I hear it's going to be lamb...ewww), then to see the play School Three's students are producing.
Friday: School Two's fifth graders and absurdly obedient fourth graders, lunch with School Two's faculty, saying goodbye to Marie :( but hello again to Carine hopefully with the baby!, and PACKING!!!
Saturday at noon I am on my way!