Thursday, May 1, 2008

Oh hai.

SO. Rocio left on Tuesday evening. I've never seen her so stressed. She hadn't slept since about Friday night. We finally cleaned the apartment, and it's tons cleaner than when we found it. We did our part and left little things for the next assistants like our stack of magazines, lesson plan ideas and materials, our galette des rois crown, and some random other stuff. The last assistants in the apartment were Argentinian and had left tons of posters of Argentina and South America, so Rocio and I made sure to leave a few posters and a Mexican and American flag. It was sad to see her leave.

Yesterday, Ben came to Ussel to get his bike repaired, meet me for a drink, and meet his two best students Daniel and Pierre for a kebab (I joined them). We talked in English. When he left after dinner, it really hit me: I'm all alone now. My girl friend Rocio is gone, and my compatriot Ben is really gone. I may never see them again. That makes me sad. It was a short time together but due to our circumstances, it was really strong. You get to know someone really well when you're the only people in town in your 20s. Pretty much.

I have moved into Françoise's apartment. We went grocery shopping which was perfect timing. She has an OVEN!!! I bought cake mix - it's all batter already so all I have to do is pour it into a pan and put it in the oven. I'm so excited!! She has a Senseo coffee maker and a real (French-sized) fridge. She has a washer. I'm in a real French house! (Apartment. But you know.) This is such an awesome situation. The downsides, however, are that I don't really have a workspace to do school work, and that her internet connection is even screwier than our magic internet box is. The only computer that can connect to the internet is her laptop, and only with the cable. The wifi is bwoke, her magic internet box is being selfish and not letting the Toshiba hook up. However, she has given me free use of her laptop. I had installed Skype in like November, I installed AIM, and her webcam is even better than mine! However the keyboard is French. My touch-typing skills are still fantastic.

My students rocked their evaluations. My fourth graders were especially entertaining during their oral evaluations:
Me: What do you have for breakfast?
More than one student: I have green beans, pasta...and chocolate.
Me: ...Okay then.
I gave them full credit. I mean, it's comprehensible. Just weird. And they know better. My fifth graders also wrote a 100-word note! Eighth graders in New York state have to write a 100-word note based on a prompt for the eighth grade proficiency exam. My French Is at ESM struggled with this; my fifth graders ROCKED it. I am so so so proud of them.

I finally paid for my New York state certifications and fingerprinting. I've written a statement of purpose outlining why I think learning a new language and culture is important and how I teach my students and what I believe about the importance of learning a new language and culture and what I believe about the capabilities of my students. I'm proud of it: it's very positive and structured.

Continental and I are on shaky terms. There are currently no seats available on the date I want to fly home. I will call every few days as Miss Harris suggested. Miss Harris is the lady I talked to at the Continental International Desk.

I'm slowly working through my schoolwork. I have one class completely done: tests graded and marking period report completed. Next week's lessons are all planned, but materials need to be made.

Happy Rose :)

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