Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Are we there yet?

Ugh, I think I lost the twenty-five full sheet color printouts of the rooms of the house. They are not at home, they are not at School Two...hopefully I left them somewhere at School One or Three. Please please please, I was really expecting to use them for like...everything.

I'm very very anxious to go home, for a number of reasons. One reason I have not mentioned is the increasing isolation here at the high school. Now that Ben and Rocio are gone, it's just me. There are no regular classes now, so there are much fewer students and even fewer teachers. I am not the effervescent Rocio or thoughtful Ben; I am quiet Rose. My parents will deny this up and down but I am just not outgoing. I am friendly, but initiating conversations, even in English, is not where I feel confident. Even less so in French where I'm perpetually afraid that my conversation interrupts others or is inappropriate, or that I'm speaking incorrectly - incorrect syntax, conjugation, pronunciation. It's very frustrating. I am so aware that I am The Foreigner, and now the comfort of having fellow foreigners is gone. I am so self-conscious of being an outsider. I am culturally, socially, and linguistically outside; here at the high school, where I am welcome but have absolutely no official attachment, I am an administrative outsider. Basically this boils down to being ignored in the staff lunchroom. I feel paralyzed to fix it. I just do not feel confident enough to initiate a conversation with people who barely acknowledge my well-rehearsed "Bonjour, bon appetit!" It makes me feel very lonely. The only people who I feel comfortable talking to are Krystyna the librarian and Françoise.

In other news, last night was a bizarre happening. Virginie, my sole colleague at School Three, single-handedly organized the year-end show. It was based on ecology and recycling. Her students modeled "clothes" fashioned from trash; Christelle, the third grade teacher in the room next door, had her students perform some chants and songs based on ecology; the fifth grade teacher across the hall had her students perform interpretive dance (no really) based on ecology (it was actually pretty good); and there was some non sequitur tumbling performed by the third graders. BUT. The best part was the 'surprise' from the teachers, including me!! All the teachers got a celebrity character to dress up as for a little fashion show. Guess who the token American representative was? PARIS HILTON. (Imagine that pronounced in a French accent, it's hysterical.) I wore a denim miniskirt and a pink tank top. Virginie lent me a little stuffed dog and some sweet necklaces. It was sooo funny! And fun! I was, however, the most overweight Paris Hilton ever but it was so cool to be included like that. (See above paragraph.) The whole thing, from set-up to departure, was very School Three - lots of waiting around, confusion, starting well past the posted time, and fun. After the show we all went for a drink. I got my Diabolo Fraise (limonade or Sprite with strawberry syrup) and we chatted like teachers. Fun times.

I completely forgot to tell you about this!! Last week, the classes at School Two put on their plays. Each class had a different play. There were two nights of plays, some repeated.
1. Marie-Pierre's fourth graders did a play about Miss Tomato wanting to marry Mr. Pickle but Mr. Pickle being in love with Miss Tomato Sauce and the various other vegetables, fresh and canned, in the kitchen with them. The best part about this was that they knew a lot of those words in English! They were fantastic.
2. Catherines's fourth graders did a play about the Jumpers and the Yawners. King Jumper wanted a restful vacation, and Queen Yawner wanted an active vacation so they traded kingdoms. Hi, my students are the CUTEST ever.
3. Christophe's fifth graders did a play that was a series of vignettes about fear. Wow, um, some of these kids can act.
4. Sylvie, who organized and directed all of the plays, had her students perform a play that was a hodgepodge of a bunch of fairy tales.
The two fifth grade classes are huge, so each play got acted twice with mostly varied cast members.
I was handed the cameras and told to snap away! However, the kids moved around a lot so there were a lot of blurry pictures. I managed to get at least one picture of each student on stage, in addition to the curtain calls. I love my students!

Speaking of pictures, Christophe brought out the camera at Tuesday's lesson to add to the album he's creating for his students. "Here we are at the pool, here we are in English with Miss D...." I cannot wait to get pictures of my students.

Continental finally confirmed my flight to Syracuse!! Who wants to come pick up my tired little buns at the airport?

No comments: