Thursday, October 03, 2002

Heil Carrie!

Hi everybody! I hope your week has gone well so far. If it hasn’t, well, it’s over tomorrow!

My week went well…considering I didn’t break anything, including yogurt jars, I didn’t have any runs-in with the police, and I didn’t fall out of my bunk bed in the middle of the night…or any other time, for that matter.

I finally started work, but I think I’m in one of the most unorganized parts of the country because I have a schedule, but I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I know what it is. I think it’s what I have posted on my wall, which was slapped together by the group of English professors and by myself. But I think the teachers think my schedule is something else. I went to my classroom for my class this morning and waited 20 minutes, and the teacher never sent students over. So I got her classroom number and went to see what was up. I knocked on the door and went in when I heard her tell me to come in, and she looked at me like I had a chia pet where my head would normally be. I asked if she had wanted me to come to her class before she sent students over or if she just wasn’t planning on having me work at my scheduled time. She said, “Well I wasn’t sure if we were going to do it today since I haven’t seen you.” What the beef?! I just saw you two days ago! Do you remember, or were you smoking the pipe of no-short-term-memory when we met? We said I would work with your classes at these hours. You said you would send students over. You even have the computer printed copy of my schedule, which is much better than my hand scribbled one. If I’m not going to be in class, believe I will let you know…and unless I’m dead, I will be there. And then she asked if I could cover an unscheduled class. Apparently some things work here without any notice at all…but I haven’t had the orientation meeting yet…that’s next week.

Tuesday, I learned that I need to learn how to be mean. When I was a live-lab assistant, it was fun working with other college students because they are easy to teach because they actually want to be there. I wasn’t annoyed when they cracked jokes and stuff because they were funny and the setting was such that we could afford be stupid sometimes. But now I have to be an old, crotchety, cranky high school teacher. That’s what I’m told…but I’m told that in French, and I forget what the word for crotchety is. I don’t mind if the kids tell jokes and stuff, but “they aren’t being good” if they are telling jokes. I say they are being high schoolers, but that doesn’t matter. “Spare the rod, beat the child!” That’s my motto…now. They are going DOWN!!! No more of this silly childishness for me. I’m going to be serious and use my authority by calling on the stinky-breathed principal if necessary. And then, I will chop my hair short, grow a funny moustache and speak some harsh German to scare them into submission.

Also, I’m learning that “urgent” doesn’t mean the same thing in these parts as it does in the United States. If something is urgent, that means that it will take two weeks to three months to get it…not so urgent. People keep telling me that it is urgent that I get my carte de séjour, so I went early last week to get papers going on that. But now I have to wait for a summon for the medical exam I have to have to get said carte. That can take anywhere from two to six weeks…but it’s urgent so I have nothing to worry about, I guess. Also…the phone saga…there was an “urgent” request placed by the phone people, but I still haven’t gotten my card. Hey…URGENT THIS! (pretend I’m doing something unkosher.)

I think we have some freakishly long holiday coming up at the end of the month, so I’m going to go to the land called Spain with one of my friends from BYU, Yolande. That will be fun, and I have nothing funny to write or say about Spain at this moment…but I have something funny to say about Yolande. She almost got arrested this week for “stealing” minutes at an internet café (Some freak said he could “hook her up” with some free minutes…with the Parisien po-po?!). And saying that, I guffaw.

Yesterday was my birthday. Thanks for the emails and wishes and junk. They put a pleasant smile on my face, which to some looks like a chia pet, apparently. I went to Grenoble for the day. I bought stuff. I walked around and saw stuff. I watched a movie, and a paid a billion dollars at a restaurant for yummy stuff. I bought some chocolate, and I ate it. I stood in a phone booth for an hour in the middle of the night calling my parents and other people so I could hear them say “Happy Birthday.” Yes, it was a swell day.

So…I think that’s all for the moment. I go to Grenoble today because we have institute tonight. And after that, we are going to one guy’s house for a karaoke night. It will be fun. Some assistants are throwing a wine, bread and cheese party this weekend. I guess I won’t drink the wine, but it’s a good thing I have this chapstick that is of cheap red wine flavor so I can still sort of have the affect without going stupid and seeing things in threes. Woohoo!

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