Thursday, October 10, 2002

Palestinian violence

Howdy, y’all! Another week has come and gone, and this last one was eventful. So sit down for a few minutes while I recount what happened.

I left Pontcharra last Thursday feeling frustrated with that one English teacher. My feelings toward her this week have not changed. Last week after she didn’t send her students to my classroom, we sat down and discussed the fact that despite not having constant contact with her, I would still be in my room at the appointed time. I also reminded her that she has a copie of my schedule. Then I told her to stop looking at me like I have a chia pet for a head. I also told her that she would not be seeing me for an entire week because I was leaving to go to Grenoble because of an assistant training meeting we were having. I let her know that I would be back Wednesday evening and that I would see her students Thursday (today) because I would be waiting for them in my classroom. Well, I bet you will never guess what happened…she dissed me, baby, one more time. I have nothing to say here; I’m speechless. What else do I do to communicate to her that …whatever. I don’t know. Maybe a light will turn on someday. Let us pray…

Friday morning I called my friend, Yolande, who is in Paris right now. She asked me what my plans were for the weekend. I had been planning on going to a party that Gwen and Jay (assistants in G-town) were putting together so the assistants can meet each other. Yolande told me that Paris was having une nuit blanche (an all-nighter), and a lot of monuments, museums and other exhibits were going to be open all night and entrance was FREE. So what could I do? I knew I was going to be spending 3 days in the midst of all of the assistants anyway, so I hung up with Yolande and promptly ordered my ticket to train up to Paris for the weekend. And it was such a fun one, too.

We (Yolande, her friend Nathan, and I) walked, traipsed and trudged around Paris for a long time without sleeping with 2.3 billion other people (that’s a funny, improperly placed prepositional phrase). We had many passing emotions, from giddiness to palestinian violence…again, these were just emotions and not actions. However down the street from where we were for part of the time was some Palestinian commotion. So we really didn’t go near that, what with America not really playing for their team and junk. We walked passed the KFC, and that made me chuckle really hard, and if you really want to know why, then you can ask me yourself. Dad, remember to ask me. Yolande, girl, you know, right?! You know!

In 15 hours being out on the town, we only got into two exhibits. We went to the Pantheon because it was closing at 11ish that night. We walked to the top, and that was awesome. We walked around and saw all of the Parisian lights. It was freezing, though. And the wind was blowing really hard. At 10:30, we were starving, so we stopped in the middle of the street and went into some random Thai restaurant, and it was so good. There were some wine-drenched French people (are there any other kind, you might be asking yourself) in there cracking us up. We stayed there eating, listening to the French people, and quietly talking about other French people for quite a while. Then we walked 1002 miles to see this exhibit called “Portraits dansés” because Nathan wanted to go. What this thing was is this: a guy went all over the world and interviewed different people. He asked them to describe the town they live in. Then he asked them what certain emotions mean to them (He asked everyone the same 5 or 6 emotions.), and then they had to portray those emotions in motion. It was sometimes funny, sometimes interesting, and sometimes zzzzzzzzzz. This old lady that lives somewhere in France used words, such as dégueulasse and laide to describe her town, which means she doesn’t find her city charming at all. It was funny to listen to her. We left around 3:something and went in search for a shuttle. We spent a long time walking around looking for one and laughing hysterically because that is how one laughs at that hour of the morning. When we found a shuttle that we thought was going in the direction we wanted to go, we got on. So it proceeded to take us back through all of the route we had just taken. We just laughed and then I almost threw up because a French person breathed in my face. It was awful.

When we got off the shuttle somewhere near Notre Dame we started walking towards the Eiffel Tower, and those of you who know Paris know that when you have been walking for 14 hours, that is not a distance you want to walk. So we found a taxi and went to the tower. The line was monstrous at 5:30 AM, so we just had the taxi take us home. It was a good time. We laughed a lot. We saw and met a lot of interesting people. The mayor of Paris was stabbed at the Hotel de Ville.

Sunday we went to Versailles for church. It was good. And there were a lot of good things said. I liked it a lot. And I didn’t fall asleep at all!

Monday I went back to Grenoble and the school district took all of the assistants to AuTrans, a ski-resort, for our training meeting. It was very nice going there. I met a lot of fun people and we ate good food. Sharing ideas for activities with the other assistants was the best part of our workshops. It really was the only useful thing going on in those. I met a lot of people from the UK…uh…we had fun.

Now I’m back in Pontcharra, and despite my morning going down the tubes, my afternoon was fantastic. I had two hours with the kids, and I had a blast. They did, too. They will do anything for candy. They were cracking me up. They were just jabbering away in English. It made me feel tons better about being here…not that I was feeling badly, but it was the best experience so far. I had been talking to one of the professors this morning and telling her about some ideas I had for class. I mentioned using candy as a reward for doing well in class. She said, “I’m not sure how well that will work. They might think that that is too childish.” I thought, “Candy? Too childish? Everyone loves candy.” She proceeded to tell me that she tried to give balloons out as prizes and that the kids thought it was stupid. Hmm…now THAT is a different story. Yes, balloons are stupid…unless they are filled with water. I will have to tell her that she was WRONG. Candy is the way to go. I will have to ask for a candy bonus.

Finally, I have reached the end. I wasn’t feeling especially humourous today, so I hope you didn’t finish reading before the end. Everything is going well. And Yolande, I’m going to smack you up for getting me hooked on those croissants!


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