I’m sure you’ve all been devastated that I haven’t written for over a month. Well, the wait is over.
I don’t return to the U.S. until May 15th, but my two art history final exams are next week. Otherwise I’d have to change my plane ticket. 18th century French art is the first exam. Followed by an exam on contemporary art: the kind of art I don’t prefer, to put it mildly.
However, in one week I’m going with my program group to a beautiful region in France known as Périgord–right after my exams are over. I also have vacation two weeks from now: I’m going for one week to Barcelona, Spain, with one of my brothers whom I’ll meet there. Then I have a week in Ireland with Mum and Da to visit my several-times-removed cousins (and the Guinness factory). Cheers!
So, I’ve been re-reading and re-writing my notes in the hopes that something will stick next week. This time I hope I have more to say than for medieval art. Oh, I also saw said medieval art professor and his family when I was in a thrift shop with one of my friends. What did he ask me about? This semester’s exams. I’m pretty sure I detected a smirk.
Speaking of school, I had my last day as a stagiaire (intern) as an English assistant. No more teaching at the lycée (high school) for me, which is a relief and also kind of sad. Some of my students interrupted one of my classes (politely) so that they could fait la bise to me. That is, “kiss” me on both sides of my face in front of my entire class and say ‘bye. The other professors thought it was cute when I told them. Well, you wouldn’t have known they appreciated learning English otherwise. I’m hoping that’s what they appreciated, anyways.
Students whispered in class like I couldn’t hear them–well, actually, it woud’ve been nice if they whispered. I definitely called people out for texting in class, but didn’t bother reporting them. I just made them admit that they were texting, and as long as they admitted it in English, they got off the hook.
I also won’t miss being accosted by professors who just love to faire la bise out of nowhere, unannounced to innocent bystanders.
The students, even with all their talking and boredom-induced ridiculousness, were really nice. I do miss the group of professors that I hung out with. I’ll also miss playing Guess What Country That Professor Over There is From? A signficant number of them are from either the Middle East or North Africa, as was pointed out to me by the profs themselves. Usually that is just a stereotype they said, but even they find it funny that there is such a large concentration of Arabic-speaking profs in one school.
Which reminds me, I did manage to learn some Arabic thanks to my internship. Don’t be too impressed. I sure can’t write it! Plus, I forgot how to spell a lot of words in English, which is a little embarassing when you’re standing in front of a classroom of students . . . teaching them English.
I still don’t want to be a teacher as a full-time career, but the experience was really good, not to mention downright hilarious. Schedules changed constantly, profs’ trains were late (which affected schedules), students would skip class. Thankfully, I always ate lunch with basically the same group of professors, then one of the younger professors that I’d met in January joined our lunch group because he finally got a cafeteria card. The one that the girls hit on because, well, he’s one of the younger profs. Anyways, right after lunch and coffee, the other profs would always ditch us to go smoke in a group. Never failed. Since he doesn’t smoke either, we would just be left there to finish our lunch, then walk back to the staff room together through what I can only describe as a “gauntlet” of bored students lining the commons area walls, mostly guys and a handful of girls. Mix that in with walking from school to a bus stop with Monsieur and being seen taking the same bus together by said students (there’s not much of a choice since there are only two buses), and the result is that you show up the next day to what you hope are drastically misunderstood, barely hushed conversations by students in French. Well, at least they no longer mistake me for a new student.