Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Home is where the baby is

I am sooooo looking forward to going home on Saturday! It's been 3 long months since I was last home. Things I'm looking forward to:

1. seeing the olds and Sammy of course
2. watching crap on tv. I'm hoping I can pick up the storyline to Hollyoaks in under 2 minutes.
3. meeting my new baby cousin called Niamh.

Actually, it seems there is baby fever in the air. Recently we've been saying 'congratulations' a lot. Julien's friends have just had a baby called Axel, a family friend had a baby called Loriane (i think it's spely like that...)....when Ju's brother rang up last night to ask if we'd heard the new, we replied, yea, she's called Loriane blah blah blah, but no, that wasn't the news! Ju's bro's girlfriend, Celine is pregnant! I screamed down the phone like any respected woman would do while julien started to discuss the train journey they would have to take at christmas rather than the car journey! Typical man eh?!

I keep pinching myself to believe it's true! I was very touched when Francois (ju's bro) said that I now had the decision between two words for auntie...Tata and Tatie. Yes, i'm becoming a tata emma. Or a tatie emmy!! hehe. Anyway, I was touched that they really do think of me as family. It's a total shame that they have just moved to Toulouse to be closer to Celine's family. I was gutted when they left as Celine was the closest thing I had to a french girlfriend here! grrr. Oh well, all the more reason to go and visit them !! I haven't spoken to Ju's mum yet but I'm sure she was overjoyed and probably screamed louder than I did!!

So, back to normal things, I smell burning coming from my oven....lunch is served!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Blood sweat and tears

A lot changes in 48 hours here!

Yesterday, a teacher trainer came to see me teach a class of monsters and told me that I should play more games with them - they could be playing up because they are bored....yes, but my thinking is that they play up now so i don't want to get them more excitable and hard to control. can't win.

Straight after she left, I had another lesson in the same school and a boy poked a girl in the back with a compass. She cried and then all hell broke loose. The headmaster came in and to prove that it didnt hurt, the boy poked himself in the arm 3, 4 times with the compass, and promptly bled. everywhere. Onto the table and everything. Great.

Today, I was even struggling with my usually calm nice class. The teacher said that I should play games with them that doesn't involve standing up etc etc. Again, something totally opposite to what I have been advised to do. During break time, all the little girls were playing with my flashcards and a tiny boy came over. I said in French, you alright? and he burst out into tears! Even the girls were completely perplexed to why he was crying. The teacher came over, took him away and I heard him saying 'I'm scared of her' (ie, me!) charming! The teacher then proceeded to explain that I was nice and that I liked sweets and chocolate etc etc. (!) I know it's qute normal for children to be a little frightened if someone speasks another langauge to them, but I asked him how he was in French! I'm losing my touch eh?!

All this after a fab moment of winning over a monsterette. She's renowed to be difficult in class and was a nightmare in my first lesson but I have won her over with the song 'one potato, two potato, three potato, four.... ' She ran up to me at the end of the lesson yesterday and told me she liked playing the game and even helped me collect the blobs of blutac off the blackboard! result! I just need to match the excitement of one keep her on my side. Heads shoulders knees and toes anyone!?

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Could it be magic?

Just had to write and say that for the first time in my French life, I got mistaken for a frenchie. Or more importantly, the person didn't realise I was an anglophone. It's a miracle and fab!! I've been here two years and 3 weeks now. To be precise, this happened yesterday. (for future reference). A teacher at one of my schools who i met for the first time thought I was a 'normal' person until one of the children said ''ello Emma'. Then she turned and said 'oooh, i didn't realise you were the English teacher.....I thought you were French.
The excitement has been short lived. Just bumped into some builders in my building and with one muttering of a response from a question, he replied 'you are English? voila. Oh well, I will store up the excitement for another day when I need a boost. I will keep this information next to the dairy milk and tea bags.
Had 4 hours teaching at uni today. It actually went ok. One lesson better than the other, but I am feeling more at ease now in the classroom and actually plan too much. Ie, i need to plan less ie, spend less time doing it. Now, that's what I like to hear!

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

hurry up and slow down

Wow, i didn't realise it's been a whole month and a bit since I updated my blog. That's crazy. I can hardle remeber how i felt a month and a bit ago because the NOW is taking up so much of my time. I wish it would all slow down and that I could have some free time.

I started working at the uni in september. 4 little hours a week. two tiny classes of 4th and 5th year engineering students. one HUGE stress for Emma. It's exhausting. The students are really demanding 'Is this going to be in the exam?' 'Is this relevant?', 'Why are we doing this?'...'This is too easy.....' .nightmare. I'm struggling. Think ant in marmite.

On top of that, I finally started my third year as an English Langugae Assistant. What was I thinking?! I'm working in 3 primary schools. I've only been there a week, but I have already booked my appointment at the hairdressers to cover the grey hairs that I will be getting. Might also need throat surgery. I'm shouting THAT much. In a meer week, I have been called 'conne' (very rude way of saying stupid), had a ball thrown at me, had to deal with a kid that was poked in the eye by a pencil thrown by another kid.......these children at at max, 10 years old. yikes. I'm in trouble n'est-ce que pas.

I work 12 hours spread over 4 days at the primary schools, and have to walk everywhere. some days, I walk for 90 mins. I'm shattered! On no school day, ie, Wednesday (children at primary schools don't go on a Wednesday) I work my 4 hours at the uni. With all the preparation I have to's currently taking me at least 6 hours to prepare 4 hours uni lessons, I am lucky if I get Sunday off. Unfortunately, this last Sunday, I spent 2 hours cutting out flashcards and laminating them for my primary schools classes for the week. So, maybe not.

Ok, that's all folks, I will try to update more often,
I'm off to watch super nanny a la francaise.

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