Last week was busy, mentally and physically! I took the whole weekend to recover. I blame the blockade for making my energy levels slump! The students are right at this moment deciding whether or not to continue the blockade...there's been rumours that they hope to continue it until the Easter holidays in three weeks. Imagine how lazy and lethargic I'll be by then if it does continue!
So, I had my two careers appointments and I'm so glad I had the two as the second one turned out to be an almost complete waste of time. More on that in a bit.
The first one was with the 'maison de la formation et d'emploi' in Amiens. I'm not sure if it's a national thing or not. I was sceptical but the lady was very understanding and gave me hope. Wow, a foctionnaire that gives hope?! I know, crazy. (maybe she's not a fonctionnaire actually). She suggested that I do the 'bilan de compétances' but said that she needed to study my rights before she could help me further as being a prof complicates things enormously. In theory my employer (the government) should pay for this bilan but she is going to check it out and I have another appointment with her this week. I cut right to the chase and said that I doubt the gov would pay for me and she gave more hope and said that there are other ways of accessing the bilan free of charge. hmmm. To be continued...
The second appointment was with the chamber of commerce and I was less sceptical about them but how wrong could I have been? The person made me wait 50 minutes after my allotted time and then didn't even apologise. As I had nothing else to do (blocus) I grinned and beared the looong wait as I was hopeful! and what else do you have in France if you don't have hope right?! I was sadly let down though when she seemed perplexed when I said I didn't like teaching (I didn't go into details with her of the extent I hate it...it wouldn't have been good French). She then took it upon herself to photocopy a mass of pages with physics and chemistry BTSs/DUTs when she saw I'd done this at uni...... and suggested that I get my degree evaluated for its level against French qualifications allowing me to see the 'gaps' in my qualification in order to complete it to achieve a French qualification. I love the fact that she assumed that whatever I had done in the UK would be inferior to anything in France! I left feeling the same I did when I had my career interview with my high school in which they evaulated a test we all did aged 14 that suggested I would be a good librarian. hmm, yes quite. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but so far off the scheme of things it's untrue.
Friday I had my French test (TCF) in Lille. I had to get up at 5am to get the train to Lille for 8.30am. I found the place ok and felt quite at ease with all the students also waiting to take the test. There were only a few English speakers there and only one other clearly non student. We were about 40 and I was planning on trying to get a seat near the CD player in order to hear the listening test well but unfortunately we were assigned seats and mine was, sod's law, right at the back of the lecture theatre. I had to really concentrate to hear the listening part of the exam which lasted 25 minutes, 30 questions, ABCD type responses. It was okish although my early rise and tiredness didn't help things. The grammar part of the test was really hard for me. The same exam format but I wasn't expecting it to be mainly about conjunctions. In the following sentence should the conjunction be A tandis que B alors que C à condition que D pourvu que...... aggghhhhh. As I've learnt all my French in France, I've never once said tandis que and never even heard of pourvu que. We just don't speak like that (or the people I meet don't). I can't be too upset and I'm not as I've never learnt this type of grammar so I can't expect to be good at it. Luckily the written comprehension part of the exam was fine!!
The exam will be marked within three weeks and I'll get a European language level for each part and then an average. I was hoping for C1 but now I'm not so sure. The exam is out of 699 and I need 500 to get a C1. I only did the test for my own benefit so if I don't do very well at least the next time I do it (maybe to enter a masters at uni) I know what to expect!