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Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Case of the Mean Reds

Mom says I have to post so that Pop can have something to read. Ok.

I’ve been back to work now for the last few weeks, but I just recently got my (suddenly) cavernous, echoing, dusty apartment all back in order. It was brimming with mountains of dirty laundry and recyclables; refrigerator overflowing with leftovers all set to go off the very next day after everyone left. I was feeling quite droopy and sorry for myself last week, as all of my holiday visitors flew back to wherever they had come from, leaving me alone with only the aforementioned piles of laundry, etc. for company. BUT, I guess I can’t feel too sorry for myself, since I have another vacation in a week.

Yesterday, I went on a school trip with the middle-schoolers to Caen, to see the Normandy landing beaches and the Peace Memorial. After spending 17 hours with 50 screaming, running French kids on a bus, it makes me seriously wonder what motivates anyone to become a secondary school teacher. By the end of the trip, I was driven so far past my reticence to speak French in front of the frenchies, that l yelled, “Knock it OFF already!” once or twice, myself, to the lurching, shrieking mass at the back of the bus. Middle-schoolers are fierce.

A little girl in one of my primary classes mentions occasionally that her father is from the United States. Since my first day in October when she brightly announced the fact to the class, until now, I have been quietly judging this obviously highly uninvolved, absent father, as his daughter can’t understand even the simplest of English phrases. Most of the kids don’t even have that advantage and some of them are quiet good at picking up complicated sentences. As it turns out, there is a reason she gives me a baffled expression every time I try to address an English phrase at her.

The other day she raised her hand to clarify that her father was not actually from the United States, but instead from Lithuania. They sound about as similar in French as they do in English.

You’re right Mom. Kids don’t listen.
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