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Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Seedy Underbelly of Small-Town Life

Of course, I’m writing this in order to avoid all the myriad of little tasks I actually should be doing right now. With the arrival of The Mother imminent, my list of “To Dos” is slowly increasing in length.

Eh bien. I’ll write “update blog” on that list and then immediately cross it off when I’m done here. Sorted.

2 things:

One: Monday, I charged into the salle des profs after lunch and startled the maths teacher, who had obviously been napping on the couch. He bolted upright and looked a little embarrassed, and then immediately made his way over to the computer, clicking around listlessly and obviously feigning work. I love when little instances like this occur, when I catch people being human. You see, French people are quite reserved, and on top of that, it seems like the majority of them subscribe to the same regimented schedule (one that does not involve napping at work). Like everything in France, there is most definitely a RIGHT way and then a WRONG way. Coming from casual, you-can-do-anything-you-want America, and additionally being someone who balks at any sort of routine or regularity, this ordered pattern to life can sometimes chafe me a little. (Obviously, I know most Americans lead ordered lives and that French people are not totally devoid of spontaneity. There is just a much more definite sense here of ‘how things are done’ and when they are not done that way, it sticks out as odd.)

Bref, I like be reminded that people, regardless of nationality, are just people, with different weaknesses and strengths.

Two: I finally re-took that photo that I wanted to put up a few posts ago. Sunday, I went for my afternoon walk (like everyone else) to take advantage of the uncharacteristically sunshiny weather we’ve been having of late, and ended up at the St. Pol Sailing Center. It was there that I encountered the sign that follows:

For a town with only 8000 inhabitants, it’s surprising to think that there is some sort of dark activity going on. But maybe this sign is an accurate indicator…? It reads: Dumping of dead bodies prohibited, without municipal authorisation.

::EDIT:: Whoops. Got my clarification. Check out the comments...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Inherently Good?

Despite being somewhat of a veteran in regards to this weird internship/teaching post hybrid with its imperative half-responsibilities, it still catches me off-guard when I realize, “Hey, I’m the English teacher.”

Monday, I had drifted into my own world sitting in my classroom, when I was startled by the bell. I dashed out to make my last-minute photocopies as the kids filed in. Of course, on my return, I caught a flash of French-kid sneaker rapidly retreating from the doorway, as its owner dove back into the classroom, prairie-dog style, in order to warn the other little prairie dogs of imminent danger. “Elle arrive! Mais taisez-vous!” I could hear them whisper as I approached.

Upon entering, half the class fell angelically—suspiciously—silent while the other half began frantically waving their hands in the air, bursting with what they had to share.

“Manon was standing on the table!”
“MaĆ«l said a bad word!”
“Jordan hit Estelle!”


(In other news, I received The Application today-for grad school-and I’m rapidly realizing how quixotic a scheme this is. What was I thinking? I have to submit a c.v. I’ve never written a c.v. in English before, let alone French. Pray people. This could potentially be a long, disastrous year…)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I hate how illogical computers are. I had taken a photo of a slightly humorous sign today while on my walk, and somewhere between taking the photo and then sticking the photo card into my laptop, the photo went missing. Eh?

After fruitlessly searching techie forums online (ugh. Such big, incomprehensible words) I gave up and called The Friend. He, too, was unable to answer my question of where the picture went and how I could retrieve it.

“Maybe it was because it was really cold outside when I took the photo?” I queried. He scoffed, saying that made no sense; which made me snarky. “Oh, so my explanation of the camera getting too cold is obviously irrational, even though the problem itself doesn’t follow any logic.” Which got me to thinking, how these computery programmery types would have you believe that computers are so logical and ordered. Binary code and what-not. Except how can one logically explain why a series of actions performed a dozen times in the past (take photo, remove card, insert into laptop, retrieve photo) would suddenly produce a completely different result this time?

“Computer science. Hardly.” I spat.
“Computer psychology, more like,” he affirmed.

Binary code, my bum. 000110100 duck double 4 sandwich monkey 0011 punch in the face000111000

Follows no logic.
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