Good Times / teaching

Lazy Sunday=Weekend Wrap Up

Bonsoir à tous!

I have had a blissfully uneventful Sunday and thought I’d use it to recap the past couple of days in general. This won’t be the world’s most exciting post, but then, they can’t all be can they?

Friday morning started off with a quick pop over to visit my landlady, who lives maybe 5-7 minutes’ walking distance from myself to pay rent and chat about a few odds and ends. She is quite a lovely lady, a bit older, and quite kind. Knowing that I am struggling to re-learn French, she corrected me when I spoke which is actually the most helpful thing in the world in a positive environment. Tragically this meant just about everything I said was corrected, but, you must start somewhere. I’m supposed to be doing a language exchange with her daughter, who is probably somewhere around 10 years older than me, but I have the HARDEST time getting ahold of her, so…not yet.

After that I rolled out to my lycée, which is actually not my normal place to be for my one Friday class–they have an annex building where I teach on Fridays. However, had to make some copies of my lesson for the day, which was pretty tough in my opinion. My students have just started a unit on religion in America, I think most specifically Christianity, and the teacher for that class likes for me to tie my lessons in a bit although I am certainly not required to do so. Since I have their lesson plans for this unit, I tried to find a way to not be redundant with things they had already read or were going to read–in other words, anything modern.

So, being a cruel sadistic person, I decided to delve into the past with them a bit to show them how America, a supposedly secular country that prides itself on that legendary “separation of Church and State” came to be so very, very entrenched in it anyway. I gave them extracts of a few documents I myself had read in high school, “God’s Promise to his Plantation” by John Cotton (written in 1630…I changed the old school spellings and verbs a bit so they’d be able to understand) along with Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists as some small examples, and finally I gave them an article from 2004 about the banning of religious symbols in French public schools, which included a few references to France’s revolution and their own brand of secularism, which the article referred to AS their religion. (Note: Most French are not particularly religious, even as a country where wars raged between protestants and Catholics not so very long ago.) Honestly I wasn’t expecting much from my students as the texts were pretty tough. I had to steer them a little bit but, surprisingly, they actually got on with the older documents reasonably well–one girl NAILED the excerpt by Cotton the first time around–and then we had our fun little discussion at the end in which everyone participated. I’ve got the second half of the class this week for the same lesson, and I might cut down the reading a bit just so we can speak more, which is the entire point of my being there. (Whoops. Teaching rant. Didn’t mean for that summary to go on so long.)

After that Friday was not particularly memorable, which tells me I probably spent a large portion of it reading and on the internet after my workout at the gym. Saturday, however, was a good time. Did my gym thing in the morning, battled a ridiculously long line at the local Monoprix supermarket to get my groceries, toted them home in the pouring rain, and then set off to see Ender’s Game, which I have been anxiously awaiting, with a friend.

Alas…it was sold out. We were put off for about half a second, but we saw that at the EXACT same time, Thor 2 was showing, and had plenty of open seats. What a happy, happy coincidence my friends. If you’ve not seen that movie yet I suggest you do so immediately. I was practically twitching out of my chair from laughing so hard-great blend of comedy and action, you can tell the writers really tried to up their game from the last film, along the same lines but much more intelligently done. I loved it, and Loki was just fantastic…so many snaps to Mr. Hiddleston.

Afterwards we made our way to the Oberkampf region/Rue d’Oberkampf, which numerous members of our friends had heard was excellent for cheaper drinks. We met a few of them there and indeed found a couple of places with slightly cheaper drinks and definitely cheaper food, but it was not as remarkable as we were all expecting, nor were there NEARLY as many bars as we had all been lead to believe. That being said it was still quite a delightful evening and nice to see everyone at the end of the week. We all took it quite easy and made our way home around 11:30, when I promptly fell asleep.

Today? Well, today was a whole lot of nothing. EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD is shut in Paris on Sundays, I swear, so after popping in to the gym I had nothing to do…so I came home and napped. Then woke up. Then napped some more. And you know what? It was peachy. I’m planning on knocking out some episodes of the Big Bang Theory I haven’t seen yet now, and then…perhaps bed in a few hours. 😉

Hope everyone else had an equally enjoyable weekend!

-B

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