The good and the bad

My week had it’s ups and downs. Today I will share some good and bad parts of my week, as well as some pictures!

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I ate the BEST almond croissant of my life! It was from the corner boulangerie and I exclaimed aloud after my first bite, it was that good. And I felt ecstatic for at least one hour afterward, my head filled with sugar and gratitude to humans for inventing baked goods.

I attended the Franglish event that I mentioned last week, and it was so great! I met so many cool people and got to practice my French! I now have a new French friend and a new South African friend. Every French person I talked to said I was very good at French, which was a really nice thing to hear. I will definitely be going back. That was 10 euros well spent.

I went to a bar that serves pitchers of sangria on Friday night with a few assistants and my new French friend. We had a great time talking and drinking! It was so nice to blow off steam after a long week of yelling at the kids (haha kidding, sort of…).

I attended Salon du Chocolat, which also happens in Tokyo, New York, and Moscow, if you happen to go to any of those places. I went with my new friend Kelly, a fellow teaching assistant and chocoholic! It was a delicious experience and I have never seen or tasted so much good quality chocolate (and wine, breads, ice cream, cookies and other sweets) in my life. There were also ridiculous things, like a fashion show of models wearing chocolate garments, and chocolate sculptures. They really should have it in every city, all the time. 🙂

The kids are difficult. I have never cared for the same child this consistently for this many hours and it’s very different from babysitting. Surprise, surprise, kids have bad days and get in bad moods too! Dealing with annoying and dangerous things like Edgar taunting Gabrielle in French without me being able to hear the specific words, leading Gabrielle to have a temper tantrum and refuse to walk in the middle of a busy street, has become a daily occurrence. Luckily both Fabrice and Myrtille are patient and willing to discuss the kids’ behavior as frequently as I want to, and they never hesitate to talk to the kids and tell them what we expect of them. Starting today they have 2 weeks of vacation (as do I!) so I hope that they can get some rest. We are planning to carve a pumpkin this week, so that should be fun, as long as I can maintain control of the knives!

My apartment is still not ready, so I am having to become accustomed to the sound of kids playing outside my door in the mornings when I am not responsible for them. The kids feel at home entering my room and playing with my Kindle, iPod, and laptop, as well as inspecting my laundry pile and other personal belongings. Because I am the youngest in my family, I am not used to this at all. I know it sounds selfish, but it’s not cool and not what I signed up for! So I am anxiously awaiting the move.

Teaching had some low points this week. Some classes were not as excited about Halloween as I thought they would be (although one class was eager to participate in a discussion after I showed them the candy I brought them!). And on Thursday, when I only have one class, some kid pulled the fire alarm, bringing me back to my days at Skyline. The whole school had to gather on the front sidewalk, wasting 20 minutes of our lesson. Then, instead of teaching the lesson I had prepared, I helped the teacher by writing things they said on the board. What a great reason to commute 50 minutes there and back! I understand now why teachers get frustrated when time is wasted in class.

I signed up to teach extra English classes over the vacation, naively assuming that I would be assisting. Well, apparently teachers don’t like working extra hours, because I am teaching 15 kids by myself! For 12 hours total on Monday and Tuesday! I was given very little guidance, so I am just making up my own lesson plan. This will be the true test of whether I can be a good teacher, I guess. At least I am getting paid extra money.

I really miss baking, so I went to like ten different stores getting ingredients for pumpkin coffee cake, only to find that they don’t have baking soda at my house. So I have to make yet another trip and find baking soda.

Ok, enough complaining. The good outweighs the bad, and I am less homesick and more at home here every day! I have made friends so I am not as lonely, and I have enough warm clothes that the cold weather doesn’t bother me! I still love Paris and I am so happy and grateful that I am able to live here.

Pictures

My metro stop in Boulogne

Lamps in around neighborhood

I'm really here! Eating lots of chocolate!

One of many chocolate stands at the Salon du Chocolat

I have posted tons of pictures on Flickr. If you are interested in looking at them, comment or email me and I will send you an invite!

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One thought on “The good and the bad

  1. Oh, my dear, I am so proud of your perseverance, perspective and patience (I’ll just stick w/ “p” words today!) Teaching, in the moment is a survival test. Only when you look back will you see that, overall, you made a difference in their lives! Ditto for babysitting! As I know from personal experience, children can be monsters (oh, no, forgot who I was talking to 🙂
    Can’t wait to hear how the 2 dayer went…

    love, lots of it, from your mother

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