Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Catching up!

Well, I've been back in Nantes for a week now, and have been keeping very busy!
Last weekend, my friends and I tried to go see "The Help" at the movie theater before going out for a friend's birthday, but unfortunately the tickets were all sold old. Never fear though: we just came back and made crepes!
Enjoying our delicious crepes!
Sunday was also a wonderful day! Myself and two Americans were invited to our Bible study leader's house along with a couple other French students and another lady for lunch. It was like a small potluck, so we brought some drinks and appetizers. Our leader is a missionary from the States, here with his wife and their two adorable 2-year-old twin girls. It was really interesting to hear them speak, because they're at that stage where they repeat what their parents say. They would say some things in English, some in French, and some in a mix of the two. They are certainly very lucky to be hearing both languages early on, and it will certainly help with their inevitable bilingualism!
For lunch, our leader's wife made the most wonderful meal: couscous with onions and nuts, green beans, and delicious lemon chicken. For dessert, the two other students brought a delicious pear tart crumble and chocolate chip cookies. Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon full of French speaking! The day ended off wonderfully with a Bible study with a few girlfriends from the group.
Monday was my first day at a high school volunteering. I was in 2 classes, both grade 10 English. The first one had 16 students and was the literature stream, and the second had 35 students and was the science stream. See if you can guess which class was stronger in English and actually wanted to be there... if you guessed the literature stream, you win! There were varying degrees of English, but overall they spoke pretty well for grade 10s. Better than our grade 10s speak French in Canada, I think. I was thrown right into things, helping to lead a small group in analyzing some photos that had won various prizes for photojournalism. It gave me a lot of good ideas for my own classes someday. The second class I just observed, as there was no group work. That will come though, which I am nervous for because these grade 10s don't seem too keen on language learning. My teacher actually told me that a lot of parents pressure their kids to enter into the science stream rather than literature, because they don't think that literature will take them anywhere. I will blog a big more on the high school system later... and hopefully discuss this topic a bit more in depth.
My teacher was also really great. He studied in England for a year, and then worked there for 7 years. He met his wife there, who now lives in France with him, so his English is really good. He was actually leaving for London the next day to accept an award for a project that he created. We chatted a bit about the marking scheme and education in France, and I think that I will be able to learn a lot from him that will be useful in my future teaching career!
I also went for a 10km run... and it felt great!
Tuesday... not much happened. It rained and was cold.
Today, though, was gorgeous!
I woke up nice and early to run, had coffee and watched Glee with a friend, and did some homework (yes, it exists. I've actually been working the last couple of days on an essay due tomorrow). Afterwards, I made my way downtown to meet up with someone at the Cafe Moliere. We were contacted by the France Canada association to see if any of us would be interested in meeting a guy named Emmanuel, who was interested in going to Canada to work, and wanted to chat about our fine country. I contacted him, and we got together for coffee today (don't worry Mom and Dad--NOT a date!). It was really a win-win situation, because he got to hear all about Canada and I got to speak French for almost 2 hours! He has completed his 5 year of undergrad and masters in communications technology, and is interested in discovery a new country, in particular Canada. He is hoping to move there in January for 2 years and hopefully find work of some sort. He will be attending a job fair soon here in France to see if he can find some job postings, otherwise he will show up in Montreal and meet some friends there before looking for work. I think he's pretty adventurous! Anyways, it was a great afternoon and I really enjoyed the French practice.
Tomorrow, I'm heading out after class to Normandy with a few friends to go to a Remembrance Day ceremony and see Juno Beach on November 11. I'm so excited!! Thanks to my Mom for sending me poppies to wear!
And speaking of my Mom... today is her birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom!

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