Friday, October 16, 2009

Life as a teaching assistant

Bonjour! So i finally got a phone (with a 2 year contract ahh-this is definitely all becoming very real now!) and opened a bank account. Gradually am starting to get more and more settled, although I still haven't moved into my apartment yet and apparently can't until next weekend. Luckily, one of my friends here has let me stay at his apartment because he has 3 extra bedrooms (his housing is provided by the school which is nice) so I don't have to keep paying for a hotel which I definitely would not have been able to afford!

Teaching is going pretty well so far and the commute is really not bad, especially since I'm only working 3 days a week. It is starting to get really cold though, especially in the mornings so I'm a bit dreading that 20 minute walk from the train station each morning!

This week I was left alone for the first time with most of my classes which is a bit difficult at times. A lot of the students don't even seem to really care to improve their English and definitely take advantage of the fact that I'm just an assistant! And I'm pretty bad at disciplining people, especially high schoolers so NOT being a pushover is something I need to work on!

While some of the kids (I say kids but mean teenagers..) don't talk at all, most are really friendly and always say "Hello Mary!" when I see them in the halls/outside class (I figure it's easier to go by the first half of my name while at school...). The other day, I was getting lunch and one of the girls invited me to come sit with her and her friends which was really sweet...The boys are borderline flirtatious which is pretty funny considering most of them are like fifteen years old. One of the boys in my class was introducing his friend and goes "This is so and so, he likes girls with long, blonde hair..."-slightly awkward. I can't really imagine any of the boys from my high school saying something like that or being that forward with a teacher! But then again, I gues I'm not really a teacher..haha so for the most part the students are keeping me pretty entertained.

Last night we went to a soirée that one of my friend's friend was having and it was a lot of fun. My first real French party! It was good to mingle with some other French people my age and try to practice my French some ;). Then around like 1:30, we all headed to a club. Bars close at 2 here but clubs are open till like 7. Not having classes on Friday is pretty amazing and definitely makes Thursday nights a lot of fun.

Last week, a bunch of us were outside this bar by St Pierre (where all the young people hang out-sometimes a little too young! like high schoolers, haha) and this guy was telling us how he was going to the US for 2 weeks..Then he proceeded to say how he didn't like the United States (even though he had never been there!) because "there is no history...there are so many rules and it is so strict...in europe, everything is free.." I was the only American hearing this and got pretty defensive. Granted, things are a lot looser over here and there is much less regulation etc etc which is nice but don't talk smack on my country, especially if you've never even been there. My American pride definitely jumps in at that point, especially being the only American there.

Anyway, we have one more week of school and then fall break for 10 days! I'm going to Spain to meet up with Micaela and then we're going to do some traveling around San Sebastian before I meet up with Shauna, a friend from Ireland, and do some traveling around France. So I am super pumped! Hopefully we can find some warmer weather in Spain! A la prochaine..

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