Friday, January 8, 2010

Back in France

January 8, 2010

Yesterday was my first day back at work. Due to the jet lag, I woke up around 4:30 am, and despite my effort to stay in bed for another hour, I gave up and got out of bed. When I stepped out the door into the cold morning I had to do a double take. For a minute I thought I was still in Toronto. Snow was falling heavily from the sky and the ground was blanketed in white. By the time I reached Evry I couldn’t believe how much snow there was. I felt the way one might feel to see a familiar face in a foreign place; “Hey! What are YOU doing here?!” Happy that keeping my furry mukluks in France hadn’t been such an absurd idea after all, I marched on through the snow, my hood pulled down and my scarf tightly around my face and felt very Canadian. My heart went out to some of the people I passed by slipping on the ice, their meager running shoes soaked through to their feet. It was a peaceful walk along the quiet path through the woods before the chaos of school that lay ahead. When I arrived, the kiddies were very happy to see me and I was just as pleased to see them. Unfortunately, due to the snow only 4 out of 9 teachers were able to make it in. Even the principal called in to report that she was stuck in gridlock traffic on the auto-route. One teacher frantically asked me if I would be able to take a class until their teacher showed up. “Oui, biensur, pas de probleme!” Luckily, I was with my favourite class. The other teachers started moving teacher-less classes to a larger room where they quickly put on a video and the part-time secretary was obliged to watch them. I felt like a real teacher as I sat at Michel’s desk and took attendance (I made them reply in English). When that was finished I led them in a little morning warm up exercise. They giggled as we ran on the spot, did jumping jacks, and stretched, but at least it got the blood going. Then I did an impromptu English lesson with them for as long as I could hold their attention. Still no teacher. “Um, okay class, who wants to tell me what they did over the holidays?” Thankfully they were all willing to tell me in utmost detail, even though I didn’t quite understand everything they said. When one girl explained how her parents got so drunk on New Years Eve that she had to take care of all her siblings, I decided to steer the conversation in a different direction. The bell rang for recess and I told the kids to go out and play in the snow. Finally, a replacement teacher showed up for about the last hour of the morning and gave them some proper work to do.
The rest of the day wasn’t as eventful. I began to feel exhausted around 3 pm and embarrassingly started nodding off in one of my classes. In my defense I had finished the English lesson and had nothing to do but sit at the back of the class (beside the heater) and wait for the end of the day. Their teacher, whom I get along really well with, politely told me that if I wanted to go home early it wouldn’t be a big deal. I initially declined, but when she persisted, I quickly agreed. Finally got home around 6:30 pm as there was slight delays on the train due to the snow, put my pj’s on, and plopped myself beside the fireplace to warm up. I am kind of glad that I have another week with Aulivia’s family before I move in to my own apartment because I think I might have felt a bit lonely on my own after being surrounded by so much family over the holidays. Now if I can just get over this jet lag...

2 comments:

lezzymcguire said...

Stevie, it's so strange to think of you teaching. Remember BUDDIES? That's what I think of. Us being buddies. I miss you.

Pablo said...

Welcome back Stevie!

I can't believe oou guys have a fireplace. Tres jealous!

Glad to see you writing again,

Paul