20 October 2012

Rain rain go away

I realise I have been neglecting my blogging duties, but believe it or not, I've actually been really busy for once! We left off on Sunday after my epic meal, so I shall take you through my week since then.

Okay so perhaps Monday wasn't as eventful as I make out, as I'm struggling to think of what I actually did. Let's move onto Tuesday. Tuesday was the second of our two training days in Poitiers, and as last time was quite dull, we were hoping this would be more interesting and useful. With CoVoiturage.fr saving the day yet again, I set off from my flat at 7am in the pouring rain and absolute pitch black to walk to where our driver, Katia was picking us up, meeting Mike and Alfredo along the way. When we got in her car at 7:30, we probably looked like we had just got out the shower, we were that soaked. Anyway, we arrived in Poitiers without any trouble and with a bit of time to spare, which meant we were able to chat with some of the other assistants before things got underway. The main aim of the day was to discuss effective ways of leading English oral classes to collège and lycée students, and I came away having quite a few ideas up my sleeve. The general concensus was that game-style learning is the most effective way to make people speak in the target language, so we had a good brain storming session to see how simple game ideas could be adapted to various learning topics.

Apart from the training, it was also a great day socially. A group of us went for lunch in a pizzeria, which allowed me to meet more assistants I hadn't yet seen. We had a couple of hours to spare at the end of the day as well, before our lift came, so we went for a drink in the lovely square in front of the Hotel de Ville, even though it really was quite chilly.

Wednesday was spent sleeping and lesson planning for Thursday. Sandrine (my supervisor at the lycée) had emailed me on Tuesday evening telling me my timetable, and it said I only had two classes where I was completely on my own, and I could do the same thing with each class, so I didn't have too much planning to do. I really wanted to be prepared though, so I even did a timeplan for the class. It felt like I was doing homework again!

Thursday was a long and tiring day, even though I only did 5 hours of lessons. Having been expecting only to have to do my last 2 classes on my own, I was surprised when Manue (the other English teacher) said at the beginning of a class 'Is it OK if I leave you now?'. It went well though, and it was quite exciting actually, being in charge for a couple of hours! Also, the pupils were quite participative and well-behaved, so it wasn't too difficult. My last 2 classes were a different story, however. I had 5 or 6 pupils in each, but their level of English was so much lower than what I had expected and therefore planned the lesson for, that we were all equally relieved when the bell went. They literally understood nothing I said, even though it wasn't humanly possible to talk any slower, and one girl just kept having laughing fits everytime I said something to her that she couldn't understand. What's more, they kept on mocking my English accent!?! At least now I know how weak they are in the language, so I can plan accordingly. It'll certainly be a challenge.

I was meant to be going to La Rochelle on Thursday evening with Anne-Lise and her husband, and Mike was going to come along as well. But she sent me an email during the day to cancel as she was too tired, which was a shame. Instead Mike and I just went for a drink at Café du Boulevard, but that was short-lived when it became apparent that it closed at 10pm.

It's worth mentioning that it literally has not stopped pouring with rain for like the last week. It's so depressing. It makes me want to hide away in my flat with the shutters closed so I can't see how disgusting it is out there. I absolutely had to go to the supermarket on Friday though. I had said the previous Friday that I needed to go shopping in the next couple of days, so I'm not sure what I was living off to get me through a whole week with next to no food in the flat. Anyway, with a 15 minute walk to Aldi and back, I was once again a rather soggy excuse for a human being. 

You may be thinking that nothing particularly exciting has taken place this week, but things are about to change. For Friday night was Club Night at the Café  Yes, I was as intrigued as you are. Having seen no one under the age of 50 at the Café before now, Mike and I were wondering how Melle's beret-clad residents would fare with a 'DJ récent' taking over the place.  

Apparently we'd stepped into the 80s. 'DJ récent' was a lie; the only song I recognised was one from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, and I witnessed some of the oddest dancing since I was last at a party with my dad. It was quite an hilarious night though once we'd embraced the stark contrast from a typical student club night and once we'd discovered the local cocktail of cognac, triple sec and orange juice. As a result of the latter, I am writing this post in bed, where I have spent the whole of my Saturday not feeling particularly perky. And now I'm going to go to sleep, so bonne nuit.

Mike with potentially the coolest man in the world. Meet Beret Man.

PS. Sorry for the lack of pretty pictures; the weather has temporarily subdued my inner photographer

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