19 February 2011

Valentine's Week

As a student, the last week of school before a vacation is grueling. Guess what? It's just as tough for the teachers. This week was tough and I hardly even taught anything. I decided to capitalize on Valentine's Day and make it into a quick lesson followed by tons of time to make Valentine's Day cards. That took up all of Monday and Tuesday and even extended some into Thursday! For the classes that weren't finishing up their cards, I played games with them to review what I've taught them thus far. 

I might not have been teaching the whole time (or even hardly at all) but it was one of the most exhausting weeks ever. Plus I had a student who wasn't feeling the love... When I asked someone to repeat something they said that I hadn't heard over the side conversations of a few other students, Inez thought it was appropriate to stand up and tell the class that they needed to speak baby French to me because I don't understand anything. She's just mad at me because I don't let her erase the board everyday. I almost told her off but I held my tongue and told her that if she would stop talking and people would speak louder, that my comprehension wouldn't be an issue. Students seem to think that if they speak quietly with their hands in front of their mouth and while others talk, that I will understand. Unfortunately, I wouldn't likely understand it in English... 

Valentine's Day in France is much different than in the US. Go figure... Rather than being commercialized to an extreme only known in the US, the holiday is mostly reserved for couples. Chocolates, roses, romantic dinners are all commonplace ways to celebrate. Forget about chalky conversation hearts and cartoon character valentine's because kids don't celebrate at school. Knowing this, I asked them how students celebrate it at school and got two responses "Rien" or "On travaille." They seemed bummed to hear that they were missing out on cards, candy, and a party at school but were excited to make their own. With a list of phrases on the board, they were required to use at least one English phrase. It was a great activity that shut them up and allowed me to walk around the room to supervise and correct spelling. 

One girl showed me the valentine she made me for her petit ami, where she'd written "tuer l'homme de ma vie." The pronunciation of what she'd written is similar to what she meant, which should have been "tu es l'homme de ma vie." The verb "tuer" means to kill and "tu es" means "you are" - quite a difference! Another girl was making her valentine for her best friend and written the phrase "kiss me" without my help. When she asked me what it meant and I said "embrasse-moi", her eyes bulged along with her dropped jaw. At the next glimpse of her card, I noticed a huge black blob covering it up. And then a glorious thing happened... the clock struck 16h30 and I was on vacation! 

Oh, and as for my Valentine's Day, I spent it in very handsome company. ; )


Rien - Nothing.
On travaille. - We work. 
Un petit ami/Une petite amie - boyfriend/girlfriend
Tuer - to kill
Tu es l'homme de ma vie. - You are the man of my life. 
Embrasse-moi. - Kiss me. 


  1. ohlala! leaving us in suspense!!! So jealous you're already on vacation! ENjoy!

  2. You have the patience of a Saint! I don't know how well I would have reacted to a student telling everyone to speak baby french to me. It would make me long for the days of 'the paddle'