This is going to be a (probably very long) ongoing collection of random moments that are too short to stand alone as a post, but that I thought were still blog-worthy:
- While I was walking back to Claudel, a police officer ran past me shouting, “Machete!” into his walkie-talkie, which was just a bit concerning. Good thing we were going in opposite directions.
- Some middle-aged dude living next to me opened his door to ask whether my keys were working fine after he heard me struggling with the lock. I appreciate the nicety, but did he have to do it shirtless?
- It’s fascinating how cities transform in the rain—it started drizzling Sunday afternoon, so I retreated from my brief, misty Porte de Soissons and Tour penchée adventure and took shelter in the school courtyard, listening to the rain fall above me as I experienced my first taste of chilly northern France. While I sat there watching the slanting sheets of rain, the funniest little half-smile ghosted across my face—who could’ve guessed that, after my sixth-grade English teacher told me I needed speech therapy because being painfully shy would “hurt me later on in life” (no I’m not still salty about it), ten years later, I’d be sitting in France for the second time, wondering if teaching was a good fit for me?
- Adulthood benefits: F, my main Claudel contact (I’m just going to start using initials. The whole “this teacher” and “that teacher” is getting too complicated), took me through the canteen for the first time, and I’m allowed to cut the line for getting into the building, scanning my card, and putting away my dirty dishes. (I’ll have to make sure I do it with a teacher, or else no one will believe I’m actually older than the students. Maybe I should’ve just grabbed some of the wine from the fridge in the teachers’ eating room.) Also, F looked beyond sad when I told her that R-MC’s cafeteria is the nightmare of the campus.
- A math teacher thought that I was F’s adopted child. Sigh. (To be fair, I’ve been zigzagging my way across campus to delightedly step on all the crunchy leaves, so that probably doesn’t help.)
- F started talking to me about the American elections and suggested I research why people are voting for Trump. Please, no. Racism, misogyny, homophobia, religious intolerance, sheer stupidity? I don’t know, take your pick. Then M-L (another English teacher) struck up a conversation about the horrors of a certain orange-faced nightmare while I was sat there going, “Please stop talking to me about Trump let me live in denial.”
- I accidentally wrote “abandonner” instead of “abonner” in an email to F, telling her that I’d abandon instead of subscribe to a newsletter. Excuse me while I hide in a corner.
- While I was using the photocopier, trying and failing to copy my passport, a teacher said, “Pardon?” so I turned and put on my best innocent “I’m not wasting paper” look, but luckily he just wanted to know if I was the new assistant—he was the only English teacher I hadn’t met yet.
- Unlike when I’m in America, I don’t have to spell my first or last name out loud when I tell it to people. It’s great.