I’m (Technically) Official

During the past two weeks at Méchain and Claudel, I’ve been doing nothing but repeatedly answer the same questions about myself and thus nearly forgetting my name and age and biography. So I was really excited to finally begin my role as a teaching assistant today, at least at Méchain. My schedule is a complicated mess because of class rotations, but basically I work a grand total of three days every other week—welcome to the difficult life of a TAPIFer who gets three day weekends and free Wednesdays.


Like a true adult, I started the day off my Google Mapping my way to the school, getting incredibly distracted by the ethereal sight of Laon wreathed in fog and sunlight, and then pulling out my phone and using my sad little portable Wi-Fi device because I had no idea where I was going.


On the bright side, I managed to successfully make it to Méchain, even if it did take me an extra fifteen minutes because Google Maps lied to me. At least the pretty scenery and fall foliage made up for it.


On the not-so-bright side, my journey ended in frozen fingers and legs, a near-heart attack because my phone led me down the wrong road and two dogs started barking at me, and the embarrassment of asking a lady right in front of the gates where I could find Lycée Méchain. (To be fair, I’d found my way to the back gates, and considering I’ve spent my entire time in one building, I didn’t recognize the campus from behind or realize that it was the same size as R-MC.)

My Tuesdays are supposed to be spent working with one class of secondes by collaborating with the teacher (the system here goes premières, secondes, terminales), and then alone with three small classes of terminales. J explained to me yesterday that, with the terminales, I’ll be by myself with the students while they spend five minutes talking about a subject for their bac exam. And then I’m supposed to ask them questions about their speech, but that’s not the strangest part. I’d like to know who on earth decided to give me the responsibility of GRADING them when I still don’t understand how the hell the French grading system works. (Enlighten me, what’s the point of the 20 if it’s impossible to attain??? And how is an 8/20 considered passing???)

Anyways, enough of that griping. I’ll cross that bridge on November 3, after my two weeks of paid vacation. Today would have marked my official work life, but N forgot that I was coming to his class and let me go, thus giving me a head start to my two weeks of paid vacation.




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