What Happens in Class, Doesn’t Stay in Class V

  • I threw together a brief PowerPoint on Christmas in America, because I didn’t see the point in starting social justice when I won’t see the fluent terminales for another month and a half—and then a student excitedly showed off her ugly sweater and Yeti socks to demonstrate that France also does the ugly sweater tradition.
  • My conversation class that consists entirely of secondes addressed me as “Madame” the entire time. It was surreal.
    • I had them do a running dictation, which resulted in much hilarity for me as half the group ran back and forth and frantically repeated or spelled words to their partners, and still ended up with mistakes like “eggoes” instead of “eggnog” and “witch” instead of “which.”
    • One of the categories on my Scattergories sheet is “American names,” and one pair wrote down Sarena. Aw, thanks.
  • I told Al’s students black stories to solve, and the students started watching us to see which questions we laughed at to see if they were getting closer to the answer.
  • I made K snort when I muttered to her, “The students are looking at me like I’m going to eat them.” Ideal colleague relationship accomplished.
    • K had me rehearse a play with three students, so I had to read all the extra lines…I can’t act to save my life.
    • I spent the next three hours with her classes asking the same questions about a detective comic strip, and though it was repetitive as hell, I got to hear entertaining things like, “Do you normally threaten people with a t-shirt?” and “2:15 o’clock pm.”
  • Mc had his BTS students—18-22 year olds doing a vocational training certificate—present themselves to me, so they asked him, “Can she present herself in French?” and he replied, “No, that’s not what she’s here for.”
    • At the end of the class, he caved and asked if I’d be willing to speak French…except he gave me the topic of Christmas in America, whereupon I adopted a deer-in-the-headlights look. (I had to solicit information from my friends to be able to talk about the holiday in English. I kid you not, I didn’t know what an advent calendar was until last November or December.) So Mc changed the topic to my winter break plans, and I said, “Pour les vacances de Noël, je ne vais pas retourner aux Etats-Unis parce que c’est trop cher. Je vais rester en France, et je vais voyager à Strasbourg, à Lyon et à Dijon” and they stood up and started clapping. Thanks?
  • N didn’t even have classes; instead, he held a competitive quiz game for extra credit, composed of photos of Anglophone celebrities, my 10-question quiz about America, and then British/American/Australian film extracts. Like he promised, the classroom was filled with candy and good cheer. Favorite moments: 1) during the Frozen clip, he sang out Anna’s despondent “Okay, bye,” and the entire class giggled and 2) after the second class, a student came up to me and asked, “Do you want to eat a morceau of cake?”
  • Ml said my speaking activity had to be Christmas-themed, so I had the class debate for and against Christmas. I proceeded to spend the whole hour laughing because they got really into it (this was actually the class that I came out to last month) and came up with arguments like, “Chocolate, snow, and no school,” “You eat too much food and become fat,” “Children will be sad because Santa is fake,” and “It’s not a good holiday if you’re allergic to trees.”
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