Miscellaneous Moments, Part XI

  • Me, when there’s unexpected sunlight in Laon: “Sorry, I can’t work today, I have to…go outside…and photosynthesize.” That’s a legitimate excuse, right? (It’s gotten so bad in the north of France that a) my solar powered-watch stopped working last month and b) what I thought was a permanent watch tan has nearly faded.)
  • The highest (or lowest, depending on how you look at it) peak of my adulthood: eating soup with a baguette.
  • I got the strangest sense of déjà vu when I was in Amsterdam, and then I realized it was because I was walking down the exact same street to Dam Square that I’d been on two years ago with my parents.
  • Although I despise the smell of cigarette smoke, I decided to stay outside and talk to the French assistant I’d met just outside the hostel earlier, and she joked, “I’m not smoking what they’re smoking.” (This was Amsterdam. I’m sure you can put two and two together.)
  • I told a guy “De rien” on the train…except we were in the wrong country. We were in Amsterdam. Don’t let me be an adult.
  • On the walking tour in Copenhagen, there was a group of Americans studying abroad in Lyon, and one of them was considering TAPIF. Small world.
  • I almost cried when I found an entire tub of lemon cookies in my mailbox from M-L because I’d helped her with something. (Don’t let people do nice things for me.)
  • “Take one napkin. Save the environment,” the cafeteria napkin dispenser says as I pull out 10 of them and wrap a slab of still-bloody beef to smuggle to my room and cook for dinner because I can’t handle the French style of rare meat.
  • I was about to walk down a steep hill on my way to Méchain when four of my students walked past and shouted, “Bonne chance!” after me.
  • Ml sent me a topic that she said her students would debate, and asked me to explain it in my own words. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but if you need to email a native English speaker and ask them for an explanation, isn’t it logical to, you know, not have the students debate the topic?
  • When Ak asks you if you can come to her class the minute before it starts and says, “I’m sorry I couldn’t ask you earlier,” but you’ve run into her three times this week and she has your email address ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (and then you do nothing the entire hour except be used as an accent and read a short article out loud).
  • Good god, some of these children are so horrifically behaved—yelling, throwing pens, hitting each other with rulers, giggling over their phones, and taking selfies during class. They’re so…privileged.
  • Shout-out to F for agreeing that I shouldn’t be doing any grading at Méchain because it’s ethically and morally wrong (her words, not mine! Although I wholly agree).
  • After sending me a passive-aggressive email, Ml told me that she wants me to prepare a 55-minute long activity when I take her entire class by myself (illegal under the assistant contract, sigh). Don’t even try being passive-aggressive with me. I have three more days at Méchain and absolutely nothing to lose. (Sorry if I’ve been sounding salty lately, my pent-up salt is all spilling out at the end of the year.)
  • I couldn’t help but laugh when R was talking about what he did over the weekend and proudly announced, “I pet a cat.” He was trying to say, “I babysat a cat,” and looked so dejected that I told him “pet” meant caresser and gave him the word “babysitting,” which he promptly modified to “cat-sitting.”

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