Friday, 19 October 2012

When I grow up....

....I'm going to be a teacher. Until then, I'm having GREAT fun at pretending. I suppose in a way I am a real teacher, just without the marking and the stresses of OFSTED breathing down my neck. I have just finished  my second week at work and I'm loving the experience I'm gaining, even if I am still intimidating and "scaring" the students with the speed at which talk. I thought I'd slowed down and feel that if I were to slow down any more I'd be patronising but I guess they need a confidence boost and for that to happen I need to speak slower so they understand. On the other hand, I'm getting fewer blank looks and "quoi?"'s so I must be doing something right, right?

I'm helping out with BTS groups so everyone is 18 and older with a couple of the students well into their 20s. I've pretty much just introduced myself and my family and told them a little bit about Stoke-on-Trent and then talked about them and where they come from. So far, no-one is enthusiastic about Grenoble. :| Oh well.

Next week is the last week before the October half term which lasts for 2 weeks. The majority of the other assistants are going back to England but I can't be bothered. I'm really not missing it. I have been a bit ill the past few days and for the first time, I had a cry to my Mama and Darren cause I miss them, but that was only because I needed a cuddle. That need has been replaced by one of the teachers at school who has told me that if I ever need anything just to give her a call and she'll come look after me. Sorry guys! :)  I'm feeling much better now and greatly appreciate the French love of pharmacies and the fact that there's at least one on every street. Seriously, Google Map "Residence Houille Blanche" and then search near by for "pharmacy" and there are LOADS! Cheered me up anyway.

Last week was my birthday (YAY!) and also my first proper day at work so naturally, there's a power cut. The first day in my life where I hated France a little bit. It meant I couldn't have breakfast Skype dates with my Mama or Darren. By lunch time the power was back on and I was happy and in love with the country again. At school all week I did a presentation on myself and each time I told the class my birthday is the 8th October, I had " 'Appy Birfday!" sung! Brilliant!! On the Saturday before, I got together with some of the other assistants in the area to go up to the Bastille for a picnic as it was mine and Cassie's birthdays that week. It was a very entertaining drunken night. :) Granny and Rev arrived on the Tuesday and managed to bring out loads of home comforts I had forgotten as well as birthday cards and presents from the UK. Thanks everyone!! :) We met up for dinner in the evenings after I had finished work and ate at some of my favourite places in town including the amazing burger place who now recognise me, think I have a crazy drunken mum and step-dad and even crazier grandparents who took their stuffed toy rabbits to tea one evening. Hmmmmmm. At the weekend, we went to Milan and stayed in a beautiful hotel only 10 minutes out of the city centre on the metro. When we got into the town the first thing we saw was "Il Duomo" cathedral which is stunning and so very different from the architecture in France. We had a look around the "Galleries" and quickly left after not being able to afford anything. The cheapest thing I saw was a pair of gloves for 70 Euros. Errrrm, no. We kind of stumbled upon "Teatro alla Scala" and had a quick look to see if there was any possibility of catching a show. There was a ballet on called "Raymonda" so we decided to see if we could get tickets for that evening. So we queued, gave in our names in exchange for a number and were told to return at 5pm for a ticket. We weren't expecting to get into a ballet for 10 euros each! The seats were awful and we had to stand for the entire performance but the show was beautiful and it was worth the pain in the feet for the experience and atmosphere. On our way back to Grenoble we detoured via Turin to see if we could see the Holy Shroud. When we got there it was a little dead and is clearly primarily an industrial town but we found the church where they keep the copy of the Holy Shroud as the real thing only comes out like once every 10 years.

Once back in Grenoble, it was kind of back to reality and Granny and Rev left me to planning the lessons for this week. Its mad to think I've been in France a month now and at work 3 weeks. I'm feeling really at home. My little studio room is really cosy and homey and I love coming home to it after a day in the school, curling up with a book and a cuppa tea and watching a film. Saying that, I'm beginning to look forward to Christmas and seeing all my family and friends. I land back on the 22nd December and have a pretty packed schedule before I fly back out to Grenoble on New Years Eve with Darren.

Loving life. <3

It's being really weird about uploading pictures again. Look on fb or email me for some.