October 06, 2005

France day…something…training and more training!

Am slowly getting used to getting up at 7.15am (who would have thought it?! me!) as I have had to for the past two days! Yesterday Dina and I went to Neuilly for our English assistants training day, which turned out to be more or less geared towards assistants in collèges or lycées, and so a lot of it was either irrelevant, or to do with the americans (of which there are lots) who have various and individual paperwork problems. However, there were a couple of interesting things and useful pieces of information, and I met a lot of nice people :)
In the evening I tried to go to the bank but it was shut, and bought some SMS credit for my mobile phone – I then discovered that my international text messages don't come from my SMS credit, they come from my calling credit, which has run out. Bummer! Confusing french systems… I also went to the supermarket with Julia and some of the German assistants to replace my shower gel, which disappeared after I left it in the shower on saturday morning…!

Today was our second training day at the IUFM in versailles, which was much more useful! The teacher who took it was really nice, very engaging and told us lots of useful things :) I'm glad we have training there as well as with all the other Versailles English assistants, since we're teaching adults it's going to be very different for us. We did some very interesting exercises, including one in which we had to give our name, something we like, something we don't like and something surprising about us all in the language we are going to teach, and make it comprehensible to the rest of the group. For example, the germans (as a rule) didn't speak spanish, so the spanish speakers had to do lots of mime, and vice versa. The most interesting thing was that by the end, everyone had more or less understood everyone else, proving that you can explain things without having to resort to translating into french!
We also had a nice lunch, plenty of coffee and a very friendly atmosphere – everyone gets on surprisingly well!

Tomorrow I am going to go to the lycée in Antony to sign my contract – I also have to pay my rent for the month and put some money in my french bank account to pay for my lodging insurance…all fairly dull things, so I'm hoping to meet up with Alessia for tea afterwards! Then in the evening there's a big party for all the residences at Nanterre, organised by the people who own them, I think – free food and drink, music and some sort of DJ/graff type show… sounds fun to me! At least I don't have to get up on saturday…

Thanks to all who have emailed!! If I haven't got round to replying yet, don't worry I promise I will soon! I do really appreciate it!
Hope everyone is well, more soon,

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