October 20, 2005

Long time no blog…

Sorry to anyone who's been avidly following my blog (as if…!) if they've been disappointed by the lack of entries of late; a combination of factors including actually starting my job, going away for the weekend and not being able to get at a computer for several days!

I have now, however, discovered that the computer room on campus has a wireless internet connection, so I'm sitting outside it in the corridor using my laptop! Hurrah!

Well, what news… I went to visit each of the IUFM sites at which I am teaching last week, to look around, meet the people etc. – the site at Antony is bigger, and the people very friendly, we have a little office for the English teachers/assistants with lots of books, a computer and (most importantly) tea and coffee making facilities! At St Germain there is no such office, but there is a cupboard with a tape recorder and equipment, and a staff room with pigeonholes and a computer. The people at St Germain are nice, but less personal, and since the teacher responsable for me is away on a course this week, I've been left a bit to my own devices.

Last thursday I succeeded in buying a fridge (yaaaaay!) so I now have milk and jam and butter and fruit juice and all sorts! On Friday I went to see 'Wallace and Gromit – the Curse of the Were-Rabbit' at the cinema with Melanie and Michel (yes Mark, I do seem to be going to the cinema a lot, don't I…it's because there's nothing to do on campus!) and it was in English with French subtitles – bonus!

On Saturday I went down to stay with Jill and Steve with mum and dad, near Saintes, as it was Jill's birthday on the Sunday. We did some shopping in Saintes (I bought some pretty blue fluffy fairy lights for my room!) and had coffee and cake, then watched 'strictly come dancing' on BBC1 before supper! So nice to watch English TV for a change…in fact, TV full stop! I spent a lot of time playing with the GORGEOUS kittens; Georgia, GT, Gizmo and Chalky. See for yourselves (below) how cute they are!! On Sunday we went out for a fabulous meal at a little restaurant for Jill's birthday, with Harry and Adrienne, then I got the train back to Paris in the evening. Unfortunately my electricity had tripped out at some point over the weekend, so my fridge had defrosted and was fairly damp…:S I only had to throw away some cheese, though, so it was all OK in the end, and it hasn't done it since (touch wood!)

I taught my first class on Monday – I was just covering for a teacher at St Germain, in fact, who had to do a welcome course for some first-years at the same time as he had a second-year group, so I took the second-years for him. It was fine, they were quite keen, although there were 30 of them (I will normally have about 10 students at a time) so it was tiring! On Tuesday Miguel (the other assistant at Antony) and I shared the first lessons at Antony-val-de Bievre, which was fun – we played some games, got the students to introduce themselves etc. Today I had my first classes by myself at St Germain – I had thought I was going to get three groups of 10 students each, an hour for each group. However, what I actually got was 3 students for the whole 3 hours! I didn't have enough activities for that, although they were good at asking questions and we did some pronunciation and correction exercises once we'd finished the activities, so it turned out to be a really good lesson for 2 hours! Then I let them go. At least I know now, and I can plan for it!

Tonight I think I am going out with Alessia to some Erasmus party and staying at her apartment (I went there to visit last week – it's small but cosy!) and then I'll be back in London on Sunday afternoon for about a week! I shall visit anyone who's around…but don't expect to see me much between Wednesday night and Sunday, as Antony's coming down to stay!!
Enjoy the cute kitten pictures, love Lia xx


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