Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Week Number 2....

So I had my second class with...well maybe I was too harsh...how about Zee Class? (Read: someone from the school might find this blog) :-)

So I had Zee Class last night. I went in an hour early to make sure I had everything prepared. I even typed out an agenda to follow as a sort of lesson plan guide. I had more than enough things for the two hour lesson. Side note: I find it odd that one week the class is 2 hours and the next week it is 2 hours and 30 minutes. It changes every week. It also changes rooms and sometimes the time. Why not have a set schedule? Every week the kids have new schedules to follow. They also change things around if the kids don't like something thing. I don't know if I have mentioned this, but it is VERY different from American universities. They are with the same group all day long and take every class together. So my 35 kids are with each other in every class, all day long. It sounds a lot like high school but the classes are very intense and they take way more class time than normal college hours. They are in class 8 hours a day every day.

But back to the changing things around part...The kids in one of the classes didn't want a Friday 2-4 class because on Friday they feel they should be able to go on vacation for the weekend and they want to be able to get out of town early. The kids bring this to the attention half way through the semester mind you. So what happens? The administration changed the class to Wednesdays. You have got to be kidding me. I really just have too many thoughts about why I disagree with this action. A few would be: they knew from the start the time of this class, not to mention all the time that has gone into scheduling a professor and a room not to mention that if they do end up getting real jobs, can they just tell their boss they don't want to work Friday? Is this mirroring real life? Plus...I thought the weekend was your vacation? Did they start implementing Friday as a day off here too? Well, I guess if that 35 hour work week thing sticks then maybe the previous questions are all answered "Uh...maybe. Yes."

Back to the class. So I was waiting for the class. And waiting. It was time for class and no kids. It was 5 past and not one student. I know I was in the right place at the right time because I actually checked two different times in the office to make sure I had the correct room, time and day. Did they all decide to skip? I walk into the hall and see my kids in the room next to mine. They slowly begin to file in about 10-15 minutes late. The computer teacher kept them. Oh. How thoughtful of him. Of course why would English class be important right? I know I should have been upset, but part of me thought "oh well, now I don't have to fall back on the stupid vocabulary thing if we finish early."

It was a bit of a rowdy crew at first. I put together a marketing lesson and had a few fun things prepared. I cut the lights and showed a Top 10 Commercials from one of the Super Bowls. They all stopped as if they were hypnotized. Crazy...they calmed down and I was able to talk to them between clips. They then created campaigns and presented them. There was a lot of talking, but they actually delivered. Some very well even! I feel much better about the class now. I know they are bright, they just need a little herding in the right direction.

I also got a call from the teacher that is taking The Class over. (That was the 2nd class I was subbing in that was a bit easier to control.) She said the kids didn't like having such a late class and were going to go to the Dean to see if they could reschedule the class. (See paragraph 3.) She asked if I could teach that class if it moved. Heck yeah!! Well how about that, the power of the student worked in my favor. Huh. With the extra class I can now start putting a little money back in my US bank account (which has not seen any action since January). I have not gotten the official word, but I might pick up the second class next week. I'll keep you posted!

Tomorrow Cyr and I have our appointment with the Prefecture to present my paperwork for my Carte de Sejour. Crossing my fingers it goes well and she accepts everything we have. It seems to me that many times the government folks here decided what happens depending on what mood they are in and how they feel about you. I know people that have presented exactly the same paperwork I have for a certain thing, but their papers were rejected and they were asked to supply additional things. I guess I caught the person on a good day. Hope our nice government worker is having a good day tomorrow. I want to be able to travel back home without too much trouble. Cross your fingers!!


Leesa said...

Hey Susan!

WOW! Great!!! Happy to hear about the second class you might get.. Fingers crossed... Sounds like you have it under control with the first class! You sound like a pro!! I want to come and attend your class!!!!
Good luck, too, at the prefecteur... I'm sure it will all be fine... Usually is!!
Hugs, Leese : )

Isabelle said...

Well, since today is a holiday, hopefully the person you'll see at the Préfecture tomorrow won't be too tired by her/his week yet!!

As for the school you teach in, I wouldn't call it a university (or college). There are different ways to obtain your diplomas in France, depending on what you are studying. So you might go to the Université, or to a school where classes could be compared with the ones in High school.
I have a degree in tourism (BTS de Tourisme in French), and I was with the same class all day long, having 39 hours of classes each week. And nobody was allowed to skip a class like you can at the university!

The reason why your class has 2 hours of English one week, and 2 hours and 1/2 another week is because a certain amount of English hours are to be taught during the year, so they divide that number with the number of school weeks, so that's why weeks are not even.
I hope I was clear with my explanations lol!
Have a great week,

Andromeda said...

Sounds like things are all falling into place really well! I agree with Isabelle that maybe the day off today chilled them out a bit at the prefecture. Good luck!

Steph said...

Good luck at the prefecture! I'm sending positive vibes your way!!

Susan in Lille said...

Leesa - Would love to have you! You could be a guest speaker and talk about your cupcake business. Not sure I actually have them under control...but am working on it.

Isabelle - yeah, it's a business school but I am surprised they don't schedule the same for every week. Why not have the class the same time every week for 2 hours and 15 minutes as opposed to changing it every week? Just a little different, but I kind of like variety so it's not too bad. ;-)

Andromeda - I think you were both right...the woman had more patience with us than she should have...see next post.

Steph - Thanks! It worked!

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