As I sit here at school making a packing list on the back of a 7th grade All About Me presentation rubric, Im thinking about how crazy it is to have a two week vacation three weeks into working. I like your work ethic, France.
Ive learned a lot in these first weeks. I’m happily adusting to most things and holding onto my American-ness on a few. Im slowly getting used to typing on a French keyboard. I am, however, majorly upset about the fact that no one here drinks coffee on the go. I lived with my tea tumbler in my hand in college. I have gotten used to chugging a cup of tea before I head out the door because I dont dare go caffeine-less to spend my day with middle schoolers. The post-lunch coffee break is a lifesaver.
Now that I’ve introduced myself to almost every English class in the school, whenever I walk down the hall between classes, I hear a chorus of “Hello Kaitleeen!” Carole said shes jealous because her sixth graders ask everyday “Is Kaitleen here today??” A tiny girl came running up to me at the end of the day today and said, “Kaitleeeen, est-ce que vous avez des animaux?” (Kaitlin, do you have any pets?) I had my phone in my hand so I showed her a picture of Micah (my yellow lab). She looked at the picture with big eyes and then said, “OK bye!” Fantastic.
One of the best things about being the only American in a small town is the questions I get asked about America (this school is in a small village outside of Bourg). One of the English teachers asked me during lunch today, “In American TV shows, people have American flags outside their houses. Is that real? Do you have one outside your house?” I thought about it and said, “Actually, yeah! They’re pretty common.” I learned that here, having a French flag outside your house signifies that you’re an elected official. Outside of the culturally enriching questions from my coworkers, there are the incredibly entertaining questions of the students. Here are some of my favorites from this week with the kiddos…
I just love it. I love that my nationality challenges them to think globally. I love the inquisitive ones and the ones who are curious but too cool to ask.
I have a feeling I’m going to say this many times throughout the year, but middle school is so marrant (comical).