Sunday, January 20, 2008

Last night I visited the lovely folks in Chauny again. I had a great time, I feel very lucky that I actually found people in France who I get along with. I had expected, I suppose unrealistically, that I was going to get along really well with all the assistants in my town and be BFF instantly. That hasn't happened. They're nice, just not my type of people I guess. When we first got here we all hung out together all the time (which involved a lot of late nights surrounded by clouds of smoke, ridiculous amounts of alcohol consumption by the others, and me not having much fun) but since mid November that's changed a lot. Until yesterday I hadn't seen any of the other four assistants here, except the one who lives in my lycee, since way before vacation, and now that's kind of leading to awkward situations. Last night I encountered one of the other assistants on the bus to Chauny (she was taking it all the way up to St Quentin) and we had 40ish minutes of sort of strained conversation. Today when I got back from Chauny I met two other assistants in the lycee and had a really awkward exchange. I guess I just don't see the point of getting together with people who I don't enjoy hanging out with, although on the other hand, I'm kind of screwing myself over as far as having a social life in Soissons goes. It's just surprising. Three of my best friends from college lived on my hall freshman year, so I don't think I was entirely wrong to expect to instantly get along with people I was randomly placed with in a small French town. I wonder how other assistants have felt about this issue? I guess I'll just have to rely on Pantless Neighbor for socializing opportunities here....

I'm getting observed by my conseillere pedagogique tomorrow in one of my schools. She volunteered to observe me and give me suggestions when I told her I was worried about my CM2 succeeding on their end of the year English test. I don't think she's going to yell at me and tell me I'm a horrible teacher, so I'm not nervous about that, it's just that I really want to impress her!

7 comments:

Valerie said...

That's too bad that you didn't hit it off with the other assistants in your town. The one great thing about my being here has been my 5 roommates, but perhaps if we didn't live together we never would have become such good friends.

At least it sounds like you've met some interesting neighbors, and it's nice to know people in other towns. A good excuse to get away.

Hope your observation went well!!

Le Tigre said...

What is the CM2 end of year test by the way? I'm certain all of my students will fail it! Is it standardised or what?

I can understand how you feel re the other assistants, just because you speak the same language or come from the same country means you're going to hit it off, yet it's so disappointing when that's the case y'know? There's only a few assistants in my town that I can hang out with, I find a lot of them really cliquy and impolite (talking over me and interrupting when I'm trying to speak is one example). If you don't enjoy hanging with them, there's no point forcing it, you'll probably feel worse!

Andromeda said...

are they all primary assistants? i have trouble with the secondary people sometimes, because they have no idea how hard it is to work with the kids, all the preparations and whatnot. they go out allll the time, and i wish i could go out and spend money like they do, so it's frustrating. i am happy with my french bf, but i spend like, 95% of my time with him, i need a little english in my life, but since i spend so much time with him, i feel very disconnected from the other assistants . . . ah it's all a big mess. so i totally understand how you're feeling, it's defnitely not like college!

Au Soleil Levant said...

Thanks for the comments and good wishes guys! Observation was good, to be discussed later...

It's weird that it's so totally random who gets placed with people they get along with. I guess everyone comes from such different backgrounds, different cultural practices, etc, that it is really a crap shoot.

A - interesting comment, you're right, I am the only primaire assistant here. Even though you aren't speaking English much (which can be tough on the poor brain) your French must be getting really good!

LT - I responded to CM2 question on the forum. Happy new blog, by the way!

Monique said...

Hey! I'm also an English assistant this year down in the South of France.

I have mostly CM2s and CM1s at the primary level, so the few people I have met are probably leaving in April anyways. The other assistants all kind of live far away and made friends among those who work at the same lycee, so I always feel that same awkwardness you're experiencing/explaining.

So while there are the occasional outings, I do have lots of time to go to the gym/read/write, etc. :)

Bon courage!

Au Soleil Levant said...

Hi Monique, thanks for the comment, and I'm really happy to have found your blog, it's very interesting!

kelly poindexter said...

in my town, we had the opposite problem. there was an assistant whom we tried very hard to include in our group, especially after she showed signs of being lonely and homesick.

but i guess, as you say, there´s no point in getting together with people whom one doesn't enjoy hanging out with.