Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quelle semaine and it's only Wednesday...

It has been one crazy week for me. I finally started working a normal amount of hours at my teaching job which has been keeping me quite busy with lessons, lesson planning, and metro time as I run around Paris and Ile-de-France all day. But I am happy to be working. I finally feel like a normal person again. It feels great to have a job, be motivated, have things to do, have responsibilities, and not to mention to have some money to spend (even if it's not a lot). Nonetheless, settling into my new routine has been rough and has made for quite the hectic week of falling asleep late, waking up early, and working non stop. Plus, I have been extremely busy planning our second wedding, the US version. It is really starting to stress me out. There is so much to do and so little time to get it done before Dec. 19. Not to mention the fact that I am not in the US and won't be there until two days before the wedding! Wedding planning is a lot of work, but I am trying to take it one step at a time and not overwhelm myself too much.

As if my week wasn't already crazy enough with work, the wedding, and various other little tasks and errands, I woke up yesterday morning to an unpleasant surprise. In typical French fashion, they had come and cut off the water in my building with no warning on a Tuesday morning. So I woke up looking forward to washing my hair (it had been a few days), taking a shower and having some coffee before leaving for my first class. And to my surprise, when I went in the bathroom and tried to turn the water on, nothing came out! Needless to say, this left me in quite an unpleasant mood for the duration of the day. Not only was I not able to wash myself or have coffee, but I was going to my first lesson at Ferragamo, in one of the most chic parts of Paris where everyone is dressed in designer clothing and has tons of money. I had been hoping to make a decent first impression (by presenting myself well despite the fact that I don't have designer clothing), but with no shower I unfortunately failed. I'm sure I didn't look too hot, my hair was greasy, and I just felt disgusting. What a horrible way to start the day! At least we had enough water in a water bottle to be able to brush our teeth! But the real question here is why would the shut the water off in an entire building with no warning in the middle of the week, in the morning, when people need to get ready and go to work? These stupid Frenchies!!! I feel like this would never happen in the US. They would give you ample warning and make every effort to let everyone know if they had to cut the water for a day...sending letters, making phone calls, etc. And they likely wouldn't cut it during the week, in the morning. It would most likely be at night or on a weekend when less people work. Not to mention that they could have done this a few weeks ago when everyone in Paris was gone on vacation! We found out the water was off so they could do some work, and luckily when I got home it was back on, but still...what an inconvenient and horrible way to start the day!

And my week started off poorly as well. I began a class with a new group of students at 8:30 Monday morning. Normally this is fine, just part of the job. However, in this particular group there is a woman who is, well, to put it nicely, a bitch. She was absolutely horrible and made my Monday morning miserable. I thought the hour and a half would never end and I dread having to see here every Monday morning for the next 10 weeks. What a terrible way to start my weeks! She spent the majority of the time critiquing me and what we were doing. She didn't seem to think I was competent enough to teach the English language (which I'm not sure of either, but since all of my other students have had nothing but wonderful things to say about me to my boss, my confidence has been improving). She questioned everything I said and thought it was necessary to tell me exactly how this course should be run, what we should learn and how she wanted everything to be, without even consulting the other two women in her group. When we went over their entrance exams she wanted an in-depth grammatical explanation for every question she got wrong, as if in an hour and a half I would have time to basically teach her the grammar of the English language. And she was mad that she was placed at the "intermediate" level, but considering some of the questions she got wrong on the exam, it didn't surprise me. Then, midway through test corrections she wanted to know why we were even doing this and she felt it necessary to tell me that she hoped that we wouldn't be doing grammar in class because she can learn that on her own and she wants to work on her presentation skills in class. I had to politely explain to her that no, we would not be doing grammar every class, but when necessary, we would do it. Otherwise she could feel free to study it on her own with the book she will be receiving (as if she is EVER going to do that!). I also had to explain to her that we were doing test corrections because that is what my language school told me to do on the first day. And because of her constant complaints, we didn't even have time for the more useful part of the day on basic business vocabulary and presenting a company. Her loss...maybe next time she will shut her mouth! And I was amazed because the other two students just sat their shocked, with their jaws almost to the floor while the crazy woman just went off about anything and everything. Oh what a week! At least tomorrow I get to relax a little at a bar with my meetup group for foreigners married to Frenchies!

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