23 October 2009

Halloween lessons... and drunk on the job... Oooh that's scary!

My Halloween lessons were a huge hit with my students.  And for the amount of effort I put forth the night before, I would expect nothing less. I painstakingly drew flashcards of a mummy, witch, cat, haunted house, pumpkin, ghost, werewolf, vampire, bat and skeleton. I must say, it felt damn good to have a marker in my hand.  Art projects work wonders on stress. 

Then I put my graphic design skills to work to whip up some worksheets to accompany my lesson on Halloween vocabulary.

Invariably, every class complimented my artistic skills, which made the hard work completely worth it.  After drilling the students with the cards, I let them listen to Thriller (although they pronounce it "Sree-lair," as fellow assistant Melissa mentioned in her blog).  It was adorable to watch them rocking out to the music in their seats as they filled out and colored their worksheets. Michael Jackson is highly revered among my kids, and after they completed their projects, they all rose to their feet to dance.  It didn't matter that I had prepared an entire playlist of Halloween music on my laptop, they only wanted "Sree-lair" over and over again.

Today, a celebration had been planned to celebrate the 50th birthday of the directeur at La Plaine. Although I don't typically teach at that school on Fridays, it was lovely to be invited. I'm well accustomed to workplace fêtes, and was expecting the typical pizza and pop in red plastic cups.  Au contraire, we're now in France! I arrived at the teacher's lounge to see a beautifully set table with real china, glasses, and silverware! Springing from the center of the table was a veritable forest of liquor bottles: wine, champagne, eau de vie, vodka, whatever you could imagine! The American in me allowed my jaw to hit the floor.  Alcohol... in school? I barely had a chance to process what I was seeing before a Kir Royale was placed in my hand. Everyone gathered around with aperitifs, playing U2 music, and suddenly it was your typical chic French party.

Keep in mind that the lunch hour lasts from noon till 1:45, so lunch didn't arrive for a good 45 minutes.  Everyone kept refilling my glass, saying "This is our regional specialty, made with the Mirabelle plum, you must try it! Oh, and this wine is the best in France, it's part of your education! Cheers!" Given that I had only a croissant for breakfast, I very quickly found myself becoming quite... besotted!  

Thankfully, the pizzas arrived, which helped me to soak up the euphoria. And what pizza it was! Not your typical American deep dish! This was thin crust, topped with fresh mozzerella and delicacies like salmon, artichokes, seafood, and even potatoes!  

I stumbled only once on my way to catch my bus, thankfully. Vive la France!

The "spirited" birthday bash in the teacher's lounge. 


  1. oh my goodness, your halloween flashcards are amazing! i'm glad your kids loved "sree-lair!" as much as mine did!

    as for the party...just wait until la fête de beaujolais nouveau! :)

  2. hahaha. drunk on the job, perhaps, but at least you finally got around to that eau de vie mirabelle!

    also, i love the Halloween flashcards. those are definitely a world away from whatever kind of fashcards i was taught with way back when ;)

  3. Hi Jamie!!

    Growing up, I had a sneaking suspicion this sort of stuff went on in the Teacher's Lounge!




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