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And So It Begins: My First Week As An English Assistant

A lot has happened since I last wrote. My roommate and fellow assistant Emmy (who is blogging about her experience here) and I found a super cute apartment in the city center. All of the assistants gathered in Nice for orientation, which gave us the chance to meet each other and take in a ton of information (all in French of course). Picture freshman orientation but all in French so we were all très fatigué par le fin, non? Oui.

After orientation, it was time to start working in the schools. I had already gotten a tour, met some of the English teachers and sat in on a class last week. But I officially started this week. I went to a few classes and did an awkward speech class “about me” PowerPoint. It turns out public speaking is slightly less terrifying when you know the audience can’t fully understand what you’re saying. The students were so friendly, welcoming and very interested in asking me questions the first day. On day two, I went to a different class and was mocked by a couple of kids in the class. Funny enough, they were attempting to make fun of my ENGLISH (yes, you read that right) by imitating me in a southern accent. If only they knew what a real southern accent sounded like.

Here are some of the funniest questions I got:

Do you like McDonalds? (Unfortunately, I had to reinforce the stereotypes on this one and said yes. Sorry, my fellow Americans.)

Do you like Donald Trump? (To which I laughed so hard and said no. I then informed them that my state’s governor was his running mate to which they apologized and said “that leaves a bad smell.” Yes. Yes, it does.)

Is Lil Wayne still making music? (Actually, I don’t know. That’s a good question.)

What do Americans think of French people? (I told them that a lot of Americans think that the French hate us to which the class reassured me that they “LOVE AMERICANS” (in all caps because that’s how enthusiastic they were about this topic.)

Is the fast food in America better than the fast food in France? (Well, we did invent the stuff so…)

In other news, I found a place that sells a limited selection of English books. So I finally have some beach reads. Also hint: if you’d like to send me any mail, please send English books. Like I said, the selection est un peu limité.

The adventures continue next week after I meet a few more classes and start working one on one with the students. Now it’s time for my first of many three-day weekends. Thanks, France.



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