Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ginger, le Frenchy Spice

My schedule has changed a bit and I now have a group of secondes, which are basically the equivalent of American sophomores. I was dreading this class because, aside from the fact that it's at 8:00 IN THE MORNING ON A FRIDAY, considering how awful a lot of the older students are, I was pretty sure these younguns would be worse.

Boy was I wrong.

These kids were HILARIOUS. They spoke way better English than over half of my older classes, and they had a real sense of humor to boot. I think they were a bit nervous to start out with--there was lots of giggling and furtive look-at-the-teacher-look-quickly-away-omg-is-she-going-to-like-us??? action for the first few minutes until I started off by introducing myself. Then the one boy in the class does another little giggle and says "Oh, we begin with introductions now please?" And I'm all, "Sure, you start."


I tried, I really did try.

But after taking one look at his flaming orange fro and white freckly skin, I lost it. I laughed so hard I had to put my head down on my arm to try to hide the tears. Everyone was laughing at this point, but mostly at me. I LOVE people with a sense of humor, especially concerning themselves, and this kid totes took the cake on that contest. He is definitely the class clown--and he never once revealed his true name (I looked it up later; it's Florient).

For the rest of the hour we had a raucous discussion about books (everyone loves the book Twilight--Ginger pulled it out of his bookbag to show me a real life copy--but not the movie b/c the movie is "hideous, too long and poorly acted"), movies, music and even the longest words in our respective languages.

Yes, that's right, after arguing in pretty impressive English about whether or not Avatar was the greatest movie ever created (it's not; that title goes to Braveheart--in the 'epic' category, anyway, thankyouverymuch), the students ask if I want to know the longest word in French. In between gasps of laughter I manage to squeak out a petit 'oui!' and Ginger jumps up to spell it on the board for me:


At least, I think that's how you spell it. And in case you're wondering, it means "against the law." LOL!!!

Luckily, my life-long nerdism paid off--I have a very clear memory of when I was in middle school and I was reading a book that talked about the longest word in the English language (of course for the life of me I can't remember what exactly it was that I was reading...some memory, eh!), and so I was able to trump their wimpy anticonstitutionellement with a whopping:



And then I panicked, because I had forgotten what it actually meant! And just as I was about to pray that they didn't ask me or wouldn't notice I was moving too quickly to the next subject or something, I hear a chorus of "WHAT DOES IT MEAN MADAME!" Fuuuuuuuuck.

"Well, kids, you see this word here, 'establishment'? Yeah, that's like, you know, the typical, normal way of doing things in society. And if you're 'anti' the 'establishment,' that means you like to go your own way and be your own person! REBEL! It's good for your heart! But drugsarebadstayinschoolmmmkay."

So now I have a bunch of French 15 year olds convinced that the longest word in the English language is about being true to yourself and rebelling against society. Honestly, I like my definition better than the real one, which I raced home after class to look up b/c I AM A MORON:

"The opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church, esp. the Anglican Church in 19th century England."

Whatever, at least I didn't try to convince them that German is a Romance language.


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