Tag Archives: random acts of cuteness

My last day of teaching — psych!

Tuesday was my last day of teaching [as far as I knew (foreshadowing)]. Ever the sentimental, I prepared about 100 PB&J’s and a speech about how my students would be missing to me.

When I arrived at school, I was treated to a cute overload. It was even better than a birthday, because it was completely unexpected. I received a stack of adorable homemade cards, a sack of Easter chocolates, and a French bistro cookbook.

These are the adorable cards I received.

Lisa wins the prize for cutest card, because she used the English I've taught her. (I should note that most of my students spelled my name in the French fashion.)

With just a few notable exceptions, such as the one I posted a few days ago, my students liked their PB&J’s. Weird experience: a classroom quiet but for the sound of French kids licking peanut butter off the roof of their mouths. I should have recorded a video, but at least I have pictures of their cuteness.

Fourth graders. Note the boy on the left. I wonder if he thought PB&J's were a licking sort of food?

More fourth graders, and another funny expression at center left.

My students wrote down my e-mail address and promised to write, and said lots of cute things like, “C’est nulle que tu partes!”

Oh but wait! I’m not parting after all! Not yet, at least. I got an e-mail yesterday with the news that a contract extension has magically opened up, so they’ll pay me to work for one more month. (Way to be on top of things, Académie de Nantes.)

Even better than another month of pay, this means that I’ll get two rounds of cute goodbyes!

Why people teach

When I got to school this morning, two of my cutest students ran up to me with a box in hand. They gave me a good bye present!

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How cute is that?
It got even cuter when I realized we were all wearing the same shoes.

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And then the chocolate broke my front tooth.

Poisson d’avril!

In France, April 1st is “April Fish Day.” It consists of children drawing fish and spending the day chasing you around, trying to stick them on your back.

Personally, I think it lacks the clever salt-in-the-sugar-shakers,* fake ultrasound photos, fake plaster casts element of the concurrent anglophone holiday. Nonetheless, it was pretty adorable when all of my students chased each other around with cute little hand-drawn fish this morning.

To give the tradition a new twist, I drew an open-jawed Great White Shark and stuck it to my back before my second class today.

Clearly, it didn't stop them from April Fishing me.

The joke backfired. They thought someone had tricked me with the giant shark. A little deductive reasoning would have been useful—there was far too much tape for it to have been stuck there sneakily—but my students lack that skill, I’m afraid.

I thought this fish was adorably Seussical. I was surprised becuase the girl who made it is the type to ask, "Is this shade of pink allowed on the Valentine I was instructed to be creative upon?"

*I’m sure I will live to regret explaining this trick to some 4th and 5th graders. I apologize in advance to their parents.

Adorable things my students have said to me

I have yet to say anything here about the job that occupies me a whopping 10 hours per week,  so today I thought I’d start with some of the adorable things my students have said to me. As we all know, kids say the darndest things. This is especially true when they’re trying to learn a second language.

Italics indicate that something was said in French.

Girl (too little to be one of my students, and therefore especially curious about who I was): Do you speak English?
Me: Yes, I speak English. That’s why I’m here. I’m the English teacher.
Little girl: Oh. Can you talk normally, too?

Me, beginning class as I always do: How are you today?
Girl 1: How do you say you’re thirsty?
Me: I’m thirsty.
Girl 1: I’m thirsty and so-so.
Girl 2: How do you say you’re hungry?
Me: I’m hungry.
Girl 2: I’m hungry and happy.

One of my favorite moments doesn’t quite translate. Several of my girls like to chat with me during recess. I thought that one of them, Yasmin, spoke Arabic at home (a handful of my students come from Arab immigrant families), but I wasn’t sure until she mentioned something about it to her friend. I said, in Arabic, “Oh, you speak Arabic?” She was mystified. I don’t think it had ever occurred to her that a white woman from Amreeka could possibly speak Arabic, too. I told her that it was just one of several magical powers that I possess.

I also find it amusing that my students have asked repeatedly where I live. I found it a bit odd at first. Children are naturally curious, of course, but considering they don’t know street names or neighborhoods, why do they care? Oh right! They don’t understand that I live in France. This begs the question: did they think I teleport here just in time for class or something?

Saving the best for last, however:
5th grade boy, upon learning that my last name was Smith: ARE YOU THE DAUGHTER OF WILL SMITH?!

Hot cookies

This afternoon, I realized I was nearly 20 minutes early for a train, which is more than enough time to go across the street for a sweet. Of the three boulangeries facing me, I chose the prettiest.

When I went in, I needed a moment to decide, and the young man behind the counter clearly related to my dilemma. He may not realize it, but he’s my new favorite person in Angers, because when I asked if the cookies were soft or crunchy, he volunteered to warm them up so they would be softer. He stuck them back in the oven and then waited as though he knew just the right amount of time to pull them out.

I hope he can feel the warm appreciative love I’m sending him since the French don’t do tip jars.

I’m on my way to spend New Year’s with my roommate’s family in Versailles. Should be lovely.

I realize I’m WAY overdue to tell you about Morocco. I’ve got loads to tell you and pictures to show you and I’m sorry it’s taking so long. I’ve been sick for a week and the pathetic wireless in my apartment hasn’t been working at all. Tomorrow.