chani: (medieval demons)
Marking is done and I have just finished to prepare the term meetings I have tomorrow.

Also I'm caught up with certain tv shows -- GoT that I continue to be underwhelmed with (still much better than the books and they handled the Red Wedding rather well), unlike most of my flist, Mad Men whose two last episodes were way better than the messy "The Crash", and Rectify whose final two episodes just blew me away (SERIOUSLY!!!!!) -- so I should be able to resume my regular posting soon.

Now I'm going to have a bath so I'm leaving you with this fascinating speculation/parallels about Megan in Mad Men !


* Let's hope I won't be summoned to mark the Baccalauréat. The exam starts on Moday 17 with the 4 hour Philosophy test (History is the next day) so I might still receive a notification to mark History &Geography papers. Can everybody cross fingers and toes for me?
chani: (Default)
Tomorrow morning I'm being inspected during one of my lectures (last time it happened it was in december 2007 so it isn't that often!) and I think I'm done preparing my lesson. It's on the Gulf War and mostly based on G. Bush's speech on september 11, 1990, plus a few maps and pictures (which I'll use if the projector and the computer in the classroom work!), and a second text giving Saddam Hussein's take on it.

What should I do now?

I feel a Deadwood itch to scratch. Might be because I watched The Sessions yesterday, and besides John Hawkes (who was indeed amazing in the film), two other Deadwood alumni have a small part in it: W. Earl Brown who used to play Dan Dority, and Robin Weigert who was the wonderful Jane.

The Sessions isn't a great film in terms of writing or mise-en-scène– and it's a bit too light for me, but you know I like my films darker –, but it is tasteful and touching. It's worth seeing if only for John Hawkes and Helen Hunt who both deserve all the praises they received.

It's quite unbelievable that John was snubbed by the Oscars btw, but I guess it's because his performance doesn't look like a performance (while he did hurt himself for the role!)which is really something given the nature of the role!

His acting is just so natural, so humble and yet so easy, there's nothing showy about it. He just makes the character come to life, and you forget about the fact that there's an actor playing that man.

chani: (Default)
I'm back to school, and the holidays were not  very restful (I even worked on my thesis until midnight yesterday, me crazy me!). So this first day was though, especially given that I had 7 hours of teaching today.

Every year there's an exchange between my highschool and another one located in Istambul. The French students go first, during the Autumn break and the Turkish pupils come later in the year, usually in Spring. Fifteen students took off on Tuesday, among them, three of my students were part of the trip. This morning the sad news were all over the walls: one of the students, a 16 year old girl, never made it to Istambul. She started feeling unwell on the plane so they had to reroute the flight to Sofia. They took her to the hospital but she died before reaching the operating block: ruptured aneurysm.

I did not know the girl in question but it's still tragic and I can't imagine how devastated the parents must feel. Also, I think of the two teachers (a Maths teacher and a Philosophy teacher) who were with them. It could have been me since I was asked to accompany the group. One of them stayed in Sofia, until the mother arrived while the other took another flight to Istambul, along with the other 14 pupils. I also think of my three students who are coming back tomorrow in the evening.

They chose to go on with the trip because it was an exchange and it was complicated to cancell it, but I guess it must have been very hard for all of them, adults and kids.
chani: (medieval demons)
I'm back from the SIEC in the suburb where I was supposed to retrieve the papers (can you tell where this is going?)....without any papers to mark for when I handed the notification, the person in charge looked for my name over and over on various batches but couldn't find it. Then she said that she had been told that I could not come (and I was WTF?!!!!) and had to summon someone else in my stead.

I told her that I made a phone call to her office on Friday to inquire about the number of papers I'd have to mark but never said that I could not do it, and that I had not been informed that I was replaced. She apologised ( I came for nothing), said that she couldn't give me someone else's batch and said she might have made a mistake.

No, really?!!!!

I mean, I'm thrilled that I don't have papers to mark, but if she did make a mistake, it's possible that some other teatcher couldn't make it and should have been replaced indeed, and therefore it's likely that there's a batch of papers that will be left on the table. Being of a rather pessimistic nature I already pictured, of course, the SIEC calling me back in the evening or tomorrow morning...I just checked my personal file on the professional website about exams and my notification to attend is still online.

Before I left, I asked her, insistently, whether she was sure that was it, and told her "because I will not come back!". She said "I understand" and wrote on my notification "notification cancelled", adding her initials.

Hopefully this is the end of it. But with those administration people, you never know...
chani: (Default)
First off a belated happy birthday to comova.

I haven't been on LJ much lately and it will be even quieter in the upcoming days for I found out on Firday that I was summoned to mark Baccalauréat papers for the September session (it's for students who were too ill in June to attend their final exam). I have to retrieve the papers on Tuesday afternoon in the suburb, and will hand them back on the 25th. So I'll have only 6 days to mark them...while going about my usual work in school. Marking Bac' papers beside teaching is a crazy thing...

I am not released from my teaching duty during that marking but I'll have to attend the jury on the 1st of October so I will miss classes then. And on the 4th there will be oral exams for those who nearly failed.

It's a pain in the ass, screwing up with my plans. Not only did I schedule tests for my students this week but I also intended to go back to the library on Tuesday afternoons and to do some thesis writing at home on Thursdays. But with this Bac' marking surprise I have to postpone the tests, and I can't work on my thesis until the whole thing is over.

When I saw the note on Friday I think my face turned green, honest. And later I had a difficult group to teach in the afternoon so I was pretty wrecked in the evening.

On the upside, I received Tom McRae's CD so now I can enjoy listening to his new album, From The Lowlands, on the stereo, which is always much better than listening on the computer or on the ipod. It's a lovely album; Tom's best since All Maps Welcome, although very melancholy and dark.

And I went to the movies and saw Killer Joe which was a lot of fun (in a dark and twisted way).

Also, I'm VERY pleased with John Edward Williams. I'm so glad that Daniel Mendelshon recommended Augustus on twitter and that [personal profile] herself_nyc  told me to read Stoner too. When I finished Augustus I wanted to start reading it again (yeah it's that good!), and earlier today I read the first chapter of Stoner in my bath – I have to say that kindle makes reading in the bath quite easy!– and was already under the spell.

That's about it. Tomorrow I have a big day of teaching ahead (from 9 am to 6.30 pm) and I'm not sure that I'll get to see Copper and Boardwalk Empire in the evening.

Think of me while I'm in Marking Hell!

chani: (Tom)
First weeks are always exhausting, I know it.

And yes I'm exhausted. I'm so glad I haven't got to teach on tomorrow morning! I'm going out with my girlfriends this evening, though.

I'm still reading Williams' Augustus and loving it. Beautiful prose and excellent re-creation of historical events and characters.

I realise that this year has been very Roman for me...I have to post more pictures from Rome. I'll try to do so on Sunday.

BTW here is a link to a website giving the list of Pompeian graffiti (translated into English). Some of them are hilarious or filled with some weird wisdom ("The one who buggers a fire burns his penis"), others show that little has changed over centuries...

As for Augustus, I had another little exchange with Daniel Mendelsohn on twitter – after I thanked him for recommending the book and told him how good the account of the battle of Actium by Agrippa was–, which was very nice. That's the magic of the Internet, talking with an author you love about a book you both like very much.

Also, my dear Tom is releasing a new album (the second part of Alphabet of Hurricanes, finally!) and has an official video clip:




chani: (Default)
I have 150 new pupils this year, and so far I've met only a third of them.
chani: (Default)
I happen to have, among my youngest students, the son of a rather famous French actor. The kid is nice, very interested in my class but he keeps speaking out loud before being allowed to, so I have to reprimand him on a regular basis about that bad habit.

Today, at 6 pm was parents-teachers first meeting -- the one I find useless for we don't meet each parent to talk about their child but simply show our faces to a bunch of parents sitting in a classroom and tell them what we expect from the pupils and from their parents (as if it weren't obvious! Kids must work, parents must keep an eye on their children's work) -- and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Mr Actor was there (we have several actors' children and the parents rarely bother, given that they don't really take care of their own kids)...

Unfortunately, while my colleague, who is the "main teacher" of the form, was making an "intro", just before I spoke, I noticed that Mr Actor and two other parents were conspicously using their i-phones (checking messages or something). I even wondered whether they were filming or recording the meeting! But I bet it was just personal business they were taking care of.

They went on "playing with their phones" when I started talking which, of course, annoyed the hell out of me. I was this close to make an unking remark(or something like the students knowing about mobile phones being banned within the classroom!), and I made a point to look at them insistently until they finally put the phones down. By the end I was finished with my show, Mr Actor was looking at me and seemed to listen to what I was saying...

It isn't easy to teach civility and courtesy to pupils when their own parents are just rude.
chani: (sunset in Tanzania)

It snowed all day long yesterday, which NEVER happens in Paris! Today, no snow but it was colder. Too cold for this mediterranean girl.  That Siberian weather must stop NOW!

ETA1: They forecast  - 8° C for tomorrow morning!

I can feel how the cold affects our bodies, tires them out. I fear for all the homeless tonight. On the other hand I'm quite pleased with the way my classes went today. It was a good day of teaching.

Speaking of the Russians, I've just seen on my flist page that LJ might be killed off soon...and I'm too lazy to back-up my journal. I've been saying for several weeks that the place was becoming colder and now I'm wondering whether I was forseeing its possible imminent death. *brace herself for the loss*

Some of you already have my email. For the others who wouldn't want to see me disappear and would like to keep on virtual conversations, you can get in touch with me through frenchani@gmail.com or through my blog Correspondance. I also post from time to time on a Lost Forum and a BSG forum, especially when the shows are on. BSG starts again on the 16th and Lost on the 21st.

So just in case...DASVIDAGNA !!!!

ETA2: Keep killing children and innocent civilians, Israel, and let the carnage go on and the humanitarian situation  worsen in Gaza, you are making new religious fanatics and Hamas fighter every day. What a  wonderful world. *sigh*

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