Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Last entry for a bit...Mac stores are slow!

Figured I should update because I am going to have to be Mac-less for 10 days while I take mine in to get repaired AGAIN. Stupid edge is cracked AGAIN but I want to get it fixed for free while I still have the plan. I'll have email/FB/skype, etc. just not blog updates!

Today I spent half the day in a French school with a science teacher. It was really fun and just reiterated to me how being a teenager is more biological than cultural (again with my vast knowledge of three cultures but I still think this anyway!)! I spent time in two biology classes while they were performing an experiment to look at the rate of oxygen production in their study of photosynthesis. That was my French word of the day- "taux" for rate. Also, I learned "slope" (pente) as in the slope of a line on a graph. It is great that math and science are really their own language because even though I missed some of the words, when she wrote the equation for a line on the board (y= mx +b) and then reminded them how to find the slope, I knew exactly what she was talking about even if I missed the French.

The kids all gasped with excitement when she told them that I was a science teacher visiting from the US. It was totally cute.

Please notice the shaggy haircuts and the hoodies. This could be any American high school!

I won't get into the whole edu-babble of talking to the teacher about how she plans, etc. But, for those who know me professionally, you know I asked all of those questions and struggled through in French to find out about objectives, planning, curriculum, and assessment. Why oh why am I such an edu-nerd??

A few little things from the morning:

- Just when I was looking around and remarking that nobody was sneakily using their phone, "pierced nose girl" looked around slyly, got out her phone and began texting covertly. This is just a reality in schools. Maybe we can figure out a way to embrace it. Like maybe, you could have silent work time and the kids could text you their questions or something! :)

-Many of the girls also have the "super side part" like our girls did at CBMS where they part their hair way in the back and then wrap their bangs around their forehead to the other side. If you've seen it, you'll know what I'm talking about.

-There was a nice, friendly relaxed atmosphere in the classroom which was really enjoyable after my crazily psychotic, 32-kids-in-the-class science class last semester. There were 17 kids in the room because they split them if half once a week for lab practicals which are called "TP- Travaux Pratiques." I will have about 14-16 kids per class in Düsseldorf and this will be kind of hard to get used to but amazing!

-As soon as the teacher wrote the equation for slope on the board, all of the kids groaned and said "This is science class, why are we doing math?" WOW! Some things are the same everywhere!

In other news...such as my French housewife life at the Manoir....

Last week and weekend, Steff and I got crazy with the projects. She has had all of these things she's wanted to try and now that I am here and she has somebody to do them with. And, we decided to brave it and make some American food for them to try. I should say "American" food because I made chili but I'm not sure if you can call it chili since I couldn't add garlic and only a tiny tiny tiny speck of spices because they think all food is too spicy that I make!

We also did a lot of Manoir chores, shoveled lots of pony poo, created a compost pile, and this week we'll be stripping wallpaper. Or, "wall-a-paper" as my dad says.

Léo got to ride around on Madonna in the corral! Her baby, Apache, was freaking out and running all over the place while this was happening but Léo was really excited!!!

French Super Bowl Party! I made red chili and white chili and beer bread. Everyone (except the picky picky picky picky Léo) ate it and liked it! For my bowl, I had to dump half the bottle of cumin so it could have actual flavor.

My giant, fattening American dessert.
Apple Cobbler from the Land o' Lakes website so you know it was bad!
But, delicious and even Picky McEatsnothing ate it!

We made Chestnut Jam. After all was said and done, I didn't really like it.

These are chestnuts after you peel them, twice. It was actually really annoying.

You have to remove the shells (which made my fingers bleed!)
Then, you have to boil them and remove the inner peel.
I don't think I'll ever be making chestnut jam again. Plus, it tastes weird.

And, we made homemade yogurt. Chocolate.
It was easy and Steff has a yogurt incubator!

So, this week I will go back to the school two more days! Should be fun!


Sarah said...

Pony! Is it just me, or is that a dressage saddle...

Diane Lauer said...

I think chestnuts taste like dirt.