Tuesday, 29 June 2010

What I learned in school

Here is a list of things I've learned in Suzanne's first year at school:

  1. It is much easier to make friends with French women when you have kids.
  2. French birthday party etiquette is a key to your kid's social success.
  3. More French doesn't necessarily impede learning more English. Getting stronger in French has actually helped bring Suzanne's English up a notch.
  4. dégoulasse is a bad word (I learned this after 13 years in France. You think someone could have corrected me sooner!)
  5. There is a plethora of candy at école maternelle
  6. Spending all day in the majority language has made both me and Suzanne better appreciate the special moments in the minority language.
  7. It is possible to bring English into the classroom but you have to be persistant and willing to adapt.
  8. When you get reprimanded by a resentful, bitter, holier-than-thou school principal, it is best to hold your tongue and walk away. *
  9. Kids think it's cool and kind of funny when a parent speaks a foreign language around them.
  10. French kids don't like frosting.
To be continued (for another 15 or so years)

* The principal reprimanded me on 2 occassions for no fault of mine, I just happened to be there at the wrong time. He appologized once. Apparently he's great with the kids, but has a lot to learn about relations with the parents.


yveline said...

well, I can correct the way you write this same word: dégueulasse...
and you are right, this is a bad word!

Nicole said...

hilarious! I have a similar list :) And what IS up with that frosting thing? It's unnatural I say!

Anonymous said...

I learnt the pitfalls of dégueulasse the hard way when I was teaching in primary school 2years ago. A kid (aged 10) sneezed right in front of me without putting his hand over this mouth. I told him it was déguelasse to do that and the whole class stopped and gasped. thier teacher later informed me of the seriousness of this word in primary school. opps. The kids learnt a good lesson about the difficulties of learning a foreign language out of my gaff. I'm glad it only took me 3 years to learn this but I did it the embarrassing way!

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