16 février 2015

What do you want to be when you're older? Dunno, miss...

             Saturday was Job Forum day at school. Some well-intentioned and better-organized-than-the-others teachers had been collecting people for a few months now, people who came from different job horizons and who had agreed to come to our school and talk about their job to the students. Cue huge organization. The visitors had been attributed rooms, teachers were standing guard in each room and corridor, supervisors were going round with walkie-talkies, and each class had two... [Lire la suite]
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18 août 2014

Réunion mon amour, part 2 of 2.

                                      We spent a total of four days and three nights in Mafate. There are no roads, the area is only accessible on foot or by helicopter. The name comes from a wizard who used to live in the cirque, and whose speciality was killing people, using just a piece of the person's hair to enchant them. It's all up and down in there: we went down to the river twice, then right back up to the top... [Lire la suite]
07 avril 2014

Look at the makis!

      I teach kids in school, but I also teach adults in a training centre about half an hour away. My current groups belong to a local construction society, so we spend hours talking about excavators, compactors, bulldozers, the difference between a Manitou and a Fenwick, where a site manager comes in the company hierarchy and how to work one's way up from pushing soil to wearing a tie and having one's own office. Very interesting, actually. There are groups of trainees in there every day, with lessons ranging... [Lire la suite]
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11 novembre 2013

Breton Rock

                     I've been playing quite a bit of music recently. You see, a group I'd never met and I were hired for a "Breton rock concert" at a bar. We were hired on Sunday. The concert was to be on the following Friday. The group was already formed, and I was supposed to join it just for this concert. This got off the ground because I happened to know one of the musicians. Out of six musicians, only two had ever played rock before. Two others were classical musicians,... [Lire la suite]
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30 septembre 2013

Parent-Teacher Meeting

                       It was National Parent-Teacher Meeting Day on Saturday. You can thank the Vice-Rectorate for that. What a mess. It started off innocently enough. Instead of each school organizing its own PT meeting, the high education authority in Mayotte decided to set one morning aside for all the schools to have their meetings at the same time. Saturday 28th September, from 7.30 to 11.30. So far, so good. Our school had planned on getting the teachers to show... [Lire la suite]
09 septembre 2013

Scientific Minds

        I've been teaching English to an adult student for about a year and a half now. He's the director of the local branch of an international building and public works company. He has individual lessons twice a week with me, so he's been teaching me all about potholes, soil excavation and the composition of bitumen. Thing is, the other engineers in that company are jealous. Indeed, the director was getting English lessons and they weren't. They all stand the same chance of being transferred to an... [Lire la suite]
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29 juillet 2013

Cascade

              The Soulou Waterfall, on the west coast of Mayotte, is a place which is renowned for its thefts, break-ins and various attacks of all kinds. Unfortunately, it's also recognized as one of the most beautiful sites on the island. That's why, when a friend wanted to go, she decided to open the outing to three or four of us, saying that it would be even better if we could recruit a few friends each to take along. Which is how the outing started at 3 people and finished at 30, a good... [Lire la suite]
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04 mars 2013

Aria Sopra la Bergamasca

                    That was fun. I hadn't played in a "real" concert for ages. The sort of concert where you're in a church, everybody on stage is dressed in black and the atmosphere is very serious. You're not supposed to laugh, cough, say anything or even look anywhere except at your sheet music or your fellow musicians. Performers and audience all hastily clear their throats and take photos between movements or pieces. I love it. The main music-related events I've played at... [Lire la suite]
28 janvier 2013

Training the Future

                  Just before the Christmas holidays, the company I work for outside school asked me to teach English to a group of students training to become computer technicians. A group of ten to fifteen people aged anywhere between 16 and 40, whom I would be teaching English to for 60 hours. Mostly technical English, computer vocabulary, how to answer a computer hotline in English, that sort of thing. For four hours every Saturday morning, paid peanuts. Sorry, not interested.... [Lire la suite]
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10 décembre 2012

Mont Combani

          The day P left, we had a concert planned in the evening at the Gîte du Mont Combani. We were all rather shattered, as we'd all had fairly long days, but we got together in the late afternoon and went up to the gîte together. It's quite a trek, even in the car, because the track is particularly bumpy and muddy. Francis, Laurence and I went together in his car, Franck followed on his motorbike until the chain came off in the bumps, then we made him go ahead to supervise him for a bit. We arrived... [Lire la suite]
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