I was supposed to start work today, but that has not happened. In fact, I’m not yet sure when I will actually begin working because I don’t have a timetable of which classes to attend or which teachers to assist.
In better news, my housemate arrived last night, while I was asleep. He is German and seems very willing to speak English, which is a relief for me in the house. But it’s nothing like speaking to a native.
I got up quite early this morning to avoid being asleep when the students began to arrive, but nothing really happened until a few hours later, when I was asked to come and be introduced to the staff. I met some lovely people, including an American English teacher. It is nice to know that there are other people here for whom French is not their first language.
After that, I sat in on a meeting for my housemate because nothing has been arranged for me yet. I was then shown to the College part of the school, and stayed in the staff room for a while to use the computer and printer. There are a lot of forms to fill in in order to get paid and the like. This is an important but tedious process.
Annoyingly, I forgot that everything closes in France at lunchtime. So I was unable to ask about the lack of heating and working light bulbs where I am staying. I am also lacking an inside handle for the toilet; this is something that I only realised after getting stuck inside. When I eventually got to speak to someone, they said they would try to sort out all my issues, except one: the heating. There is a law in France that bans central heating in public places from mid-April to mid-October, for environmental reasons. Unsurprisingly, I think this is a stupid law. I am now wearing 4 layers, including a thermal top and a coat, inside.
This might seem silly, seeing as it is only day 3, but I am already tired of SO MUCH FRENCH. I have to speak French at work, in the house sometimes, in day-to-day things, the TV is French, and even my ads on Spotify have turned French. So yes, I may have caved and watched some English TV. Don’t judge me.
I had a meeting with the English teacher in charge of me earlier this afternoon; we went through a lot of admin things that I won’t bore you with here. She has gone out of her way to help me, which is fantastic. Next I met up with my housemate to go shopping. I mentioned before that Mortain is not pedestrian friendly, so as luck would have it, an economics teacher from the school picked us up on the way and drove us to the supermarket. I bought French Glamour to pretend that I am learning.
Just as I was about to go to the staffroom to use the wi-fi, one of the teachers stopped us and asked if we wanted to go for a drink. We went to a little bar in Mortain (about a 5-minute walk from the school), had a drink there and then met up with another teacher back at the school for dinner. I had a massive plate of gratin, which I didn’t like very much, but I am not too concerned about food at the moment.
After dinner, we returned to the Lodge (le pavillon) where I am staying. The girls have invited me to go out in Caen on Saturday night! That should be really exciting. Let’s see what happens…