Thursday, November 05, 2009

Back to school

Getting up this morning at 7.15 was haaaaard. Admittedly, I have been in a pattern of being awake until around midnight and sleeping until around 9, but for some reason last night my body freaked out and refused to go to sleep until about 2.30 am, then I woke up at least twice that I remember in the night. So yeah, grumpy this morning. Presumably this had something to do with the fact that I opened my neglected diary at around 9 pm and realised that I had said I would present a lesson on 'Maori/NZ culture, differences, racism etc.' Erm, kind of a big topic, no clues where to start, stupid Google was giving me nothing... After much fruitless searching and no ideas whatsoever, I finally pulled together some Powerpoint images at about 1 in the morning. Didn't have time to get anything printed/photocopied today so ended up having to take my laptop in to class and hold it aloft while the kids just completely failed to get engaged or answer any of my questions. Painful - and next week the other half of the class comes along for that hour (don't ask me what the halves thing is about), so I get to do it again... (No planning though, woo!)

Anyway, that was after my ridiculously easy first hour (listening and correcting students' presentations) and before my conversation class, which went okay - we did Guy Fawkes & did my best to tease out philosophical debate on whether he was a terrorist or a freedom fighter, whether it was right to disobey laws you morally disagreed with etc. etc. Not the liveliest debate ever (me and two students) but at least the hour was filled.

Then my second conversation class was cancelled (woohoo). One of my classes tomorrow is cancelled, and one next Tuesday (sadly in the middle of the day so not a whole lot of use to me) so a pretty easy start back to teaching anyway. Then just 6 more weeks till the next holidays, seeing my family in England.

Yesterday, my last day of freedom, I decided to actually leave the house for once and went to the Matisse Museum, which as I think I said, is just down the road. It's free, which is a big plus. Otherwise, I might have been a bit disappointed. I'm not a huge fan of Matisse to begin with, but I still would have liked to see more of the characteritic large paintings or decoupage works, instead of lots of drawings and studies, a handful of early paintings, and some sculpture, tapestries and stained glass. But, ya know, free, a way to kill an hour, can't complain.

The museum is in a shabby-chic 17th century mansion, set in a nice park filled with olive trees that I like to visit quite often. It's always full of old men playing boules or petanque or whatever (is there a difference) in the afternoons, and has a generally livelier feel than many equivalents in other countries I've been to. The park is also home to some pretty impressive Roman ruins, which they're doing some sort of restoration work on at the moment. It cracked me up the other day when I walked past at lunchtime and saw all the labourers sitting down to lunch, outside, at a table outside - plates, glasses, the works. Lunch is something to be taken very seriously in France! There's supposedly an archaeological museum in the grounds as well, but I have no idea where it is - the whole place isn't that big, I must be missing something... Finally, there's a church, which is actually very pretty and peaceful and nice, and features the mummified corpse of some old saint, lying out for all to see. Spookilicious! The church has a museum to the Franciscans as well, which I haven't been in, and there's supposedly a monastery somewhere around the place, so all in all, a park packed with divertissements...

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