Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All-singing, all-dancing

Since Santa prefers to communicate in blog comment form, I might as well write a new post while I'm here.

Today's post has a musical theme. Last night my colleague Ibi and I went to see a recital put on by the prépa (prep school) classes from our school, held at the regional conservatory just down the road from me. They were pretty good! Our school is, I believe, popularly regarded as the best or second-best in Nice, depending on who you ask (i.e. people from our school or from our rival school!) so for the most part we have pretty good kids, especially in class prépa. I may have explained this before, but just as a reminder, prépa students are 'the best of the best' who take an extra 2 years of classes between finishing high school and starting uni, in preparation for a national competitive exam to try and get into les grandes écoles, the French equivalents of like Oxford and Cambridge or Ivy League colleges. They come from all around to attend prépa at my school, so there's some talent there. I'm always surprised as well by how much I recognise of the music at these things. I'm by no means a classical music buff, so it really makes you realise how much these pieces have permeated popular culture, whether it be in Disney movies or in car ads or whatever, which really shows, even if you hate the stuff, that there must be something to them! Especially the 'Fantasie Brillante sur Carmen' by Borne, which had two entirely different bits that I knew. Anyway, left the concert at about 10 pm - FREEZING! Haven't been out at night for a while, it was a real shock! Google informed me that it was 5 degrees, 1 degree with wind chill. This is the same Google that told me it was -15 and snowing in Auckland last week, but on this occasion I'm inclined to believe it. It's still reasonable during the day, as long as there's sun about, but you do need to take a jumper (and a coat, and a scarf, and a hat, and gloves if you're French).

I also did a bit of singing in class yesterday, teaching the kids the 12 Days of Christmas - Kiwi version. It went quite well actually! My singing did not, however. It was a bit high and I have a little bit of a sore throat so it was cracked and awful but I soldiered on in the name of education. They had the courtesy not to laugh at me (at least not that I saw) although they did laugh (rightly so) when I was trying to count down 12-11-10-9 etc. with my fingers and kept mucking it up. What a 'tard eh?

Getting them to sing was largely prompted by the fact that last week my most difficult class, who never wants to participate at all, spontaneously burst into song when I asked if they knew the names of any carols in English. Colour me surprised! I don't think you'd ever get a group of kiwi teenagers doing that! And it was led by the Macauley Culkin-looking dude who always lounges around looking too cool for school with his perma-scarf. Well I've said it before and I'll say it again - those Frenchies really do love their singing!

That's about all from me. I'm looking forward to going to England next week - fish & chips, real cider, Galaxy chocolate, English TV, pubs, crackling fires (maybe), & of course seeing my family! Joyeux Noel à tous!

1 comment:

  1. My lesson today had nothing to do with Christmas or holidays or anything, but at the end of class, I told them Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! And the kids BURST OUT singing "We wish you a merry Christmas" on their way out the door and continued down the hallway singing. It was quite a lovely moment. The French *do* love their singing. :)


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