An anglophone from the west. A francophone town. Hoo boy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

journée pédagogique

Today is a professional development day at my school, which means I get a day off. No students = no monitor. I love my contract. I have so little responsibility.

And finally, I have some time to do something non-productive, like update the blogging hole. It's been a supremely busy month or so. What with starting a new job, starting back at school, and still trying to focus on getting my as into graduate school next fall, I have had very little time to sit back and relax.

First, the job. It doesn't pay as much as JET, but the conditions are better. If there are no students, I don't have to be at school. If I have no classes, I don't have to be at school. If I need to take a day off, I can shuffle my classes around no problems. The students are always happy to see me because I do fun activities with them and zero grammar. If anything, I get annoyed by the lack of responsibility. Much like in Japan, I kind of get ignored most of the time. But then again, I haven't done a lot to get to know teachers and staff outside of school. I've been too busy.

Two nights a week I'm going to three hour lectures at the University. I decided that because my job is the opposite of challenging, I would do a certificate in environmental sciences. Half of my courses I've got credit for, so I only have to do five to get a certificate. This term, I've got two classes. It's interesting and keeps me out of the house. Unfortunately, it does mean I have to study and do exams. Well, it's good for my French. And it forces me to write. And boy, does my writing need help!

I've been doing lots of English writing -- I've put in two big applications for big grant money for next year. I'm hopeful that they'll give me funding, but they're extremely competitive grants. To me, my proposals look worthy of funding, but I guess that's what everyone thinks of their research. I've been working on them in all of my free time so hopefully they pay off. Now that they're done, I should have more breathing room.

It hasn't been all work all the time though. I've been able to go and do some sightseeing in the area. There are a few other language monitors in my area, and we've been able to go to the Western Festival in St. Tite -- a huge rodeo and festival in the area. We've also gone to visit the local national park. I'm slowly getting around to posting pictures on my flickr site.

What else? Francis and I were at a friend's wedding in August. He's a guy we know from Japan (we actually met at a party he threw), so we got to hang out with a bunch of people from the JET program and go out for a karaoke night. The wedding was fun too.

My good friend was in town for a few days, so I got to enjoy hanging out with her. I don't think we stopped talking to whole time -- it was great. But too short. Isn't that always the way?

And now I guess I have to go and be productive with my day off. The apartment is disgusting because neither of us is ever home long enough to clean up, and I want to invite the in-laws over for dinner on the weekend. I should get some studying in too seeing as I have an exam on Tuesday I have to study for. Yay botany!

Have a lovely long weekend!

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