Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Puppies, Teachings and Learnings

mercredi le 2ème janvier, 2013; 14:31
emplacement: Ajuntamente de Roses, Costa Brava, Spain
pourquoi: Parce que je n'ai pas écrit depuis longtemps. And playing catch up.

Leave it to my good friend Andrea C to ask why I haven't written in a while. I love having friends who make me accountable. I have no excuses save for the fact that I have been a little bit lazy. Alright, let me write about shtuff that's been happenin'.

Back in mid November, my host family finally decided on getting another dog. It had been 10 months since their last dog, Vergule (which cutely enough means 'comma' in French) passed away. We piled into the family car and drove 2 hours to a village somewhere in the countryside to see the litter. There, we picked up the latest edition to la famille Dimouchy, a mixed terrier name Pin Up.

Yep, Pin Up.

She looks like a tiny lion with her ginger fur and black markings:

Alice with Pin Up, whom she has also decided to name "Étoile":

It was a joyous day for my host family. Pin Up is so damn cute it almost makes me wanna get one myself. Almost. JP, we'll talk about it...

And in other news, I started my French studies in the beginning of November at the Alliance Française de Lyon, a reputable language school found throughout the western world. My classes run Monday to Friday from 12:30 - 15:30. I look forward to getting on the bus everyday for the ride into the city and immersing in the language although sometimes I am left literally tongue tied from speaking it so intensely. Ironically, I am speaking more French at school than I am at home with my host family. 

Alliance Française de Lyon:

Sometimes during break, I come out here on the outdoor patio for a breather:

I also had the opportunity to put the skills I learned from the TEFL training course I took back in February. My instructor and classmates from that course would have been so proud of me! The TEFL methodology works really well!

So in early December, I agreed to give an English lesson for Alice's split grade 3-4 class at her school. Initially, I was nervous about doing this but after consulting with my rock star school teacher sister, I came up with a nice lesson plan for the one hour class.

The topic was: Canada!

The student's English was very basic so I kept the lesson pretty simple. I taught the names of all the provinces and territories by having students pick the names and facts out of a hat and placing it on the correct province/territory. They were all very enthusiastic kids and suddenly I forgot that I was supposed to be nervous. Once I felt the class had a good understanding where all the provinces were, I had them do a worksheet of what they'd just learned orally.

I got a kick out of seeing my work on the board and the students taking it all in while completing their worksheet:

I ended the lesson with a dance freeze using a Justin Beiber video that sure got the kids dancing and laughing:

I left Alice's school on a natural high and thought perhaps I should do this and make some money. However, by the time I got to my French class, I was completely wiped out. I totally crashed; teaching that class had exhausted me. 

Maybe I shouldn't teach. I mean that was just a one hour lesson. I can't imagine doing hours of this five days a week. I struggle with giving 2 hour English lessons to my host sisters each night...hmmm but I did love how "in the moment" I was when teaching the class...

Alas, it is 2nd January and my homestay officially ends tomorrow. We are all in Spain again and while I'm fighting this awful cold, I am looking forward to moving out of my host family's house and into the room at the university in Lyon when we return to France in a couple of days. Mentally and physically, I've gone through many ups and downs with this homestay experience and to be honest, I wouldn't do it again. After having traveled around for so long coming and going as I pleased, the obligations required in this homestay program was really not for me.

Don't get me wrong, my host family is lovely, but it just didn't provide the freedom that I needed. That being said, once I move into Lyon proper, I will have all the freedom that my little heart desires.

My three months living with a French family has taught me about some things I want and don't want in life. And that can only be a positive thing.

As I move forward into 2013, I am filled with anticipation of the next chapter in my life and wanderings. Remember the Dashing Young Buck I mentioned in previous posts? Well, guess who's making the trip over The Pond to see me?

Uh-huh. Stay tuned.

And Family, if you're reading this, um...surprise!


  1. Awesome Davie. You're as free as a bird! Isn't life grand?

  2. Thanks Mark! I'm looking forward to flying out of my 'cage' in a couple of days!