Today was much better :) I love Fridays. My day was super busy and tomorrow will be even busier :D
My appointment with the principal was in the morning and good news– my new schedule is validated! I am going to have three hours of séries ES (economics) for a start and hardly any French-Literature class, therefore lots of holes in my schedule where I have P.E. (study hall). Today I only had gym class and history. During gym, we played an intense two-hour match of badminton. It was a lot more strenuous than I thought it would be. I sort of suck at it, but it was fun. I met some of the people that will be in my new ES class and they were really nice. Then later I realized that my new ES class consists of the same students that share my history class. So I already know them... but not really. The locker rooms in the gym are not really locker rooms because there are no lockers. They are very small room with benches and some showers. Quite small indeed for thirty girls to share. I have to bring my gym clothes with me every week since there's no place to store stuff :P And on a side note, I wasn't in the right fashion trend again. Only one other girl was wearing shorts like me. Also all their "tennis shoes" were like the shoes that the girls in my American school wear everyday, like Converse. Not many people wore actual tennis shoes like I was wearing. Ugh... it's just that new kid thing.
After I was nice and sweaty, I went to lunch in the cafeteria. But first– another word about the meaning of a "line" in France: A line doesn't exist. Everyone just crowds the hallway area and you wait around awhile until you can push ahead. I ate with the Damelinecourts and their friend. It was really fun talking with all of them. They all wanted to hear me talk with my American accent :) We mostly talked about American culture and how amazing America is and how everyone in France wants to go to America... etc, etc. I can't wait to have all these French people come visit me next summer.
After history class, I was done with school! But not really. Immediately afterwards I went to the local elementary school. My Rotary counselor is the principal and she wants me to help out with some of the classes. I was tired and a little confused when we got there so I followed the different teachers around like a blind sheep. It was very uncomfortable and awkward when one lady brought me outside and down some stairs where she and some other teachers were smoking. It was like where the school bullies or rebels would hang out... except that it was elementary school teachers. I could breathe easily again once a different teacher brought me out to the recess area. Oh. My. Goodness. You've never seen anything cuter or more hyper in your life. A hundred little French kids running around in a blur like a fast-forwarded movie of colors and fruit snacks. It was so adorable. A French accent is at its best when coming from a little four-year-old. I miss the days when I could run around wild in a constant circle at recess and never get tired of it.
A lot of the kiddos stared wide-eyed at me. I knew why. I had picked that day to wear my fringed shirt that said "American Rebel." To a French elementary school! What was I thinking? Well, I wasn't exactly informed about the plan for the day. I've been more cautious about asking about plans. Cautious=I try to avoid it at all costs. I don't want a repeat of what happened before when the subject of "planning" came up. Anyways, I went with this lady named Pascale, who teaches English and Math. At first the students (all about ten-years-old) posed me questions in English and I could see that it was very, very difficult for them. Later I asked them questions. They were all shy and cute, but Pascale was really, really strict with them... "Hurry up, Nicholas. Why can't you answer her? Come on, hurry up!" It was awkward to watch them all get punished for not knowing the answer to their favorite color. In America, kids that age would have gotten candy and praise for just sitting there and remembering how to breathe and blink. My feet were killing me by the end of the hour. I have so much respect for the teachers who have to stand on their feet all day long. I'm going to help out at the school every Friday afternoon and accompany them on their little field trips. In fact, there's one next Thursday to visit some cows and sheep and to make some butter. The qualities of Northern France :)
After the school, we went to the bank to see if my stupid card had arrived yet. Nope. The bank is definitely not on our side. My card is about two weeks late... :( Immediately after that we went to a huge super mall called Cora to look for a school bag for me. It was surprisingly fun to shop around with Marie-Armelle– who doesn't like shopping. The only bag I liked was 150 euros. :P No surprise there. I'll try again in Lille tomorrow.
I attempted to play my clarinet in the evening. Oy. It was horrible. I was completely out of practice (three years out of practice!) I felt like an asthmatic after I played one scale. The noises were horrible and I could only play for ten minutes before I was completely winded. I'm nervous for the three hours of music class on Monday. :P But on the bright side, my bag is packed for horseback riding and Lille tomorrow! Finally I'm going to see the big city. A bientôt!