Yesterday I received an A+. Before you start laughing at me, let me explain. The last place in the world I was expecting to receive an actual handwritten “A+” was France, especially on a homework assignment that involved assimilating and incorporating linguistic concepts in an analysis of English grammar, all written in French. My A+ days were over, I thought naïvely. For some unknown reason, my linguistics professor decided to tack on to the top of each paper the English-style grade, perhaps as a shock or a taste of “local flavor.” To my right and left were B’s and D’s, so I was astonished to find that not only had I understood the abstract and technical theories, but I had also correctly applied them to a text. Tiens, j’ai un A+! Now all I need to do is replicate this grade for the CAPES…
I have been lucky enough to have had several hours of classes canceled or “liberated” early this week. As I mentioned in my last post, I only had an hour of class of Monday, four hours less than normal. Yesterday, my linguistics class ended an hour and ten minutes early, allowing me to go home and finish the last twenty minutes of the horribly overdramatic Part One of the last Twilight novel-turned-film. Talk about a guilty pleasure. And even my locavore group here in Amiens, Les Tombés d’la charrette (the “Fallen off the wagon”) finished our weekly réunion after only an hour and a half, as several members of the group were headed off to a concert. Even today, in what is typically the most drawn-out of all my classes, my class on American feminist literature, we were let out fifteen minutes early, as there were only two of us with the professor there and literally nothing more to be said. Un petit cadeau, as the professor pointed out. Well, the holiday atmosphere must be infectious.
What I love about Tuesdays is the fact that my first class is at 11:00 am. Monday night I went to bed early and woke up late, barely taking the time to go over my translation of version (translation from English to French) for class. We finished translating a passage about a hanged man, and how he is described in all the gruesome details. Certainly not your standard bit of translation. The next two hours after lunch were consecrated to the most feisty of all my English professors, in a fencing match between her and the poor presenters who were supposed to analyze a particularly tricky passage from Heart of Darkness. Thrust, volley, coup de sabre, touché, en garde! There is no defense against someone who proves you wrong. That class, methodology of a literary analysis, is always painful, as the professor shows no mercy in her blatant criticism of their presentations, English accent, and pronunciation. It is a class I am auditing with the Master d’enseignement, as literary analysis will make up half of the written examination in this June’s CAPES. I will be in the spotlight myself in this class on December 4.
The A+ part of my Tuesday was after the locavore meeting (more on what we are planning when I’ll discuss tonight’s ciné-repas event), when I met up with Hedi for a drink. We were again in Saint Leu, at a nice little café that offers very delicious albeit overpriced non-alcoholic cocktails. As I sipped my Mangou, I was able to commiserate with Hedi and complain to my heart’s content. Nothing like a tropical fruit drink to top off the night!