So, yesterday was my last day of work until a week from Monday. That’s good, and bad, because the French decided (I think) not to pay me today for the last three weeks, so I’m both glad I don’t have to work for another few weeks and annoyed that I won’t be able to straighten this out until vacation is over. To conclude my three weeks of semi-observation I’m going to make a list of weird, inexplicable, or hard-to-answer questions that French students like to ask me.
1) Do you like French food? Who on earth doesn’t like French food? The British? Or what?
2) What’s your favorite singer/actor? I don’t like famous people as much as I need to for this job. It took me several days to remember how much I like Jonny Depp and Pirates of the Caribbean, and they became my stock answers. My stock answer for the singer question is the Beatles, which I know is boring, but I don’t think they know who Ryan Adams or Aimee Mann are, and I just can’t bring myself to say Madonna is my favorite just for their sakes.
3) What are your hobbies? This question is easy, because I answer that I like listening to and playing music on the violin and the piano. It’s hard, though, if they then follow it up with What are your interests/pastimes? Because I don’t have any others. I mean it. I don’t have hobbies. I don’t do interesting things. Please stop making it painfully obvious.
4) What do young people in Texas think of the death penalty? I don’t really mind explaining this, except that usually when someone asks a question this complicated, half of the class doesn’t understand the question, much less the answer. Also I tend to have really split opinions on things like this, and this particular question led me into explaining that Texas is conservative, and then I had to explain how, and then at the end of the whole topic I felt like I needed to say that regardless, Texans are really nice people whom I like a lot. And then I just felt like I was being condescending to the entire population of my home state.
5) Have you got any … I don’t really get this “have you got” thing. I know it’s British. But I remember being told when I was six that “got” wasn’t good English.
But anyway, the kids are great. My only complaint right now isn’t with the students, the teachers, or my neighbors, who are all great, it’s with the people at the rectorat who decided they just weren’t in the mood to pay me this month.