Just an update

Oh, the CAPES, the CAPES, I spend far too much time thinking about it. I need to learn to better compartmentalize my stress. And I am stressed about it:

1) Am finding the CNED corrections of my translations 90% illegible and indecipherable, and the remaining 10% not very illuminating. Am hoping to get a guide soon from someone of what the illegible abbreviations actually mean! Am also finding the English of the professors slightly disappointing (one of them wrote on the forums about checking in “dayly”.) Hopefully the whole experience will get better soon. This article, especially the bit about simple and precise feedback, was posted by a friend on facebook and turned out to be sort of insightful.
2) Am not advancing at all in the grammatical commentary, in spite of reading old books on faits de langue. Am starting to think that the translation section may just not be my strong point.

But, I may have found someone on the CNED site to partner with by e-mail, and there are still nearly three months left till the test. My students will be taking the TOEIC on Nov 24th and I will be in my second day of the CAPES. I’m going to tell them that I’ll be suffering much more than them.

They released the number of posts for next year, and there are 100 for the CAFEP d’anglais, which is about the same as last year, when 195 people took the test. (There are 790 posts for the CAPES, if that gives you any perspective).

In the meantime I’ve been back to the school to see if I can get my July pay stub (which the prefecture wants, though the school hasn’t even issued them yet because it was closed), and being back in the office with my colleagues is always nice. It reminds me that I love my job, and that I love teaching, and that the whole point I’m in this big CAPES mess is that I want to keep doing it.

It turns out, also, that I’m going home for Christmas. I had been complaining to my mom about how prices for tickets to Texas seemed to be the same whether it was for next week, for Christmas, or for April, and she told my dad, who offered to use up his American Airlines miles on bringing me home for Christmas. So, if I do come home in April, it’ll just be the East Coast, which makes the trip 250 euros cheaper, and which, if I don’t pass the CAPES written part, would also be part of a job search.

Today I’m off to work on a literary commentaire, and then tonight hopefully we are making chocolate fondue. Apparently the French only dip fruit in it, not other fun things like marshmallows and cream cheese. Do you think St Moret is sweet enough to taste good in chocolate?

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7 thoughts on “Just an update

  1. Laurel says:

    oh no way, you are coming to TX over Xmas! Hopefully we will manage to get together and connive this time.

    I think the cream cheese + chocolate fondue thing really only exists in my household. Everyone else seems to think it’s gross. I’m glad you understand the appeal. (it’s delicious!!) I do think we managed to talk the Frenchies into dipping madeleines when we did it in France.

  2. I wish you luck in your continued studies! And oh wow, that sounds incredibly formal…

    I say that you should buy a packet of chamallows for tonight and open a whole new world to the Frenchies!

  3. Reason #1 is exactly why I didn’t have such a good experience with the CNED. I’m used to study on my own, but I wish they would have provided more guidance, or at least helpful comments.

    • Thanks Zhu, that’s good to know! I thought I was maybe the only one out there who felt that they were weird. But honestly as a teacher myself it’s a little difficult to understand why their feedback is so unhelpful! The packets they sent at the beginning have helped a lot, and I’m not sure I’d be confident doing the concours without the devoirs, but they’re certainly not turning out to be as useful as I’d hoped.

      And Shannon, Laurel, I did buy some chamallows, and several of the Frenchies ate them, though several did not. I left out the cream cheese though. The fondue was yummy!

  4. SarahZ says:

    100 posts for the CAFEP is a good number – it seems like the posts for the CAFEP are going up in number each year while those for the CAPES are going down. Of course it all depends on how many people take each exam…

    I know what you mean about not necessarily agreeing with your correctors – on my version (the one I got 5 on), there was a sentence about a beam of wood dangling like a straw, and I translated it as “comme une paille”. My prof said it should have been “comme de la paille”, but wouldn’t the original English have been “like a piece of straw” in that case? I’ve confused myself just thinking about it again! Courage!

  5. That’s something I’d noticed, that the CAFEP posts seem to have been rising. Of course we don’t know how many people are registered this year (maybe less because of the reform? wishful thinking?) but there’s no point in dwelling on it…

    Always good to hear your input, Sarah! And am with you on the straw thing. I’d think if you translated that back to English you’d end up with either your take or “like straw.”

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