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France: L'École (January 25, 2001)

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Joss and I went to my teacher's friend's school. We had already been there once before, and it was fun going there again. The school building connects with the Mairie, the city hall.

We arrived at the school right at the first recess (it takes about an hour and a half to get there, not counting getting lost), so Joss and I went out to play with the students. We played Viper, a game where everybody playing holds onto "the Viper". The Viper says, "Go," at a random time, and then everybody touching the Viper goes and hides before he or she counts to five.

We went back inside when recess was over, and we (when I say 'we' I usually mean the students, Joss and me) received a French poem named Le Mendiant, by Victor Hugo (it is going to be Victor Hugo's birthday in about a week, which is a national holiday in France). We talked about it, learned some of the strange vocabulary (such as fondriers and grelottait). The students recited a poem that they had learned a week ago and wrote down homework to learn the first five verses for next week.

We went back out for another recess, and this time we played Wolf, a game where the player that is the Wolf stands in the middle of the playing area and yells "Wolf." The rest of the players (the deer), who should have been standing on one side of the playing area, try running to the other side, while the Wolf tries catching as many deer as he can. The deer he caught also become Wolves, and help him catch more deer. The last deer remaining is the winner and becomes the Wolf, and all the Wolves become deer, and so on until somebody wants to stop.

When recess was over, we went back inside the building. Pascal told us that we were going on a walk around the area, so we put on our coats and stepped outside. We went down the street and crossed it, then began walking up a small hill. We went left at a fork in the road and the road became very steep. I saw two fat ponies, a dog, a horse and lots of sheep. It was here that I realized that I had forgotten my camera back at the house. We turned left at a farmhouse, and there I saw two more dogs, and the path became even steeper. We zigzagged up the mountain until we got to the top. We walked a little farther and we got to a field. Pascal told us to sit down and write/describe the area around us without using "there is" in our notebooks that we had brought.

When we were done with that, we began walking down. It was very steep and I had to concentrate very hard on not falling down and not knocking everybody who was in front of me down. When we finally got to the bottom, I saw that we were back at the same fork as at the beginning. We turned left again and headed back towards the school.

When we got back there, the students continued reciting poems that I had never heard of. At 4:30 Mom and Dad came to pick us up. We said goodbye to everybody and then left. It was very fun re-visiting the school and viewing the area (even if we didn't have our cameras).


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