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Teaching a writing course en français has been fun fun fun. I have them do different activities during class time.  My hope is that, since I am there, I read their writing and help them correct it, on a on-on-one basis, until I move on to the next bloke, and that they have a more immediate feedback.  I like it; I think they like it; they receive personal attention in a class of 22.  Thus far we have had a good time with activities inspired by facebook and livejournal.  One time I had them write a few sentences of a nightmare, and then pass the paper back to someone else who would continue it, a crazy writing activity I have discovered on facebook.  I also have them write a blog once a week, again inspiration coming from LJ.  Turns out that there are some really cool French blogs from les stars/célèbres français, like writer/producer/director/actor/cutey-pa-tootey  Mathieu Kassovitz in which he ripped hard on Sarkozy.  Anyway, we are havin a real good time in class, y'all.

I wanted to share the cleverness of these students of mine.  They had to write similes in class.  Not too difficult for them but they were forced to write and to invent and to be creative.  I kept the writing as they wrote it, mistakes and all, so transcriptions are authentic.

Ma vie est chaotique comme...   
Une classe de jardin d’enfants
La deuxième guerre mondiale
Une classe des enfants sans instructeur
Le traffic à Chicago dans le matin
Une cirque de drama avec ma famille, avec beaucoup d’animales dangereux
Un tableau
Un cachemar
Le Disneyland pendant l’été
Un match dans la Coupe de Monde
Le trajectoire de vol d’une chauve-souris
Un ourigan
Persephone aime les ‘Pomegranites’
Un accident de voiture
La mer
Les pensées d’un schizophrène
La deuxième guerre mondiale
Ma chambre
L’autoroute à l’heure de point
Un orage qui ne part pas

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Current Location: my table-desk
Current Mood: chipper chipper
Current Music: www.nostalgie.fr

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Last night I decided that it was a good idea to open a bottle of wine and finish it off.  (today = gueule de bois!)  To entertain myself by reminiscing of my west Texas days, I sat on youtube where I cruised videos, live footage, etc of my favorite country singers, ones I have seen in concert myself.  While I was watching, it dawned on me, one of my most favoritest country singers of all time was lipsynching.  I was very very disappointed as I thought this particular country singer had hung the moon.

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Current Mood: blank blank
Current Music: lipsynchers

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Today I began teaching after 4 months of sitting on my ass, drinking loads of tea and "reading".  I am teaching Intro French, je m'appelle ----, which I haven't done in a long time, maybe 7 years or so.  I have moved to the other side of the country, sadly broken up with the boyf, and moved to some area of the country that I know nothing about.  All in the name of career.  I have been feeling pretty lame and worthless in my life lately, unable to see anything remotely positive.  I've been having good days and bad days in succession.  I've been renting tons and tons of movies to watch and to divert myself from myself and the bad days.  Ironically, though, because I am a French teacher, I've been renting French films, foreign films, or films that relate to Europe or la France - ALL OF WHICH ARE DEPRESSING!!!

I am a French teacher.  I am a French professor.  I have a PhD.  I teach French.  I have been soooo gawddamned worried that I wouldn't be able to do what I was hired for and that I don't know anything.  Basically I had forgotten that I speak French and that gawddamn it I can teach that shit and that gawd damn it I am capable and worthy.  These things I had forgotten as I have had 4 months of down time, which certainly translates into do-nothing-and-feel-like-a-worthless-fuck time.  (sorry J)

Students have always liked me, and today I got great positive attitude from these students out here.  There was no whining about having to take the course; no whining about the cost of the books; no whining about how their placement exam placed 'em in the class because their high school French teacher was crap; no whining about being too smart for the class; no whining about being too dumb for the class; JUST NO WHINING.  There were actual SMILES spread on the faces of these kids.  SMILES???  I'm not used to smiles on the first day.  Although I always win over the students, I'm used to a class of hate'as who blame me and hate me because they have to have a foreign language to graduate; I'm used to to the seniors who are ready to get out of college (since 'the real world' is soooo much better or so they idealize) and graduate with their class (which graduating with "my class" is about as important as eating every day or so they would have you think).  Instead these students had smiles and were eager, no emotion I have ever experienced coming from students on the first day of class after summer.

WOW!  Hope this continues!

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Current Location: MY OFFICE BITCHES
Current Mood: rejuvenated elation
Current Music: hum of computer, studs speaking foreign langs in halll

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On discussion of a class (I can choose any topic) that I will be teaching next semester, my friend says "Ohhh, yooou should teach libertine literature. That would be so radical for these Mormons who believe sex is just for procreation."  Other person: "Yeah, it could actually work just as long as you don't walk in first day talking about masturbation.  Heh, that might freak 'em out."

I am thinking of teaching a French women's lit class to include a woman's narrative from the Francophone world.  I am qualified to incorporate something from the Francophonie into a course about women's lit written in French, even though I am not a Francophone specialist.  My speciality is in women's narratives, psychoanalysis, French feminist theory, and the 18th-century novel.  With all that, I am bound to have to talk about SEX.  After all, everything I have done thus far is replete with sex--- I mean, one can not work on the 18th-century novel and French feminist theory and psychoanalysis without a discussion at some time or another of sex, genitalia, rape, nudity, or same-sex relations.  Hell, my friend was even talking about having students read the Marquis de Sade.  Bouah!  Well yeah, his work is certainly full of sex, but one has to be tenured to teach de Sade to undergrads... esp Mormon undergrads.  I don't see any of that happening in my near future.

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Current Location: Utah
Current Mood: grateful grateful
Current Music: crunch crunch of Nutter Butters

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The meetings start tonight. Rather the BBQ is tonight. I still dont know what I'm going to wear as it gets chilly when the sun goes down... ALREADY! Holy hell, ima gonna freeze here when official fall begins, let alone WINTER!

This past weekend I stayed locked up in my casa working on (not gonna lie...being annoyingly obsessively perfectionist) the syllabi for classes. I had intentions of working on my 10-minute self presentation for tomorrow's meeting, but I chose to drink a quarter bottle of vodka instead. A ten-minute presentation was requested by the chair of me... about me... Hmmm.  I was thinking of making a PowerPoint presentation inclusive of baby pictures, kitties, pictures of ex'es, pictures of me in HS and college. This is me receiving my college diploma; this is me at a park in South Carolina; this is me with my dissertation committee; this is my hometown; this is my mamma bringing me home from hospital on October 7, 1973; this is me in the 3rd grade; this is me when I was rebelling against social norms; etc etc. But then I realized that they probably just want some sort of who I am, where I come from, what I focus on, what I research, etc. Seriously, though, TEN MINUTES IS A LONG TIME and it sure is a kicker to imagine such a presentation in a professional environment!!

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Current Location: Logan, UT
Current Mood: excited excited

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I'm watching some cheeseball movie with one of the greatest actors, Russell Crowe.  I thinks it's called Good Year.  You knoe it's about love and unexpedtly finding that someone.  J'adore Russell Crowe.  Even if this film turns out to be scheiß, then it's oke coz it has Russell Crowe in it.  p.s. I accidentally drank too much

Current Mood: drunk drizunk

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The other night I watched the movie Freedom Writers with that dadgum Hilary Swank. I really cannot watch her, even though she is a good actrice je suppose, BUT this once I thought 'what the hey?' My creative writing teacher friend had suggested the movie a bit ago and since I have been sitting here in Utah having already read anything I could get my paws on, I wandered over and picked it up to rent.

I watched it once, was not swept away by anything but that cutey-pa-tootey Patrick Dempsey, rewatched (no joke) the scenes with my cuteypatootey in them, but in the end I only liked a few pertinent scenes from that advance the story line. BUT since I had the movie and was not in the least bit tempted to step out in the heat, I watched all the extras. It wasn't until I watched the extras that I indeed liked the story and the film based off real events of the 90's post- LA race riots.

Freedom Writers is about white girl teacher who teaches at a Los Angeles inner-city high school... They all end up learning how to face their demons. I know, I know, Hollywood's version of whitey teacher entering the gang-infested area of LA in order to turn everyone around to the white way..... They had to learn to accept her whiteness as she had to learn to accept their culturally diverse backgrounds. Seemed pretty lame as a storyline and I wasn't buying any of it until I watched the extra stuff included on the DVD.

Apparently the Freedom Writers were a real group from LA who learned from their teacher how to journal their experiences. Having learned that their experiences are just as important as anyone else's, they became more confident in their writing, eventually putting their work together in a work entitled, The Freedom Writers Diary. Apparently it really does exist as I found the book on amazon.com.

Current Location: Logan, UT
Current Mood: chipper chipper

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A man in terror of impotence
or infertility, not knowing the difference
a man trying to tell something
howling from the climacteric
music of the entirely
isolated soul
yelling at Joy from the tunnel of the ego
music without the ghost
of another person in it, music
trying to tell something the man
does not want out, would keep if he could
gagged and bound and flogged with chords of Joy
where everything is silence and the
beating of a bloody fist upon
a splintered table

Adrienne Rich, 1972

Current Location: Columbia, SC, USA
Current Mood: flirty flirty

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Just got back from the wedding of the century... OMG!!  There was elaborate fanfare, opulence, yet nothing distasteful.  Lifelong family friend Nessa (we grew up together) got married to a real cutie-pa-tootie who was the son of my first boss (back when I worked phramacy at Walgreens--- small world).   The wedding was a strange blend of Persian and Texan traditions, as she is first generation Persian-American and her groom is pure-blooded Texan.  There is a very large Persian community in Houston and Nessa's father is one of the bigwigs of the Persian community.  So, many members of the community were anxious to have a connection to the wedding, anything pertaining to Nessa's father... kinda mafia-esque. The rooms at the hotel were  free of charge to any guests attending Nessa's wedding, as the free hotel rooms was this Persian man's wedding gift to Nessa and consequently to her father.  There were over 1000 guests at the wedding.  You couldn't even walk down the hall of the hotel without seeing someone you knew.  Even after the wedding, everyone continued partying in their respective rooms.  I didn't even get a chance to go to sleep -  wow... good times. 

I had forgotten how much fun Houston is, and how nice it can be!!

Current Mood: chipper chipper

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I've been thinking lately about terrorists, revolutionnaires, revolution, the storming of the Bastille, the Boston Tea Party, the events that led up to the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and subsequent terror post-revolution.  My thoughts do not come ex nihilo, but rather from our current situation in Iraq, my interest in the causes of the French Revolution, my having taught the American Revolution, recent  inexplicable acts in England and Scotland,  my reading of a work about the a-hole Rousseau, the November 2005 riots in France, Danton, Robespierre, July 4th, July 14th, ....

Sans doute, a terrorist becomes a revolutionary if things work in his favor, but what defines a terrorist?  Is a terrorist someone who creates terror?  It can't be that simple.  If history is on your side, then you make the history books to gain an eternal fame as the one who started, or helped to start, the ----- Revolution.  Well, what made the Nov '05 riots in France NOT be terrorist acts, as they certainly were acts of terror?  Hell, everyone was afeared that their car was gonna blow up and that they were going to have to vacate their lodging in the HLM.  IS that terror?  Or is that revolutionary?  After all, the riots produced the desire effect: everyone was talking about it, esp talking ab Sarkozy.  Now, he prez, so I guess the riots, albeit caused by his dum bass, worked in his favor.  So who was the real terrorist? 

Current Location: Colatown
Current Mood: pensive pensive

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