Thursday, February 26, 2009

More learning experiences

Some things that I have learned recently:

1). I can buy episodes of What Not to Wear on Itunes and watch them on my computer here. That probably sounds pathetic - move to France to watch American cable TV! - but MCM has had a lot of work events in the evening, and it's nice to have a little break. If we owned a TV I would watch something in French.

2). One of my students, a manager in his late twenties, believes that hiring discrimination is only right and natural. After all, he wouldn't want to hire someone who was different from him - in particular, it would be "impossible" for him to manage someone who was older than him. And he wouldn't want to hire a woman who might get pregnant. (This came up in the course of a discussion of French vs UK/USA resumes and CVs, and I explained that in the English-speaking world you should not list your date of birth, marital status, gender or nationality on your CV as you do in France). I am not suggesting that this is necessarily a widespread attitude in France, but it was a shocker nonetheless.

3). One of my other students discovered that the song Total Eclipse of the Heart has a number of phrasal verbs in it. (A phrasal verb is a two-part verb - usually verb+preposition - which has a distinct meaning from the verb on its own. Examples: throw vs. throw out, drop vs. drop off). He then performed the song for me, complete with hand motions.

4). We probably won't go out to celebrate the end of Book 1. MCM has been feeling weird for a number of days: it's probably nothing, but there's a chance he may have gallstones so he is having some x-rays done tomorrow.

5). There is a great service in France for home visits from doctors. When MCM got home after midnight last night with nausea, a sudden pain in his neck and a headache, I decided we should call the "SOS Medecin" hotline. The doctor arrived in under 10 minutes and decided that MCM did not have meningitis. (No, I didn't believe that he really had meningitis, but it's serious enough that you should rule it out. I was perhaps conditioned to react this way by Nurse Siobhan, the nurse at my high school, who was hypervigilant and routinely screened for meningitis and tropical diseases). The doctor's callout cost 77 euro, nearly all of which will be reimbursed by the Securite Sociale. The rest should be covered by our new mutuelle.

5). There will be serious delays on my bus line over the next few months due to construction. I may have to start cycling to work, as it just seems ridiculous to spend nearly an hour travelling 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).


  1. First off, the length of these blogs indicate MCM has been quite busy at work or that you are indeed in danger of becoming a blog widow . . . I propose more trips to the hammam as remedy :o)

    Second, I'm laughing OUT LOUD at the Total Eclipse of the Heart story!!!


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