Firstly, I’d just like to let you all know that I am alive and I’ve managed to get the hotplate working! (Surprisingly, I’m not missing an oven as much as I thought I would.)
I’m approaching the end of my third week here in Corsica and as we prepare for a 2 week holiday after classes finish tomorrow, it is sufficient to say I’m really looking forward to it. It’s not that I need a break already it’s just that I’m looking forward to exploring Corsica a bit more, my boyfriend and I are meeting for a few days in Paris to be very touristy then he will come back to Sartene with me for the remainder of the two weeks. We have hired a car and are both excited to discover the island a bit more!
Whilst I still don’t have a timetable for my school, I have attended most classes (I’m working more than the contracted 12 hours voluntarily so that I can spend more time at home during the Christmas period) and I’m really enjoying it. What has surprised me the most is that for the time being I’m enjoying my classes with the younger students more as they’re so enthusiastic to learn and want to know everything! This is a complete surprise to me as I thought I’d dread the idea of younger children as they’re very unpredictable! We shall wait and see if I still have this opinion by the end of my time here.
As a language assistant you will soon start to doubt your competency not just in the foreign language you are studying but your native language also. I find myself writing or thinking in very static English phrases such as, “in my opinion”, “firstly”, “no I can’t, yes I can” etc etc. It is fair to say that being a language assistant has already been very beneficial for me as the great Marie-Jeanne helps me with my French everyday. For example, if the kids are learning an English grammar point she makes me recite the same point or conjugation in French! Another sneaky trick of hers is to get me to have a large conversation with her in English and then she will say “now say it again but in French”. Everyone at the school is very accommodating – I’m even able to attend classes as a student, which means I can attend Spanish lessons so I won’t be abandoning it completely this year.
Not only am I looking forward to settling into a routine with my school further after the holidays but I am also looking forward to visiting the other language assistants in Ajaccio too! Surprisingly there’s only one English person and two Scots! Everyone else is either American or Italian which is really good because it means that our common language is French. All of the assistants are really nice, it’s just a shame that I’m the only one that has been placed outside of Ajaccio but this just means we all have an excuse to travel and see other parts of the South!