Au revoir Alsace!

Ma dernière semaine en Alsace passed (trop) quickly. My first cours de la semaine was Laurence’s LVA class; ce lundi, I just had the 1ères. They got so into the lesson that they even sang along to the llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch chanson! Après saying goodbye to that class, I managed to navigate a refund (en français) au supermarché; given this is quelque chose that I hate doing en anglais, en Angleterre, this felt like something of a personal achievement. À la boulangerie, I bought (one of my last, sob) baguettes and la femme who worked there commented that mon accent was “léger”, success! Dans l’après-midi, I had mon dernier cours with Caroline’s BTS IRIS2 class. On a joué ‘Outburst’; c’était évident that it was un jeu americain, since some of the answers were American-English mots, leaving me a bit stumped at times. Basically, you play en équipe, and there is a category (e.g. ‘Things that are red’) with ten answers below. On n’a q’une minute to trouver the answers: easier said than done. After this I had tutoring pour la dernière fois, which involved the Royal Family et un truc sur le Royaume-Uni.

Le lendemain, c’était mon dernier (over-lunchtime) cours avec les Euro 2ndes: we played ‘Hedbandz’ and ‘Taboo’, which was hilarious and a great fin de l’année. In the afternoon, il n’y avait que six élèves in Claudine’s BTS CRSA2 class; après a few mock speaking tests, on a mangé cake and biscuits for the rest of the lesson. The LVBio class (a science class, qui doit faire un exposé en anglais) à la fin de la journée proved (comme d’habitude) to be a reliable source of entertainment, grâce à misuse of cher Google Translate. ‘En revanche’, est devenu ‘revenge’ (au lieu de ‘however’) and ‘les rayons du soleil’ had become ‘the sun’s radius’ (au lieu de ‘the sun’s rays’)…très amusant to dire the least. À la fin du cours, they presented me with a copy of the school magazine that they had all signed!

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la classe LVBio

J’ai passé that evening avec mes collègues (M-C, Laurence, Joanna, Caroline, Francine et Noëlle). M-C et moi sommes arrivées first au Palais des Légendes; M-C’s “on a reservé un table pour sept personnes” was met with a blank face. After quelques phone calls and some thinking on my part, it transpired we’d accidentally booked a table at the crêperie with the same name à Sète (une ville pas loin de Montpellier…plus de 700km away!). Whoops! Heureusement, it wasn’t un problème and tout allait bien; my crêpe fruits des bois was merveilleuse. Après avoir mangé, we went bowling. Le mec running the place gave us lane 8 au début, but Francine said that wasn’t lucky and it had to be lane 7 (as a joke)…and the guy complied! Elle a gagné (avec M-C), et j’étais nulle but it was fun all the same! Mes (chers/chères) collègues had bought me a leaving present of a wonderful sac à dos pour mes randonnées!

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The scores…j’étais tellement nulle

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M-C, Francine, Joanna, me, Noëlle, Caroline

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M-C, Francine, Joanna, me, Laurence, Caroline

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cutest thank-you card ever :’)

On Wednesday morning, je suis allée à la banque to close my account; plus facile than I could’ve imagined and only €3,50 to transfer all the money vers mon compte anglais. Ensuite, I met Chrissy à la gare and we went to le musée Unterlinden (currently housed dans l’église des Dominicains, due to restoration works). Ça valait la peine d’y aller; the audio guides were très informative (even if they did sometimes cut out mid sentence) and the paintings were incredibly detailed.

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je me souviens plus le nom, but it was once stolen from the cathedral in Colmar.

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Le retable d’Issenheim/ The Issenheim Altarpiece

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Part of the Issenheim Altarpiece

We then wandered around la ville, picking up our last bretzels (from the stall where I bought my first, upon arriving à Colmar en septembre) and taking encore plus de photos. À Petite Venise we met some very particular tourists (regarding how they wanted their photo taken: right, stand just here and click that button…that’s fine!) and wandered through le Champ de Mars.

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Petite Venise

J’ai passé the afternoon in the park, reading my book (je l’ai pas encore fini) and eating une glace (pêche des vignes).

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Champ de Mars

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encore une fois

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il était temps pour une glace

Jeudi matin, I went into school early pour aider Laurence with preparations for the morning break farewell crêpe party. Il y avait beaucoup de crêpes and so many types of confiture (and also Nutella, le miel et (grâce à Murielle) jus de citron). C’était fantastique and the crêpes were delicious! I was also given some confitures d’Alsace by Laurence; j’ai besoin de faire des crêpes cette semaine to try them out!

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crêpes crêpes crêpes

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so many jams…

After that, I had mon dernier cours with Noëlle’s Euro terminales; they made some really cute speeches to say thank you and said they really enjoyed the lessons et on a joué Taboo (whilst eating biscuits etc.). À la fin de la journée, I had a class with Laurence’s Euro 2ndes; normalement, I just had a lunchtime class for a few élèves mais parfois I went along to their normal lessons. We played Taboo (version: English landmarks, créé par moi) which was hilarious when une élève described The Tower of London as “a monument with no name in the country”…QUOI?!

Euro2nde taboo teams

Obesiteam…oh les enfants français are amusing…

The rest of the lesson was spent eating and chatting…including this entertaining conversation with the Australian exchange student:

Him: So, where are you from?

Me: Chester.

Him: Where’s that? Near London? I know where London is.

Me: It’s near Liverpool…next to the Welsh border…

Him: Oh, Wales – it’s a separate country isn’t it?

It seems les étrangers really do think London is la seule ville en Angleterre….! He also asked how old I was, and was visibly surprised when I told him, responding with: “Really? You look like you’re still in high school!”. Un jour, looking plus jeune than my age will be an advantage. Baptiste will be spending l’année prochaine à Texas, Mathieu told me he would never understand the point of Red Nose Day (speaking of: chère Vicki presented me with my red nose hier soir), Yann said it was “lovely to meet you” and Louna said she’d really enjoyed the classes on Tuesday lunchtimes (which made all that preparation worth it!).

I spent ma dernière soirée à Colmar with Julie and Adrienne; we went to l’Amandine pour manger/boire quelque chose. When I ordered “un spezi” (coke mixed with fanta, un truc allemand) the waiter responded to me en allemand…and I was complètement perdue! Luckily, Julie knows some German and rescued me! I also had une glace merveilleuse:

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“Une Vosgienne”, hidden under an incredible amount of chantilly were two scoops of blueberry sorbet and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I got up assez tôt on Friday morning to finish packing (oh the stress of easyJet’s baggage limits!) avant d’aller au lycée pour mon dernier cours avec les BTS CRSA1 de Caroline.

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Last time I’ll wake up to this view…

On a joué ‘Outburst’ again; not a game I excel at, shall we say. After la pause, I met Laurence to say goodbye to various people. Tout d’abord on a vu Mme Thabussot, who was très gentille and said to make sure I keep them updated with what I end up doing. Ensuite, on a vu Mme Minon (qui m’a fait peur au début de l’année!) who was reserved, thus conforming to la stéreotype des femmes françaises. We then had a drink together (chocolat chaud pour moi) in the salle des profs (downstairs version, which I’d never been in)…and I almost cried at the thought of leaving. I had my last class with Sylvie’s BTS SN1 (I feel à ce moment I should probably mention that BTS just means post-A-Level equivalent, with students the same age/plus âgé que moi); we played Taboo and un élève (when describing a frog) came out with “it’s bad for muslims, ohhhh je me suis trompé!”…sometimes the things they come out with are so random!

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BTS SN1 class

Mon dernier cours (ever, probably) was with Noëlle’s Cambridge class, who said they’d email me and tell me their results. J’ai vu the school’s fashion show, put on by the students studying la mode, with Noëlle and Joanna, avant d’aller en ville pour la dernière fois (involving, bien sûr, a last ice cream: orange sanguine from La sorbetière d’Isabelle).

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rue des boulangers

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marché couvert

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quai de la poissonnerie

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petite venise

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cathédrale

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rue de l’église

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les cigognes vont me manquer (mural on wall of Grand’rue)

With tous mes bagages packed and sous la limite (due to me having to wear multiple layers in order to get all my things home), Laurence drove me à l’aéroport and helped me to check-in (très facile) and I then had mon dernier (for now, au moins) croissant chocolat-banane before heading through security, where I was treated to a (full) body search parce que j’ai oublié d’enlever my watch…félicitations moi!

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croissant chocolat-banane

Mon vol était à l’heure (and arrived early) and Manchester was beaucoup plus froid que Colmar. De tout cas, c’est la fin of this franglais blog (which hopefully, I will still be able to make sense of a few years down the line)… Merci à tous les assistants, mes collègues et mes élèves pour cette année merveilleuse! Vous allez me manquer beaucoup, but I hope to return to le plus beau pays du monde (to quote the title of a recent documentaire that I watched) bientôt!

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