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Journals from AUCP Marseille- Spring 2008

2008-04-28 I just got out-danced by a pack of French four year-olds.

Oh my GALOSHES. That was one of the most awkward experiences of my life. Today was my first day of my internship teaching theatre to French children! Hurray! I arrived at 3:30, just as the director had told me, only to find that I was supposed to help with another class before the theatre class. The DANCE class. Now, those of you who know me well know that dance isn't exactly my forte. I have moves like a windsock in a tornado. I'm gangly, I'm awkward... I just don't have the right coordination for actual dance moves. And by dance moves, I mean maaaaybe the grapevine, on a good day. And when I got there, the class was just about to start! I went downstairs to the dance room. The professor hadn't been warned that I was going to be there, so she didn't introduce me or anything. Without an introduction, the kids had no idea who I was. Thusly, I was just a super tall, old kid in the four-year-old dance class. They kept all staring at me, this towering stranger in the second line. I'd wave. They'd stare. But it gets worse. First-- there were six kids. The teacher put us in two lines, where we would leap across the room in pairs-- one from each line at a time. Of course, I was at the back of one line, so that the four year-olds could see around me. This meant that when all the kids had gone, there was no one from the other line to leap across the room with me. So there I was, Gargantua, a total stranger, leaping across the room all by my lonesome while all those little French four year-olds watched and puzzled over who I could possibly be and why I was in the dance class for little kids. Second-- the music was cool at first, and then the teacher put on some music in English. Dear lord, I hope none of those kids speak English!! Examples: "Big girl, shake all that over here, you're beautiful," and another was, "Suck that lollipop harder." Once again, there I am, surrounded by tiny French children to whom I was just an odd, tall stranger who had leapt across the floor all by myself, but this time I'm leaping with the knowledge that the words in the music, which only I and maybe the teacher can understand, are RIDICULOUSLY INAPPROPRIATE!! Third-- The teacher had to correct my moves! While all the four year-olds waited, she would stop everyone and show me how I was doing it wrong. AHHH!! The whole experience was just so AWKWARD and freakin' HILARIOUS when it was done! Oh, man. What adventures in France. However, the theatre class was super fun! It's not much of a theatre class, because they're only four-six years old. But they like getting up on the stage and making cow noises. And that translates. The theatre teacher is much nicer than the dance teacher, and we play a lot of fun games with the kids and chat in between. Also, I'm supposed to bring a song in English to teach next week! I'm racking my brain for camp songs that don't have too many words... The kids were pretty cute, too. Some of them were total brats-- I have a feeling they're all pretty well-off. But some of them were adorable! There was this little girl named Jade who was awesome. At the start of the class, she came up to me right away and said, "Comment tu t'appelle, toi?" (a very informal way of asking, "What's your name?") I responded and asked her the same question. She told me her name and walked away to play with her friends. Her friends were two twins who were just as adorable. One was super sporty and tomboyish and reminded me of myself when I was a kid, and the other was a little BCBG! Little boots, poncho, everything. Way classier than I could ever hope to be. Then again, even the dogs of France are better dressed than I am. All in all, I'm excited. The "theatre" class will be great. The dance class will be... an adventure. I am intrepid study abroad student! Hear me roar! (Roars translate, too, right?)

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