School days

My school in Toulouse has a view of a 14th century former convent (made into a museum by revolutionary France) but is itself in a fairly grungy building around the corner (possibly it feels grungy because there are 10 of us crammed into a fairly small classroom).

I had been quite nervous going in – both because all my french seemed to have disappeared in Spain, despite not being replaced by any spanish, and because I’ve got at least 3 hours of french classes every day for two weeks (today was four and a half). I had fortified myself with a local breakfast of croissant and chocolatine (the local name for chocolate croissant) so I was feeling as ready as possible.

Croissant and Chocolatine

Luckily, having a reasonable number of people, from a wide variety of places, makes the time pass much more quickly than I feared. For some reason I’ve not yet understood, there are a lot of Iranians learning french at this school, which is really interesting, given right now we are talking about media, and comparing and contrasting traditional media and social media. It’s a good reminder that for all its faults (and there are many!) social media does make a big difference when the government of the day doesn’t allow a free press.

I was also relieved to find that I wasn’t the only person over the age of 25 in the school – there are a few of us – although there are also a lot of Swiss teenagers in their later years of school who are doing their compulsory three week linguistic sojourn here.

The teacher assures us that she will be speaking much faster by the end of the week, than the beginning, without us noticing. Let’s hope so!

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