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Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

With a holiday as cherished and globally recognizable as Christmas, it’s easy to think that our own rituals and lore represent the entirety of the day’s traditions.

However, when a holiday is as widely celebrated, globalized and commercialized as Christmas is, it’s pretty easy to learn that this is not at all the case. The following may shock and/or/not awe you. (more…)

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Somewhere in the vast number of French classes I have taken over the years (approx 23), during the “cultural studies” portions, I had, before even studying abroad, been warned that the French educational system differed greatly from that with which I was accustomed. At first, I thought this referred only to the widespread availability of university, which is public, administered by the government almost exactly like middle or high school. The fancy trappings of college campuses, or even the idea of going far from home to attend college are still pretty foreign in France, but I got all of this when I was in Paris. It was difficult to notice any real and meaningful difference in pedagogical approach, considering I’m pretty sure a lecture hall is a lecture hall, sitting a three-hour exam is unpleasant no matter what continent you’re on. (more…)

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As life in Marseille finally begins to calm down, and the many events which have made for such good blogging have come to a close (searching for a home, America camp, strikes, et cetera), I find myself with far too much free time on my hands, which I predicted months ago would be the problem, and yet here I am, with little to no plan to combat the boredom and aimlessness that have accompanied my shift into a relatively peaceful life. (more…)

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I am well aware that strikes have been a popular topic of discussion here on Etang. Well, I happened to arrive at a period of particularly forceful political unrest, and things have only gotten better/worse in the three weeks that I’ve been here. The strikes have expanded, from union and transport strikes, to strikes by port workers and university and high school students, all theoretically up in arms about the proposed hike in the national retirement age.

It seems dubious to me that 16-year-olds would skip school for any reason besides not having to take a math test, but if the ones being interviewed on the evening news are any indication, many of the student strikers are incredibly well-informed and genuinely perturbed about a change in the retirement age. I would have thought that retirement would be the farthest issue from the minds of teenagers. Then, today in class, I got…well…schooled. (more…)

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