Yep, you read that right. My high school is called Charlie Chaplin High School.
Here there are a lot of things named after famous people – I live on Rue Dian Fossey, which is very near École Nelson Mandela; I attend Lycée Charlie Chaplin, on Avenue Jean Juarès; I have seen Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Marcel Gonzales, Jules Verne, just to name a few.
Most days after school j’ai mal à la tête, but they disappear soon after I return home. Three days a week I don’t get home until 7pm. On the other two days I get home at 5pm or 12pm. Two days I start at 9am, the rest at 8am. Which means leaving the house at 6:50am. I begin my day with a 15minutes walk, then a bus ride, and finally a tram ride. I arrive with 10-25 minutes to the start of lesson 1.
In general, I can understand the context of what the teachers are saying, but not the details. And answering the questions is very hard
Français\Littérature is similar to my English class in Australia, but with more chalk and talk and less interactive learning. It’s difficult to understand what the teacher is on about sometimes, but I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that way. We are studying theatre at the moment and with the help of my dictionary, I can understand most of the more modern extracts. The older ones go over my head, even with the dictionary.
Espagñol: we watched a video, in which I recognised that they were speaking Spanish, but could not tell you what on earth they were saying. I mostly just copy the vocabulary from the white board and try to do the exercises in French, but it’s hard when I can’t read most of the questions.
English: there are three different English classes. LVA (Langue Vivant Anglais), in which we have been looking at different documents (photos, texts etc) on slavery and describing, interpreting and comparing them. I try to write the exercises in French. It’s hard to find the fine line between being helpful and seeming pretentious or annoying when it comes to helping, so so far I have yet to say much. In Anglais we work through a text book, and discuss the articles, cartoon or other document in it. The last one was a cartoon about obesity, and the sentences we were making felt very judgmental and verging on cruel, but I guess using a second language is very restrictive when you don’t understand the nuances and can’t always say what you want\mean (I am getting very well acquainted with this feeling). Finally, there is LELE which is basically English Literature. So far we have had 2 hours of this class and I enjoyed them.
Sciences: 1.5 hours a week. I guess that’s because it’s the Littérature stream after all. I was surprised to find I could understand most of the text, and once given the answer I would finally realise what the question was asking. I think the poor teacher finds us hard to teach because we are very unresponsive.
EPS:PE: 2 hours, first thing Monday morning. I start with basketball, then swimming, then rock climbing.
Histoire-Géo is quite like my History class in Darwin. The teacher mostly lectures us, and does dictations (during which I try to write keywords, but slowly I get lulled into a stupor). But when a discussion starts it is chaotic. And I understand very little of it.
TPE is a strange subject, one hour a week, in which I think we’re working on a group project on heroes and personality crises, but I’m not totally sure.
Accom. is another subject that I’m not sure about, I actually have no idea what we are going to do each week. This week it was an extra English class, in which we did grammar stuff, and an extra Literature class, in which we were lectured about the history of literature. But next week we have different teachers, so I have no clue what will happen…
Lunch break is a two hour affair everyday (except Wednesday, where I go home at 11am). Most of my friends in my class go home or go to McDonald’s for lunch, but I eat at the canteen, so on the first day I befriended someone in the line and have eaten most of my lunches with her and various others. The food: there is cheese, yoghurt, mousse, fruit, salad, and bread to go around the main meal, and for the main meal there are usually 4 dishes, and you can choose whichever you like, or a combination. It’s not delicious, and it’s probably not incredibly healthy but it’s okay and by lunch I’m usually very hungry.
The final thing that takes up school hours is our études or study breaks, which are usually pretty chilled, and consist of sitting on benches in the quadrangle and talking or reading Japanese Lifestyle magazines (in French) which one of my classmates brings everyday.
I have friends, and they’re everyone is nice, but I miss my Darwin friends (love you guys) with whom I felt at home.
Tram, bus, walk and finally I’m home. Usually hungry, tired and with a headache. Usually pretty content.
The following photos depict parts of my journey to and from school, morning, evening or afternoon.