This school year (année scolaire) is proving somewhat challenging for me so far. On the one hand I have made things difficult for myself by accepting my first ever English-teaching role at a private adult education college in Central Strasbourg. With a class of thirty or so overgrown adolescents ... sorry, I mean young professionals ... I am beginning to think that I may have bitten off more than I can chew. It would of perhaps been wiser to start my teaching career with a group of students who actually want to learn English rather than those who have to. However a 'langue vivante' (modern language) is a compulsory element of the BTS business course which my students are taking. The BTS* is equivalent to a British HND. It is a 2 year higher diploma with a vocational focus; in this instance - business. English is the international language of business, so naturally some of my students are keen to learn it. Though some clearly are not, particularly those who see their future careers as being devoid of any [...]
As an avid rugby fan I have naturally been following this year's Rugby World Cup finals in New Zealand with more than a passing interest. Although unhappy to see my home nation capitulate to the French last weekend, I was glad to see les Bleus overthrow the Welsh on Saturday morning. Not because they deserved to win, but because it will keep the atmosphere alive here in France for another week. Rumour has it that the Zenith, Strasbourg's largest concert venue, will be opening it's doors to fans early on Sunday morning to soak up the big show-down. The result of course is guaranteed - you can be fairly sure that, win or lose, there will be drunken Frenchmen a-plenty by midday. Media buzz and talk of the giant-killing games of 2007, 1999 and 1994 when French flair overcame the odds to send the All Blacks out of the competition is already saturating the airwaves ... partly in an effort to convince the public that anything is possible. Miracles even. Four years ago, I put the winning edge down [...]
The passing of my third full decade in existence has brought with it a few standard observations: Hair growth. While disappearing from my crown (as evident from recent high-angle photographs) my capacity for beard growth seems to have finally increased to the point whereby I actually need to consider shaving more than once a week. It seems that life not only begins at forty, but for some of us - beards also. Hair colour. To dye or not to dye, that is the question. Whether it is nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous, but fair observation, by those younger than myself, or to wash-in as doth the stars of screen and stage, unshape me. Scrotum. A lower left testicle there maybe but the length of extension on both sides is now cause for concern. My knees now do not seem so far away. Well, maybe that last one's not standard?