Thursday, December 11, 2014

American mom at French mini-tennis

more on this later...but for now... 

Okay, so. What can I say about this experience. It's kinda wild for me. To have to assist and "manage" 30 kids on a field trip tests my français on a whole new level. First of all, five-year olds of any culture  don't always listen, and especially so on field trips. So I get frustrated and then try and speak louder, or a new phrase, or more forcefully. I think this might make them laugh more--they certainly look at me funny.

Once we get the kids from the school to the bus, and verify all the seat belts are attached, we head on our way. Then we disembark and walk into the complex, climbing a set of stairs to arrive at our courts, specially set up for children's classes.

After we give them all a cookie, they run onto the court to greet their tennis professor. He gets them running around right away and then he has them organize into four groups. I am put in charge of one group.

Here's where the "fun" begins. I try and remind them the rules of the exercise (there are four games/exercises that they spend about 7 minutes on). One boy says "if you speak English we can't understand you."

Sigh. I wasn't speaking English. Ai ai ai... So I just say, "bon, tout le monde prêt?  Un, deux, trois partez!" They decide it's more fun to speak English instead and begin to count "1, 2, 3, GO!!!!" It's kind of a disaster and the prof comes over to remind them they're all supposed to be waiting further back to wait their turn.

As you can see from the video below (different exercise), the instant I try to exert some influence, set a rule, or instruct, it all goes downhill. I can't keep my French straight and blurt out 1/2 sentences in franglais, losing more and more control.

I turn and look at the other mother on the trip. She's chatting away with the maitress while their groups flounder at their exercises. No stress there.

Next I realize my hands and feet are freezing. I'm cold because I'm not running around. I start jumping up and down, clapping my hands, knowing I look like a fool but not caring anymore. I'm past all that.

Finally the happy moment arrives when we can all line up again and see the prof do his famous soufflé magique ("magic blow" is a bad translation but well...that's all I can offer).

Finally, another benefit of the day (aside from spending a fun moment with my son) was more walking in my day. I won't see this location on my days record too often! :)