Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Recess "a la francais"

Today I went to school with my cousin Andrew. In each class, I asked students what they like to do at recess. I learned how to do a French clap game and a jump rope game. Both the boys and the girls play these games, and the most popular jump rope game is actually a two-part game. For the first part, they turn the rope and chant, "S! V! P! Joker!" They continue to chant this until whoever is jumping messes up. Whatever letter they were on when they stopped determines what game comes next. For example, if you land on "S", then you jump while everyone sings "Sorciere", which is very similar to "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around".

Another popular recess game is Chinese jump rope, or "L'elastique". For this game, two people put a huge elastic band around their ankles and the jumper has to jump in it, around it, and in lots of different ways in order to win. Some of you may know how to play this game!

Andrew and I went to the market today and I brought my brand new grocery sack so that I could break it in! I was glad that I did, because Andrew told me that only one store in the whole town bags your groceries. You are expected to bring your own bag. In response to Mrs. Lengh's question about the environment, I have found that the French in general are pretty conscious of the environment. The grocery bags is a big example of this; they don't want to have much waste. In addition, families here usually only have one car. In the cities, they may not own one at all! Instead, everyone uses public transportation (that means the train, the bus, the subway- vehicles that everyone can use for a small price). Also, the French pay close attention to the lights; if no one is in a room, they turn the lights off (makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?!). It is interesting, though, that the recycling is not picked up ewith the trash at people's homes. Instead, you have to go to a drop-off center.

To follow up on a question that Senor Schlenker asked, I asked students today what they normally do on Wednesdays. Here are a few of the responses I got:

-Dance class

-Horseback riding


-Piano lessons

-Appointments (doctors, dentists, etc.)

-Pottery class

-Soccer practice

Sounds like a fun day to me! Tomorrow, Andrew and I will take advantage of our day off and go to Versailles- I can't wait!


Frenchie said...

Your comment about how the French are conscientious about turning out the lights reminded me of those lights on a timer in stairwells in France. I used to live on the third floor of an apartment building in France that had one of those light systems. I remember having to race up the stairs as fast as I possibly could so the lights would not turn out on me. Whenever they went out it was so dark I could not see. I would trip on things and I was really scared in the dark. Madame B.

tinehartman said...

Allison~ I had dinner with your mom and some other ladies last night, and she told me about your stay in France. You and I met at your parents' church when you were in town months ago...you spoke French to my daughter, helping her realize that I'm not only one of two people in the world that speak the language! I'm so interested in everything you're doing there and am thoroughly enjoying your blog! Thanks for writing~Christine

daviddupee said...


I've noticed that I have not been eating vegetables since you left Milwaukee. Do French children like vegetables? Do Frech wives force their spouses to eat vegetables?

Carolyn Lengh said...

Ahhh--- Madame,
The picture of you in the French country side is beautiful and peaceful. Can't wait to hear about your trip to Versailles. Oh, by the way, I would be happy to drop off some vegetables to David if he would like :-)

I so enjoy your blog---makes me feel like I am traveling with you. Take care of yourself.