May 4, 2012

The end of the week.  And what a week it’s been!

This contest for the two weeks in France has become quite an event for me right now.  At first, I was a bit worried about mentioning anything to my schools, but then again, I had to make them aware that there was a POSSIBILITY, and really stressing the word, POSSIBILITY, that I could win a trip to France for two weeks, in about four weeks!

It wasn’t until I actually pointed to the calendar, mentioned the ‘important’ dates, that it finally sunk in with one of my schools.  I realize that it is short notice, but in a way, it really isn’t.  There is plenty of time to arrange for a substitute to come in and teach if necessary.  However, knowing the teachers at the school, and the fact that they are aware of what is transpiring, I can’t see that it will be a problem.  With my schools, the local teacher is always in the class with me anyway, so it will actually give the teachers a bit of extra time for a couple of weeks with the students.  And I must admit, the support from my fellow teachers and the managers at the school, has been nothing short of supportive.

One of my teachers asked me today, if the trip was for just me, or could I take someone with me – trip for two.  First and foremost, it is only a trip for me – should I be the winner in my category.  However, I didn’t have the heart to tell the teacher that, even if it were for two people, there are more important people in my life that I would not hesitate to ask to join me, if I could.

On top of doing research about this contest, the task required, the location, etc., etc., I still have a job to do that I do take seriously.  The thing that I do find interesting though, is that, for a couple of my classes, those with older students or at least students that can understand what I’m talking about, discussing this contest, talking about the south of France, and all the feelings I’m having, and knowing that they understand and are rooting for me, makes it that much more interesting.

I still do have a head on my shoulders though.  I do still have a responsibility to perform the work that is required of me in my classes.  This is what I’m here for – to teach.  However, even though taking a couple of minutes at the beginning of class to show the kids where I am in the rankings, and discussing all this in English, can’t be all bad.  This is more real than reading a story about Dick and Jane and their dog, Spot!  It’s real conversation, real time, real questions and answers…  and hopefully, they go home and chat about it with their family!

Then again, real life is still out there.  As much as I’ve reassured that the competition is a real and bona fide, legitimate contest, doesn’t negate the fact that there is still a world around me.  There are still crazy drivers, people getting in accidents, classes, students, friends, and cats to keep in mind.  And speaking of my cats, I wonder sometimes whether they understand what is happening.  Hahah…  of course, they don’t understand English, or at least what is happening.  They actually do understand some English, because they all seem to know their names, and when I get home and ask them if they are hungry, they know exactly where the food is!

Qadan is getting bigger.  She no longer fits in just one anymore.  She’s a little terror, but then, she’s surrounded by bigger cats and has to either fit in, or perish.  Not literally, but that’s not a concern.  She is holding her own.  She fights with them, plays with them, chases them around the apartment, fights for them for food (even though there is PLENTY to go around)…  A couple more months, and she’ll settle down and fit in with the daily routines.

I think I have a very good friend who is willing to look after the kids for a couple of weeks.  Knowing that he must come over twice a day for the entire time, is a lot to ask of someone.  However, he seems to love cats, and the cats like him as well.

I also know, that upon my return, the cats will ignore me for a while.  They did the last time I went on holidays, back in September 2010, when I went back home to visit my family in Ontario, and my friend in Nova Scotia.  And once they realize that I’m back, and they’ve let me know their feelings about my absence, things will get back to normal.

Otherwise, they’re all doing great.  Cornelia seems to have recovered nicely, and is probably more active and spunky than she was before her hospital time.  I’ve got to thank the vets for all their care and patience.  Either next week or the week after, she’ll have to go back in for a final check-up, but I think she’ll be fine.

Arabela and Eloise still have their occasional howling and spitting matches, but for the most part, even that’s settling down.  Boo-boo (Gabriel) enjoys coming over to the other apartment with me alone.  He follows me around like a little puppy, going everywhere I go, purring, and just being over-affectionate.  Ignatius is growing up.  He’s no longer the little one in the house, and I think he realizes that.  But, I still treat him as my ‘little boy’.  Qadan seems to have taken a shine to him, or maybe because they sense or know that they are the two young ones, they play together more than the others.  It’s fun watching the interactions between the cats, especially in a house of six!

Well, enough said for today.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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