First day of School

Bonsoir, It’s been a while since the last time I wrote about Paris due to some occasion I have undergone recently. You can check my previous writing about how I ended up living in Paris.

We are a group of TEFL trainees in Paris

It was one rainy day in the last Autumn days late November 2014. I left the house around 9 o’clock and needed to get on the train twice to reach the school. It was located at 282A Rue Saint Jacques, Paris. I assumed my ex-boyfriend took me to the train station because I still didn’t catch everything about Paris, particularly about its public transportation.

I caught the train from Porte de Clignancourt and transit in Gare du Nord and took another train going to Port Royal. Don’t ask me how good the trains are, it’s no better than the commuter line in Jakarta. Commuting in the morning was like hell, stocked in the crowd of people. My school was located somewhere near Port Royal and I got off in that station everyday.

First time living overseas made me bewildered, moreover I couldn’t speak French, neither most of the French did, so I got my intuition on and followed what I had supposed to know in mind. The distance was approximately 500 metres from the station.

I asked some people whom I believed that they understood English and yes thankfully they were cooperative enough. They directed to which way I was supposed to go, and I reached it, eventually. There were some people in the class and I just opened the door and asked if they were the right people I should have met.

My confidence was a bit challenged when I knew that I was the only Indonesian and the only moslem woman who wore a headscarf.

“How courageous you are!” – I told myself.

But again, I convinced myself that everything would be fine, I would be able to follow the course and get along with my classmates. They were mostly native-English speakers and came from the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand. I and one other friend were from a non-English speaking country, he was from Columbia, South America.

Quite honestly I was a bit intimidated because of the islamophobia around Europe and was a bit scared about their prejudice. But I told myself that everything would be fine, and it was.

I hang my jacket as it was very cold outside and got myself warm in the classroom by a cup of tea provided by the school. I introduced myself and sat next to a woman, a very warm-hearted woman named Mala. I guessed she was Asian, and yes, she was born in Singapore and knew about Indonesia because she’s got family in North Sumatra. However, she and her husband have long a go been a British citizen and lived in the UK for years. Recently they sold their house there and moved to Paris to start over everything. She was really helpful and was my best friend during my time at the school.

First day at school was more likely to be the introduction what we were supposed to do to pass the certification.

The school itself was kind of informal school for English teachers or whoever wanted to become an English teacher to get certified. The age limit was that you have to be at least 18 years old.

Our main duty was to teach English to students around Paris who had already signed up to come to school to learn. There were varied students; Russian, Korean, Chinese, Algerian, African and Parisian as well. Since there were Asylum seekers from moslem countries in Africa a long time ago, France, especially Paris has the most moslem population in Europe, and I found some of my students were moslem as well.

The class ran from 10am to 7.30 pm with some time breaks. The image above was our first lunch together as a trainee and one of them was a student, a young boy on the left side. I was so excited to take a picture with them and I introduced them my selfie stick. *such a show off, wasn’t it?

I couldn’t recall much what happened next. I again presumed that my ex brought me home after that. Ah, I always miss that moment.

Well, I guess I need to rest now. but wait, I’ve got other articles to write and essays to submit. I am quite occupied.

See you again 🙂


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