Saturday, August 13, 2011
Revenez aux leçons françaises
So, once again, I headed across to the north side of the harbour for my weekly French lesson with Guy at Mosman High School. Once again, there were five students - all female. My guess is that two of us are in our 60s (as is Guy), one in her 50s, one in her 40s, and one in her 30s. I really enjoy this group. I am not sure what their standard of grammar is, but some have wonderful accents already. With just 5 of us, there is so much more interaction than when I was in a class of 20. Here we can ask questions, interrupt the flow for clarification, without feeling we are holding half the class up. I have an issue with the pronounciation of 'gare' and want to rhyme it with 'bear' rather than 'far'. The two hours fairly skittle along, and I have to be on my toes all the time. I actually listen to the others, rather than tune out.
One thing that was remarked upon and which horrified us all, was the condition of the classroom. Delapidated, in need of a paint, refurbishment of student tables and chairs, and the heating was woeful. How do the kids concentrate on their work? And this in a state high school in a very high socio-economic area, albeit a high proportion of teenagers in that area attend private/independent schools.
Logistically, I am still getting the hang of it. The 389 bus arrives across the road at 7:32 and the 245 leaves the rank at Wynyard at 7:56am. So I jig-a-jog (take that with a grain of salt) from Elizabeth Street, down through Martin Place, across George, across the Batallion Memorial in Wynyard Close, and into Carrington Street where I have to make it to the very last bus stand of quite a few. Luckily there are a couple of dozen other students waiting there for the very same destination (probably Business classes, or English as a Second Language). Arriving at Mosman Junction about 8:20, I have tonnes of time for a large flat white and a pain aux raisins (aka a snail) at La Pattisserie Francaise before crossing over Bradleys' Head Road on my way to class.
Here is another selection of shops in Mosman Junction. The shops over there are quite similar to the shops here in Paddington, but the houses are so very different. Shall try to show you some next week, when instead of coming home the same way as I went over, I want to work out the logistics of bussing down to the Athol Street Wharf (below Taronga Zoo) and catching a ferry back to Circular Quay. Hah! What joy!