So… La Rentrée – to Collège we go…
August 22, 2011
Cet article existe aussi en français…
My daughter will be coming back to France shortly, to go back to school. Jemima’s an old head on young shoulders and articulate with it – though once she plugs back into daily Simpsons – even in French – that’ll put paid to it!
She has a story to tell about settling into life in France that should spur on any child (or parent of the child) who’s finding it hard to get going in a french school. At an athletics competition a few months ago, having been living in France for a year and a half, other children were grumbling about English lessons. “I don’t do those”, Jemima said. “Why not?” someone replied. “Because I AM English”, the obvious reply. Not so obvious to them, however. “Pull the other one”, another girl said. Jemima replied, in her best cut-glass accent “Well if I weren’t english, I wouldn’t be able to speak to you like this!” Stunned silence all round….. It might sound smug of her to enjoy getting one over on the french kids, but after all she’s endured, it’s a small thing that makes a little girl just a bit happier!
She’s looking forward to starting “Collège”, where no doubt she’ll be regaled with tales of summer holidays in faraway lands (the Dordogne, and Haute-Savoie!) These “perspectives” compensate her for the times she doesn’t get invited to Sunday lunch with her 2 best friends because their families “don’t know” me (even though they do) – when Jemima’s older she will be able to go and live in Wimbledon if she wants – and the thought wouldn’t terrify her as it would the others! This, even though right now being local to here would see her fitting in better. That girl’s the queen of cool, if I’d been half as hip as her when I was her age…. she just needs to be reminded of that sometimes!
Another thing I remind her of when she gets down, is that when she goes into 5ième or 4ième (the 2nd or 3rd years of Collège, age 12-14) or thereabouts, the others will really need to start getting good at English, and finally she’ll see some academic compensation for the hit she’s taken on her school marks for having had to do it all in a foreign language.
Jemima, welcome back to France my love, I’m very proud of you