After two weeks of school, we have two weeks of holiday! All because we’ve waited so long for the académique française to tell us in which schools they should go. It was two busy weeks with first driving a lot and then sorting out trains and tickets, but we had some fun.
I’m maybe writing this for myself, but I thought that some things happened that we must remember and laugh about in a year’s time. So, here is Jaco end Pieter’s ‘report’ of their first two weeks in high school in Enghien-les-Bains, Paris.
Enghien-les-Bains is a suburb in Northern Paris, 14 km from Paris center, and by car it takes me 25 mins. to the school, but that is when there is no traffic. In early morning traffic, which lasts up to 10am it will take you an hour. This suburb is known for a lake, a spa (naturel hot water spring) and a casino. The school is also on the lake and beautiful big houses around the school, for which I am sure you will need more than a million or two to buy.
The one unfortunate thing is that the station close to us is on the RER A train line and their school is on another train line, so I have to take them to Pontoise station, about 15 minutes away.
The first Monday I took them to school, 12h30, drove back and as I stop at home Pieter phoned to say that the french teacher never arrived and they can go home! Yes, just turned around and drove back. They said it was their meet and greet of the students day.
Tuesday, they started at 10am and after french and maths I fetched them at 17h30. By now they have met a lot of friends and were really enjoying school.
Wednesday morning we left at 6h50 to be at the station at 7h12 for the train. Danie went with them and they first bought the wrong tickets, then had to ask and eventually missed the train, so I had to take them to school, traffic and all. Wednesdays all schools close at 12h30 and for now they don’t have any classes on Thursdays.
Friday morning we were ready and on time for the train at 7h12. When they came at school there were nobody in their maths class, after asking at the office they realized that they have alternating week schedules and this was the week they actually don’t have maths and could have gone to school at 10am!
The second week started with Monday from 9am to 16h30. All went well and they went by train. Monday evening they came home complaining that they had so much french homework and work they haven’t even done in class! They started immediately, did not go to gymnastics and gave up after ten to go to bed. Well, Tuesday morning the teacher started explaining the work that they have now done! Then they realized nobody else did the ‘homework’ and that it was actually not homework, she just said that that was what they will do at the next classes! The teacher only speak french… they must have misunderstood her.
After this late night and ‘unnecessary’ hard work, Tuesday started. Their longest day from 8am to 17h30. And again they arrived at school for the first sports period and found nobody there, only to hear that they were supposed to go to a different venue for sport… and waited at school for two hours for the next period.
Wednesday was short again and Thursday off. Friday had maths and history and then the holiday started.
In the meantime winter arrived here by us. When I dropped them off at 7am Friday morning the temperature was 0,5 degrees. Luckily the trains and buses are nice and warm.
I am sure we will be more organised and ready for the next term, which is also only six weeks till the two weeks holiday over Christmas.
I have to say that apart from getting up at six some days, they are really enjoying school. They are part of the ‘french-learning’ group and like their new friends from any country you can think of and with names that they have never heard of. : )
lycee Gustave Monod…
The two houses is where the offices are and the classrooms are in three long blocks, one is the grey roof on the right.
The casino on the right and the school is on the opposite side.