Well I've finally started working this past week. My schedule is fairly lax, I work Monday 8:45-11:20; 1:40-3:15, Tuesday 9:30-11:20; 1:40-3:15, Thursday same as Monday and Friday 8:45-11:20 (thats right, no work on Wednesdays). Needless to say I have a lot of free time on my hands. My classes Monday and Tuesday went very well. Most of the students are very well behaved and excited to learn English which really helps. I did already have one student throw-up in the middle of class, but the nice thing about being an assistant is that the regular teacher is still in the room and I'm not actually supposed to deal with those kinds of things. One thing I've noticed is the French primary schools are really, really strict. Students call their teachers Maitre or Maitress which is essentially master instead of Mr. or Mrs. so and so. No line can be drawn without a ruler. Mistakes are not to be erased but rather crossed out with a line drawn with a ruler and students stand up everytime somebody enters the room. Teachers really yell at students (one in particular I've noticed is especially bad) when they make mistakes. Its pretty intimidating even for me. I have one challenging class which consists of all the students with behavorial or learnings problems. Its very frustrating because all of these kids are stuck together in the same class regardless of how severe their disability is or whether it is mental or behavorial and some of them should probably be in regular classes with extra help in certain areas. Also, there are no playgrounds at school. At recess kids go outside and play in a fenced in concrete yard and for some reason the bathrooms are not in the same building as the classrooms but are in another building across the 'playground.'
Sarlat is really starting to slow down and get ready for the winter. Some stores are already closing and market days are noticably slower. Andrew has been staying with me this past week and studying for his tests which start on Tuesday. It pretty much takes a whole day to visit to get to each other's towns. Last Saturday Andrew left at 7:00am and arrived at Sarlat a little after nine that night. Its a long trip but you really get to see a lot of the countryside. Friday we are going to go to Bordeaux for the day. I have to have a medical visit to get my residency card and Sunday morning and will leave to head back to Wageningen. He is considering whether to have a french baguette in Paris or a belgian waffle in Brussels for dinner that day. Its a tough life.