William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

Ste-Anne, part 24 (sleep and recall + tug-of-war + Bretonne's record + The Ministry of Information)

(Jeudi, Juin 7)

Right now I feel like a massive idiot. I’ve spent the last two hours in my room jigging around with my new data cable for my camera phone. I’m exhausted after yet another day on next-to-no sleep and I just remembered that I had put down my name for a sortie to a nearby provincial park at 4pm. I was lucky today, my name was picked. But I completely forgot about the journey, and I feel like crap because by forgetting I deprived someone else of their right to go in my stead.

(Almost every day there’s usually an organized activity that requires use of the bus. There are two busses, one short bus that holds about 15, and the other standard-sized bus (basically a school bus, but with motorcoach-style seats) that holds about 40. Since there are over 200 students here now, interested persons put their name in the box for a random draw. A few activities are special and open to everyone interested, like the trip to Port-Royal and Grand-Pré that I’ll talk about below.)

In order to remember anything these past few days, I absolutely must have a list. I’m so tired that I can only retain items in my brain for a few fleeting moments; the list is now my long-term memory. I’m generalizing and not using proper psychological terms here, but the gist is that I’m super tired and it’s murdering my recall.

Not that I’m complaining; I realize that the best way to keep people sane is to keep them busy. But I wish the world would stop right now for just a day or two so I can recuperate.

I was going to write the items that I will write now in English in French, but I just don’t have the time to slog through it. I’ve let too many things pile up in the blogging queue and I’ve got a notebook page full of notes. So let’s get started, in no particular order…

Last Sunday we went to Port-Royal and Grand Pré. I really …

* * *

Just got back from the language lab. I didn’t have any problems with the French, but I had problems with the recorder – but this time, the problem was me. For about the last 30% of the 17-minute 52-second exercise, I had pushed the play button instead of record, and when I went back to review my pronunciation on that section, all I got was dead air. Since the lab was going to close in five minutes anyway, I threw in the towel. I knew full well why I pushed play instead of record; it boils down to fatigue. I’m not running on all thrusters right now. And there’s this talent show tonight that I pretty much have to go to; almost to the point where I’d be a pariah if I didn’t.

We also played a tug-of-war tournament tonight, and I have to admit it was a perfect activity because it didn’t take very long, and the weather was beautiful. I wanted to shout at the one of the Beauséjour groups, “Bon travail, bozos!*” but Michelle agreed with me that that wouldn’t be very gentil.

* - Beauséjour is roughly comparable to Vanier Residence at Saint Mary’s, albeit with only two stories and an even greater penchant for cold epidemics. For the purposes of the session, it’s split into four groups, known as “Bozo 1,” “Bozo 2,” “Bozo 3,” and “Bozo 4.”

How’d we do in the tournament? We won two matches; bringing our total win count up to three (we won a soccer game a while back).

~ Bretonne’s Wins, Losses, Ties (unofficial count from my sodden brain) ~
Comic Olympics: 3rd overall, winning the Orange-passing event and eventually the overall Bronze
Soccer: 1-2-1
Softball: 0-2
Ultimate Frisbee: 0-3
Ball hockey: 0-1-2 (plus a shootout loss in a 5-minute tiebreaker game after the opening round)
Tug-of-war: 2-2
Overall: 3-10-5, plus the Bronze from the comic Olympics

I think we do pretty well with what we have. =)

Anyway, I think I’m going to have to finish the rest of this tomorrow… and who knows, I just might write everything up in French. It’ll be Friday night, and I should have the time. Of course, I do happen to have an insane amount of extra work on my hands now, like preparing for the student-led information session on Monday…

Oh, the things I could say right now about the information sessions. Sheesh. To make a long story short, it’s like a communist country here. They’re quite careful about 1) what they tell us and 2) when they tell it. It’s somewhat frustrating, because you never know how to plan your schedule more than half a day in advance, except on the weekends because on Friday they tell you most of what you need to know for the weekend. I’m going to start calling the information sessions visits with (or broadcasts from) the Ministère (de l’Information).

For example: I’ve got my name down for a voyage sur la mer. Every day in the information session, they say which workshop groups are going… that day. It’s impossible to plan ahead. It’s also a bit silly, because they have a tentative plan – I asked Luc in the cafeteria when we were going, and he said, “Dimanche.”

Making things even more absurd is that the first information session of the morning, which I attend, is probably 85% Débutant 1, with a little bit of Débutant 2. This means 85% of the class is in the Conversation workshop by default. Yet Luc will announce something like, “Okay, for today, these workshops will go on the voyage: Video Souvenir, French Culture for Advanced and Perfection, Outdoor Conditioning…” I guess in a way it makes Conversation feel like any other workshop, and I can see why they want to cultivate that feeling, but I also feel like it’s a bit unnecessary to yank our chains when the entire session is spread among maybe four workshop groups (all the Débutants 1 have Conversation, while the Débutants 2 have a limited selection of basic workshops, like le Petit-Bois or Art). It’s kind of like advertising BMWs on Sesame Street.

Vendredi: Les vestiges, en français!
Tags: sainte-anne 2007

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