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Spirituel (Sunday, 2011 January 23)

January 25th, 2011

Writing this now without benefit of Internet. I ran out at approximately midnight; I got up in the middle of the night to check my email and it was already gone. I wasn’t sure I’d have enough money to see out the month if I bought Internet, so I let it run out, but now I think I can manage, especially if next month’s pay has already been deposited, so I’m gonna go to Bafoussam Tuesday to remplir.

Went to visit Lindsay the other day to have dinner in late celebration of my birthday. Claude spends a certain amount of time hanging out at her house so I got to see him too. They’re cute kids, really. I got to witness the following interaction:

Lindsay, having just got home, rummaging around the kitchen.

Claude: Qu’est-ce que tu veux?

Lindsay: I have to poop!

Claude: Lindsay! Every time! Poop, poop, poop.

Lindsay [already in bathroom]: It’s true! ūüôĀ

Claude’s been picking up English bit by bit. So when he wandered outside the house, holding a Swiss Army Knife, I could ask him "What are you doing?" To which he responded: "I wan’ to keel somebody." (Lindsay: "This is what happens when you let your boyfriend watch too many English action movies.")

Dinner was Mexican, with homemade tortillas and other random crap. Lindsay’s quite a cook with a pretty significant cookbook. I got a couple ideas from her cookbook about cabbage, we’ll see what happens.

But mostly this post is about pictures from the Lyc√©e. I’ve been spending a lot of time around the Lyc√©e lately, staying later than everyone else, overhearing one last class, drifting like a ghost. Normally I don’t take pictures during the school day, since I don’t want to show off my equipment, but if I’m already there to work on bulletins or whatever, then there’s no harm in taking a few pictures while no one else’s around. The title of today’s post, spirituel, means all of "spiritual", "like a spirit", and "witty". Thanks for Jen for bringing this word to my attention.

The lycée itself:

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The barrier, gate.

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The admin building, off to the left, and the rooms of classrooms (there are three; the one at a lower altitude was constructed afterwards). The salle d’informatique is in the rightmost building in the room closest to the camera.

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We have parking spaces, but there are two people who park in the courtyard, closer to their offices.

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Around the flagpole are these shrubs and white-painted stones, that say, bilingually enough, "Lycee de" on one side, and "GHS", on the other. (GHS = Government High School.)

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The administration building. The big sign reads: "NO SMOKING/ Le Lycée de [my post] est un éspace non fumeur/ GHS [my post] is a non-smoking area". The little sign indicates the office of the censeur, which is called "vice principal". Also, "Pas de corruption ici/ No corruption here".

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The salle des professeurs, which they render as "staff room". The big white books are blocs of bulletins.

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Le bloc for my class of 2C.

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This is a typical page. There are six perforated mini-sheets, each column being a s√©quence. The page has a yellow copy that is made using carbon paper (carbon). Each teacher fills out his class in that section, and the professeur principale calculates the students’ average. Every two sequences form a trim√®stre, which is remarked upon by a surveillant (first yellow, at bottom). The last column, appreciation, is free-form, but there are recommended things to fill in (example: 3 to 7 might be tr√®s faible, very weak). Whether you sign or not seems to be a matter of conscience for each professor. It’s a twenty-point scale, with ten out of twenty being passing. Note the French 1s, 7s, and 9s. (I’ve tried to adapt.)

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A whole page.

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Sometimes you’ll come across a folded-over page like this which means "skip this one". But there’s no law saying you can’t look inside..

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Dead. Oh, right.

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This is the leftmost, lower building in the first picture, which is actually the first of several buildings (whereas the the two original buildings are very long). This part is the library, which is, as you can see, don de A. A. BA-30 Année 2003, gift of the association of something something.

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You see a few of these carefully-lettered slogans here and there around the lyc√©e. This is the most badly lettered. "Let’s stay in classroom even in the absence of the teachers."

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The door to 2C, rendered in English as "Form Five Science". (The C does indicate science track.)

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2C classroom.

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That line of classrooms. The "lower level" of the school is where the higher-level classes are — s√©conde, premi√®re, and terminale.

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The lesson I gave in premiére. The newer classrooms seem to have much shittier chalkboards.

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But by far the most interesting part of my lyc√©e is the chalkboard graffiti on the outside walls. This is just outside the same classroom. C’est la vie, with a guy crying.

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ln x = x ln x – x. "VOTE". "NGANFANG" (probably a name).

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"Je suis fière quand je sors avec les filles. Amen." (Or does that say "la men"?) "I am happy/proud when I go out with girls."

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"Seule la philosophie nous distingue des babares." Only philosophy distinguishes us from barbarians.

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"La nature nous forme/ L’ecole nous informe/ Le monde nous d√©forme/ Dieu seul nous transforme". "Nature forms us; school informs us; the world deforms us; God alone transforms us." Also: "Jamaica boy".

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I can’t read or understand most of this. It ends, "I wish you good luck on the Probat[toire]".

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Dragon Ball.

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"C’etait killer!" "It was killer!"

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"Nul n’entre ici s’il n’est geometre". "Nobody enters here who isn’t a surveyor/someone who does geometry"?

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Probably the most poignant of all: "Tout le monde est à la recherche du bonheur même celui qui se suicide". "Everyone is looking for happiness, even he who kills himself."

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"La femme n’est qu’une calebasse pers√©e parce qu’elle aime les hommes menteurs et escrocs." "Women are nothing more than pierced calabashes [?] because they love men who are liars and cheats."

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[Completely illegible, except for a little "Ne jamais", "Never".]

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"On ne donne pas le lait en tle C", "They don’t give milk in Terminale C." I don’t know exactly what that means, but maybe something like "Terminale C is not for the faint of heart."

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