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Bilingualisme (Thursday, 2011 February 3)

February 3rd, 2011

It rained today, heralded by the clouds and overcast-iness we’ve been having for a few days. It’s a strange departure from the endless blue skies we’ve had for months. As I stepped into the rain to try to wash some of the chalk dust off my hands, I called back to my colleagues. "Is it no longer dry season?" I asked, seriously. "N’est-ce pas?" they responded, which is something like "I know, right?" So I guess it’s still dry season, just with a freaky bit of rain.

This week is Bilingualism Week in Cameroon. Accordingly, there was supposed to be a "Round Table" at the lycee to discuss bilingualism. Apparently Cameroon’s pretty fond of debating. I think it might have gotten cancelled, but who knows? I still had students when I had class at 13h, so I guess all is well. I’ve tried to utter a few basic phrases in English in each class, and sometimes it works and sometimes not. I still swear in English, mostly under my breath. Nobody’s called me on it yet.

I haven’t been writing as much here, and I think that’s mostly due to the fact that most of what’s going on in is internal to my head and doesn’t feel appropriate to write about here. Here’s some rated-G stuff: I’m working on a presentation I’m giving to fill in for Christine (who ETed), next weekend and the weekend after. This Saturday, I’m going to a deuil for the proviseur‘s mother, who passed away a week or two ago. I have some Organization reports to fill out by the 15th. I’ve been buying too many things on market days and it’s starting to be the case that they go bad before I can use them. And some random guy on the Internet has pinged me about some work I’ve been doing on an open source project called offlineimap, and I’d really like to find some time to work on that too.

Today, some of my Terminale students decided to see if they could plug their telephones into the lab computers to get Internet access. It seemed to work, after a fashion. They didn’t have credit to pay for the service, but apparently there are proxies on the cell phone networks that relay traffic for free, "sometimes". I don’t understand how that works or why, but they definitely got some access today, which was crazy and wonderful. "Since I did that research at your house, Monsieur, [about two weeks ago]," Arno said, "I haven’t slept."

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