Chapitre 1, suite (Friday, 9 July 2010)

July 10, 2010

Observation continues. I don’t know why, but it’s the most exhausting part of training so far. Perhaps that is why each day I want to go to the bar and drink. Then again, maybe it is merely my latent alcoholism coming to the fore. Yesterday I watched the above-named lesson ("Chapter 1 continued").

I have two lessons I actually have to give on Monday, about which I am both excited and terrified, naturally. The first one is a lab period, so that’s OK, but the other one is going to be an actual lecture of about an hour. I think my plan is to produce two lessons of about an hour each, or maybe four or five of about a half-hour each, so that I have a buffer in case I run out of material. But whereas last time I told myself to speak slowly, this time I think I need to speak quickly; that’s what the most engaging teachers I have seen have done.

The USB key still doesn’t work, but I received a call from Camtel today that said that they actually got around to telling HQ that a USB key was purchased, and that it should start working "this evening", which was later revised to "dix-sept heures" (5 PM imperial time). Andrew, who has done this training before and is thus bored completely out of his mind, watched me try it during class and ad-libbed an Internet-based Lord’s Prayer. Yeah, it’s been done before, but it was still fairly good. Naturally the key still doesn’t work. If in fact they successfully activated the right USB key, it may start working as soon as tomorrow; but when you consider that this is a giant telecom, and a Third World telecom at that, you’ll understand why I’m doubtful.

Hey, by the way, does anyone know the origin of the term "third world"? I’ll have to look it up when I get some Internet. Anyhow, I’ve seen a few people wearing pagne ("PAN-yeuh", the name of a type of fabric here, which is made of cotton somewhere in Africa and usually printed fairly outlandishly; it’s what you make Africtures out of) with the Camtel logo on it, including one that was an entire suit jacket, and I think I would totally rock that if I got the chance.

Yesterday we went to Lotus Bleu, and Jenny had said she wanted to play Pandemic but instead we ended up gossiping about the other trainees, particularly who is likely to pair up, and assigning each a probability for whether they will hook up with a local. Some, like the one who said my host brother Claude was cute, are easy pickings. Others are harder to say. Perhaps after a few months, people will have lowered their standards for cleanliness enough, but right now there are quite a few who I just can’t picture touching other human beings. (I’m in that group.)

Tonight I ended up at the other bar (among other highlights: Jacqueline making a fairly involved joke about our bike training tomorrow, particularly how it is going to follow the methodologies we have been taught, and how it is going to have a complicated and meaningless "theory" section about the numbers of teeth on each gear before we actually ride any bikes) and discovered that at some point a committee of Jared (who has all the tattoos) and Andrew (I think the other one — the one who smokes) have voted me and Ben "most likely to masturbate". For the record, let me just state that the logistics of an act like that here are very complicated. (Too much information?) We also noticed that one of the other ICT volunteers who is here to help train us in model school has, completely by accident, had a dress made out of the "official" nerd gear for our stage. Naturally this is great because it validates our choice of fabric; even other nerds gravitate to it (and no one else).

I got another letter from Gus. I have already written my reply to the first one, but it’s been a couple days and I haven’t sent it because I haven’t been able to get her summer address from the Internet (because: negligible Internet). Working on it. Sorry sweetie.

Tomorrow I get to do laundry, about which I’m fairly excited, including washing my towel, which has acquired all manner of fascinating smells, and all the clothes I was wearing when I was sick.

Lastly, I’d like to mention that I have written the word "stagier" ("stagiere" and "stagiers") in some blog posts. Turns out that I had the spelling wrong; it’s "stagiaire" (both masc. and fem., I think). Sorry for the inconvenience.

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