• Great news ! I've got through my heap of A-level papers ! I actually feel a great weight off my mind. That means of course I will be able to enjoy a long weekend with ADMV. Although she doesn't know yet, but she will have to help me copy down all the marks on the official slips and then to enter them into the computer. All this has to be done before Monday 8.00 AM.

    My method consists in correcting each exercise 79 times rather than correcting a whole paper. Today wasn't a bad day as I was marking the written expression exercises. This is the part I find the least boring. It can sometimes be depressing though. When you come across sentences like those :

    "It's money wich to interesse them and they don't think to idealism but lonely at money." "I have very happy because I make my love job." "I work in a librabry." "The food isn't disturbed in the same proportion." "There is a sun who shoots." Well I must admit it sometimes makes me smile too. 

    And there are also sentences like this one: "No sooner had I arrived than I was adopted by them." Grammar exists, I've met it !

    In France the lowest mark is 0 and the highest 20. I've given marks from 2 to 19.

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  • I was summoned to go and test 12 candidates in Lyon as part of an exam entitled "BTS" (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur). They have 20 minutes to get ready to talk about a document (text, ad, painting, cartoon...) dealing with art, design, advertising, architecture, media, etc. They have never seen the document before, so they have to be able to work efficiently and concisely. In the last part of their oral, we have a conversation about their professional experience and their plans for the future (job, further studies, etc.).

    Doing this is usually an interesting experience for me. But this time I didn't enjoy it so much. Was it because the weather was so hot and sticky ? Or because the majority of the students seemed to be very reluctant to speak English at all, or to say anything slightly original about the documents ? (Some of them should have read this book, and maybe would have remembered the basic vocabulary !) Or was it simply because I was particularly tired and traveling for five hours on Sunday had not done anything to help, that I found so hard not to fall asleep ? Some rare but precious moments enlightened my stay though. A nice stroll on the quayside on Sunday evening. A nice meal at a Pakistanese restaurant with my friends. An iced coke drunk at a terrasse on a beautiful square outside the Beaux-Arts Museum.


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