April 29, 2005

Pangs of longing...

Last night I had my first pangs of longing for Poland. I am really excited about moving to Paris and I have no part of me that is regretting my desicion. Last night though, I had a meeting with some of my colleagues and whilst the meeting was productive, it was also hilarious. We laughed and joked as we all feel very comfortable with each other. What if no-one is funny, or has a sense of humour in Paris?
Poland is an amazingly beautiful country and I do like Warsaw very much. I like that everything is new, it astounds me that everything I see has been brought up from nothing like a phoenix from the flames. I know that Paris is beautiful, but Warsaw has crossed from being exotic to being familiar and I like that. I love the place where I work in warsaw, and I like the people that I work with. I have started to realise that I will miss the most bizarre things about the friends I have here. I will always feel nostalgic and protective when I think about Poland.
Why would someone leave a place that brings out these feelings in them? Just for the want of adventure I suppose, to take the risk that there might be somewhere else that I would love just as much or even more. Maybe to start feeling nostalgic for a whole new set of reasons.

April 28, 2005

The Interpreter

I went to see the Interpreter on Sunday with my friend Jo. We both quite enjoyed it, and both thought that Nicole Kidman was reasonably good in the film. I am not normally a fan of hers, I think she looks a bit squinky and I was appalled by the stupid amount of money she got for the chanel advert. Anyway, she is good in the Interpreter.
Now, I would not have thought to blog about a film that I found average. However, those of you that have seen the film will know that it is a political thriller about an African dictator who the UN want to stand trial for his crimes. There is a death threat against him that is heard by the Interpreter (Kidman) or something like that. She is from the country that the dictator is from. I have a friend who is South African, she is a native Afrikaans speaker. When we started chatting about the films she told me she didn't like the film at all. She did not like the way that the African country was depicted, she thought that the politics of the countrymens skin colour was not representative of Africa as a whole. In general she found many things to disagree with.
It got me thinking about the films that we see as a Western audience, do we accept the politics of what films tell us? I saw a documentary once about the film Black Hawk Down, which tells the "true" story of an incident in Somalia involving American troops and a building housing most of the Somalian government at the time. The film tells us that the troops tried their best not to fire but had no choice because the rebels were so aggressive. The documentary told me that a huge chunk of the most powerful people in the country were wiped out because the American troops attacked the building with great force. Is the truth somewhere in the middle? Should we look to Ben Affleck to tell us what happened at Pearl Harbour? Or should we just understand that movies are entertainment and nothing more?


In my job I work with students of all levels of ability. I am fortunate that I really like all the kids that I see and some are better at some things than others. Yesterday I had three different students with me for a session on maths. I am very bad at maths, having taken my GCSE 5 times to get a C so that I could do my teacher training. I sat with my three students and we got out one of the girls Year 8 (13 year olds) textbook. The excercise that she had for homework was all about graphs and one question was on gradients. As the four of us sat there, two year 8 students, one Year 11 GCSE student and me, we realised that not one of the four of us knew how to calculate the gradient of a graph.
Is it just the four of us? My GCSE student is about to do his exams and he had no idea. I passed GCSE maths (eventually) and I had no idea. I am starting to get worried about the state of the world. How can we as a race exist if a small cross section of humanity is not able to calculate gradients? Life is so cruel. I tried to look up the method and none of us are any the wiser. I still don't understand many things, and how to work out gradients is one of them. At least it gave all my students a good laugh. They thought our ineptitude hilarious. Go on, laugh why don't you...

April 27, 2005

My French teacher

I thought that I was fairly intelligent. This was before I started to re-learn french in anticipation of my move to Paris. I have been having lessons since February and feel fairly confident in saying that I have made hardly any progress at all. I am being made to learn verb casings and how to conjugate and stuff. My brain is not prepared for this and I am left with the french language ability of a pencil skirt. I am sure that I will be fluent once I find a french lover who speaks no english. Until that day, however, it is back to my "French Verbs made easy!" book. Homework is the most rubbish thing in the whole world by the way.

My french teacher is a 23 year old student who spent many years in Switzerland and last night we had a discussion about Tarantino films that I think he might actually have won.
For those of you who know me very well, you can imagine how much this has upset me. I hate Quentin Tarantino films and to think that I may not have got my ardent views across to a 23 year old boy is most disturbing. Well, this is war....in the arguing world anyway, just you wait. I have not spent years as a feminist for nothing!

April 26, 2005

Lets have a go now....

Ok soldiers,
Here we are having a go at our first topic blog....let have a think about kids. A very good friend who is the same age as me has just had her first child. Seeing pictures of the little baby made me so stupidly over emotional that I really got to wondering about the additional dimension that children bring to our lives. I do consider myself really lucky that I get to work with kids every day, they are my colleagues in a way. I work across the age ranges so teach students from 2-18. The little ones are all full of cuddles and the older ones are full of hilarious sarcasm and hints as to what bands I should be listening to. I adore the kids that I work with, they are fabulous.
Seeing my friends new little baby boy though and thinking that the little bundle actually belonged to her quite overwhelmed me. I have other friends who have kids though. One close friend whose daughter I adore, but to see the little baby...
Maybe I am getting broody, maybe I am just extremely happy for her, maybe I am around children so much that I want one that I can pass the magic of life onto...we will see. Its a tough one. I don't think that I will seriously be considering this in the next few months or probably even years. I think I started something when I moved to warsaw, and I don't get the feeling that it will end when I move to Paris.

My First posting ever!

Hi kids! This is the first WarsawtoParis blog posting! This is all a bit exciting for me, I have a friend who is blog crazy and I have now decided that I would like a piece of the blog pie. Do I need to give you my vital stats? Not sure that I do, I am sure that all that stuff will come out in the wash later.
I am living and working in Warsaw at the moment, teaching at an International school. I am very happy inWarsaw, but have decided to move to Paris in the summer. This is all a very exciting time! The weather is getting better, I am clearing out my apartment and thinking about Paris and Poland lots. Looking forward to sharing some of thoughts on my new blog!