In my very brief experience in my school (just sevenish days so far), I've noticed a few things that I find funny. For example...
*Three out of the twelve students have rulers that they use to underline important things while taking notes. Remi was looking at my notes as I reviewed them in front of the TV one night and he said, oh, that reminds me of my messy notes at the end of the semester when I was in a hurry. Well, my notes weren't that messy but I hadn't used a ruler to underline headings. So the next day I used a ruler just to see what it was like, and it does make things look very neat. But I'm not going to be obsessive about it. The idea is to retain what the teacher said, not to make a beautiful page that could be put in the next textbook edition.
*Some teachers give small dictations. Though the economics teacher is a live wire and likes to digress on topics, he also has parts of his lesson where he dictates a paragraph of Very Important Information. We're all there writing furiously and trying to absorb the meaning at the same time. I suppose it's like the teacher writing important things on the board, but it feels strange to be doing a dictation at my age. So scholarly.
*French students are more casual than you'd think. Forget the image of the French fashion-conscious person. I've noticed that some of my fellow students often wear the exact same outfit two or three days in a row. Actually, this is a French thing. Whereas I might wear the same pants a few times in a week, I generally always have different shirts. I guess there's nothing wrong with recycling your outfits as long as they're clean, but it's just that in the US people would say, hey, didn't you wear that yesterday?
*No ostentation religious symbols are allowed in public schools. I give the Algerian girl a lift to the tramway station and I noticed she'd put on her head scarf as we approached the stop. But she doesn't wear it in school. I asked her why and she said because it's forbidden in school. I'd forgotten they'd passed this law a few years back. In this girl's case it's not a burka or anything as restrictive as that. Black or colored head scarfs in fact. And she dresses pretty much normally, jeans and tops, the occasional more ethnic style shirt and pants suit. Frankly I don't see a problem with her wearing her scarf, but I know the idea behind this law was to help women not be forced to wear it by overbearing husbands or fathers.
*Foreign diplomas = big fat zero. Never mind that I have a Master's degree in the US (and I'm not bragging there, because it's been so long I'm not even sure what it was in). None of the courses I took back home will transfer so I must take all the courses in the new training program. I don't mind as I need the review anyway, and some of it is new material for me. But even English is not exempt. So next week I'll be having English classes every morning. On the bright side of things, I guess it'll boost my average.
Until next time, study hard, dudes. And if you're not a student, then relax and cherish the moment!