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bad, bad boys.



So how about a little update on how my Wednesdays are working out with my band of French teen-age boys? How do I give you an idea of how it's going in layman's terms?

Okay, well they pretty much fucking hate me. All of them. So far I have been called a rainbow of French insults, have been punched in the back, shoved, and have been told to fuck off on several occasions.

And call me sick but it just tickles me. 

Wednesday has been the source of my ultimate amusement. Dealing with these miscreants that dream of going to New York or California one day, who listen only to English-speaking pop music, and watch American films dubbed over in French. These little fuckers fail to make the one connection that all of these things have in common: English. The language I am painstakingly trying to teach them! And if they spoke and understood it (enter my part in this mess), then perhaps they could enhance their experience with their favorite hobbies. But no. They would rather resist me at all costs, wasting hours arguing with me that they don't have to study English, because their logic is that their parents just pay some American chick to sit in their living room on Wednesdays.

So the second Wednesday under this arrangement was particularly challenging where they were looking for any excuse not to work. I have to say, they are getting more creative by the week with their reasoning. One excuse not to study English was that one of them had heard me on the phone with Aurélien, and hearing me speak French with my American accent confused him, therefore he was unable to work. 

Worried that I was losing control over them and not sure how I could handle it every Wednesday because I can't call the parents every time there is a problem, and my hands are literally full from confiscating their iPads, iPhones, Wii manettes, cell phones, and pagers (kidding, just checking if you're paying attention.) With these guys I had to think out of the box. But what?

Then it hit me.

Blackmail.

Of course!

I had to find a way to blackmail them into doing their English homework. But what could I possibly blackmail them with?

And then, a golden opportunity was handed to me on a silver platter.

During a break I gave them, I handed them back their electronic devices and told them they could do what they want. Settled on the couch across from them, with an issue of their mother's Biba Magazine and a cup of green tea, I was prepared to enjoy my fifteen minutes without looking at their faces. But what was happening mere feet away proved to be far more entertaining than reading about the myths of cellulite cream (as if any of us really believe that a cream will remove thigh dimples.)

On their phones, they have an application for the television show The Voice where it's karaoke that you sing into the phone, but in order to get points you have to hit all of the notes. Pretending to be detached from their free time activity, like a cat, I tiptoed over to my bag, quietly grabbed my phone and back on the couch, hit record. So, I now have a video of one singing Rhianna's "Make Me Feel (Only Girl)", another doing his take of Nikki Manaj's "Turn Me On" which includes a lyric demanding, "my body needs a hero, come and save me" and for the finale was a group effort of Katy Perry's "Firework." Please, for this last song, I urge you to listen to it and imagine French teen-agers struggling to hit those notes, accents and all. 

Next on the mission was who was I going to threaten to show these videos to. Their parents would just think it was cute, so I needed to take it to the next level. Who would these boys not want seeing these videos? 

It was all too easy.

Girls.

There is a Fanny, a Mathilde, and an Aimé that they relentlessly talk about, and with little effort, I retrieved one of their phones and copied the numbers down of the French fillies.

I'm officially a horrible person. I know.

The rest of that afternoon as well as the past Wednesdays have been manageable, not greatbut not bad enough to pull out the big guns. They don't yet know that I have these videos but look forward to the day that they really push me over the edge and to see the looks on their faces when they realize that I have embarrassing videos of them singing like little girls. And yes, I've made copies. Sure, it's a little evil but teaching English in Paris is a matter of survival of the fittest, and it looks like I'll be coming out of the jungle still standing. (Enter evil laugh.)

  Bon week-end à tous !

19 comments:

  1. Haha this is excellent. I do the same things to my students in Korea. Whenever I catch them sleeping or goofing off I whip out my camera and the mere sound of the shutter immediately frightens them back into obedience. Muahahaha.

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    1. Hi Kaleena! It looks like we're on the same page. Sometimes we have to get a little creative when working with kids.

      "immediately frightens them back into obedience." Genius.

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  2. I absolutely love reading your tales of Paris. The one thing I always told my boys while raising them is old age and treachery will overcome youth and vigor every time.

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    1. Hi Rob! Thank you so much for your comment and for reading!!

      I love that's what you told your sons while raising them! Hahahaha! I'd love to know what their response was to that! Hmmm, I'm going to translate that and say it to my French kids. We'll see how that goes...!

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  3. This is brilliant! Do let us know when you get your evil revenge! My 10 year old daughter sees no reason why she should have to learn French. Living in the country is not deemed a good enough reason! She wants to know why everyone in the world can't just speak American!

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    1. Hahaha thank you! I'll keep you posted if I have to send the videos to the girls. I'm hoping that they have smart phones because there is a chance that they don't and won't get the video. That would be a shame!

      I think at that age, kids don't see a reason to communicate in a different way than they know. Does your daughter not have French friends? If not, maybe that will help!

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  4. Geniussssss. (I might need to make similar vids of my italian teens and send to you.)

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    1. You HAVE to!!! I would love to see the Italian version! Do all "your kids" love American pop too?

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  5. I insist that if you ever have to pull out the big guns, you post the videos here as well. Or at least, a little snippet on instagram.

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    1. No,no HERE! Come on. I think that we totally deserve to see them even if you DON'T need to use them. Pleeeeease? ;)

      And girly, you are of stronger stuff than I. One punch in the back and I would have had the little brat in some kind of crazy wrestling hold, I swear!!!

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    2. @D - I wish I could! That could probably get me in trouble! Next time I see you, I'll show it to you.

      @Heather - I would love to post it but I think there are laws against posting videos of minors. One of these days we'll meet and I'll show them to you!

      The hitting incident, they were trying to hit each other and I got caught in the line of fire. They did excuse themselves. I forgot how rough boys are, especially at that age. So from now on, I'm steering clear when they get into it with each other!

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  6. bon weekend to you too...and I thought the french kids had to go to school all day on Wednesday's now?

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    1. Thanks Deb. It was a lovey weekend! I think I had too much wine though. My head hurts today!

      Nope, not all day, they have half days on Wednesdays. They get out at noon and I meet up with them at 12:30.

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  7. Machiavélique!:)

    Love it:)

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    1. Exactly! I was worried that you were all going to think I was horrible! Glad to know we're all on the same page here!

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  8. Bwahahaha, bribery and corruption gets you EVERYWHERE!

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    1. Bribery and corruption! LOL! I'll let you know if I ever have to use it! I'm sure in a few weeks they'll piss me off enough. They really are a handful!

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  9. I bow down to you and your evil genius.

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    1. Hahaha. It is pretty evil, isn't it? Ah, they deserve it!

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