42 years and counting

My life in middle school.

4 personal years  (1968-1972) + 38 teaching years (1980-present) = 42 years spent in middle school.

Oh yea. Really. And there is rarely a dull moment. Take today for instance. I gave my 8th graders an assignment to use their vocabulary for homes and neighborhoods.

You have been offered a two-month summer internship in Paris. 
Choose where you will work and what your job will be.  
  • Arrondissement
  • Address
  • Name of place and your job
You will make 1600 euros a month.  You and your roommate are looking for an apartment to rent.  You must stay within your budget.  A single person can expect to spend 1200-1800 euros per month to live (food, rent, transportation, miscellaneous expenses) in Paris.
I gave them tasks to complete, a website en français for appartements. They had to devise a budget, find an apartment, tell me how they were going to get to work every day, tell me about the layout and furnishings in the apartment, etc. They could put their presentations in Google slides, PowerPoint, etc. I have an Apple TV in my classroom so that they can project on the screen from their iPads. for their classmates. The presentation must be en français, bien sûr. French 8 at my school is a high school level French 2 course. Presentations began today. Some of the little darlings are going to starve because they did not budget nearly enough money for food in Paris. I want to share one of the presentations. So, with their permission, I give you two of my jeunes hommes...
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Pretty impressive, n’est-ce pas? I think they learned something. And they made me laugh. In May no less.
How about some mushroom-shrimp risotto for dinner? Not French, but delicious. Mlle M and I made this for dinner a couple of weeks ago. The BFF was invited to come eat with us because she loves this dish. She couldn’t make it, though. Tant pis. Next time.
risotto
Simple Risotto
This is a basic recipe.  I added a cup of frozen green peas, some sautéed mushrooms and sautéed shrimp, 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 c. dry white wine.
approximately 3 cups of risotto

1 c. uncooked arborio rice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
4-5 c. chicken or vegetable broth, heated to simmering
Salt and pepper, to taste, if desired

Sauté onion in oil and butter for 3 minutes.  Add rice, stirring to coat with oil/butter for about 2 minutes. Stir in one cup of broth and wine, if using.  Continue cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed. Gradually stir in remaining hot broth 1/2 cup at a time (I use a ladle), cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. When rice is almost done, add whatever ingredients you wish– sautéed mushrooms, vegetables, shrimp, etc. and continue cooking until rice is tender but not mushy.

Bon appétit tout le monde! Good luck to all my colleagues out there. The end is in sight. I am counting down the Mondays. Hang on to your sense of humor. Goodness knows we need it right now.

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