May 17, 2010

Moins Seize Ans

While surfing the channels trying to find something decent to watch on French TV the other night at FBF’s house, we paused on a channel of a girl dancing “sexily.” Naturally, I joked, “oooo! Looks like we’ve found soft core poooorn!” and began to laugh.

He responded with, “Well, yeah. It says -16 on the bottom of the screen. That means if you’re under 16 you can’t watch this, and therefore it IS soft core porn.”

“What?! You mean, there is just porn on the tv for everyone to see?”

“Well it is late enough so children wont see, and you’re supposed to be over 16 if you watch it.”

Being an American prude, I was totally shocked! I have gotten used to the fact that they can curse on French television (I have heard merde (shit) plenty of times), and it no longer surprises me when there are boobies on the screen, even if you have to pay for HBO to get boobies in America. I do think the outrage against Janet Jackson’s boob popping out during the Super Bowl was a little ridiculous, but I’m finding myself not quite at ease with the idea of soft-core porn on regular tv.

FBF, obviously, didn’t think it was a big deal, and said that porn is more open and accepted in the French culture than American culture. That, to me, seems like an understatement.

The official guidelines from the conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel

May 5, 2010

Be True to Your School

I taught my last day on Friday. Since it was my last day of lessons, the head teacher suggested we do something fun, like a song.

After scanning my iTunes to try to find something catchy and not too complicated, I thought of the Beach Boys. Since they mostly sing 2 minute songs about California, I thought it would be the perfect way to say goodbye to my students.

This is when I learned that none of my students had ever heard of the Beach Boys! Although they thought they were too cool for the Beach Boys at first (and enjoyed laughing at my dance moves), after a while they discovered that they actually liked the song.

We all had a lot of fun singing along to Surfin’ Safari. They especially enjoyed learning key vocabulary words such as: surf board, woody, honeys, and walking the nose.

I know it’s not really fair to think French children should have heard of the Beach Boys given that I don’t know any French musicians from the 60s, but I was surprised when they hadn’t. I can remember being around 8 years old at an Indian Princesses meeting, making arrowhead necklaces and dancing to the Beach Boys while waiting for the glue to dry.

In any event, I hope teaching the French about the Beach Boys makes me a true California Girl. My favorite part was hearing my students say they wanted to download the song once they got home!

The worksheet I gave to the 3e(15-16 year olds)
Yes, I did shamelessly brag about how close I live to Doheny Beach.
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