Today is Easter and I don’t have school tomorrow because France considers the day after Easter a national holiday. Since it’s Easter, I’m going to use that as an excuse not to do homework. I have tomorrow to do it, right?
After attending Easter Mass, I took a tram and a bus to a park in Nantes. The Secours Populaire (which, to my understanding, is like the Red Cross because they provide relief) hosts an annual egg hunt and other activities for kids on Easter. What other activities do they have? Well, they have potato sack races, music…and Quidditch! The Nantes Quidditch team kindly gives their time each year to the event.
At first, I was a little leery about the idea of Quidditch for kids. Kids running around with brooms, that can’t be good, can it? Actually, it’s great. The kids had so much fun. The rules are pretty easy to understand and they are very willing to try something new. Some of the older kids knew Harry Potter (or, as they say in France, ‘Arry Potter). And Quidditch, like the Harry Potter series, transcends age…the parents wanted to play too! So, we had grown men running around saying, “Look at me! I’m flying like Harry Potter!” and we had three year olds, who were too small to hold a broom. Some moms stood on the sidelines shouting like soccer moms, “No! Take the ball to the right…Get your defense tighter! Come on! Let’s go!”
I think it’s fair to say that fun was had by all, especially by me. I was afraid at first of volunteering. I enjoy working with kids in America, but that’s because I speak English. The idea of working with kids in France in French? It scared me. However, I realized that I have the vocabulary and speaking capabilities of a small child. The kids and I had no language barriers. They don’t understand French grammar…I don’t understand French grammar. We got along great.
Also, the only thing you really need to know when working with kids is the imperative. I always say that I know the imperative in French the best because, from second grade until high school, my French teachers always used the imperative with me.
Kellene, stop talking. Kellene, put that down. Kellene, take a piece of paper. Kellene, do this. Kellene, don’t do that! Wait one minute…What is he…? Oh no! No, no…Johnny do NOT put that pencil in your nose.
Yes, I understand the imperative the best in French. It was the first tense I heard when I started learning French. I didn’t learn that it was called the imperative until much later in my French education. So, today, when two boys were hitting each other with brooms, I was able to confidently say, “Boys! Don’t do that! Stop.”
Five hours later, I was headed back home. It was five hours of non-stop Quidditch. We had kids come and come and come and come. They didn’t stop coming! Some kids came back many times and it was so great to see kids interested in being active, in letting their imagination take them away.
Well, that’s all I have to say for now. By the way, I lied earlier. I’m going to work on some homework tonight.
P.S- The strange smell coming from the vents has stopped. Thank goodness. Also, I snapped this picture of the gray tabby (who looks like François). He lives by the university library and people tell me that the librarians take care of him. I call him Jean-Claude and I think he’s François’s cousin. Speaking of François, I have some good news. After talking with some other people in the dorm, I found out there was a Facebook page for the cat who lived in the lobby. The other students saw what I saw…a cat with a lot of love and no home. They came together to find him a home and get him the veterinary care he needed. I don’t know where he is now or what his real name is, but I know he’s being taken care of…and that gives me great pride and happiness. I’m so proud of my fellow students who cared enough to come together to find him a home.