Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Belgian notes 3

Today I have the morning off. I'm not performing in the afternoon, but I'll go to Louvain-la-Neuve to the bookstore again, and possibly to the toy store where I bought a bug puppet last time. I like to find puppets that are not made by Folkmanis or Manhattan Toy or the other American brands--those are very good puppets but it's nice to find some that are unusual, other than the truly weird ones I occasionally make.

Monday I went back to the school in Brussels where I've performed before, in French. My French has improved to a point where the mistakes are minimal. This time, in order to avoid the echo-filled gym, I did shorter performances for more groups in the library, and one for the preschoolers in their loft. It's hard to do a performance for less than 30 minutes--we've all just settled in and it's time to stop. Never mind, we had a good time anyway.

I had not wanted to do a performance for les tout petits (the tinies), because last time I didn't feel that I was successful, but I agreed to do 15 minutes with them. It turned into 25, I think. Two fingerplay stories, a song my friend Marie taught me, and lots of puppet schtick. These were 2 and 3 year-olds. They LOVED the puppets, especially my frog Prince, who had le hoquet (hiccups) after eating too many sauterelles (grasshoppers).

Yesterday Marie drove me to a school 80 minutes away where they have just started to do English immersion. Most of these children had not learned enough English to understand the stories, no matter how slowly and clearly I told them, no matter how much body language I used. I'm not quite sure what the teachers were expecting. I suggested that I translate a little, but they said no. Add to this the fact that one of the teachers kept taking the younger kids in small groups to the bathroom during the performance, and you'll understand that I found this experience frustrating.

Good thing I have plenty of successes to focus on, instead of that little blip on the radar. Friday I have two more English immersion schools, one where I had a great time performing two years ago.


Anonymous said...

What a handsome cat you have! I think he misses you though. M.

Anonymous said...

He does! He misses you dreadfully! And he spends all his time sleeping his sorrow away on the unmade bed, which is my excuse not to make it.

We all look forward to your happy return. - MLH

PriscillaHowe said...

Speaking of lazy cats, my friend Marie and I were talking about the expression "lazy as a dog" yesterday. In French, the expression is "lazy as a snake". It's a specific kind of snake, something like a garter snake, I gathered.

Anonymous said...

Selon mon dictionnaire : grass snake, or smooth snake (couleuvre). Ces serpents aiment dormir au soleil et ils ne sont pas dangereux...

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