11 May 2008

Portrait#3: Monsieur LAVANANT


Classic French male (in most ways). One of the younger teachers, Lavanant is tall, dark haired, and before vacation I ran into him smoking with some other teachers on the stairway on the outside of the building. I don’t think there has been a day that he hasn’t worn black. Like Mme C, he’s a good Frenchman and re-wears his clothing multiple times a week. And like a good Rennais, which I’m not really sure he is or not, he wears black leather hippie shoes. There isn’t much shape to them except for oval, and they have red shoelaces.

When Lavanant walks to and from the white board, he kind of stalks to it, approaching it carefully. His class is Oral Comprehension, and is relatively difficult, if only because we listen to songs and watch videos in French with the aim of perfectly understanding everything which is said. Think of it this way: The normal anglophone doesn’t even understand everything in English songs, much less songs sung in their second language.

What’s even better is he makes fun of us. Rather, he’s simply a sarcastic Frenchman who makes laughs at us when we say stupid things. The other day he was complaining about loud children in Parc Thabor. He leaned against the wall in between two of the large windows in the classroom, with his arms crossed. “I mean, you go to the park, a beautiful park, and expect to be relaxed; but then the children come…oh and they yell and yell and yell…”

“But they’re children…”
“Oh bof…” This translates roughly as “Well, sure, yeah, whatever” and it was hilarious to see the reaction of the brasilienne who had responded to him. He even tells us to be sarcastic with children. “They need to learn to be tougher.”

I just want to say that in the week since I first wrote this, there has been a single day when Lavanant wore something beside black. It was apparently khaki and white linen day on Thursday. Jessica and I almost died of shock.

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