Quebec

Les Légendes de Trois-Pistoles (Learning the Legends of Trois-Pistoles)

View from the St. Lawrence River

View from the St. Lawrence River

Today`s -- my final -- société Québécois atelier was really fun. We joined with another class to perform des légendes de Trois-Pistoles. Some I understood more than others. Here are my interpretations of the seven legends:

  1. How Trois-Pistole got its name: A soldier bought a goblet for trois pistoles -- three coins, which at that time were called pistoles. Then, while rowing in the St. Lawrence River in the area he accidentally dropped the goblet in the river, causing him to exclaim: «Oh no! My trois pistoles!» Hence the area became know as Trois-Pistoles.
  2. The legend of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a local church (this is the one my group acted out) A local churchgoer had trouble deciding where to built the fifth and newest church in the area. He thought that the Catholic ritual of nine days of prayer might help him decide. Lucky for him, on the ninth day of prayer, he saw that it had snowed on this one small hill -- which was special because it was August! So the church was built there and was called Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, Our Lady of Snow.
  3. The homeless man A homeless man (that part I`m sure of) begged to stay at someone`s house, and that kind person gave him a place to spend the night and a meal. Then something happened, and the homeless man kicked a mountain and now the mountain has some sort of dent or unusual marking on it. (I actually understood very little of this one.)
  4. How the cheval noir helped build the church The very large and very prominent church in town was built with the help of a mysterious dark horse. The horse appeared one day and the builders used it to help carry the heavy stone. The horse never got tired; it was like magic. But there was something on the horse`s mouth, like a muzzle perhaps, that no one was supposed to touch. But someone did, and because of that the horse ran away, never to be seen again. Now, inside the church, some stonework up high apparently remains unfinished.
  5. Diablo and the fighting townspeople There was animosity between the residents of two towns in the area. Diablo got involved, but was scared away by a baby-carrying resident. (I didn`t understand this one, either.)
  6. The story behind the local haunted house One night, some local men were drinking at the local bar. They got drunk, started fighting, and one man was accidentally killed. The murdered decided to cover up his crime by hiding the body, but the soul of the body began to haunt the murderer. (At this point, the "ghost" wearing a white bedsheet got a little too close to the mood-setting candles and we were all scared that she would catch on fire. I don`t remember how this one ended, but our ainimatrices did mention that the ghost had wanted the body to put in the graveyard in a proper burial.)
  7. Trois-Pistoles`Romeo and Juliet story A couple married and they move to New France. But the English and French groups there fight, and the woman`s husband is killed. She moved back to her father`s house (I`m assuming in Trois-Pistoles), but she wasn`t happy. She went to one of the local waterfalls and throws herself off the cliff and also dies. Now, it`s possible to see her sometimes in the mist below the falls.

Monsieur Lazhar (Monsieur Lazhar: Movie Review)

J`ai regardé le film «Monsieur Lazhar» à l`école ce soir, complètement en français. Et je comprendais ça! Très excitante! Le film commence avec le suicidée d`une enseignante à une école primaire. Pire, un étuidiant découvre le corps dans sa salle de classe. Un tragique début! Monsieur Lazhar arrive à l`école enseigner la classe, parce qu`il est un enseignant sans une classe à le temps. La directrice veux engager un enseignant correctement, mais elle n`a pas le temps, donc elle engage Monsieur Lazhar.

Il est un enseignant intéressant. Il réaménagait la salle de classe donc les pupitres sont en rangées, pas le demi-cercle. Pour aider les étudiants, la directrice apporte une psychologue, mais Monsieur Lazhar n`est pas permettre d`être dans la classe quand elle est là. Donc, il regarde des autres salles de classes. Le jour prochain, il simule quoi il a vu le jour avant avec ses étudiants. Lentement, il deviens un mieux enseignant.

Les étudiants, toutefois, ont beaucoup de problèmes. Le garçon qui a découvert son enseignante et son aime se battent. Elle pense que c`est la faute d`il parce qu`il a accusé la enseignante de l`embrasse (que n`était pas vrai; elle serrait lui dans ses bras et il n`aimait pas ça). Ils n`est plus amis. Il dessine des ailes et une corde sur une photo de l`enseignante que il a. Quand Monsieur Lazhar voit le dessin, il va à la directrice, mais elle dit lui pas faire rien. Elle pense que c`est mal pour les étutiants pour parler avec lui. Mais il veux parler avec les étuiants, et il fait quand le sujet survient dans sa classe encore.

Les étudiants disent des histoires, comme un autre garçon qui dit comment son grand-père se sont suicidé aussi. Et, finalement, le garçon qui a découvé son enseignante, après il était provoqué par son aime autrefois, crie et dit que il estime que il est responsible. C`était une scène très émouvant. Monsieur Lazhar explique à le garçon que il n`est pas responnsible.

En outre, Monsieur Lazhar est un réfugié aussi, et il n`est pas un ensignant - sa femme était une enseignante en Algérie. Elle est morte; elle était tué quand ils partaient le pays pour Canada. Elle écrivait un livre à propos de gouvernment d`Algerie et ils estimaient comme ils sont en dangé. Pendant le film, il va devant les tribunaux et à la fin, il gagne l`affaire. Mais, pour parler avec les enfants et pour obtient le poste grâce à des mensonges, il renvoye.

C`est un très bon film, particulièrement parce que je suis enseignante. Le film discute le problème de contact physique avec les étudiants. Je comprends pourquoi il y a une règle, mais je pense quelque fois c`est compliqué. Par exemple, l`enseignant de l`education physique explique que c`est difficle pour enseigner les étudiants comment utiliser le cheval d`arçons sans contact physique. (Ça scène était drôle.) Et pourquoi est-ce les enseignants ne donnent pas une étreinte si ont beson d`une? J`aimais regarder le film, et je suis heureuse que je comprendais ça!

* * *

I watched the movie Monsieur Lazhar at school tonight, completely in French. And I understood it! Very exciting!

The film opens with the suicide of a teacher at an elementary school. Worse, a student discovers the body in his classroom. A tragic start! Monsieur Lazhar arrives at the school to teach the class, because he`s a teacher without a class at the time. The principal wants to hire a teacher properly, but she doesn`t have the time, so she hires Monsieur Lazhar.

He is an interesting teacher. He rearranges the classroom so the desks are in row, not in the semi-circle. To help the students, the principal brings in a psychologist, but Monsieur Lazhar is not allowed to be in the room when she is there. So, he watches other classrooms. The next day, he mimics what he saw the day before with his students. Slowly, he becomes a better teacher.

The students, however, have a lot of problems. The boy who discovered his teacher and his friend are fighting with each other. She things that it`s his fault she died because he accused the teacher of kissing him (which wasn`t true; she ahd given him a hug et he didn`t like it). They aren`t friends anymore. He draws wings and a noose on a photo that he had of her. When Monsieur Lazhar sees the drawing, he goes to the principal, but she tells him not to do anything. She things it`s bad for the students to talk with him. But he wants to talk with the students, et he does when the subject comes up in class again.

The students tell some stories, like another boy whose grandfather also committed suicide. And, finally, after being provoked by his former friend, the boy who found his teacher cries and says that he feels responsible. It`s a very emotional scene. Monsieur Lazhar explains to the boy that he is not responsible.

As well, Monsieur Lazhar is also a refugee, and he`s not actually a teacher - his wife was a teacher in Alergia. She died; she was killed when they were leaving the country for Canada. She had written a book about the Algerian government and they had felt like they were in danger. During the film, he goes to court and at the end, he wins his case. But, for speaking with the children and for lying to get the job, he his fired.

It`s a very good movie, especially because I`m a teacher. The film discusses the problem with physical contact with students. I understand why there`s a rule, but I think that sometimes it`s complicated. For example. the PE teacher explains how it`s difficult to teacher the students how to use the pommel horse without physical contact. (It`s a funny scene.) And why can`t teachers give a student a hug if they need one? I liked to watch the movie, and I`m happy I understood it!

Bon Cop, Bad Cop (Bon Cop, Bad Cop: Movie Review)

J`ai regardé le film «Bon Cop, Bad Cop» ce soir. J`aime ça! Le film est en français et anglais, donc c`est plus facile pour comprendre. C`est a propos de deux cops qui enquêtent sur une affaire ensemble au Ontario et Québec. The deux cops parlent en français et anglais, et avex les sous-titres, j`ai lu beaucoup de phrases. Quand les caratères parlent en français, les sous-titres étaient en anglais, et quand les caratères parlent en anglais, les sous-titres étaient en français. J`arrêtais souvent le film et j`ai écrit les phrases, comme:

  • Dites-moi que je rève! (Say it isn`t so!)
  • Es-tu correct? (Are you okay?) - Bon à savoir parce que je dis normalement «Es-tu d`accord?» que ce n`est pas bon.
  • Et quoi encore? (And what else?)
  • tout à coup (all of a sudden)

et l`intéressant:

  • Est-ce qu`il nous monte un bateau? (Is he bullshitting us?) - Je ne sais pas quand je vais utiliser cette expression, mais c`est intéressant parce que c`est quelque chose comme "Is he building a boat?" en anglais. Pourquoi c`est sens ça, je ne sais pas.

En outre, le film il-même était bon. C`était drôle. Je ne sais pas les noms des les acteurs, mais le deux étaient amusants. L`histoire était sur le deux cops qui éludident un crime - un meurtre sur la frontiére entre l`Ontario et le Québec. Pendant le film, beaucoup de gens qui travailent dans le monde du hockey, particulièrement les gens impliqué avec le Québec «Fleur de Lys» transfert aux les États-Unis, étaient meutré. À le fin, on apprends que le meurtrier était un supporter de la Québec équipe et était très malheureux avec le transfert. Parce que les meutres faisent tout le monde, aucune équipes du Canada transférera aux les États-Unis.

* * *

I watched the film Bon Cop, Bad Cop tonight. I liked it! The film is in both French and English so it`s easier to understand. It`s about two cops who work together on a case in both Quebec and Ontario.

The two cops speak in both French and English, and with subtitles, I read a lot of phrases. When the characters spoke in English, the subtitles were in French, and when they spoke in French, the subtitles were in English. I often stopped the film so I could write down the expressions, like:

  • Dites-moi que je rève! (Say it isn`t so!)
  • Es-tu correct? (Are you okay?) - Good to know because I usually say «Es-tu d`accord?» which is not correct.
  • Et quoi encore? (And what else?)
  • tout à coup (all of a sudden)

and the interesting:

  • Est-ce qu`il nous monte un bateau? (Is he bullshitting us?) - I don`t know when I am going to use this expression, but it`s interesting because it means something like "Is he building a boat?" in English. Why it means that, I don`t know.

In addition to all that, the film itself was good. It was quite funny. I don`t know the names of the actors, but they were both amusing. The story was about two cops who work together to solve a crime - a murder on the border between Ontario and Quebec. During the film, a lot of people who work in the world of hocky, particularly the people who were involved with the transfer of the Quebec Fluer de Lys to the United States, were killed. At the end, we learn that the murder was a fan of the Quebec team and was very upset with the move. Because the murders scared everyone, no other Canadian teams would be transfered to the States.

Une Dictée (How I Failed My French Oral Test)

A town on the St. Lawrence River, QC

A town on the St. Lawrence River, QC

Friday, we are going to have a dictée worth 10% of our final grades. Today we had our first practice. Mon dieu, c`est trés difficile! I didn`t know the word for "comma" (« une virgule») so I kept writing it as a wordI was concentrating so much on listening that I didn`t even notice I kept writing the same word again and again. The good news is that my professeur says that only verbs will count; the bad news is that when you don`t understand what you hear, it`s difficult to know what is or isn`t a verb! Below is what I wrote and, in italics, the proper paragraph and all its verbs.

La Racontre de Robinson et Vendredi

Je me souviens de se jour de décembre virguiel racontre Robinson. Trente siuvages viennent d`abordée mon île. Je le survielle du eau de la colling. Que fontille? Que repartille? Je suis pré à combattre. Sans dans viellgeille bon de se souvre. Les autres le pour suivre. Mon cour de feu les arrêtes nettent. Il sans fruits. Le sauvage pour suiver reste avec moi et me manifeste sa raconessance. Je decide de le nom est Vendredi. Je lui donne un largement et des vetements. Des armee nous vivons ensembles sur mon île désert.

La Rencontre de Robinson et Vendredi    

Je me souviens de ce jour de décembre, raconte Robinson. Trente sauvages viennent d`aborder mon île. Je les surveille du haut de la colline. Que font-ils? Que préparent-ils? Je suis prêt à combattre. Soudain, l`un d`eux se sauve. Les autres le poursuivent. Mon coup de feu les arrête net. Ils s`enfuient. Le sauvage poursuivante reste avec moi et me manifeste sa reconnaissance. Je décide de le nommer Vendredi. Je lui donne un logement et des vêtements. Désormais nous vivons ensemble sur mon île déserte.

Amazing Race à Trois-Pistoles

A view of the St. Lawrence River from my homestay, Trois-Pistoles, QC

A view of the St. Lawrence River from my homestay, Trois-Pistoles, QC

Instead of nos ateliers today, all students got together for a treasure hunt around town. We had to find a place, listen to a question, then answer the question correctly before moving on to the next location. It was a beautifully hot day and a great day to be walking around outside.

Mon équip did pretty well, and I was even able to help out by answering a couple questions. Questions ranged from how many ATM machines were at a particular bank to when the convenience store open to questions I didn`t quite understand.

The other part of my adventure is living in a small town again. After Seoul (population: 10+ million), I realized that I feel more comfortable in big cities than small towns. With a population of about 3500 (according to Wikipedia), Trois-Pistoles definitely counts as a small town. We bike everywherethe school has about 200 bikes parked outside during class times. There are no stoplights. People even sit on their front porches to watch the neighbours go by! It`s very relaxing and I`m really enjoying the town so far. I say "Bonjour" to everyone as I bike past. I`ve practiced my French with a number of people at the ice cream shop, the bookstore, the grocery store, and the pharmacy.