07 February 2007

Back to normal...

Recently the posts have been turning a little political which isn't exactly the direction that I want this blog to take. This isn't supposed to be Kurt's bully pulpit from which he can beat his readers about their heads with his opinions, rather it's a tool for staying in touch with family and friends. Of course you will see some of my opinions, political and otherwise, here from time to time but the main focus will remain on my life (a much more important topic, I might add). If you want to read political blogs there are a bunch out there, both for those of you who lean left and those who lean right.

So, what is going on in Kurt's life? Well, I haven't had any French classes for the past two weeks because we are in between semesters. Unfortunately, that all comes to an end tomorrow when classes resume. I did, in fact, make it into the intermediate level so I should be doing some more interesting things soon.

As for work, I'm beginning to fully comprehend the fact that I don't want to be a high school teacher professionally. Some of the kids are great but others are really insufferable. I find that the distinction is drawn between those who are intellectually curious and those who are not. When I throw out a question, "Should the government take money from the rich and give it to the poor?" for example, some students grab onto it and try and hash out the question. This pleases me, I can ask them questions that seem to lead them to an obvious solution and then ask another that shows that solution to be groundless. Basically, I get to do the fun things that philosophy professors did with me for a few years (please don't take this sentence out of context). There are others, however, that have perfected the art of the blank stare. No matter what the question, be it about redistributive taxes or popular music, they just stare at a point a few meters behind my head. This makes for difficult days. I'm finding that the best solution is to just maintain my energy and interact with the few students who offer some glimmer of interest.

That's work and school, but the main excitement recently has been our hosting of three guests; Zac, a good friend from the co-op; Josh, Zac's brother; and Catherine, a friend of Josh's. They spent five days here on what was a stop-over on a much longer journey for Zac and Josh (from Amsterdam to South Africa) and a sort of mini-vacation for Catherine. It was really great to see Zac and Josh again as well as to take them around Paris. It helps me to appreciate the city which is my current home to see some of the more stunning locations. It's easy to focus on the smells in the metro and to lose sight of the amazing monuments all throughout Paris.

I did get to take a few pictures and I actually took the time to properly process them. They will go up here shortly.


  1. unfrozencavemandad5:48 PM

    Ah, another example of mainstream human nature. I am hesitant to cite the 80/20 rule of which there are numerous variants, but is it about 20% of the students who are actively engaged? If so, be thankful that the percentage is that high. Experience has shown that in most societies, companies, organizations, etc., about 20% of the population is the "doers" (actively engaged) and 80% are just along for the ride -- that's just the way it is, but you already knew that. Acceptance of that fact, and focusing on the positives of why you do what you do, is the key.

  2. This is something that I learned really quickly when living/working in the co-op. The number of people willing to take a free rider on the backs of others is amazing (even in an association that is all about "cooperation").