Monday, 15 December 2008

Back to School


I have been asked to go to La Fille's school tomorrow and show her class how to make Chocolate Cornflake Cakes. What fun...I think. Her teacher, who insisted the CCCs were really called Roses des Sables, asked me to write out the recipe and, if I had time, do a few drawings of the ingredients because after all the children are only three years old and cannot yet read. I agreed. The Frenchman whose approach is that schooling is entirely a matter for the state and parents should get involved as little as possible clearly thought too much was being expected. "You're doing the cakes, writing out the recipe AND doing drawings," he grunted as I sat down to do my 'homework'.

So this morning I went to school proudly clutching what I considered a beautifully illustrated recipe - in French - complete with drawings of happy faces and details added by La Fille. I returned considerably less proud, with the same beautifully illustrated recipe corrected by the teacher and a gentle suggestion that I might want to do it again.

How humiliating is that?

17 comments:

Dumdad said...

Oh dear, only a French teacher could do that! So, 3 out of 10 for Parisgirl, must do better, see me after class.....

Cimon said...

No dumdad : 6 out of 20. We count out of 20.

;-)

Btw, wasn't La Fille's teacher half British ?

Jaywalker said...

I think I need more detail. Where was your recipe not satisfaisante? Was it the handwriting? The drawings?

Penni said...

In fact, I think we need to see the recipe.

bonnie-ann black said...

oh, mas oui! we *need* to see the recipe. however, in this i am now siding with your husband. that would be my last project with this class and teacher. my mother never, ever did anything with the school no matter how it was requested. a written note proferred from a teacher, and we were told, "you know where that goes." and into the trash it went. i don't recall having any lasting damage to my psyche or education for having a mother who refused to assist the school in what she considered *their* duty.

Parisgirl said...

Dumdad, I needed your sharp subbing eye.
Cimon, she's 100% French but lived in the US for many years.
Jaywalker, Penni, BAB, I admit two of the mistakes were silly spelling errors/omissions that would have been avoided had I not been in such a rush and had Dumdad been on my case. The third correction was, I think, caused by my computer automatic spellcheck changing 'faire fondre' to 'faire fonde'. I know it sounds like I'm shifting the blame to the tool but I am pretty sure I typed 'fondre' and when I tried to correct the document to print it out a second time the computer changed 'fondre' to 'fonde' and I had to override the spellcheck. The fourth 'error' is debatable. I wrote: "cassez le chocolat en morceaux et LES faire fondre au bain-marie". Teacher said it should be "LE faire fondre" I used LES because morceaux is plural. She said it should be LE because it relates to the chocolate. The jury is out on this one.

Cimon said...

I found more !!!

you mix gr with g - the gram symbol is g. OK, it is because I am a science graduate ;-)

As far as the morceaux de chocolat affair is concerned, I think it should be LE as chocolate melts but bits do not. Bits of chocolate also melt, but unspecified bits don't.

I think the main mistake is the mix of imperative and infinitive forms in (nearly all) the sentences : "cassez [...] faire fondre", "former [...] disposez". It's like the axis of evil : friend or foe, but stick to it !

To finish with, "vous pouvez faire sans sirop" sounds strange (I know I also write things that look really strange to you, so please do not think I am making fun of you, I am just willing to help as the almost only French-speaking commenting person here).
You know what "faire" might mean, so it possibly would sound like "you can crap without syrup", which most likely was not the idea you aimed to express). I would have written "il existe une variante de la recette sans sirop", or "le sirop n'est pas absolument nécessaire, mais qu'est-ce que c'est meilleur avec !". Or maybe "il est possible de faire la recette sans sirop".

Anyway, it's a pity she ruined the drawings : they are brilliant !

Henry the Dog said...

That is SOOOO funny and typically French. I laughed and laughed. My mum loves chocoate cornflake cakes, she says they remind her of being a kid again. I didn't know her memory was so good;)

Jaywalker said...

Oh, ParisGirl. The shame, it burns..

bonnie-ann black said...

are cornflake cakes similar to rice crispie treats in their lack of nutritional value and excessive crunchiness?

Penni said...

Meanwhile, how utterly dear is that recipe? It's gorgeous and if I was a French mummy I would be charmed by it.

To be honest here in Australia, I doubt you would have been asked to change it, I think it would be slightly disrespectful to ask someone where English wasn't their first language to produce something that reads as if it was.

Penni said...

(in the parts of Melbourne and Hobart I have lived, that is. There is certainly rife racism in parts of Australia, though I imagine most schools would like to think they'd encourage multicultural involvement in the classroom.)

Iheartfashion said...

Really!?
I think you went above and beyond the call of duty in producing this lavishly illustrated recipe..

Parisgirl said...

Cimon, you're right. I don't know why I wrote gr and not g. As for the rest; no hard feelings; I have responded with another post and an "Aaaaaaagggghhhh"!
Henry, I just know you are laughing with me and not AT me. You are aren't you?
Bonnie. That would be the ones. Except I used chocolate with 70% cocoa solids...enough to spark some serious Attention Deficit Disorder.
Penni, thank you. I'm trying to convince myself the charm is also in the mistakes.
Lheartfashion, thank you as well.

Parisgirl said...

Jaywalker, I am burned, seared, chargrilled, flambéed, barbecued with shame.

Iota said...

I think the French parents should be darn grateful to you. You'll have saved them a fortune on those suppositories that they're so fond of. You have taught them how to crap without syrup - they should be queueing up to shake your hand.

Next time, write it in English, and tell the teacher that it's a marvellous opportunity for the children to learn a new language as they cook. That's known as "enrichment" in teaching circles, I believe.

Iota said...

I've never noticed that "manger" is the same word as "manger". If you see what I mean.

I'll never be able to hear "Away in a manger" without thinking of that.