Freedom of speech, anyone?

I’m annoyed by this.

France bans naming teachers on school-rating website

PARIS (AFP) — A French court on Monday ordered a website that allows pupils to rate their schools to stop naming teachers, after the country’s educational establishment denounced it as “public lynching”.

The website, www.note2be.com, which opened late January based on similar sites that have existed for years in Britain, the United States and many other countries around the world, proved wildly popular with students and parents.

In just four weeks they gave marks out of 20 to 50,000 of their teachers and judged whether they were “interesting,” “available,” “respected,” or “motivated”.

Judgments, made anonymously, were on the whole favourable, with an average rating of 14.

But teachers, already smarting after a suggestion by President Nicolas Sarkozy that they might face performance reviews to which students could contribute, were incensed.

A group of teachers and several teachers’ union asked a Paris court to decide whether the site broke privacy laws by publishing teachers’ names and ratings and whether it breached their right to be judged only by superiors.

Read the rest of the article here

Public lynching?!? Give me a break! Students have every right to judge their teachers. I hope the site’s creators win their appeal.

Day trip 2: Lyon

Another day trip! This time it was to Lyon, the former capital of Gaul. As soon as we arrived, Jessica & I jumped on the over-priced tramway (1,50 €) and headed straight to Le Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation. We were there for over two hours and didn’t even hear the […]

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Random news about France…

Gastronomy: Sarko declared French food the best in the world and wants it recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Umm, how does food qualify as a place? And is anyone else really sick of people saying French food is better than all other food? How snobby can you get? Anyway, if you register on […]

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That crazy Sarkozy!

Sarko insulted a random man at the Salon de l’Agriculture yesterday because the man told Sarko not to touch him. Politely translated, the exchange went something like this: Man: Don’t touch me.Sarko: Then get lost.Man: You disgust me.Sarko: Get lost, poor jerk! (Sarkozy actually said casse-toi and pauvre con, which can be much more rudely […]

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Chamonix & Mont Blanc

Lucy & I decided to take a day trip to Chamonix yesterday. We’ve lived in the Alps for a year and a half, but still haven’t actually seen much of the Alps… So after two hours and three trains, we made it to Chamonix, which was surprisingly warm for February. Then after another hour of […]

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Want to be a flight attendant?

I honestly hate Delta Airlines because they left me stranded in Kentucky a few summers ago and wouldn’t pay for my hotel, but if you speak French and want to be a flight attendant, they are desperate for you! Delta is a part of the Sky Team Alliance, so it’s partnered with Northwest, Air France, […]

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French shopping my way

To encourage my agoraphobia even more (ok, I’m not really agoraphobic, I just hate people and I hate shopping), I ordered LaRedoute and 3Suisses catalogs so I could shop from home. I could just as easily shop from their websites, but I prefer looking through real pages rather than adding even more minutes hours to […]

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On learning and teaching

I cracked open my French vocabulary books after a much-too-long break from them, and rediscovered why I love learning new words. Vocabulaire expliqué du français; niveau intermédiaire begins with a chapter on prefixes and suffixes, which are mostly the same in English thanks to Latin. But there was one prefix I didn’t know in French: […]

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Buying furniture in France, or why I miss dad’s big blue truck

We had to buy a new sommier (box spring) today because our old one was held up with books. Thank you Harry Potter for not letting our mattress fall to the ground. I’m still amazed at how cheaply-made beds are in France. Thin wood held together with staples, what a genius idea. That wood will […]

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Jealousy times ten thousand

What I am missing in Michigan: My parents’ driveway after 6 inches (15 cm) of snow fell. My beloved car buried under 14 inches (35.5 cm) of snow. Brandy attacking the huge snow pile. That is what winter should be like…. ::sigh::

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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