un débrayage – short stoppage in work, not necessarily caused by a strike. Can include short protests against something that cannot be changed, complete with speeches that cannot be heard over the noise of uninterested students happy to have an excuse to miss class. Also the cause of unexpected trous in one’s schedule (see below).
un trou – break or pause between classes in one’s schedule. For the lucky, they only last one or two hours. For the unlucky, they can last between 3 and 6 hours, such as was the case on Tuesday when I had a huge trou between 11 am and 5 pm and again on Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm.
un conseil de classe – staff meetings for a certain class, usually held after school. Teachers are obviously required to complain about these meetings regardless of when, where or how often they take place during the school year.
perturbé – adjective used to describe the state of public transportation during a strike. Supposedly means disturbed in English, but more commonly means non-existent, as in, “there’s no way you’re getting to work/school/anywhere today because SNCF workers are angry at Sarkozy.”
un autocar – a bus (but not un bus; confusing, I know!) that goes from city to city rather than within one city. Also used as an alternative to trains during a strike and during early hours when train stations are not yet open. Autocars run late 98% of the time, so they are a legitimate reason for being late to your 8 am class.
les horaires du service hiver – train schedule that is valid from December to July (because apparently winter goes until July?), characterized by the most inconvenient times that will force me to arrive to work either 10 minutes late, or 2 hours early.