Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome Back (Monday)

Once upon a time I thought I was Gabe Kotter. Either him or that teacher on "Head of the Class," Dr. Samuels was it? Which is to say that I taught English composition to college freshmen and fancied myself a laid-back middle-aged liberal man with too much hair when really I was a twenty-something girl who wore poly-blend sundresses over t-shirts too small, desperately hoping that nobody would call my bluff.

As part of my role of Cool Teacher That The Kids Relate To (probably because I was only a few years older than they were), I used to play music in class and tell the students to free-write: George Winston (the girls wrote contemplative pieces about "there" boyfriends back home), Bob Marley (one boy took the opportunity to write me an invitation to a party that Friday), Fishbone (who knew 18 year olds could be so angry?). And then came the day I brought in my Serge Gainsbourg tape and played them this little ditty featuring Jane Birkin replete in Euro why-can't-I-be-that-effortlessly-mignon-ness. So that night? As I watched "Party of Five" while marking complete on their free-writes? That night, I read 29 papers of soft-core porn about sex, sighs and oh my god the sinking of flesh into flesh made my red pen blush beet and no. No, I did not go to any parties and stopped right there with moi non plus, the following week choosing instead to focus on the difference between its and it's because for the love of Milton there has never been and never will be an its'.

I am not a teacher anymore, but I do still adore this song. And Serge Gainsbourg. The phrase jolie-laide, but even more the french idiom il y a du monde au balcon which literally translates to "there is a crowd on the balcony" but is used to refer to a large-breasted woman. There you go: I would like you to work that phrase into conversation today. So I guess, in a way, I am still a teacher even if I never did look good in a corduroy sportscoat with patches on each elbow.

Je t'aime,

Extra Credit: Translate the following phrase both literally and idiomatically: Je m'en bats les couilles. Happy Monday!


AppleTree said...

Now its' going to be a good day. (just kidding. it is)

jennifer said...

teehee I whack my balls with it which is to say I don't give a shit.
too cool for school!

Vanessa said...

Loooove, Serge Gainsbourg. And yes, that's a very sexy song, haha. From now on when I hear it I'll think of the sinking flesh into flesh ;-)
Also, you totally pumped me up, I'm headed to Paris on Wednesday to celebrate my birthday, so I'm welcoming all thing French with beaucoup enthusiasm.

For Every Bird a Nest said...

I always look forward to your posts. You are hilarious

Still Life With Coffee said...

Oh dear, my balcony does not have much of a crowd.. but I do love that phrase.
Thanks for the lesson today.

Geli said...

Haha, the balcony phrase is used in more than
one country, plus I adored the song - we grew
up with it. I do remember though that the song
was prohibited in the United States, no?

Robin said...

I have never heard that phrase before but I am totally going to start using it because... Je suis une femme avec "un il y a du monde au balcon"

tone toni tony said...

thanx for the song, susannah. i have it on 45 and as soon as i find it am gonna give it a spin.

sherri said...

there is a crowd in my back yard (my ass is too wide).

got a lil' somethin' somethin' for ya at my place. do scoot on by.

Anonymous said...

From Jackie Chan Look-alike:

I fuck and don't give a fuck!!! So, fuckity, fuck, fuck.
Fucky McFuckerson and Fucky McGee

I think you're fuckin' badass and cool.
I totally understand if this comment is too offensive and you don't publish it.