petite anglaise

September 3, 2004

private tutorials

Filed under: french touch — petiteanglaiseparis @ 4:31 pm

A friend of mine is starting a TEFL course next week and it has got me reminiscing about my own experiences teaching, back when I was a lectrice d’anglais at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Which is the university version of those French assistants you remember having crushes on when you were at secondary school. I gave conversation classes, took first year phonetics tutorials (despite having no prior knowledge of the subject and being roughly one lesson ahead of my students in the workbook) and generally enjoyed wielding the power that being the only person in a room of 30 odd people who could speak decent English conferred on me.

Oh, and I got to know a few of my students, in the biblical sense.

One such student was Cédric, a second year who was very good-looking. Actually “pretty” would be a more appropriate word. (Digression: what an unfortunate name. Imagine I told you I was dating someone English called Cedric? You’d think I made it up. But because his name was pronounced “Sedreek” it was somehow exotic. Sort of…)

Cédric took to hanging around at the end of class, dropping hints that I might like to go out on the town with him sometime. I accepted. He took me to the Queen nightclub, a well-known gay club on the Champs Elysées. I doubt I’d ever have got past the dragon on the doors if I’d hadn’t been on his arm. The G&T tinged memories I have of that night are of cheesy music, Ab Fab projected without sound onto huge screens around the room, and some bitchy guys shouting “Oh là là – quel gâchis!” (oh dear lord – what a waste!) when Cédric made his move on me. I also distinctly recall him being propositioned by a man old enough to be his grandad.

The boy claimed to be bisexual, but either he was kidding himself, or I was a disappointment. Anyway, the real reason he lured me back to his tiny maid’s room appartment became apparent the next morning. At some unfashionably early hour there was a knock at the door. His father. Whom Cédric did not appear surprised to see. Casually, he introduced me (hungover, yesterday’s make-up still on, sleep in my eyes, totally blind without my lenses in – i.e. not sexily dishevelled like people wake up in films):

” Papa, je te présente *********, la lectrice d’anglais de ma fac..”

I mumbled something incomprehensible, acutely embarrassed. I couldn’t even get out of the bed to shake papa‘s hand because I was only wearing a t-shirt.

Meanwhile crafty Cédric had killed two birds with one stone. He could put off coming out to his parents for a little bit longer, and he had convinced his father that he was taking his English degree very seriously.


  1. I enjoyed this entry very much. It is such a funny story, although probably at the time you probably didnt think so. Great!

    Comment by cal — September 23, 2004 @ 12:56 pm

  2. didn’t even think that Cedric could sound exotic to anyone…

    Comment by Emilie [mimile] — September 23, 2004 @ 12:56 pm

  3. I’m sorry, petite, but I am laughing my arse off. (I’m so glad things like that happen to other people as well!) LOLOLOL. And called Cedric too.

    Comment by Vit — September 23, 2004 @ 12:57 pm

  4. I’ve just changed my name to Cedric.
    See you somewhere in Europe.

    Comment by anonymous — September 23, 2004 @ 12:57 pm

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