Megeve, my school


Megeve, my school

Megeve, my school

So far I have not said much about school, but obviously it is a big part of my life in Megeve.

Here in France we have school about eight hours a day. I leave my home in the morning at 8:00 a.m. to catch the bus, and I take the bus home at the end of the day, arriving at 5:00 p.m.

My classes include math (algebra and geometry), English, Spanish (in-between Spanish 1 and 2 I think, but the scale is different here) science, biology, French, French history, music, art, technology, and PE. The schedule is a block schedule, so I do not have every class every day and classes like art are only once a week. Wednesdays school ends at noon for everyone, so I ski train in the afternoons.

The bus system in Megeve is the first difference from the one in Telluride. There are many buses that come from all over, some picking people up as far away as an hour from town. A few of the buses have double decks. The one I take picks up me and Nicolas and a few other kids up from down the street.

There are also a number of differences at and in school. First off –  and this might be a European thing because they do this in England too –  is the “ones” and “sevens” are not the same. Ones look like sevens, with the main line going up and the line at the top angling down. This is the way a “1” is in print, except the line that runs off the vertical is longer which makes it looks like a seven. In extreme cases, the top lines goes all the way to the bottom so it looks like a triangle with no base. Like this ⩘ . Sevens are always crossed.

Another difference in math is the decimal points are commas, not periods. The number “two point three five eight” would look like: 2,358. But that looks like two thousand to me. Graph points are plus signs instead of dot points. On one of my math tests, I got 100 percent correct, but got points off for making my graph points different. Just a cultural thing.

In class, we are supposed to write in pen. No one uses pencil for anything – and the pens are not erasable either. There is white-out tape if you make a mistake. On a few of my tests, in math and science (the only tests I have taken so far), I have written in pencil and gotten points off. LOL.

Additionally, we are given a correspondence notebook, so parents can communicate with teachers and visa versa. I have to bring my book to every class and then take it back home. The special book has space to write notes, observations when you are bad like tardies and stuff.  Because of the notebook, teachers and parents do not email each other nearly as much as they do in the U.S. Back home, my mom gets daily emails.

Another school difference is the two breaks and a lunch to socialize. Breaks are 15 minutes each and lunch is one hour long. Like the family lunches and dinners, lunch is another way of socializing all together.

The last major difference with the school itself – and this may just be because it is a private school – is that I do not change classrooms; teachers come to us. Math, French, and science happen in the same room. My desk even has a compartment that acts as a locker, so I can store books and don’t have to lug them around. This is different from what we back in Telluride are used to, where I go to Jone’s room for English, Lambert’s for math, etc.

That is enough for now. I could write about this stuff all day, but you don’t have all day to read.

To sum up, everything is awesome: even though I can not understand a lot and speak less, I am learning, progressing, and having a great time.

Au revoir.

Editor’s Note: Last January, Telluride Inside… and Out visited Megeve, located in the Haute-Savoie department, Rhone-Alpes region, southeastern France. The town started its development as a ski resort in the 1910s, when the Rothschild family began spending winter vacations in the region after becoming oh so over  the Swiss resort of St Moritz. Modern-day Megeve is considered among the most beautiful upmarket ski resorts in France, indeed, in the world. And with good reason. Even more than Telluride, Megeve offers extensive downhill options for all levels of skiers and boarders: 111 lifts, 219 slopes, totaling 445 km. The region has no huge hotels, and for the most part, there are no mass market boils on its face. (However – eegads –  when we were there, we spied a MacDonald’s at one end of town.) The core of Megeve is a charming medieval village with narrow cobbled streets, but the wake up call signaling you are in the here and now are the numerous high-end designer boutiques flashing brand names like Prada and Hermes. Over the years, Telski, Town of Telluride and Mountain Village honchos have talked about the possibility of an alliance with Megeve in the form of a “sister city” relationship. So far, no dice. But an ambassador went to Megeve anyway,  thanks to two ski coaches, local Caleb Martin and his friend, Richard Gay (in Megeve). The pair decided an exchange would be a great idea, so  Zach Nunn is now staying with Clement Cabrol’s family – Alain, Cathy, Camille,  and Nicholas –  before Clement travels to town to ski moguls with the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club. Clement will be staying with the (remaining) Nunns: Randall, Debra, and Skyler. Zach plans to spend a year in Megeve and is posting regularly.

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