Monday, June 8, 2009
Saint Denis, Here I Come!
Exciting news, folks! I found out that I will be living/teaching in the capital city, Saint Denis! This is good, I think, as it will be perhaps the best place for someone like me who, shall we say, does not the have strongest French language skills. If there are any other Anglophone ex-pats, it is most likely that they will be snooping around somewhere in the capital. It will also give me the potential to do some activism/community organizing (shh!) and more importantly, it means that I have access to good nightlife, medical facilities, and the Universite de La Reunion if I am interested in auditing a class or connecting with a professor. The capital is known for its French culture (cafes line most corners) and its rich history of Creole peoples (of course the history of slavery and subjugation is glossed over with beautiful French colonial architecture and narratives that privilege the French, white, male colonial officers, - one of whom a school that I will be working at is named for - who bravely fought other colonizing powers, such as the British or the Portugese).
Unfortunately I did not get the 9 month contract that I had hoped for, but instead I got the 7 month contract. I will be teaching high-school students at two different locations. They are very close to one another; they are also both in east-central Saint Denis, and are very close to the ocean!
It is quite a relief to know exactly where I will be teaching next year! I can now start to think about living arrangements, plane tickets, and right, what I will be teaching exactly. Because I will be teaching at the high school level, I believe that my curriculum will be essentially given to me. However, I have some of my own ideas (some subversive teaching practices) that I would like to implement if possible.
In particular, I think it would be important for the students to read African-American literature; this would act as a way of both 1) teaching American culture - yes A-A culture is a part of "American culture" and 2) allowing students to find connections between the US and La Reunion - both of which are born out of a history of slavery, and particularly, slavery based in racism.
That is all for now.