Monday, 18 July 2011

Un Petit Cadeau

On the subject of the French trip, I think its important to pay tribute my friend Gaëlle. Gaëlle, a Breton by birth, is the head of the French Department at work, and, I’m very happy to say, has been one of my team of form tutors since she joined us, immediately after successfully completing two terms of teaching practice as a student with us. Twas none other than she who arranged the trip, and invited me to be one of the accompanying teachers, for which many thanks, as always. OK, scene duly set. On Saturday morning we left the Centre in which we were staying, in a charming little seaside town in Normandy called Lion sur Mer ( or Leigh-on- Sure Mayor, as one proud child wrote in her diary that evening) to travel to Paris for a day’s sightseeing. About halfway there we stopped to fill the coach with fuel, and nipped in to the shop. Gaëlle noticed something that I didn’t. When we got back on the bus, she handed me a little paper bag, and inside it was a little pocket French quiz book, which she’d seen and bought for me.

Now, you know that I like quiz books very much – well, good ones or old ones, anyway – and so to have a genuine French one absolutely made my day. Its called , rather simply ,
“Quiz (240 questions et 10 pages de bonus )”
and has 236 questions in 60 pages. A rather arbitrary number which rather reminds me of my 1951 Top of the Form quiz book. Still, a good thing going in its favour is the fact that although the questions are multiple choice, the answers are quite generous in their explanations. I love the fact that there are quite a lot of pretty common questions in there – for example : -
Où se trouve le Machu Picchu ?
a) En Bolivie
b) Au Brésil
c) Au Pérou
d) Au Mexique
( Where is Machu Picchu ? Bolivia – Brazil – Peru – Mexico )
Yet there’s also some more France specific stuff which you just wouldn’t know in the natural course of things , for example : -
Qui a été la première femme minister en France ?
a) Françoise Giroud
b) Simone Veil
c) Edith Cresson
d) Germaine Poinso-Chapuis
(Who was the first woman minister in France ? )
I’ll admit that Edith Cresson is the only one I knew of, but the answer was this –
D – En 1957 Germaine Poinso-Chapuis entre au ministère de la Santé de la Population et deviant ainsi la première femme minister française.
(D – In 1957 Germaine Poinso-Chapuis joined the Ministry of Public Health, and became at the same time the first woman minister of France )

OK, that wouldn’t be of interest to everyone. But how about this sort of thing as a tie break question –
En quelle année la pilule contraceptive a-t-elle autorisée au Japon ?
(In which year was the contraceptive pill legalized in Japan ? )
There are 4 choices, but in a tie break of course you’d give it to the nearest. The answer is actually 1999 according to the book – I haven’t checked it for accuracy yet.

I’m just so tickled and chuffed, firstly because I love prezzies anyway, but mainly for getting my first quizbook from a non English speaking country . Love it !


DanielFullard said...

Sounds like a good trip! And I know where you are coming from with the obsession on quizbooks. I get wrong frequently for going on shopping trips and ending up with piles more quiz books

Londinius said...

Hi Daniel

I think you have to be a bit selective. There are some very good quiz books which are current, but an awful lot of what is on the market is samey, and not a little of it is slipshod and inaccurate.