First off, Happy (now belated) Birthday Uncle Jerry! I meant to write last night but I got side-tracked. I hope you had a fabulous birthday!
So my last evening as a 22 year old (Tuesday) I went to the Grade Two & Three Christmas concert at Mark & Stephanie's school. We were pulling out of the driveway and Mark asks Stephanie, " Stephanie, who do you like better, Jill or Daddy?" She immediately points to me and I tense up and shake my head. Mark not noticing her response asks it again. "Jill," she says aloud this time. Awkward. I tell Mark that that isn't a nice question to ask (though internally I was thinking, "Well duh.") and pretend like that didn't just happen. Oops.
Now the concert was only about 30 minutes but I made some observations there: I think elementary school music teachers are either bound for saint-hood, or partially crazy. (Plus I believe they all have the same green and red plaid blazer). This woman asks these kids to make more noise than they already do, and maintains a cheery disposition. I think my mom taught music for a while, so she's gotta be on track for saint-hood, but this lady? Definitely crazy. The kids also sang weird holiday songs--what happened to Dradle, Dradle, Dradle, or Silent Night? S.A.N.T.A. (apparently a disco-esque song complete with disco balls...) was not what I was expecting but it was pretty funny. After the concert the parents were all talking and the dad of Mark's best friend came up and said, "Wasn't that just wonderful? I think it's really special when kids sing." "Uhh yeah, especially painful," I thought. Makes me appreciate my dad for sitting through all our church choir performances because I can only imagine how bad they must have been!
I promise to write about my birthday soon (I feel like the day is a perfect example of how my mood swings as an au pair) but first: The Swine Flu. The Swine Flu (H1N1, or as I like to call it "La Cochon Grippe"--everything sounds better in French) finally came to Switzerland. People were freaking out, parents were nervous, but the Swiss being the Swiss were prepared. Many doctors were offering the vaccination and last week Anna called me and said the dreaded words, "Jill, can I talk to you for a minute?" Now those words, I think, are about the last anyone wants to hear (not from a teacher, not from an employer, not from anyone) and when she said, "Well I just wanted to let you now we are going to get the Swine Flu shot. Now you can get it if you want, it is a personal decision, but if you want it it's available and of course we'll pay for it." I don't think I've ever been so relieved to hear I might get pricked with a needle! (Will also called later that day and said the same sentence, but he was only asking if the family could take me out to dinner for my birthday--which we are doing tonight). I decided to get the shot, why not I guess, and yesterday I walked in to this clinic at the main train station, filled out a form, told them I had health insurance (they didn't even look at my card) and they stuck me with a needle. Probably took about 12 minutes in total. As I walked out I asked where I should pay and they said, "Nope, you don't pay." Man, I love Switzerland. Anna had hers on Saturday and she had a really bad reaction to it, I am feeling very flu-ish but not too swine-y... yet.
Thanks for all the birthday cards & e-mails! Ellen--yours was too funny. I tried to tell my friends later about the practical joke one and I couldn't even explain it because I was laughing too hard at the thought of it. You can make up for the fact that you sent Gabri a package by coming to visit me!