Wednesday, June 10, 2015

je m'en foutisme

An -isme in French is an "-ism." The expression Je m'en fous roughly translates as "I don't give a fuck." (Some would translate it more weakly as "I don't give a shit/damn," but much depends on context.) The attitude of "don't give a fuck"ism is je m'en foutisme in French.

I'm halfway through Week 15, the penultimate week of the semester, so I'm ready for this academic nonsense to end. I was a sweaty mess by the time I reached my classroom, so I took out my trusty handkerchief and made it into my infamous bandanna:

Today's kids were less exercised about the whole grading-curve thing than my Monday kids had been, which was a relief. I had resigned myself to suffering loud, lusty outrage from the rest of my classes because I'd assumed the Monday class was a bellwether for what awaited me. Not so, but the one similarity between my Wednesday kids and my Monday kids was that neither group wanted to do an end-of-term party. Today, the reason wasn't so much anger at the grading curve as it was a lack of desire to come back to campus the week after exams, when the only reason to come back would be to attend the party.

I could understand that: if I were a student, and if I had no reason to see my classmates except to join them at a party, I wouldn't want to come, either. Generating esprit de corps among Korean students who don't know each other is a difficult business in the best of times. Unless the entire group goes through some harrowing situation, the kids aren't going to bond easily or deeply. As an introvert, I get this. Solidarity, as a feeling, is often hard to conjure up.

While it's disappointing that yet another group really doesn't want a party, my wallet is quietly breathing a sigh of relief: parties take funding to happen—at least, they do if you're planning to throw any sort of decent party. Even if I'd arranged a potluck, with the students bringing the supplies, I'd still have brought my own supplies, and that would have cost money. If my final two classes also say no to having parties, I may be off the hook, monetarily speaking.

Not that I care. Je m'en fous.


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