Friday, April 29, 2011

the south

turns out the south of france and the south of the states aren't really that different after all. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

school's out!

from my first day as a student to my last day as a teacher, oh how the time has flown. 
okay, sometimes it dragged. like the times i sat in algebra ticking off the minutes until class was over. 
but these last 7 months seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye. when i arrived in september, i remember sitting heavily on the bed, wondering just what in the world i had gotten myself into. i was unsure how i could make it to december, much less april. if you had told me then that i would make it to april and then happily decide to stay for a few more months, i would not have been able to believe you. but make it i did, and staying i am. 
this past week of school has been great, a return to elementary school when the last day of school meant parties and cake. some classes were easier to say goodbye to than others. monday morning's class was a "good riddance" type of farewell, while thursday and friday afternoon's classes definitely made me a bit sentimental. they brought me cakes and cards and a water color portrait of me in the classroom. one student brought me 18 roses and an offer of a trip to paris together. that particular gift, however, just provoked feelings of extreme discomfort. you can go ahead and add "kindly but firmly rejecting the advances of teenage boys" to the teaching assistant job description.

i'm not overly sad about the ending of this job for two reasons, the first being that i don't love teaching. or, at least, i don't love teaching within the public high school classroom structure. it's become incredibly clear that teaching there is not something you can do long-term or well if your heart is not in it. 
the second reason is that i'm not leaving france just yet. check in with me in july and the not being sad story will be sure to have changed. 

the part of it all that is strange for me is that for the first time in 18 years, i'm ending the school year without plans to be back in the classroom in one capacity or another in the fall. 
but the truth is that i love learning way too much for that to last long, so i think i'll just enjoy it while it lasts. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


you know you've acclimated to european culture when a guy carrying a murse strikes you as completely average. 

that, and when you're only vaguely panicked by the decision to tack on 3 more months to your stay.