Summer to Fall to Christmas in One Week

Last week I was still wearing tank tops because the temperature was still reaching 75° (24 C). This week it’s been probably about 50° or 60° (10-15 C) and the heat has been turned on in our building. We’re supposed to turn all the radiators on full blast to make sure everything is working properly and I absolutely love it. Our apartment had better be this warm all winter long. Anything is better than our heatless apartment in Annecy though, I guess!  After freezing for two years with no heat and no hot water in the evenings, it is nice to know that I will finally be comfortable in my own apartment.

We also received catalogs from Toys R Us and King Jouet today, advertising toys to buy for Christmas! It is October 13th. OCTOBER THIRTEENTH! I don’t even want to think about Christmas yet, especially since most of our money will have to go towards the stupid taxe d’habitation anyway and we’re staying in France this year so I will once again miss out on a real Michigan Christmas full of decorations and cookies and snow and Rudolph the Reindeer on the radio.

As much as I love summer, I’m glad fall is here. I feel better working and having a purpose in life instead of just being on vacation forever. Work is going great this year (minus all the scheduling conflicts) and I’m not having too many problems with students. Or at least I think I yelled enough at the immature boys last week that they got the point. Giving them seating charts and treating them like 5 year-olds works wonders sometimes. I think the best part is being able to work with students from last year because they know how I expect them to behave and simply already knowing their names makes things so much easier. And my Italian students! I adore them. I want to go to the Università della Valle d’Aosta just to tell them to send me more students.

Five hours of class tomorrow and I am en week-end again!

Switzerland vs. France (Not a Football Match)

Oddly enough, living in France near the Swiss border has more disadvantages than advantages. At first I thought it would be nice to be close to another country that isn’t even in the EU. Geneva’s international airport has served me well over the years, but I’ve got to say that I’ve never actually spent time […]

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Bon jour d’action de grâce !

Un bon jour d’action de grâce à tous mes amis canadiens et canadiennes !!

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PACS is 10 years old

PACSing was created in France in late 1999, originally as an alternative to gay marriage, but straight couples are also allowed to get PACSed. In 2000, there were 22,108 PACS. In 2008, the number had risen to 144,716. However, less than 6% of the PACS in 2008 were gay couples. The majority of PACS are […]

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Where does the time go?

I’ve finished my first full week of classes (all 16.5 hours) and even though I only work Monday-Wednesday, I am exhausted! I would prefer to work 4 hours a day over 4 days, but the students don’t have classes on Thursday afternoons because of sports. So as of 6:30pm Wednesday evening, I am en week-end. […]

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I.D. se prononce Heidi

I somehow came across the French School of Detroit’s site when I was reading France-Amérique and I thought their page on American vocabulary was so cute. The students’ parents are not always fluent in English, so they explained a few American words that the parents will probably encounter. Lunchbox: Concrètement, il s’agit des repas pour vos […]

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My new favorite applet for teaching and learning languages online: NanoGong

I just discovered this awesome applet called NanoGong from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. It’s a mini-recorder that you can use on webpages (and Moodle) and it will work perfectly in my vocabulary classes! The students listen to my pronunciation (by using flash mp3 players that I already embedded into the flashcards) […]

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Year Four Begins…

I completely missed my 3 year anniversary of living in France! In some ways, it seems longer than 3 years. In other ways, not so much. Year four brings a new apartment and city to discover, the same job but new students to teach, and another year closer to officially becoming French. I feel like […]

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My rentrée is almost here

Tomorrow I will finally start classes again! We are just doing placement tests so we can divide the groups by level, but it’s still work, especially since we’re using our lovely computer lab with Windows 2000 and so far 3 out of 18 of the computers are already dead. New computers will be installed, but […]

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Colloquial French Grammar

I just finished reading Colloquial French Grammar by Rodney Ball, which I highly recommend to those who want to learn the “rules” of everyday spoken French. You do have to have some knowledge of French because sometimes there are no translations given, and a linguistics background would be helpful to understand all of the grammatical […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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