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 I’ve been slowly acquiescing to France’s lifestyle and feeling slightly less annoyed by the things I wish I could change. I still refuse to eat lunch at 12 sharp and I do wish stores were open on Sundays, but eh, what are ya gonna do? It’s funny now to see how frustrated people are when they first arrive in France and realize they have no control over anything. I just laughed at the never-ending schedule changes at work this year (too many students, not enough classes), yet I know the new lecteurs are freaking out and feeling stressed because they still don’t even know when they have to work and it’s the 2nd week of the semester. But I don’t care. It’s not the end of the world if something goes wrong, especially when it’s not your fault.

I don’t want to take my je-m’en-foutisme to the extreme, but sometimes you gotta have it to survive, or at least, to not have a heart attack due to stress. I could have pulled my hair out upon arriving at work and finding that only 11 of the computers worked and the internet was down, meaning we couldn’t use Dialang to do the placement tests. But I didn’t. Luckily only 11 students showed up for each class, so we started with a different vocabulary test that doesn’t require the internet, and the network was fixed in time to finish up with what I wanted to do. Things all worked out in the end.

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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Hot Potatoes and Audio Flashcards

As of September 1, 2009, Hot Potatoes (and Quandary) became freeware software. Anyone can download and use the flashcard and exercise authoring programs, whether or not you’re affiliated with a university or upload your work to the web. I use HP for work and for my website. I’ve made several flash cards and quizzes for French, […]

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Foire de Savoie

Last night David & I went to the Foire de Savoie, mostly because one of their main exhibits was Tahiti et ses îles and I’m still really interested in seeing French Polynesia one day. Everyone was dressed in traditional Polynesian outfits and they were selling flowers, oils, jewelry, clothes and vacations to Tahiti. They even […]

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Hazardous Effects of Dubbing

Ok, maybe not hazardous, but the effects sure are annoying. France dubs almost all foreign TV shows and movies into French instead of leaving the original spoken language and adding subtitles. I absolutely hate it because the lips don’t match the words, the voices don’t match the actors, and it’s really distracting when the French […]

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La Maison de Jean-Jacques Rousseau dans les Charmettes

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, of Social Contract fame, lived in a house in the Charmettes, just outside of Chambéry, from 1735-1742. He kept a garden and vineyard there while he spent the rest of his time writing. It is open to the public for free and there is also a temporary exposition until December 31 titled “Je […]

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Zee French Appartement

Even though we moved into this apartment back in May, we are still not finished acquiring all the furniture we want/need. The last piece of the puzzle is a clic-clac for the living room. We do have a small couch, but it’s too uncomfortable and impossible to sleep on.  We were supposed to receive the […]

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Ready for my Rentrée

School starts in 11 days and I’m so excited! I love my job and being on vacation for nearly 5 months was getting a little old. I can’t wait to get back in the computer room and audio labs and play with the technology teach students English. Everything will be so much easier this year […]

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Is your French better than a reality show contestant’s?

Meet Vanessa. She’s on a reality show in France called Secret Story. If the fact that she’s on a reality show doesn’t already tell you she’s a moron, her 53 grammar mistakes in 27 seconds will. (Ok, she didn’t make quite that many mistakes, but come on! I speak French better than her!!)

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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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