La Rentrée is coming! La Rentrée is coming!

It’s the last weekend of summer here in France. Kids go back to school this Wednesday and I couldn’t be happier. Hopefully there will be fewer loud scooters on the street after midnight. And I can go shopping without being surrounded by a bazillion annoying, bratty kids. La rentrée means more than just back to school though – it also means back to work since so many French people take long vacations in July & August (none of this 2 week crap here!) so maybe, just maybe I will finally have my new carte de séjour before my récépissé expires. But I doubt it.

Luckily university starts later, so I still have 3 weeks of vacation before I go back to work. I’m wondering how the hysteria surrounding swine flu is going to affect classes though. Personally I don’t think it’s any worse or any more dangerous than other sicknesses you can get from the general public, but I’m going to be bringing in disinfectant to the computer labs everyday. I  hate thinking about how dirty keyboards are. They harbor more bacteria and germs than toilets because at least toilets get cleaned!

I am ready to go back to work and I’m almost ready for fall. I love the warmth and sunshine of summer, but it’s not as fun when you live in the city. And I feel like I’ve been so unproductive this summer. It was usually too hot for me to sit at the computer and work on my website so I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to. Plus I was gone a lot, traveling with friends and going to my sister’s wedding. But summer is for vacation, right? I’m hoping when the weather gets colder and I don’t want to go outside, I’ll get focused on my site again.

David still has this week off (and another 3 weeks to take off before the end of the year…) so we’re going to explore the Parc des Bauges and perhaps head over to Albertville to see the Olympic Hall and its medieval cité. I still need to take more pictures of Chambéry too, and go hiking in the Charmettes, where Jean-Jacques Rousseau spent his summers.

Happy rentrée to those going back to work tomorrow! Et bon courage !

Lac d’Aiguebelette en Savoie

We went to Lac d’Aiguebelette today, about 20 minutes west of Chambéry. It was a bit windy and too chilly for me to go swimming, so we just drove around the entire lake and took pictures of the beautiful countryside.  Next time we’ll rent a pédalo and actually go in the water.  We first attempted […]

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The DOM-TOMS (France outside of France)

I don’t remember how we got on the subject (I was probably going on and on about Quebec again), but David mentioned a few weeks ago that he can ask to be transferred to St. Pierre et Miquelon. These tiny islands south of Newfoundland are not even an overseas département, but a collectivité territoriale. They […]

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Quoi dire, quoi faire

Mon petit canaillou est très, très poilu Parce que ça fait deux mois que je n’ai pas posté de photo de lui et parce que je n’ai rien à dire car il n’y a rien qui se passe dans ma vie. Les vacances, c’est génial, mais c’est mieux quand on a de l’argent pour voyager… […]

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Canicule is not so cool

There’s been a heat wave in southern France and the Rhone Valley for a while, but luckily it’s not as severe as the heat wave of 2003. Savoie isn’t in vigilance orange like the nearby départements of Rhône, Drôme, Ardèche or Vaucluse but it has been hotter than usual here. I can’t even remember the […]

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Why do I live in France?

It’s no secret that I am often homesick for North American culture (and especially the food.) I could move back to the US and get a teaching job or apply to do my PhD in Canada, but I choose to stay in France. David is, of course, the major reason why, but there are are […]

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Concentration, where did you go?

I’m having trouble concentrating these days. I don’t know if it’s because I’m no longer in college or because I moved to France and don’t work much, but I have grown so lazy. I promised myself that I would get back to reading and studying as much as I did before when I was an […]

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Je dors plus la nuit

Why do the effects of jet lag always feel so much worse in Europe? Whenever I’m in the US, I go to bed really early and wake up around 5 AM. When I get back to France, I go to bed at 5 AM and it sucks.

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Le retour en France

I arrived back in France at 6 AM Saturday morning, a full hour ahead of schedule. I guess the pilot flew really fast? I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I did not have to pay $50 for my second checked bag, though I still don’t know why. The kiosk screen at check-in clearly […]

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Washington, D.C.

I finally saw the nation’s capital on Monday. I had been wanting to see D.C. for a very long time and since we were going to be close by (well, close enough) after the wedding, I talked my parents into stopping for the day. So for eight hours we wandered around the Mall and Arlington […]

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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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