Mon Amour, le Fonctionnaire

David took a competitive exam (concours) to become a civil servant (fonctionnaire) in France. It began with a multiple choice exam in December, and since he passed that, he was able to go on to the interview in February. We found out on March 9 that he succeeded and that he will become a fonctionnaire!!!  Basically, this means that he will have a job for life as long as we stay in France.

He was #54 out of 291 admitted candidates, and in addition to the extra “points” he receives for being PACSed, this will determine which type of job he gets. The concours was to become an agent de catégorie C des ministères financiers. His choices for job were: agent de la répression des fraudes, agent administratif des impôts, and agent d’administration du Trésor Public.  So either fraud prevention, taxes or the treasury.

He will have to leave for a training period (stage) for a few months this summer, and then he will be assigned to a city somewhere in France (no idea where!) to start his job. This means we will most likely have to live apart during the next school year while I’m finishing my lectrice contract in Chambéry. But since I only work 24 weeks a year, I don’t think it will be too hard. However, this also means no vacation time this summer so he won’t be able to go to my sister’s wedding. (Sorry Jamie!)

We’re impatiently waiting for more information about the stage so we can start planning our move. I am eager to leave this apartment and Annecy so I can live closer to work, but just the thought of moving in a few months makes me tired. This is really good for David though, and I’m so proud of him. This does mean, of course, that he’s no longer attempting the CAFEP to become an English teacher, but I really think he will like this job more anyway. And it is nice to know that one of us will always have a job, especially since one of us (ahem, me) will probably have a hard time finding a new job when my current contract ends.

At least the thought of doing graduate work in France is something that I had thought about before. I am almost certain I will do at least a Master here so that I can be more “appealing” to French employers who look down on my American degrees.  I don’t really want to teach English forever anyway, so perhaps I will finally check out the travel/tourism industry. And even though we have to stay in France for David’s job, that includes the DOM-TOMs, so maybe one day we will be in La Réunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana or Mayotte (new département as of April 2009, supposedly). There’s little chance that will happen though.

Félicitations David !

Carnaval Vénitien d’Annecy 2009

Annecy is the Venice of France, so we have our own version of the Venetian Carnival. The Carnaval Vénitien is currently taking place in Annecy. David & I went downtown to see the parade this afternoon, but then quickly remembered what “parade” means in Annecy. The Masques walk very, very slowly through the old town, […]

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Miss Harriet, Maupassant, and le break

“Nous étions sept dans le break, quatre femmes et trois hommes…” The short story, Miss Harriet, was written in 1883 by Guy de Maupassant. In the very first sentence is the word le break – meaning horse-drawn carriage. Nowadays it means a station wagon and when I learned this, I just assumed it was an […]

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Master’s in Teaching French at University of Arizona

Maybe it’s the never-ending cold inside and outside, but I keep looking for Master’s programs in French in warm climates… et voilà, I found the perfect program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. They offer a Master’s in Teaching French as a Foreign Language, which is exactly what I’m looking for before I decide […]

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Le Col de la Forclaz above Lake Annecy

David and I finally returned to the Col de la Forclaz to take photos of Lake Annecy from above. We last went up there in November 2006, shortly after we met. It’s where many hang-gliders begin their journey down the mountains, and there’s also a small ski station (mostly for children), some restaurants and souvenir […]

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Price of Stamps Increases in France: March 2009

Starting March 2, 2009, the price to send a Prioritaire letter (up to 20 g) within France & the DOM-TOMs will be 56 centimes, a 1 centime increase from last year. The cheaper Ecopli price will be 51 centimes, also a 1 centime increase. The price to send a letter within the European Union & […]

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International Mother Language Day – February 21, 2009

The International Mother Language Day has been observed yearly since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Yesterday at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the 3rd edition of the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger was presented in an online edition and is available free of charge worldwide. It contains information […]

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Is it 2005 again?

I heard some loud laughing down in the parking lot earlier tonight, but I thought it was just the noisy neighbors having a party. But because I’m so curious nosy, I decided to look outside and see what they were up to. Oops, my bad. Not a party. Just a burning car across the street. […]

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A dozen would just be too many.

Who says that French doctors overprescribe medication? 11 boxes is normal, right? I went to the doctor for help with my winter depression, fatigue and insomnia. That cost me 55 € just to see him, of which I’ll probably be reimbursed about 20 €. Then I went to the pharmacy to get the prescriptions, which […]

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Cat in Couette

For the second year, we’ve had a technician come to verify that the chauffage au sol is actually working, and sure enough, they tell us everything is fine. Then why is it only 14 C / 57 F when we get up in the morning?? I seriously think the (main) reason why I don’t like […]

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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.


The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.