It has been a while. (For me, anyway.)

I suppose I’ve been too tired and sluggish to do anything on my site or blog since we still have no heat in the apartment. It’s been snowing most of the week too, so double yay. I also recently discovered that the building where my office is located on campus does not have a heating system either. The entire building. Three floors of classrooms and my office. Am I the only person who thinks this is crazy?? Every time I walk past a class in that building, the students are shivering in their seats with their coats on. I feel so bad for them. And this means that I can never use my office since it’s hard to type with numb fingers.

Wednesday evening began my 11 days of winter vacation. So far I’ve done nothing but finish up lessons for my various classes for the rest of the semester so I will be tranquille later on in March when I know something bad will happen. Let’s face it, something bad always happens in March and it stresses me out and makes me curse the fact that the month even exists. Hey, remember last March when my car broke down on the highway on a Friday afternoon while it was raining and snowing? And remember how I had to pay 1200 euros to replace the engine? Man, that was awesome.

Though perhaps the strikes and manifestations happening at other French universities will catch on at mine so I can have a longer vacation, or time off in March… I wonder if that was the plan all along… So far, my classes haven’t been affected, though I do have a lot of absences. But I think my students just like to skip. But hey, when you can retake the final exam and retake the classes even if you fail miserably, why not?

Anyway, since I’m always working at my computer, I decided to move my desk because I was tired of being in the dark corner. Now I’m in front of the window so I can always see when the dark clouds full of snow are approaching.

So what is on my desk? My computer, a book, and a cat.

P.S. A lack of heat and sunlight makes me incredibly cranky.

Not much has changed.

+-*I keep spending too many hours online searching for a new place to live in the countryside and for that perfect PhD program that I can apply to in a few years. The problem is that I don’t know where we will be moving to this summer, so it’s impossible to actually find a new […]

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Téléfrançais – Episode 1

+-*Hey, I have an idea! Let’s put a talking pineapple, a creepy pilot doll, skeletons playing music, and two kids together in a video to teach useful French phrases like Je suis un ananas and Ce n’est pas possible ! Brilliant, right? Thanks to Dedene for this gem.

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Exchanging French Francs for Euros is Still Possible?

+-*I just saw an article on that mentioned today is the very last day for exchanging 100 franc bills (the “Delacroix”) for euros.  Apparently at the end of 2008, there were 12.14 million 100 franc bills still in circulation? All other franc bills can still be exchanged until February 17, 2012.  I had no […]

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Links Roundup for Learning Languages Online (Audio Version)

+-*I’ve been slowly going through my Language Links page to delete dead links and add new ones. Some new language sites that I’ve come across since my last links post include audio prominently: SWAC Audio Collections provide pronunciations for a wide range of words in 11 languages: Bielorussian, Czech, Chinese, German, English, French, Dutch, Russian, […]

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It’s coming! The big strike of January 29!

+-*FYI: France will be on strike this Thursday, January 29. You know it will be big because it has its own website: There’s even a Google Map of local manifestations. Wooo first major grève of the year!

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Windstorm in the Southwest of France

+-*I don’t often associate severe or extreme weather with France, because they just don’t get the same types of storms that we have in the US. And that means I feel a little safer whenever I hear thunder or see the snow start to fall. It can’t possibly be as bad as tornadoes and blizzards […]

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Multilingual is always better than monolingual

+-*From the New York Times: Nashville Won’t Make English Official Language By ROBBIE BROWN Published: January 22, 200 Nashville voters on Thursday rejected a proposal to make English the city’s official language and largely to prevent government workers from communicating in other languages. The proposal was introduced by Eric Crafton, a metropolitan councilman. It was […]

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It’s been one full day.

+-*Hey, why isn’t the world fixed yet?

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Thoughts and Ramblings

+-*I’ve only worked one day in the past thirty, and it has given me a lot of time to think, contemplate, and get bored and frustrated. My first semester as a lectrice d’anglais ended just fine, and then Christmas came and went along with my homesickness, and lately I’ve been reading and cleaning a lot […]

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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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