Soccer and Geneva, you’re on my list.

I’m supposed to present at the European Writing Centers Association Conference at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany, on June 21st. Two former colleagues from the University of Michigan-Flint Writing Center and I will be doing a 90 minute workshop titled “Tutors, Training and Border Crossings: Beyond the Textual Relationship.” I’ll be handling the ESL section on tutoring international students and tutor training.

Problem #1: The European Soccer Championship is being held in 8 cities in Switzerland and Austria during the month of June. This means almost all hotels are booked, even in Germany, because apparently Europeans think they are superior to the rest of the world in soccer and the World Cup just doesn’t matter because there are too many non-European teams mucking up the tournament. But I digress… Of course I still don’t have any hotel reservations anywhere, and it’s only like 3 weeks away! Starting to freak out a little…

Problem #2: I’m going to take a train because it will probably be the same price or cheaper than driving, but it’s shorter to go through Switzerland – which means an annoying change in Geneva. There are trains between Annecy and Geneva of course, but they arrive at the Eaux-Vives station. I will need to be at the Cornavin station for the train that goes to Freiburg. And for some strange reason, there is no train service connecting these two stations! Well, there will be in like 2010 or 2012 , but this “construction” rumor has been going around for the past century (I’m not even kidding). This is why so many people choose to drive to work in Geneva and why construction on a new highway between Annecy and Geneva is nearly finished. Whatever happened to the love of public transportation, France and Switzerland?

Problem #3: I have no money because I have no job. This conference is probably going to cost me more than 200 €, but I’m hoping to network a little and find a job in some academic setting. I miss the world of academia. Though French universities aren’t exactly known for being excellent and I’m not even sure if many of them have Writing Centers, and I’m sort of tied down to Annecy because of David’s job… so my hopes aren’t too high for finding a job. Which means I’ll still have no money because I’ll have no job. It’s a vicious circle.

But hey, I can add this to my resume, I get to visit Germany again (yay Black Forest!), AND I get to see friends from Michigan whom I miss dearly. So it’s totally worth the stress and debt. But it really does make me hate the soccer obsession in Europe even more…

Cultural Differences: Screens

+-*So screens on windows just don’t exist in France. For someone who has an irrational fear of bugs that sting, this is a big problem. I don’t like to keep the windows open even when it’s warm outside because I hate how many bugs get in the apartment, and also because I’m afraid the cat […]

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Books for 2 €

+-*For those who like to read, but are dirt poor like me, Librio publishes books for 1-3 € each. You can find several famous French works, as well as English works translated into French. (But check Project Gutenberg first if you want to download non-copyright protected works for free.) Their collections include literature, poetry, theatre, […]

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Nobody studies French Literature in High School

+-*I recently found out that College Board is going to cancel the AP exam in French Literature as of 2009. Also gone are Latin Literature and Italian Language & Culture. German Literature has been gone for 10 years, so that leaves us with Chinese Language & Culture, French Language, German Language, Japanese Language & Culture, […]

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What I did on my 26th birthday

+-*On Sunday, I went to bed at 2 am. Got up at 5:30 am. Took Jessica to the airport in Geneva (David drove). Came home and went back to bed. Got up again at 11 am. Headed to the medieval festival in Andilly with David and Lucy. Watched 1) the French beat the English during […]

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Annecy Events this Summer

+-*May 17: Fête des Arts du Cirque, quartier du Parmelan, 2pm to midnight. May 31: Nordic Walking Découverte, le Pâquier, 10am to 5pm. June 9-14: International Animated Film Festival, everywhere. June 15: Championnat Rhône-Alpes de VTT, les Puisots on the Massif du Semnoz. June 21: Musical Festival, downtown. June 21: Saint Jean bonfire, La Visitation, […]

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+-*Here are the translations from the real French post. I can honestly say I never learned these expressions from my high school or university books/classes. I only learned them when I moved to France. Elle tire le diable par la queue. = She barely gets by (financially). C’est pas vraiment le Pérou. = It’s nothing […]

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Real French.

+-*If you only learned textbook French in school, could you understand these sentences? All of them are from one page of a thread that I found on a random forum. This is why idioms and slang are an essential part of any language course! Elle tire le diable par la queue. C’est pas vraiment le […]

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Learning languages for free with the internet.

+-*Tip of the day: Use the internet to take advantage of the public domain. Foreign Service Institute Language Courses: Designed and written by the US government but with no copyright protection. You can download the texts (PDF format) and audio files (mp3s) for free. Not all languages are available for download as the site depends […]

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Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly

+-*Haute-Savoiers? Haute-Savoiens? People in Haute-Savoie! (And anyone else who is interested…) The annual medieval festival in Andilly will be held May 17 & 18 and May 24 & 25 this year. Price is 17 € a day for adults; 10 € for kids. Andilly is located halfway between Annecy and Geneva. Open 10 am until […]

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Where Jennie talks about learning and teaching languages, traveling the world, and being an immigrant/expat.


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