School & Public Transportation Vocabulary

un débrayage – short stoppage in work, not necessarily caused by a strike. Can include short protests against something that cannot be changed, complete with speeches that cannot be heard over the noise of uninterested students happy to have an excuse to miss class. Also the cause of unexpected trous in one’s schedule (see below).

un trou - break or pause between classes in one’s schedule. For the lucky, they only last one or two hours. For the unlucky, they can last between 3 and 6 hours, such as was the case on Tuesday when I had a huge trou between 11 am and 5 pm and again on Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm.

un conseil de classe – staff meetings for a certain class, usually held after school. Teachers are obviously required to complain about these meetings regardless of when, where or how often they take place during the school year.

perturbé - adjective used to describe the state of public transportation during a strike. Supposedly means disturbed in English, but more commonly means non-existent, as in, “there’s no way you’re getting to work/school/anywhere today because SNCF workers are angry at Sarkozy.”

un autocar – a bus (but not un bus; confusing, I know!) that goes from city to city rather than within one city. Also used as an alternative to trains during a strike and during early hours when train stations are not yet open. Autocars run late 98% of the time, so they are a legitimate reason for being late to your 8 am class.

les horaires du service hiver - train schedule that is valid from December to July (because apparently winter goes until July?), characterized by the most inconvenient times that will force me to arrive to work either 10 minutes late, or 2 hours early.

Why I don’t prefer the US to France: High cost of university

Anyone else think this is unfair? I took a class in the spring term (May/June), so my loan went into deferment, supposedly until 2010 – the year my university listed as my graduation date. But that wasn’t correct since I graduated just after that spring term in August 2007. (And I thought loans were automatically […]

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English Teaching Assistantships in Europe for American citizens

Information and applications for the English teaching assistantships in Europe can be found at the following sites. You should have an intermediate knowledge of the language (French, Spanish, or German) but this really isn’t enforced for the French program… English Assistant in France Americans / Canadians / Australians / New Zealanders / CIEP Site Teach […]

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Crisis averted!

My website is back online!!!

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As if I didn’t have enough of a headache already…

I still haven’t got my website back online, but I think I found a new host. Now if only they would hurry up and send me my login details so I can upload files… Today’s drama is about my student loans, however. They were put into deferment in May when I went back to school […]

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GAHHHHHH!!!!!

My entire website is gone. My host decided to delete my account. I have no idea why. Here is the crappy e-mail I received: Hi,We are regret to inform you that your hosting account for domain ielanguages.com has been closed.due repeated email issues and per terms of conditions we closed this account.during the last 24 […]

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Success (sort of) again.

Is it weird that I actually don’t mind going to the préfecture? Since I had finally received my new arrêté de nomination and procès-verbal (six weeks late, but no biggie, right?!?), I had to head back to the préf and do another changement du statut from visiteur to travailleur temporaire. I was a tiny bit […]

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Je suis de mauvaise humeur.

The strike is finally over! Well, almost. I don’t have to take a train again until Friday, so I’m happy. I want to know why the SNCF thinks they can replace a train with one little bus and think there will be enough room for everyone. Luckily I work close to the provenance of the […]

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Are we at war?

Sabotage on the railways???? Say what??? French trains “hit by sabotage” Are you serious, France?

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Chez le dentiste

Good news: Dentist appointments in France last about 10 minutes. I’ve never had any problems with my teeth in my life (not one single cavity!), but since I haven’t been to the dentist since before I moved to France, I thought I’d better go. The dentist was talking so incredibly fast, so I’m not sure […]

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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 January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. 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 the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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