I’ve survived a full week of work. Actually, I worked 4 days last week instead of the normal 3 since I didn’t work at all the first week of October. Teaching is easy and the students are fine, except for a few particular bad ones at the middle school… The only thing I don’t like is the commute and the waiting. Waiting for the train. Riding the train. Waiting for class. Waiting for lunch. Waiting for the train again. Riding the train again. I get home at 7 pm everyday, and I’m so exhausted afterwards that I just eat dinner and go to bed.

I’m more than determined to buy an automatic car as soon as possible. It will take me months to learn how to drive a manual at the rate I’m going (one lesson in two weeks because David & I can’t find the time), plus a second car would be handy. I will be so happy the day that I can leave Cluses right when I finish work instead of waiting nearly 2 hours for the train.

At least I don’t have to spend much time planning lessons. I can use my lessons from last year for my seconde classes (all day Tuesday) and for the première/terminale classes (all day Friday), I just need to bring in some documents for them to describe. And usually the middle school teachers already have an activity planned, so I just follow their directions. You’d think I’d have more free time this year thanks to not wasting every waking moment on lesson planning; but no, now I’m wasting every waking moment on waiting for class or lunch or the train. I just can’t force myself to read/study/do anything productive during my down time.

I’m definitely seeing how lucky I was to be placed in Annecy last year, close to so many other English assistants. If I had been placed in the mountains last year I would have lived at the school and probably not really known any of the other English assistants or had any real friends. It would have been a long and depressing 7 months.

I’ll be gone almost 14 hours tomorrow (yippee.), and then I have all day Wednesday to pack. I leave Thursday morning for Michigan, but there’s this little problem of the nation-wide public transportation strike, so I’m not sure yet how I’m going to get from Annecy to the airport in Geneva.

I’m so tired!

Le Retour des Alpages

+-*Alpine cow walking toward me. Today was the Retour des Alpages in Annecy. Every year in October, sheep, goats, and cows wearing huge bells are paraded through the over-crowded streets in Annecy to signify the end of the grazing season in the mountains. I missed out on this tourist attraction last year, so I was […]

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I hope I continue to like my work…

+-*Tomorrow is my first full day at work. I’m going to arrive at 8 am and leave at 6 pm and I work 9-11am, 2-4pm, & 5-6pm. I’m really going to hate Tuesdays soon… I also work 2-5pm on Thursdays at the middle school and 10-11am & 2-4pm on Fridays at the high school. It’s […]

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Rugby World Cup

+-*David has been watching the France vs. New Zealand (which I’m told is the best team, or is it South Africa?) rugby game for the past two hours. Apparently they just won. I have no idea what this means. But David says they are now in the semi-finals. I tried watching the last few minutes, […]

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Success! Again!

+-*I would just like to say I’m sorry to everyone else in France who is having problems with their préfecture and getting/renewing their cartes de séjour. I went to pick up my new carte today, and it was very easy and painless. It expires when I thought it would, and I was also able to […]

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A little taste of Michigan

+-*On Monday, the British English speaking teacher at my school asked if I could write or find a menu for a restaurant serving “typical American food.” I said sure, no problem… but then realized two seconds later that there is no typical American food. In the following class, I had a hard time answering the […]

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Nouvelle carte de séjour

+-*I received notice from the préfecture that my new CDS is there! Except they’re closed on Wednesdays, so I can’t get it today. Of course. It should be a CDS visiteur that expires at the end of March. But we’ll see if they screwed that up… However, I need to do another changement du statut […]

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Sapeurs-Pompiers de Genève

+-*The 118 Project. Swiss pompiers got fed up with so many people confusing their number (118) with the number for information (18something). They’ve been receiving about 20 calls a day for information instead of for fires. So they recorded a rap song and shot a music video to remind the Swiss that 118 is for […]

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The good and the bad.

+-*I received my French driver’s license! David is going to start teaching me how to drive a manual car this weekend. I still need to learn French road signs and all that too. What is up with the weird priorité à droite with little side streets? Why don’t cars on the main road have the […]

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La Poste

+-*I have a love/hate relationship with the post office in France. On the one hand, their trucks are a cute yellow color and the new cow stamps are so adorable. Seriously, there’s one cow singing “Ne meuuh quitte pas…” and another says “Oh, mais quel joli timbre!” (Ne me quitte pas means don’t leave me; […]

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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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