Colin Powell’s Words of Wisdom

From the only Republican I like, Colin Powell, on Meet the Press, October 19, 2008: …I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period.  And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I […]

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Apéro and Universités

Friday night at an apéro chez des amis, we somehow got on the subject of universities. David mentioned that his mom’s cousin teaches French in Boston, and at the end of each semester, she had to let her students fill out evaluation forms. Everyone but me was surprised and thought it was a bad idea. […]

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The Story of the Missing Ballot

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who had grown disillusioned with her country. It was too religious, too conservative, too intolerant. I’ll move to France, she thought, and maybe one day my country will get better so I will be less ashamed of it. So off to France she went, and there […]

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The Not-So-United States of America

So the presidential elections (only one more month to go!!!) and having to explain the Electoral College and how voting works in the US to the French have stirred up some emotions about why I don’t like living there. The United States of America is just that – a collection of states, but states that […]

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All Things American

Mom just sent a package of things that David & I have been missing lately. Now that it’s almost fall, I’m really getting nostalgic for America… and Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Apparently as soon as the temperature drops, I lump all of those holidays together. Luckily I should only have to work until noon […]

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“We the people” not “We the favored few.”

I don’t usually talk about politics, and I hate how much the US presidential election is covered here in France… but after watching some of the speeches at the Democratic Convention this week, I’m feeling a little more hopeful about my country. It took me six long years to get out of the US after […]

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Bonne Fête Nationale, USA !

This is the fourth year that I haven’t been in the USA on the Fourth of July, and it’s always a little weird. I’ve never been an overly patriotic person, but I do miss my country today. At least I’ll still get to watch fireworks in July (just on the 14th instead) and the flags […]

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The Convenience / La Commodité

Qu’est-ce qui te manque le plus ? When people ask me what I miss most about the United States, the first word that comes to mind is convenience. And then I have to explain what exactly that means to me: being able to do what I want when I want. I was never forced to […]

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Super Duper Tuesday

I had my students vote in a fake primary today. The ballots were just as entertaining as the class. Can you understand the pictures next to the names? I think it’s hilarious. Barack Obama and John McCain were the winners, although no one had heard of any of the Republican candidates and I did get […]

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What do groundhogs and crêpes have in common?

February 2 is Groundhog Day (le jour de la marmotte) in North America; but here in France, it’s la Chandeleur (le jour des crêpes). I forgot to mention that my interview is now up at Expat Interviews. Oh, and the president got married today. Apparently Sarko & Carla only met in November?? That was quick.

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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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