Où vit-on le mieux ? Le Palmarès 2008 des Départements

I found a copy of L’Express from the end of June lying around the apartment a few days ago, and noticed it was the rankings of the best and worst départements in mainland France. The winner overall is Haute-Garonne (Toulouse) in the Midi-Pyrénées, followed by 2. Pyrénées-Atlantiques (Pau) in Aquitaine, 3. Ille-et-Vilaine (Rennes) in Bretagne, […]

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Dear Auchan, you are a jerk and I hate you.

Last month, I got all excited when my local Auchan started remodeling and expanding their already big store. Wider aisles, they promised. More stuff that you can’t afford to buy, they said. And look! Fifty feet of space of between the aisles and checkout lanes instead of just five! No more shoving yourself and your […]

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CAPES d’Anglais 2009

David has decided to prepare for the CAPES d’anglais! Normally, in order to become an English teacher for l’Education Nationale in France, students do a Licence in English for 3 years and then go to an IUFM (teacher training college) where they prepare for the CAPES for a year and then do their student teaching […]

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Back to Books: Libraries in France

In an attempt to stop being so lazy and actually learn something again, I finally got around to renewing my library card tonight (it had expired in December). Then I quickly remembered why I hadn’t renewed it. Let’s just say that I’ve never been too impressed with French libraries. [Even though you learned that bibliothèque […]

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The Best Photo Ever

This photo of David & his sister, Carole, was taken about 25 years ago at the OK Corral Western Theme Park in Cuges-les-Pins, just east of Marseille. I absolutely adore it because they are polar opposites.  Notice the arm holding Carole in place!  She smiles a lot more for photos nowadays, but man, did she […]

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French Postcards from the Early 20th Century

David & I are down in Provence for the week at his mom’s cousin’s (Bobby & Martine) house in Sarrians, in the département of Vaucluse. The weather is perfect (hot and sunny), the sound of the cigales (cicadas) is so relaxing, and we have trips to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Salon-de-Provence, Aix-en-Provence and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue planned. I have no […]

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More Changes in France as of July 1

France takes over the European Union Presidency until December 31. Public transportation gets slightly more expensive. SNCF tickets increase by 10 cents, while subway tickets in Paris now cost 1.60 € for a single ride or 11.40 € for a booklet of ten tickets. The monthly Carte Orange-Navigo also increases: Zones 1-2: 55.10 €; Zones […]

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Operation Escargot & Bac Philo

Truck drivers across France have been participating in “operation escargot” – driving very very slowly on highways and causing major traffic problems to protest against the high price of gasoline and diesel. Today the operation did not start until 9 AM because the drivers didn’t want to disturb the thousands of students (615,625!!) who were […]

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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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I hate the Euro

No, not the currency. The stupid soccer* tournament. Well, I do hate the euro currency too, but that’s another story… It starts today in less than 2 hours. (There’s actually a countdown on the official site.) David’s going to be glued to the TV and I’m going to be bored. France doesn’t play until Monday […]

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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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