I do not miss Michigan (this week).

It’s been rather nice here lately. Mid 60′s and sunny. I even took off my coat and lied down outside on the grass today during my break. I have missed the sun so much!  And the sun doesn’t even set until 8:30pm these days! In contrast, my parents have like 5 inches of snow on […]

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Just Matt

My former French professor from the University of Michigan-Flint passed away yesterday. Matthew Hilton-Watson collapsed while he was teaching a class and died on his way to the hospital. He had been suffering from pneumonia. He was only 40 years old. He was one of only two full-time French professors at the smaller Flint campus. […]

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I want a Michigan Christmas with Michigan snow…

Sung by Brian d’Arcy James, who’s from Saginaw and who’s currently starring as Shrek on Broadway.

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Snow + Tractor + Dog = Fun

It’s a good thing I wasn’t flying home this weekend… Even Brandy wasn’t liking all the snow… But Dad and John Deere came to the rescue… And made her a mountain to play on. You have no idea how much I wish I could play on that snow pile with her!

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(Almost) Ready for Christmas

Christmas decorations are up.  Presents have been bought. Cards have been sent. Music is playing nonstop. We’re getting a real tree this week. Vacation starts in 3 weeks. I am so ready for Christmas. Now where is my snow??? My doigts are croisés that it will look like this in Annecy, but somehow I don’t […]

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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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Martha moves to Turkey

Martha is one of my closest friends from “back home” – i.e. Michigan. I have known her for about 7 years. We met in German 111 at the University of Michigan-Flint and I thought she was the coolest person ever because she had lived in Germany for a few years. Turns out Martha is also […]

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Definition of City.

My family in Michigan drove to the UP this weekend for vacation. Flint to Houghton is about nine hours, so they stopped in Newberry on the way. I couldn’t remember where it was, so I looked it up on Google Maps and found this picture of the downtown area: For most of my life, this […]

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From Annecy to Freiburg and back

The weather is Annecy is finally summer-like and I have to leave! I’m off to Freiburg, Germany, tomorrow (via Geneva and Basel) because I’m co-presenting at the European Writing Centers Association conference. I’ll be dazzling the audience with my knowledge on tutoring ESL students and explaining the different kinds of tutoring that goes on at […]

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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 […]

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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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My Say it in French phrasebook and Great French Short Stories dual-language book (both published by Dover Publications) are available at Amazon.com.

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