I’ve been on vacation from the university since Thursday afternoon, but I’m not going anywhere or doing anything special. I’ve actually just been working at my computer everyday. Last night I managed to finish preparing all of my lessons for the rest of the semester (8 weeks left) and wrote a midterm exam. All that is left to do is grade the 50 or so recordings my students did last week. The other big plans for this week are to wash my car and cut my hair. My life is so exciting during the semester! I should be trying to look for a new job for October, but I really do not want to continue teaching English (unless it’s the same lectrice position, which is highly unlikely) because I’m tired of only thinking and working in English all day. By the time I’m finished with grading/preparing/giving classes in English, I am too tired to focus on other languages.
I know I should be practical about working as an English teacher, because really, what other job in France can I get since I’m a non-native speaker of French and I have no degrees earned from a French university? It’s just depressing to think about never becoming a French teacher and never getting to do what I really want to do in life. And no matter what the next job is that I can find in France, I will be doing twice as much work for half as much pay. Ah, the joys of living in the land of low salaries.
Actually I have been doing other things than just working in English – yesterday I spent hours upon hours collecting the paperwork needed to renew my residency card. I am, of course, missing some of it since I have to wait for one document from Paris, and we need to find a day when David can come with me to the préfecture because he has to sign a document there. I never actually received my new card from June when we moved to Chambéry, and now I’m afraid French bureaucracy will continue to screw me over, which means I will be illegal in France & the EU as of May 7 and the university won’t give me my salary. I can’t wait to start the citizenship process at the end of this year. Knowing that the préfecture could refuse my residency card at any moment because I’ m “only” PACSed and not married to a French citizen has been a nightmare for the past 3.5 years.
Moving on… All I really want to do is study languages and travel and help others learn languages too. My website lets me do that, but I don’t make nearly enough money to survive with it alone, especially since it’s mostly in dollars. I am trying to finally market it more and I’ve joined a few more social networking sites (look in the right sidebar) to get my site out there. I have pretty decent traffic already since my site has been around for over 10 years (thank goodness I was geeky in high school) but I don’t have any products to sell, which is how bloggers & webmasters make real money. I’m really torn on the idea of selling things though because I don’t think education and business should mix. My site has always been free because I don’t want to deny anyone an education just because they don’t have money.
On the other hand, I am facing unemployment once again and I would love to work on my website full-time. If I didn’t have to work in English everyday, I could accomplish and create so much more. I’ve been thinking about giving French lessons online through language communities and selling e-books & paperback books of my tutorials and other materials I’ve been working on for a long time. Plus the fact that so many people have been stealing my tutorials and selling them as their own for the past 5 years has really gotten to me. Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s free for the taking and you can make money off of it! It’s impossible to keep up with all of the pirates on Ebay and Tradebit and report them all. If anyone is going to make a profit off of my hard work, it should be me, right?
Anyway, I should probably stop complaining and get back to work. The weather is getting better (high of 10° C / 50° F this week!) and I have plenty of cheap trips coming up in May & June to look forward to, plus I get to see friends from back home. Living in France may be frustrating to me sometimes, but living in Europe is still pretty nice.