Year Four Begins…

I completely missed my 3 year anniversary of living in France! In some ways, it seems longer than 3 years. In other ways, not so much. Year four brings a new apartment and city to discover, the same job but new students to teach, and another year closer to officially becoming French.

I feel like I’ve been slowly acquiescing to France’s lifestyle and feeling slightly less annoyed by the things I wish I could change. I still refuse to eat lunch at 12 sharp and I do wish stores were open on Sundays, but eh, what are ya gonna do? It’s funny now to see how frustrated people are when they first arrive in France and realize they have no control over anything. I just laughed at the never-ending schedule changes at work this year (too many students, not enough classes), yet I know the new lecteurs are freaking out and feeling stressed because they still don’t even know when they have to work and it’s the 2nd week of the semester. But I don’t care. It’s not the end of the world if something goes wrong, especially when it’s not your fault.

I don’t want to take my je-m’en-foutisme to the extreme, but sometimes you gotta have it to survive, or at least, to not have a heart attack due to stress. I could have pulled my hair out upon arriving at work and finding that only 11 of the computers worked and the internet was down, meaning we couldn’t use Dialang to do the placement tests. But I didn’t. Luckily only 11 students showed up for each class, so we started with a different vocabulary test that doesn’t require the internet, and the network was fixed in time to finish up with what I wanted to do. Things all worked out in the end.

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  • http://parisatmyfeet.blogspot.com/ Canedolia

    Well, congratulations! It’s probably a sign of how well integrated you are that you didn’t even notice.

    From reading your site, I actually can’t believe you’ve only been here three years. I’m going into my third year now and you are something of an oracle to me!
    .-= Canedolia´s last blog ..Tales of Me and My Bike Chapter 2 =-.

  • http://parisatmyfeet.blogspot.com/ Canedolia

    Well, congratulations! It’s probably a sign of how well integrated you are that you didn’t even notice.

    From reading your site, I actually can’t believe you’ve only been here three years. I’m going into my third year now and you are something of an oracle to me!
    .-= Canedolia´s last blog ..Tales of Me and My Bike Chapter 2 =-.

  • http://parisatmyfeet.blogspot.com Canedolia

    Well, congratulations! It’s probably a sign of how well integrated you are that you didn’t even notice.

    From reading your site, I actually can’t believe you’ve only been here three years. I’m going into my third year now and you are something of an oracle to me!
    .-= Canedolia´s last blog ..Tales of Me and My Bike Chapter 2 =-.

  • http://eileen.likeafrog.org/ Eileen

    The maitre de langue from last year left a post-it note on my computer that said: “Il faut pas se prendre le chou.” I think maybe she left it for me. (Although this year has been actually very easy.)
    .-= Eileen´s last blog ..xkcd is pretty good at hitting the nail right on the head. =-.

  • http://eileen.likeafrog.org/ Eileen

    The maitre de langue from last year left a post-it note on my computer that said: “Il faut pas se prendre le chou.” I think maybe she left it for me. (Although this year has been actually very easy.)
    .-= Eileen´s last blog ..xkcd is pretty good at hitting the nail right on the head. =-.

  • http://eileen.likeafrog.org Eileen

    The maitre de langue from last year left a post-it note on my computer that said: “Il faut pas se prendre le chou.” I think maybe she left it for me. (Although this year has been actually very easy.)
    .-= Eileen´s last blog ..xkcd is pretty good at hitting the nail right on the head. =-.

  • Justin

    Congratulations on making it 3 years! There definitely is something nice about finally getting used to things in France. I know I am enjoying life a lot better once I finally understood how it works here. Patience is definitely the key to success in France. :-) Glad to hear everything is going well with you.

  • Justin

    Congratulations on making it 3 years! There definitely is something nice about finally getting used to things in France. I know I am enjoying life a lot better once I finally understood how it works here. Patience is definitely the key to success in France. :-) Glad to hear everything is going well with you.

  • Justin

    Congratulations on making it 3 years! There definitely is something nice about finally getting used to things in France. I know I am enjoying life a lot better once I finally understood how it works here. Patience is definitely the key to success in France. :-) Glad to hear everything is going well with you.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Happy 3rd anniversary Jennie !!
    Wishing you many more happy moments in France to come !
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Going "down town " =-.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Happy 3rd anniversary Jennie !!
    Wishing you many more happy moments in France to come !
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Going "down town " =-.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Happy 3rd anniversary Jennie !!
    Wishing you many more happy moments in France to come !
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Going "down town " =-.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Sorry my error- Happy 4th anniversary !!( sorry to take away one happy year)
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Going "down town " =-.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Sorry my error- Happy 4th anniversary !!( sorry to take away one happy year)
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Going "down town " =-.

  • http://family-counts.blogspot.com/ barbara

    Sorry my error- Happy 4th anniversary !!( sorry to take away one happy year)
    .-= barbara´s last blog ..Going "down town " =-.

  • http://emmygration.blogspot.com/ Emmy

    I guess a lot of us have our franciversarys at the moment. I’m enetering my 5th year in France. There is definately some peace of mind that comes with experience living in France.

    Could you write a post about getting citizenship when you get the time, I’m interested to see the hoops you;d need to jump through!
    .-= Emmy´s last blog ..Esperanto-International Language? =-.

  • http://emmygration.blogspot.com/ Emmy

    I guess a lot of us have our franciversarys at the moment. I’m enetering my 5th year in France. There is definately some peace of mind that comes with experience living in France.

    Could you write a post about getting citizenship when you get the time, I’m interested to see the hoops you;d need to jump through!
    .-= Emmy´s last blog ..Esperanto-International Language? =-.

  • http://emmygration.blogspot.com Emmy

    I guess a lot of us have our franciversarys at the moment. I’m enetering my 5th year in France. There is definately some peace of mind that comes with experience living in France.

    Could you write a post about getting citizenship when you get the time, I’m interested to see the hoops you;d need to jump through!
    .-= Emmy´s last blog ..Esperanto-International Language? =-.

  • http://bisoufrancaise.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    Good job sticking with it. I know it can be difficult at times. I know one woman I met told me the first 15 years was impossible for her and she felt like moving back all the time, but then it got better. Sounds like you are on the fast track.
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Bridget Jones or Grace Kelly =-.

  • http://bisoufrancaise.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    Good job sticking with it. I know it can be difficult at times. I know one woman I met told me the first 15 years was impossible for her and she felt like moving back all the time, but then it got better. Sounds like you are on the fast track.
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Bridget Jones or Grace Kelly =-.

  • http://bisoufrancaise.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    Good job sticking with it. I know it can be difficult at times. I know one woman I met told me the first 15 years was impossible for her and she felt like moving back all the time, but then it got better. Sounds like you are on the fast track.
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Bridget Jones or Grace Kelly =-.

  • http://www.soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com/ Dedene

    Happy anniversary as well. I’ve gone through stages of adapting/not-adapting over the years. For the first 10 years, I couldn’t decide if I hated France or not. Someday, you won’t even think about it anymore.
    .-= Dedene´s last blog ..La Glanage =-.

  • http://www.soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com/ Dedene

    Happy anniversary as well. I’ve gone through stages of adapting/not-adapting over the years. For the first 10 years, I couldn’t decide if I hated France or not. Someday, you won’t even think about it anymore.
    .-= Dedene´s last blog ..La Glanage =-.

  • http://www.soyezlabienvenuechezmoi.blogspot.com Dedene

    Happy anniversary as well. I’ve gone through stages of adapting/not-adapting over the years. For the first 10 years, I couldn’t decide if I hated France or not. Someday, you won’t even think about it anymore.
    .-= Dedene´s last blog ..La Glanage =-.

  • http://www.marieinlille.blogspot.com/ Marie

    Jennie,
    I guess you did better than me in these 3 years. I am still freaking out when things/people (and esp. people) are not working as good as they should.
    I started to feel that many people just live with that. One reason is for your own sanity and for that, it’s a smart move but another reason is lack of time, frustration, etc. So I got myself a new rule : say wjat you don’t like or what you’d prefer and offer yourself to step in the process.
    Sometimes, you don’t even have someone in charge you can say that but “petit à petit”, I hope I can made changed a few things around me. For the moment, I am full of hope !! (and maybe I am just being naive…) !
    Anyway, chapeau bas for your “zen attitude” !

  • http://www.marieinlille.blogspot.com/ Marie

    Jennie,
    I guess you did better than me in these 3 years. I am still freaking out when things/people (and esp. people) are not working as good as they should.
    I started to feel that many people just live with that. One reason is for your own sanity and for that, it’s a smart move but another reason is lack of time, frustration, etc. So I got myself a new rule : say wjat you don’t like or what you’d prefer and offer yourself to step in the process.
    Sometimes, you don’t even have someone in charge you can say that but “petit à petit”, I hope I can made changed a few things around me. For the moment, I am full of hope !! (and maybe I am just being naive…) !
    Anyway, chapeau bas for your “zen attitude” !

  • http://www.marieinlille.blogspot.com Marie

    Jennie,
    I guess you did better than me in these 3 years. I am still freaking out when things/people (and esp. people) are not working as good as they should.
    I started to feel that many people just live with that. One reason is for your own sanity and for that, it’s a smart move but another reason is lack of time, frustration, etc. So I got myself a new rule : say wjat you don’t like or what you’d prefer and offer yourself to step in the process.
    Sometimes, you don’t even have someone in charge you can say that but “petit à petit”, I hope I can made changed a few things around me. For the moment, I am full of hope !! (and maybe I am just being naive…) !
    Anyway, chapeau bas for your “zen attitude” !

  • http://nouveaux-yeux.blogspot.com/ Katie

    It’s great that you’ve become used to the less enjoyable parts about living in France, but it’s a bit discouraging to hear that it takes 3 years. I’ve just started my first year as an assistant, so I probably won’t reach that point before leaving!

  • http://nouveaux-yeux.blogspot.com/ Katie

    It’s great that you’ve become used to the less enjoyable parts about living in France, but it’s a bit discouraging to hear that it takes 3 years. I’ve just started my first year as an assistant, so I probably won’t reach that point before leaving!

  • http://nouveaux-yeux.blogspot.com Katie

    It’s great that you’ve become used to the less enjoyable parts about living in France, but it’s a bit discouraging to hear that it takes 3 years. I’ve just started my first year as an assistant, so I probably won’t reach that point before leaving!

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com/ Zhu

    Je m’en foutisme is definitely a sign of integration! :lol:

    I thought you had been there for longer than 3 years actually.
    .-= Zhu´s last blog ..From Teacher To Student =-.

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com/ Zhu

    Je m’en foutisme is definitely a sign of integration! :lol:

    I thought you had been there for longer than 3 years actually.
    .-= Zhu´s last blog ..From Teacher To Student =-.

  • http://www.correresmidestino.com Zhu

    Je m’en foutisme is definitely a sign of integration! :lol:

    I thought you had been there for longer than 3 years actually.
    .-= Zhu´s last blog ..From Teacher To Student =-.

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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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