how to swallow a frog

Speaking Italian is like trying to swallow a frog. Not in a bad way. It’s just new. A formidable challenge for my English, French-ified brain. The unfamiliar rolled r’s and smooth vowels might leap from my mouth at any moment. The nasal ‘u’ I’ve spent so long perfecting in French, the guttural ‘r’ I’m proud of– all of it has to go. My Italian tutor has … Continue reading how to swallow a frog

the goldfish bowl

Just when I felt pretty comfortable with my role teaching English classes to French primary school children, life (or rather, the French Ministry of Education) handed me something new: a job at a maternelle in les banlieues of Cannes. My new students range from barely three to six years old. The oldest are wonderfully curious, asking questions that inspire future lessons. The youngest struggle to hold pencils and blow … Continue reading the goldfish bowl

use your words: confessions of a part-time parent

They turn their tiny noses up at most of what I eat. I eat coconut chips and turmeric lattes, sautéed greens and tomatoes sprinkled with salt. I try to share. An experiment with some zucchini ends with the zucchini reappearing in the toddler’s mouth after an uncomfortable three seconds where she looks at me as if I have betrayed her. I fetch a napkin, wondering … Continue reading use your words: confessions of a part-time parent

war & peace & confetti

My shoes were full of confetti. My purse was full of confetti. My bra was full of confetti. My heart was simply full. It was April, my second-to-last week teaching primary school English classes. Early that morning, I had sat waiting for my ride to school, dressed professionally but staring blearily at my hot lemon water, willing myself to wake up. Bleep. A text from my … Continue reading war & peace & confetti

the real world: an honest account of teaching abroad, 5 months in

After a much-needed vacation, I feel refreshed enough to write a little bit more about my job. It is, after all, the reason I’m currently living in France. Teaching here is one of the most stressful experiences I’ve ever had. I haven’t written too much about my job here with the TAPIF program, mostly because when I’m not actually teaching, I’d rather think about something else. … Continue reading the real world: an honest account of teaching abroad, 5 months in