stranger things: the hitchhiker’s guide to the auvergne

“The fact that we call them and know them only by first name, points to the strange intimacy of road tripping with strangers.

Do you sit in the front or the back? Should you sleep or maintain polite conversation? How likely is it that you and your conducteur will be belting out show tunes and exchanging emails by the end of the ride?” Continue reading stranger things: the hitchhiker’s guide to the auvergne

put that in your book

That’s going in my memoir.  When I feel I’m playing a starring role in an indie comedy about someone with terrible luck, I do two things. First, I try to laugh at myself. If that fails, I remember something Mary told me, Nora Ephron’s philosophy: everything is copy. No experience is wasted if it becomes material. Combining the coping tactics of humor and inspiration, I developed … Continue reading put that in your book

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

kids’ stuff/next steps

I have five more weeks of teaching left, and it feels…manageable. Like successful organization might be possible. I really enjoyed teaching this week; the time away made me feel like myself again, energy and optimism available in large quantities. It was a week where things got done. We talked about pets, we talked about objects in the house, clothing, new grammar. I was impressed by … Continue reading kids’ stuff/next steps

le retour

I wasn’t expecting my first week back from Christmas vacation to be filled with joie.  Le retour is always difficult, and here there were two: the return from vacation, back to life in small-town France, and the return to teaching. My first day back didn’t deserve to go so well. I’ve been there before. This time, though, I made the opposite mistake. Instead of turning up a day early, staring … Continue reading le retour