life lately: cruel January

January is the cruelest month. In every place I’ve ever lived, even the South of France, it is bleak. It is the color gray. It is lassitude and chapped hands, seasonal depression and teeth-chattering chill. I wish we could skip it altogether. In France we are currently under a strict 6 pm curfew. This would feel utterly strange if there was anywhere to go, anything … Continue reading life lately: cruel January

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

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

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