la culture populaire for the couch potato: lessons in french tv

I can’t stand advertisements. I don’t like being told what to tell my doctor. I roll my eyes at deus ex machina plot lines and groan at laugh tracks. I am a TV cynic. It’s nothing noble. It’s just that I would really really really rather read. I am grateful that my parents encouraged the habit. From the age of seven, when I stammered out … Continue reading la culture populaire for the couch potato: lessons in french tv

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