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

automne malade

Automne malade et adoré.  It’s the first line of a poem I love. Apollinaire describes autumn as “sick and loved,” lonely and liminal. He writes: “how I love this season, its murmurs; the fruits that fall with no one to gather them; the wind and the forest crying all their tears in autumn, leaf by leaf” (my loose translation/interpretation) Every year I have lived in a place … Continue reading automne malade

happy luck

Mary has moved in and finally we’re settling into the rhythms of small-town French life. Together we can grumble about the lack of buses on Sunday and celebrate when we find a café with wifi. We can practice our French, unless we’re tired, in which case we devolve into our own brand of franglais. It’s nice to have someone to laugh with. We do that a … Continue reading happy luck

bringing missouri to montluçon

Many of my students have never met an American, so I didn’t want to teach cliches. Burgers and fries, big cities and celebrities? They’ve seen enough of that, maybe only that, on TV. I wanted to share what I think of when I think of home. So rather than trying to introduce the whole country in one go to children who think I regularly hang out with Obama, I took … Continue reading bringing missouri to montluçon