no shortcuts: on making friends in France

One thing that makes the experience of short-term teaching in France complicated is the simple fact that it's short-term. And the French are not. As an American, I'm accustomed to a sense of easy, immediate friendship. When I look back at my college years, sometimes I ache for the simplicity. How easy it was, the …

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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 …

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bon vivant on a budget, or, how to be broke in Cannes

There are (literal) costs to living where everyone wants to be. When I learned I will be paying six times what I paid for rent last year with my modest teaching salary, I glumly reported the news to my parents over FaceTime. "I guess being poor isn't all bad." Dad shrugged. "Makes things simple. Less …

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neon future: thoughts on life in the liminal stage

Hello from the other side of the ocean. I'm back in Columbia, Missouri, beloved little college town, experiencing less culture shock than I expected to. There was the initial whoa of the Baltimore airport: large people clutching super-large fountain drinks, families dressed in matching tee-shirts, the informality with which strangers spoke to each other. But it's not exactly …

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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 …

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