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

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

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