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 way I knew the rules. Like-minded, friendly students at every … Continue reading no shortcuts: on making friends in France

no more material girl: on prioritizing passion

I am a woman conflicted.  Part of me frets to be fashionable. I like the way I look, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Je me critique. I need to try harder, spend more money, spend more time. Then I remember–all I can afford right now is a stream of espresso. The espresso buys me something more valuable: space to write. Hours and pages to fill. … Continue reading no more material girl: on prioritizing passion

use your words: confessions of a part-time parent

They turn their tiny noses up at most of what I eat. I eat coconut chips and turmeric lattes, sautéed greens and tomatoes sprinkled with salt. I try to share. An experiment with some zucchini ends with the zucchini reappearing in the toddler’s mouth after an uncomfortable three seconds where she looks at me as if I have betrayed her. I fetch a napkin, wondering … Continue reading use your words: confessions of a part-time parent

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