Tuesday, October 11, 2011

even in the rain..

so this past weekend my sweet sister, cari, came to visit me alllll the way from carentan. the weekend had an eventful start. there was a train strike on friday and all the trains throughout the country were off schedule. the train stations were disasters everywhere, people with luggage all over the place.

i spent the day in lille friday with luli, joe, and melissa. we took care of some very important paperwork then did some very important shopping at h&m. we went to meet cari at lille-europe and it was a mad house. we had a café while we waited--her train was delayed only about 20 minutes. so glad it wasn't longer than that (we were starving). when they posted her platform we walked down and for the first time in my life i saw two trains attached together to make one train. lots of people apparently wanted to come to lille for the weekend from paris. i can't blame them.

we decided on crêpes for dinner again..which is never a bad idea. i branched out of my usual crêpe box and had a savory one rather than sweet. cheese, mushrooms, ham and an easy over egg. it was incredible. i can't believe i almost went 25 years without having had a savory crêpe.

we took the train back to armentières and went to bed early--we had a big day ahead of us on saturday. we went to brugge, belgium. we wanted to leave early from armentières to catch the train at 9:05 from lille across the border. we of course missed our train. here's why:

ever since i can remember, before my family would go on a trip, my dad would do a 'roll call' of sorts. call out things to be sure we remembered to pack them. cell phone. cell phone charger. computer. computer charger. drivers license. plane tickets. underwear. socks. pants. you know..the usual. as a joke i did this in the hall way before we all headed out the door. "does everyone have their passports? train tickets? shoes?" we laughed. ha. ha. ha. of course we have all of those things! we get to the train station with just enough time for people to buy their tickets for the 8:21 train to lille who don't have passes. one person was running a bit behind and missed my 'roll call'. she didn't have their train ticket to belgium. i said to myself 'well, it's kind of pushing it, but there's another train that leaves at 8:36 to get to lille.' so then i said to her 'we can just take the next train. run back home and get it, we'll wait here with your stuff.' it was early. 8:15ish. i hadn't had coffee. what day was it again? oh, that's right, it was saturday and all the train times are different on the weekends than they are during the week. when was the next train again? 8:36? nope. 9:38. so our hopes to catch the 9:05 train to brugge flew right out the window. the next train to brugge was at 13:05.

on the bright side, i got to show cari around lille. we walked around vieux lille, had croissants for breakfast, and got sandwiches from 'paul' for lunch. and we played outside of the opera:

we got on the train at 13:00 and were in brugge by 14:45. another surprise of the weekend: the national language in belgium is not french. i don't know how i didn't know this. i thought they were one of those countries (like canada) that has two national languages. i thought it was dutch AND french. in canada, every sign has to be in both english and french. i figured it'd be the same thing in belgium. wrong. (i really should start doing a bit of research before i travel places.) dutch is not easy to understand. it's a strange mixture between english and german, so i can read it easily enough, but can not even come close to understanding the spoken language.

we took a rocky (understatement) bus ride to our hostel and got everything settled in our rooms then headed out to the center of town. we walked the wrong direction (of course) but finally made it. we were on the hunt to find 3 things: waffles, chocolate, and beer. it was the easiest thing i've ever done. there were all three all over the place. my personal heaven--chocolate everywhere. practically every other shop we walked past was a chocolatier. and in case you were wondering, belgian chocolate is everything everyone has ever said it is. it. is. amazing. we found a tiny place to have waffles for dinner. since i had a savory crêpe for dinner on friday, i convinced myself it was just fine to have a waffle covered in hot chocolate syrup, bananas, and whipped cream for dinner on saturday. i threw in a cup of hot chocolate just to make sure i got my fill of all things chocolate while i was there. it was melt in your mouth delicious.

we finished with our wonderful meal then walked to the main square. this is what took my breath away:

there were horse drawn carriages everywhere. we walked down so many charming, gorgeous streets i could look at my pictures every single day and never get tired of them. the only thing i wish was that it hadn't rained practically the whole time we were there. but even in the rain the town had this sort of romantic charm to it that i've never noticed a town having before. we were walking down streets and came across canal after canal, it was gorgeous. we heard it was 'the venice of the north' and i was certain it couldn't compare. it did. in its own way.

we went out to a tiny place called 'bar des amis' we met so many different people, it's incredible how friendly people are here. it's so easy to talk to people. also i can add a new beer to my list of favorites: leffe blonde. if you can find it back home, try it. it's yummy.

while we were walking through the square on saturday we noticed a big sign with salvidor dali's name on it. it was an exhibit. it was closed by the time we got there, but when we walked up we saw that you could by a combination ticket for the dali exhibit AND a picasso exhibit for 11 euros. so amazing. the picasso exhibit was from a private collection of picasso, matisse, braque, miro, and others. it was the most incredible thing i've ever seen. we spent hours walking through hall after hall and room after room of original sketches and paintings. a few favorites:


it was the perfect way to spend a rainy day. after the exhibits we had lunch at the most amazing restaurant. really the only thing amazing about it was the food. a "petit" spaghetti that could have fed 3 people. it was warm and perfect. we had to head back a bit early, cari had trains to catch from lille to head back to carentan. we all fell asleep on the train back, we were exhausted.

next weekend: carentan to visit cari.

Monday, October 3, 2011

the day i fell in love with vieux lille

i can't decide if i'm used to the daily struggle of living in the high school or if things really are getting easier. i do know that my french is getting much better. all of the assistants living at the high school have arrived. there are 4 americans now, 2 argentinians, and 2 germans. one of the german girls just arrived tonight so i'm not sure if she speaks english or not, but sabine (the one who arrived on friday) doesn't speak any english, so we all try to speak french when we're together.

yesterday we decided to take a day trip to lille. one of the teachers at gustave eiffel (the high school) invited joe to spend the day there with him and he would give him a tour and show him around, and he extended the invitation to us all which was so kind. we took the train from armentières to lille a bit before 11:45 and got to lille-flandres just before noon.

we ate lunch..i don't really know if i would call it that though. a few of us ordered the same thing--le welsh--it sounded so appealing. here's what i pictured in my head: bread topped with ham and a piece of cheese nicely melted/browned on top. what i got: stale bread topped with gross ham swimming in thick cheese soup. the first few bites were manageable. then it turned heavy and kind of gross. maybe it'd be a good dish to have in the dead of winter. we'll see..i don't know if i'll be able to bring myself to eat it again. it was also served with a side of fries. so healthy. they love fries in the north. it's so strange, they're not even that good. usually when a place is famous for something, or everyone always eats something it's the most amazing version of whatever that thing is. i have had better fries before. many many times.

after we finished lunch, we started walking around. i could have walked for days. it was so absolutely beautiful. we went to the town center then walked to an area of the city called 'vieux lille' (old lille). all of  the streets are cobblestone, all of the architecture is heavily dutch influenced. there are flower boxes from almost every window, cafes on almost every street, chocolatiers and pattisiers everywhere. it's so charming. it also helps that the weather was utterly perfect. not a cloud in the sky and 75 degrees.

we went to the zoo (which is free) and saw tons of birds, rhino's, snakes, the cutest little monkeys that did tricks when they saw it got a reaction from the people watching, zebras, and the sweetest looking red panda sleeping in a tree. we walked all over the place. we mapped it out later and walked 7.5 miles. we had dinner at a chinese place and then went to see our first french film. l'apollonide: souvenire d'une maison close.

it was the perfect day. lille is such a wonderful place and i am so thankful to be living somewhere so great.

Friday, September 30, 2011

that time i almost got arrested in france...

living in a high school kind of stinks. it's definitely interesting. my room is so small. i have a bed, a desk, a dresser, and a sink in my room and share the shower and bathroom with the other people on the hall. the bed is SO uncomfortable. there are about 300 of the 1000 students that go to school here that live here. the first night they pulled the fire alarm 5 times. my sink leaks and even though i've told a few people about it, no one seems to fix it. the shower is the most awful thing i've ever experienced. it basically just sprays water in every direction except for down. it floods the whole shower room every time someone uses it. there is one computer lab in the school. NO WIFI. kill me. i thought the lab would be easily accessible. wrong. it's only open one hour a day..from 5:30-6:30. we've kind of been a bit persistant about using it so the man at the front desk opened it for us after we ate dinner tonight..but it's closed all weekend. so we found out mcdonalds has free wifi. dear mcdonalds..i hated you in america but love you in france. the food in the cafeteria here is really cheap--2 euros for lunch and dinner and 90 cents for breakfast. the meals are HUGE. i really need to be careful how much i eat or i'm going to gain 75 pounds by the time i leave.

i went into perenchies today which is the town where my other school is. it was supposed to be really easy to get to. take the train and it's a 5 minute ride. well, i got to the train station in armentieres earlier than i needed to get there (i'm never early for anything) and so i went ahead and took an earlier train that left at 10:00. except the train i took was nonstop to lille and didn't stop in perenchies. so i got to the main trainstation in lille at 10:15 and the next train to perenchies was at 12:15. my meeting in perenchies was at 11:00. panicking. i had to take the metro then take a bus the rest of the way. i got my metro ticket, and the booths to stamp your ticket in this station were different than the ones i was used to using in paris, and i guess i didn't put it in far enough, so it didn't stamp. i didn't really have time to ask around to make sure i was doing it right so i figured i'd just go ahead and get on the metro. um. huge mistake. these people got on about halfway through my ride that are similar to police to check everyones tickets. they of course don't speak any english (it seems no one here does) and they made me get off the metro and thankfully he just walked me over to the thing to stamp my ticket to make sure that i really had bought it that day and let me get back on. i was petrified. i really thought i was going to get in trouble with them. wah arrested in france, just my luck. i got off the metro and onto the bus and somehow was only 5 minutes late to my meeting. i met with the english teachers and observed a class. the kids are really cute. they asked me tons of questions, but mainly just want to know how old i am. everyone here is practically obsessed with new york. they all just assume that i've been there. the kids figured out how old i was by asking how old i was when 9/11 happened. tricky little monsters.

i had lunch with the teachers in perenchies. i'm glad that my time is split up evenly, i like it in perenchies a lot. for now i'll be spending 6 hours a day there on tuesdays there. one of  the english teachers there and she dropped me off at the train station when we were finished today (at 1:30) and asked if i wanted her to wait with me. i said no because i figured that the trains were frequent, or at least every 30 minutes or so. boy was i wrong (again). the next train to armentieres wasn't until 3:55. so i went to the supermarket and bought some cereal and nutella for this weekend. i just stayed close to be sure i wouldn't miss another train. when i got back i did mysore ashtanga in my room for the first time. i haven't been able to practice since i got here, so it was nice to be on my mat again. one of the administrators at my school in armentieres said that he and his wife run on the weekends and he invited me to go with them. although noone speaks english here, everyone is really welcoming and wants to be sure i'm getting settled okay.

since i'll be teaching tuesdays in perenchies for 6 hours, i may see if i can do 3 hours on wednesdays and thursdays in armentieres and then i'd have off mondays and fridays which will make travel a bit easier. i am going to start looking into places i want to visit and rail passes, etc.

tomorrow i'm going into lille with the other assistants to walk around and have lunch and dinner since the high school shuts down on weekends and we have to fend for ourselves for meals.

maybe one day i'll post my pictures.

that's all for now. i didn't get arrested..it was a good day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

crêpes for dinner

paris. ummmmm. paris. don't really know where to start, so i guess i'll start where i left off. at the airport in charlotte.

we finally left at around 8:30pm and flew across the pond to charles de gaulle airport in paris. i got to watch some great movies with their on demand. something borrowed (a book i loved) and water for elephants (a book i loved more). they were both cute..not as good as the books, but when are they ever? we were supposed to sleep as much as we could on the plane, but my seat wouldn't recline as much as i wanted to, it was cold, and my pillow sucked. i probably slept an hour the whole flight. when we got to paris it was 10:30 in the morning. we had to stay up allllll day (again). we got our bags and started to try to navigate our way around the airport. france is a silly country and the airport doesn't have free wifi. we couldn't pull up the address to our hostel and of course neither me or my sister thought to write it down. we found the RER B to take us to gare du nord, and from gare du nord we were supposed to take the 2 line to sacre coeur...or so we thought. we both thought our hostel was really close to there, but we were so so wrong. after dragging our suitcases and carry on bags through the streets and train stations of paris for almost 3 hours we finally decided to just take a taxi. we got to our hostel a little bit after 1:30 and skyped with our parents (it was 7:30am in charlotte). the 6 hour time difference has been something in and of itself to adjust to.

oh, i forgot to mention! our french stunk. we had such a hard time communicating..looking back i'm going to blame it on exhaustion.

we took a nap (even though we weren't supposed to) and then got up and walked around near the hostel. we're staying at st. christophers inn right along a canal that leads to the seine. it's a great place, highly highly recommend staying here if you're ever in paris (or any other city where they might have a location). we got our first french meal..a baguette with chèvre, tomatoes, and lettuce..it was most delicious. we walked along the canal, sat along the river, then came back to the hostel and had a few beers. we met some wonderfully friendly scottish people and hung out with them for the rest of the night.

we got up on friday and decided to conquer the louvre and the eiffel tower. we got lost on our way to the metro station..the first of many many times getting lost. we finally found the stalingrad station, bought a bunch of metro tickets and got on the 2 to head to the louvre. we took some pictures of the pyramids then decided to just walk to the tower and we would go to the louvre later. the walk from the louvre to the tower was not short. it was long. very long. but it was beautiful and we only started complaining when we got hungry. solution: un patisserie et boulangerie for another baguette sandwich. we ordered then walked the rest of the way and ate on a bench at the bottom of the tower. the lines to take the elevators up the tower are so long, so we decided to take the stairs. 669 stairs (equivalent to 43 stories). holy tired. but SO worth it. the view was breathtaking. we walked back down and got an ice cream (une glace) and ate it on the lawns looking towards the tower. we took a nap and sat for a while, then got up and walked along the seine to find dinner. we ate at a café. it was good, but expensive..so we decided not to do that again. we found our way to the metro and headed home.

every day we've had has been long and tiring but we managed to space everything out nicely so we haven't felt rushed. yesterday morning we woke up, showered and got ready and came down to the café/bar attached to the hostel, watched a bit of rugby and had lunch. my first croque monsieur this trip and it was so yummy. so yummy i may have that for lunch again tomorrow since my mouth is watering now just thinking of it. we went and ran errands. we got french cell phones, went to gare du nord to buy my train ticket for tomorrow, then to saint lazarre station to buy cari's and to be sure we knew where to go as to not miss our trains. from saint lazarre we went to sacre coeur, montmatre, and le moulin rouge. sacre coeur and montmatre are not as high as the eiffel tower, but it's breathtaking to look over the city from higher up. we did lots and lots of walking and climbing more stairs. on our way home from the moulin rouge we stopped at a pizza place just down the street from our hostel and had a homemade pizza. ham, mushrooms, and cheese. i don't remember ever having a more yummy pizza..well, maybe when i was in italy after high school..but this one is a very very close second.

this morning we decided to get a bit of an earlier start so we could see everything except the musée d'orsay (which we'll do tomorrow before we leave). we had breakfast at the hostel and were out the door by 10:30. first stop was the louvre (for real this time). we got our tickets and walked all around the museum. i don't even know where to start with how many amazing things we saw. the statues are so lovely and i cannot believe how the artists were able to make them so detailed. we of course saw the mona lisa, venus de milo, winged victory, and the sphynx, but there was so much more and it was all incredible. after a few hours in the louvre we went to find the arc de triomphe. we got lost. again. really really lost this time. well, not THAT lost, we just walked the wrong direction..for at least 2 miles. we found our way to ave champs elysées and made it to the arc. it was huge. and beautiful. and huge. then we took the metro to notre dame, which was also huge and beautiful. we caught a little bit of mass while we were there, i am not catholic, but the hymns were lovely. when we left we found a crêperie right outside of the cathedral and had crêpes with nutella and banana for dinner. we're allowed to do these things because we walk so much during the day it cancels it out. after our dinner we took the metro back home and here i sit in the café at the hostel.

i packed my suitcase for tomorrow, had a chocolat chaud, and am getting ready to head up to bed. we're going to the musée d'orsay tomorrow morning before we have to leave. my train leaves gare du nord at 16h 58 and i'll arrive in lille at 18h. the principal of my school is coming to pick me up from the train station and i'll stay with him and his wife tomorrow.

more to come from lille in a few days once i get settled in my dorm/flat/studio/wherever it is i'll be living.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

it's time

so what better time to make a post than waiting for my flight to board. are we delayed? of course we are! they're making the announcements in french and english. my sisters response to this: "at least i know what they're saying." i psyched myself out so much that i had myself convinced i couldn't speak any french and i was going to be walking around aimlessly, unable to communicate with anyone when i got to france. SURPRISE! i still can speak and understand french! what a relief.

so, my younger sister and i are flying out of charlotte today. it's pouring down rain in charlotte. wonderful day to fly. sike. i thought today was going to be so long, but surprise again! it flew by. i ran a few last minute errands, said goodbye to a dear friend, and then packed and repacked my bag. magically it was under the weight limit of 50lbs. i don't know how i managed to do that, but i did. i do have two pretty large carry-on bags, but, i am so amazed at myself.

saying goodbye to my dogs and my family was just about the hardest thing i've ever had to do. thank god i don't have a boyfriend that i would have had to leave behind too. riley (my sweet sweet puppy) was upset with me all day long. she had me sobbing before i even left my house. then came lots of water works at the security check at the airport. it's no shock that my family and i are very close. when i was in college i came home almost every single month. this will be the longest i've ever been away from home. it's going to be hard. i am so relieved that i have my sister with me.

the flight is about 9 hours long (assuming we ever leave the airport) and the time difference is 6 hours ahead. it will be about 8:30am when we get to charles de gaulle. perfect timing to get my first pain au chocolat and espresso.

a bientot!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

oh how time flies

finally received my placement a few weeks ago. almost threw up when my sister told me it came in the mail. i will be teaching in two different middle schools. one in armentieres, and one in perenchies. because my computer doesn't have accent symbols the names look weird, but they sound really nice when you say them in french. the greatest part about my placement is that the towns are both so close to lille, i can live there! living in lille is going to be so convenient and there will be so much to do. i don't have any idea how exactly i'm going to go about finding an apt that fits my miniscule budget, but hopefully it won't be too hard. i also can't decide if i want to live with a host family, other assistants, or try to find a place with french people my age. they all have their perks, i just have to find out which one i think will be the perkiest.

the days are flying by like nothing i've ever experienced before. i swear last time i looked at my calendar it was still july. but no, it's actually september. i've had my appointment to apply for my visa, i've booked my plane ticket (and by i booked, i mean my dad worked his airline magic and did it for me..thanks dad!) and i've booked my hostel for my first two nights in lille. after those first two nights i'll be staying at a high school next to the middle school where i'm teaching in armentieres until i find a permanent home. which will be interesting because i have no idea what said living situation is going to be like. my sister and i are leaving charlotte on september 21st and arriving in paris the morning of the 22nd.  we're going to spend a few nights in paris doing everything you can possibly think of to do there. i haven't been to france since the 7th grade and only spent half a day in paris. needless to say there are so many monuments and museums to visit, cafe's to sit in, baguettes to eat, etc. so so much to do. i'll be leaving for lille the morning of the 26th. i'm excited to take trains again. haven't done that since my trip to italy the summer after my senior year of high school.

really this whole experience is going to be incredible. someone i know keeps telling me it will be the time of my life. they're right. but it's gut wrenching and i keep getting sick to my stomach when i think about leaving in less than a month. 

bad news: i found out when i leave i have to get rid of my cell phone number. such a pain. on the bright side, now i have a new 'fake' number to give out to people when i come back to the states.

Monday, July 11, 2011

patience? what's that?

i said in an earlier post that my placement for this new awesome job of mine will be in lille, france..ish. lille, just an hour from paris by tgv, is right on the border of belgium and is closer to london than charlotte is from boone. (does anyone want to buy me a rail pass?) i used that ish because i have no clue where exactly i'll be living/teaching. when we were first accepted into this program, we were assigned to an 'académie.' these académie's are basically school districts. large school districts that practically cover an entire region of france. my region: nord pas de calais. which is big.

after we were accepted to the program, we were told to wait. wait to hear from our schools and wait to receive our official work contracts. when will we find out all of this very important information? WHO KNOWS. my sweet little sister, who is doing the same exact program (just in a different part of the country), found out approximately a month ago the schools where she will be teaching and the city where she will be living. i, however, have heard NOTHING. not a peep. i'm hoping it's because my school is SO awesome and they don't want everyone else who was placed in the 'académie de lille' to be so jealous of my placement that they're waiting until the last possible moment to contact me.

unfortunately i need to do important things like go get my visa, which i can't do until i have my official contract. i also have to make an appointment to get this visa, which should be made about a month or so in advance. ahhhh i'm stressed just thinking about all of this. i did had a dream the other night that they gave me a vespa for having to wait so long to find out where i'll be living..which is very very unlikely, but would be the bomb.com and would make all of this stress worth it.

i've been avoiding reading paperwork, looking for apartments, planning my life, etc., mostly because the excitement might just be too much. don't get me wrong, i am so excited for this, but it all seems so fake right now. i don't feel like i'm moving anywhere. i'm practically in limbo, and for those of you who haven't seen the cartoon version of anastasia..rasputin spent some time there, and he didn't even seem to like it and he was terrrrrrrrrible. i can say the words "i'm moving to france in september" but in my head it has started to sound like "blah blah blah blah blah blah."

so keep all your little fingers crossed for me..i would really like to find out where i'm placed so when i say "i'm moving to france in september" it sounds more like "HSKSGLEWYYIUSWGJKGS***!!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

the little things

paperwork. apparently moving to a different country isn't as easy as just hopping on a plane. who knew? well, i did, but that's because i'm not a moron. i knew this process would be tedious, repetitive, and would take forever (and ever.) what is getting to me is the nuances i've let slip from my mind. the little things that are i know are different here in the states than they are in europe. for instance... date of birth: month/day/year? no. not there. in europe it's day/month/year. phone number: country code first. +1. it only took me 3 tries to get my first set of forms right..not too shabby, right?

those are the easiest of the differences...i don't even want to talk about the metric system. just kidding, i do. i have been to canada a few times so the kilometer is not a foreign concept to me. i was also a huge fan of the card game 'milles bornes' as a kid. however, when it comes to conversions i tend to use "ish-es". for instance: 100kph = 65mph...ish. i also wish we used celsius. it makes so much more sense. who's idiot idea was it to make 32 degrees the mark for freezing in fahrenheit? why 32? i'm used to it, but that doesn't mean it's not dumb. 75 fahrenheit is the practically the perfect temperature. 75 celsius would do more than just melt your face off.

i've never been much for reading directions. i for some reason prefer to learn from my mistakes instead of taking the time to read the instructions first. when assembling things i put things where it looks like they go (manuals are always confusing.) circle circle square square. easy enough? yes, it usually is easy enough and we played games like these as toddlers. there is a reason i don't like taking direction. i'm usually smarter than things. good example: my gps. i only ever really need it when i'm in a different city...most of the time. i know better than it does that 1-77 is never the fastest way to get to raleigh or greensboro. i also know better than it does that i can cut through parking lots to save myself 20 whole seconds. another sign i'd like to wear around my neck: i'm always right. well, maybe not always, but a large majority of the time, i'm right and everyone else is wrong (and stupid)...

i suppose now that i'm 24 (and a half) i should consider taking direction and following rules, but that doesn't seem fun. i'm going to have to quit being so stubborn sometime though. i'll start practicing...tomorrow.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

biggest, bestest news

so, for those of you who aren't familiar with my current situation, i'll catch you up to speed. i graduated from appalachian state in may 2009 with a degree in french and a minor in political science. the day before i was supposed to move home to charlotte after my lease on my apartment was up in boone, i decided to stay. 3 of my best friends were moving into a house and their 4th roommate bailed on them. i had no real job lined up, so i figured, why not? we moved into a piece of crap house and i got a job in a restaurant (and then got another job in a restaurant.) needless to say my parents were less than thrilled. so there i was in boone...waiting tables, waiting tables, and waiting more tables. i had a rocky relationship (understatement) and when my dad called and told me my old job was hiring full time, i couldn't say no. i gave both of my jobs two weeks notice, quit one completely and kept one so i could come up weekends and work still to pay the rent on the aforementioned piece of crap house until the end of july when i would move back to charlotte permanently dundundunnnnnnnnn.

i started back at the doctors office in april 2010. to say i like my job would be like saying the sky is green. a french major working at a doctors office as a receptionist. makes sense, right? and i wear scrubs, which is generally nice, and i like pijamas as much as the next person, but, for some reason everyone seems to think i'm a nurse when i wear said scrubs. want to know how i passed biology? my professor was about 85 and my sorority held faculty appreciation dinners once a year and because that was the class i was struggling with the most, i invited him (this is when he first started to love me.) i went to study groups, test reviews, and was in every 8am class (for those of you that know me, know how pleasant i am in the morning and how much i love to wake up early. (in case you missed it, this is called sarcasm.)) i'm pretty sure he pitied me, so i squeaked by and he didn't fail me...such a nice old man.

most days i wish i could wear a sign around my neck to inform people i have zero medical training and i don't want to see their rashes or hear their sob story about how they were gardening and got poison ivy. don't people know what poison ivy looks like? it has three leaves. now you know. avoid it. i apply hand sanitizer more than any normal person, and have the worlds nicest phone voice. i have come to enjoy the small things at work: when drug reps bring us food, when we get to leave on time, and most of all, when i can get a good nap in on my lunch break, you know, the usual. the best part about my job: i don't work on fridays.

so now for the good stuff. i'm moving to france. in 5 short months. this is easily the best thing that's ever happened to me. i did win 7 dollars in the lottery the other week, but france still comes out on top. i got a job through a program called TAPIF (teaching assistant program in france.) i'll be teaching english to middle school and/or high school age students somewhere near lille. lille is in the northeast, about an hour (by train) from paris, 30 minutes from brussels, and 2 hours from london. my first choice was to be in nice on the mediterranean, so i could be at the beach all the time (sounds nice, huh?) but lille was my second choice and so i'm so excited about where i was placed. i'll be in france, so as long as there's wine, cheese, baguettes and people speaking french all around me, i'll be happy.i am a tad nervous about teaching kids who are most likely my size, but we'll just have to see how that goes....