Surely you've heard by now: I'm moving back to France. Late September through sometime in May will find me in a smallish city on the coast of the Mediterranean. If all goes as planned, I'll share a little vacation villa not a mile (kilometer[s]?) from the beach with another young woman who is in France for the same reason I am: to be an assistant English teacher at the local schools.
If you're wondering when I became a beach bum with a penchant for the pedagogical, don't worry, I'm not -- yet. There is absolutely nothing about this adventure that I feel qualified to do, and that is exactly why I'm going.
I will work with French high school (lycee) and middle school (college) students, mostly high school. As of right now, I like teenagers. Updates to follow.
When I was preparing to study in Paris during my senior year of college, I remember being so overwhelmed by the nausea of paperwork that I thought, "If I had known what this would be like, I would not be doing this!" Of course by the end of the first day, jet-lagged and full of wine and cheese, it was already worth everything. For the next three months, nearly everything fell on the "worth it" side of the balance. So I keep reminding myself.
Hopefully the visa form and the slew of mysterious-acronym forms will be canceled out in the bus ride between the airport in Marseille and my new hometown (the drive between Marseille and Cassis, a neighboring town, is stunning, and it won't be less stunning the second time). From then, each day will probably be a shifting balance between "worth it" and "not worth it," ending without a doubt on the "worth it" end. There's no chance this will be a wasted year; I just mean that it will be hard.
The balance is completely on the panicked side for now.
However, what could be so difficult it couldn't be fixed with some pain au chocolat (that is a chocolate croissant, my friends, and my undoing) or Mediterranean sun? I ask you.
I am excited to be speaking French again (such as it is...), and to be living somewhere different enough that every routine will have to be reinvented. I won't speak too soon, but I might enjoy teaching English (remember, I come from a family where debating the meaning of the word "runcible" is typical dinner conversation).
I leave in just over two weeks. You can find me here (often, most likely), or my other online haunts, and please be in touch!