Monday, November 29, 2010


I had a dream about my Blackberry. Yes, I miss it. The simple days when I could check my email, catch up with what people are up to on Facebook and update my status, I could tweet to my  heart's desires, check into foursquare and collect new badges like my "playa playa badge" and "swarm badge." I could bbm with my peeps, sms, mms, take photos upload them wherever needed, navigate with the awesomeness of google maps and call my destinations right from the map, look up restaurants on Yelp, manage my life so perfectly with that little life saving machine, oh yeah and make phone calls of course. The dream was so clear with the perfect little keyboard with the buttons that clicked so nicely, such a source of comfort. Is that why they call it the "crackberry?" Yes, yes, that must be why. I'm about to get a forfait (cell contract) my prepaid is too expensive and so inconvenient. Smart phone here I come!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

France time

So I thought that I may be affected by jet lag when I got here, after all it is nine hours ahead of what I'm used to. Well luckily after traveling for about 24hrs from LAX to MRS, it was about 40 hrs since the last time I slept. When I finally arrived, I slept for 14 hours straight, and voila I adjusted to the time difference in one day! Normally, I would think "victory!" but unfortunately, this isn't the case. I may have adjusted to the time difference, but I haven't yet adjusted to the schedule difference.

In France, people, offices, shops, and businesses actually take lunch breaks. What a concept. They literally, close up shop, lock the doors and you won't be able to use their services until after lunch- around 14h00. When I'm used to not getting my day started until 11h00 and running errands during lunch time, I'm finding I really need to adjust my habits and get things done in the morning, boooo. So today when I felt like going grocery shopping (faire les courses), it was 14h00, they were closed. Ok. I looked at the hours, it opened again at 16h00, so I went back later. This is just one example, time after time I've showed up to an office that was closed. Now that I thoroughly understand that meal time (un repas) is very important, I must change my American ways.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I just heard news that the last map poster I created at my job before moving to France won first prize at the Municipal Information Systems Association of California (MISAC). I'm beaming with pride. I talked about it in an earlier blog post. It involved remote sensing and an oak tree ordinance. Totally interesting to some of you I'm sure ;-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Je parle français comme une vache epagnole

Yes the day has come. I speak french like a spanish cow. Apparently, this term is very funny to french people. It's not nice, but it's not mean either. I'll take it, I own the fact. I take pride because one day, people won't be able to say that about me. :-)

Monday, November 8, 2010


Thursday was my first day back at work from the vacation, Toussaints (All Saints). They gave us 10 days off, I love France. It was a little difficult getting a move on, I got on the bus and riding along, some of my students mounted the bus and gave me a big smile and a "Allo!" So I, relishing in the next 20 minutes of freedom, continued to day dream. I got off the bus, there was an overly smelly person sitting near me, so I escaped to the tram. Once on the tram, I had maybe 6 minutes until I had to get off. My student came and sat next to me with a big smile. We were chatting about the vacation when I heard something coming from the back of the tram. Right away I knew the sound. It was an accordion. Yes! I am in France! I asked my student, "is someone playing the accordion?" She said, "yes," in a somewhat annoyed fashion. I looked back in excitement trying to get a glimpse of the musician. Instead I saw only un-enthused mugs, so I decided to tone down the excitement a tad. I waited as the music made its way closer to me. A little boy maybe 10 years old had a white plastic cup at hand, shaking it in front of people asking for money. After him came an adult man playing the accordion (quite beautifully), probably the boy's father. Following him was a woman, probably the boys mother, playing a one-stringed guitar (she was the rhythm I'm guessing?). They appeared to be gypsies. With my luck, we got off at the same stop, and I got to hear the boy give his father a praise like "we sounded great!" That seriously made my day.

Carving a pumpkin in France

You know you are in France when you need to use a corkscrew to pull out the hat of a jack-o-lantern.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mon boulot (boo-low) My job

Today I met yet another class, I thought I was finished meeting students but turns out, no. I meet with 16 different groups of students, and that was the last one- I hope. Anyway, it was great, a little brutal, but great! huhuhuhuh. The entire class was girls. I was like wow you are all girls! And the teacher said, oh there's an absence- guess there is one boy in that class- lucky kid. I think that is my second class that is all girls- bizarre. Anyway. The way I introduce my self is, "alright you don't know me, have at it, ask me questions." I don't tell them my name or anything. The whole reason I'm here is to help them speak because they read and write English quite well, but the speaking part is more difficult. Anyway, after that class I met with another class I've met before, but this time the prof and I split the class. I took a group of 9 into my own classroom and the other half stayed with her. I prepared a few things but decided for this group we would read Edgar Allen Poe "The Tell-Tale Heart," it was kind of in honor of Halloween. That story is just so spooky and I just love it. A girl in the class from Estonia really dug the story- most enthusiastic of the bunch- next to the the girl who has a British father. I loved explaining to them the meaning of certain phrases and words. EAP was such a descriptive writer, it was really fun.  When I got to the part " has welled up from my own bosom..." I decided to draw them a well to explain the phrase "welled up." After I drew them a beautiful well, with a wooden thingy holding a bucket and some water at the bottom of the well, I heard laughter in the back. I realized that my picture was quite beautiful and teenagers have such great horn-dog imaginations. Me, flushed with embarrassment erase my beautiful drawing toutes de suite. Then a wonderful student asked me "what's a bosom?" great.... Overall, it went well and today was the first day I felt most relaxed. This is proving to be a rewarding experience and I am very happy.

By the way, I got the keys to my new pad, moving in this weekend!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

What does October 31st mean to you?

The french just don't understand Halloween the way it is meant to be. It isn't their fault, I just feel a little bad for them. The ambiance of Halloween is just so exciting and spooky and nothing was spooky here in France. On the bright side, the party was fun and our pumpkin patch was adorable! I didn't get any group photos, but I really hope someone did. Our costumes turned out awesome!