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 …

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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– …

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the goldfish bowl

Just when I felt pretty comfortable with my role teaching English classes to French primary school children, life (or rather, the French Ministry of Education) handed me something new: a job at a maternelle in les banlieues of Cannes. My new students range from barely three to six years old. The oldest are wonderfully curious, asking questions that inspire …

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