Monday, June 29, 2009

Not sure what the future will bring

Tomorrow is my last day of teaching. Don't get me wrong, I'm sad that it's ending but I'm happy as well. I'm ready to move on and find something else but I'm scared about what will happen afterwards. For the end of the year, one of my schools is having a picnic in the local park so I'll get to say goodbye to the kids and the teachers and probably drink a little wine while doing so.
In other news, I was contacted by another language school for an interview. So that could be a possibility as well. I hope that they'll actually have work for me!
The ad that I put in the newspaper didn't get me anywhere; no one contacted me. In this city, it's very hard to find individual students on your own. Most people contact schools to get their lessons.

Christophe's oral exam is this Wednesday and Thursday. We're both really nervous about it. If he passes then I don't have to worry as much about finding a job quickly and we'll know that he'll have a permanent job. If he doesn't pass, he's going to look for a job in another sector. After all of the hard work he put in this year, I really hope he'll be rewarded for it.

And finally, my dad told me yesterday that my poor cat has apparently disappeared. I swear my parent's home is cursed. This is the third cat that has disappeared in 15 years! We live near the woods and there are a lot of wild animals so I'm afraid that that's what happened. No more cats at that home, ever!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Interview

The interview finally happened this morning at the language school. The outcome was essentially that I was not assured to have a stable working condition this fall. I will most likely be teaching an intensive English course for secondary students at the end of August but as la Rentrée comes around, I'm not guaranteed work. They will call me when they need me but nothing contractual. They were completely honest with me and said if you work here, you can't make a living off of it. You will need to have a job elsewhere. So I'm basically back to the drawing board. My friend who works at the other language school I was applying to, just told me yesterday that she's being laid off so I guess I have no hope left there. I starting to get a little scared. But hey, there's always being a vacataire in the public school system right?? :(

When can I start a real job that I enjoy?

Oh and the soldes are starting today! I already stopped by a few stores including Galaries Lafayette and bought a couple of things for over 50 percent off! But I need to pay extra attention at the amount of money I spent now that I'm unemployed. Last thing to buy before I run out of money, a new pair of flats! The ones I wear now have a gigantic hole on the side and it's not very professional. For those readers in France, Bonnes soldes!

Monday, June 22, 2009

La Fête de la Musique!

Yesterday was June 21st, the first day of summer, which in France also means, the nation-wide festival of music in the streets! It's celebrated in every village, in every city of France to mark the shortest night of the year with music that lasts until 1 or 2 am!
All over the center of town there were groups of every kind of musical genre, each having a small crowd encircling them: reggae, rock, punk, hard core, jazz, techno, etc.
Of course, the night wasn't complete without drinking a couple beers and dancing in the street to loud booming techno music.
My ears are hurting a little this morning...

It's now officially summer! But why is it only 57° outside?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

8 days left

As the assistantship comes to a close, I'm getting more and more excited about my trip back to the states but becoming increasingly worried about my job situation this fall. Even though I did have a sort of interview last week at the language school, there was a little problem with the actual interview itself. The man did not show up because he was in a car accident. So we changed the interview date to sometime next week. I was hoping they would need people for July since I'm free all that month, but apparently they are looking for people moreso for August. *Problem!* I will be home for the whole month of August. However, I'm considering changing the date on my plane ticket to come back to France earlier in order to work. Since it's really well paid and I really need the money, it would probably be the smartest idea. I hope it's not too late to change my mind since I already told the woman that I wouldn't change my ticket.

However, that's only work for this summer. For the fall I still have no clue. I would rather not do the vacataire position but if I have no choice...

In terms of my masters, I think I finally have clear path. I want to try to get into an interpretation school. There are a few really good schools in France that I will apply to next spring. I think it's a job that I could be capable of doing, plus it's reasonably well paid and I wouldn't have to teach! But yes there is a catch, you need to know a third language. This was exactly my problem last year. For those who read my blog last fall, I was enrolled in school here and struggling with spanish classes that were waaaay too advanced for my beginner level. So, this year, I'm going to give Spanish another try. There is a two week intensive debutant course in July at this same language school where I might be working. Then in the fall, there are night classes available at the advanced level. I've started to review my vocabulary and phrases but I still don't know how to conjugate most verbs.

My goal for next year, 2010...start a masters program!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm PACSed!

Yay it's official! We went to the tribunal this morning, handed in our paperwork and were given our PACS certificate!! In addition, the man who processed everything was very very nice and gave us no problems whatsoever! It all went very smoothly. Two of our friends even met us afterwards to take pictures and throw confetti as we were walking out of the Palais de Justice. Last night when we went out for a drink they said they would come by this morning but we didn't know if they were kidding or not. They weren't! After the confetti throwing we went to get some champagne to celebrate at a local bar where we know the owner who is English. He knew about our PACSing and gave the champagne coupes to us for free! How nice of him! Then this afternoon, two out of three classes were cancelled so now I have the whole afternoon to myself. And finally tonight, Christophe and I are celebrating by going out to dinner! What a great Friday! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What a headache

Before going to babysit today, I stopped over at the prefecture to ask for the specific documents that I would be to obtain the Carte de séjour Vie Privée Familiale. The woman at the welcome desk made me nervous because she told me that she didn't know if I would be able to change the card status or not. But then I thought to myself, no it wouldn't be her who would know. She then sent me to ask her colleague at étrangers sans rendez vous. The woman there asked me immediately how long I've been living with my boyfriend. I told her since May 2008 and she said that if I had proof to back it up then there would be no problem in getting this new card. However when making the appointment, the woman at the desk gave me a little attitude when I asked if we could schedule the rendez vous the earliest possible date. She said well since your card expires July 30th we don't need to rush. I made sure not to mention that I was hoping to find a job for July cause I guess that looks bad. But now I'm nervous about my legally working status here that the language school might not hire me. I guess i'll find out tomorrow when I have my interview. There are a beautiful pair of sling back shoes that I'm considering buying for the interview and for the PACS date. It's been sooo long since I've bought a nice pair of shoes. But 100 € seems a little cher... Should I or shouldn't I?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I've got an interview!!

After not hearing from either school for almost two weeks, I decided to take action into my own hands. Yesterday afternoon I wrote one of the schools an e-mail saying that I was still very interested in this job and that I wanted to know if they were still interested in my application. I got an almost immediate response back from them saying that they would like me to come in for an interview this week!! Now obviously, this doesn't mean that I'm hired but it's a good sign that they are at least considering me. I'm nervous that they might be hesitant in hiring me since I don't have the Carte de Sejour Vie Privée Familiale yet. I'm going to go to the prefecture this week and ask for the list of documents that I need to order to apply for it. I think they will give me a recipisee immediately if I am PACSed? right? I hope that it won't be a problem for them to hire me. I hope that by July I'll have the new carte de sejour. The Besançon prefecture seems to work fairly quickly. I'm a little nervous. But I'm excited either way!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Is the assistantship over yet?

I started the week off with another one of my bad schools, except the difference between this school and the other that I blogged about last time is that these kids are little wealthy, white bratty kids who think they can get away with anything. Thankfully I only have two classes with them on Monday and Tuesdays, but honestly, I'm so sick of these kids' bad behaviors that I'm ready to give them a two day evaluation and then finish up the year by giving them things to color and crossword puzzles to complete. I can't even do any games with them because they don't listen and they basically do what they want to do. I can't stand these kids.

Whooo...ok that's said. Sorry about that, I'm just frustrated and sick and tired of the same bullshit week after week. Thankfully theres only 2 1/2 weeks left!! which means 6 class sessions left with these brats.

In other news, this past weekend was very eventful. Obama came to France and was all over French TV. The journalists even stalked him during his visit to Paris and inquired what the president ordered at dinner! La crême brulée! Wow, how interesting....

I was also fairly busy. I was out everynight to dinner and had a fellow assistant over for dinner last night. I feel like I actually am starting to have a life!

Wednesday night I'll be out to dinner eating SUSHI with a french girlfriend!! I'm so excited! It's been ages since I've had sushi, especially since it's not a huge hit here in France.

And of course Friday is the big day!! We have our PACS rdv at 10am. I'm not quite sure what I should wear to an event like this. Jeans? A Dress? Dress Pants? I'll do my best and try to make myself look presentable. I still haven't told most of my friends and family back home that we're PACSing because no one really understands what it is. It's complicated and I figured that I'll tell them when I'm home for the summer. It'll be a little surprise.

Oh and I almost forgot to add, I still haven't been contacted by the schools for a job either for this summer or next fall. I just wrote an e-mail to one of the schools but I'm afraid that here in France they don't like the aggressive tactic like we do in America. They prefer that you wait and for them to contact you first. Oh's a little too late.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Yay for the weekend!

Phew! I'm wiped out. I just came back from my difficult school and I'm like physically exhausted. I ended the day with a very behavioral challenged class. They are just not capable of being quiet or listening or being polite. It's really impressive, in a bad way. They are my class of CE2 and every time I have class with them, I feel like taking a nap afterwards. So punishments don't work, neither does threatening them with bad grades. They don't listen. So I tried to do something different. It worked pretty well the first two times and then today, the effect wore off. I told them that if they were good, I would give them a small gift at the end of class. I wanted to try positive reinforcement and it has worked better than any of my other methods. But today, they were not good so it just wasn't possible and I left without giving them anything. I feel bad but in a way, maybe that will make them think a little and the next class will be better. I mostly feel bad for the 3 kids that are actually good and listen and are good students. They are the ones getting hurt in this situation. I might give them something special at the end. But if the other kids find out, they might not be very nice to them. They are not at all nice within their group. The students in this school call each other horrible names and insult each other to the worst degree. It's very upsetting but in the end, what can I do about it? I just try to be the good, cheerful assistant. I think they all like me which makes me happy, and I know that some of them try harder in class because they like me. But it's not the case for everyone. I just hope that I made an impression on these kids and that they'll have some kind of future in front of them.

Oh and btw, I haven't followed my challenged as I had planned. I cut down on the internet to a degree, but I definitely wouldn't say I only spent between 30 -45 minutes online per day. I would say probably double or even trible that. Ok so I'm an addict, and I admit it. It's like having your coffee everyday, you need it to get through the day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Personal Challenge

Ok, I need to admit this to myself. I spend waaaay too much time online. I have a problem. I check my e-mail at least 15 times a day and go on facebook twice as much. Then I read blogs for about an hour, browse the New York times online, and look at masters programs and/or jobs for another couple hours. In other words, waay too much. Instead of contributing to my well being, this is driving me nuts! It stresses me out and makes me feel anxious about my job situation and everything else. The result, I feel unproductive and stressed. I have waay too many days off and I don't work enough hours in the day. I'm going to put myself up to the challenge.
30-45 minutes per day max until next Sunday! Yes, I can do it....can I?
I guess we'll find out.

However, I don't only spend my days online. I do other things as well. Yesterday I went to a Cave! It was called La Grotte d'Oisselle. I've never been inside a cave so it was extremly impressive. It was discovered over 500 years ago but it's thousands of years old! There are even traces of torches that were used during parties hundreds of years ago! Here are a few pictures: