I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I have been neglecting my blog like nobody’s business. Even now as I sit here typing I keep finding reasons to procrastinate…I think I am finding it difficult to top the Fete de l’Ours. Nothing as exciting as that will ever happen to me again.
But seriously, the chat in France has been rather lackluster lately. A few weeks ago we did host a toga party, after which we all came to the conclusion that all parties should be toga parties. The Greeks and Romans really had things going the right way. Not sure I can get behind those vomitoria, but still…
Last weekend I went to a rugby match between Toulouse and Perpignan. Perpignan killed them 35 to 7 or something like that. I had never actually seen a men’s rugby match in real life, so that was pretty cool. The experience was awesome, but the game wasn’t actually that exciting because it was apparent that Perpignan was going to win about twenty minutes into the game. It was pretty cool to hear cheers and such in French, though!
The weeks I have spent dreading teaching, though the days that I have to deal with these kids are rapidly diminishing. Kili, Ashley, and Greg arrive in seven days, and then the calamity should recommence. Maybe then I’ll actually have something to blog about!
I’ve mentioned this to several people (who probably want to kill me for saying it…) that I have been feeling incredibly busy lately. It’s not because I am working more (still averaging about 6 hours a week) or because I have lots of errands to run or anything. Most of what has been occupying my time has been social obligations and gatherings. I feel like (as with my blog) I am playing catch-up. I have just over two months left in France, which means that I have been here for almost six months. The first three months here I was incredibly unhappy, and struggling to adjust to a lifestyle of unfamiliarity, of skype-dates and hastily written emails, of making new friends and discovering new places. It was exhausting and often depressing, and I feel like I spent the first three months here wishing the time away, wishing I had never even come, and wishing that I could return to the States. After about mid-January, the period of adjustment was over—suddenly, inexplicably, over, and I really began to enjoy myself. I feel like since then, I have been cramming as much as I possibly can into the short amount of time I have left, hence the constant busyness. I am playing catch-up for three months of rotten behavior and melancholia.
While I am so happy to be almost finished with this horrid teaching position, I am more torn about actually leaving France. It doesn’t seem fair that just as I’ve come to love it here, I have to pack up and leave. I actually toyed with the idea of changing my return flight to go home a bit later (don’t panic! It turned out to be too expensive, and I know I would be disappointing far too many people!). The thought of leaving in two months kind of makes me anxious, not only because I love it here now, but also because of the people I know I will have to leave behind, the people whom I don’t know when I will see again. I never would have been able to stay in France up until this point had it not been for the other assistants here—which means that I would have gone home before I actually started liking it here, leaving with a terrible impression of La France, an even poorer image of myself, and more guilt than an Irish Catholic has after a long Saturday night at the pub. The problem is that if I stay there will be trouble, if I go there will be…not double, but still trouble. I can’t imagine just staying in France and not going home—there’s too much back there that is waiting for me, that I am excited about, and too many people that I just can’t wait to see. That’s the problem with moving across the world and establishing yourself in a city—you meet people, you forge relationships, you create an elaborate new support system of people that you can’t possibly live without. And then you leave. No matter where I go in the world, there will be people that I will be hurting without, that I will be missing, and that I will be constantly thinking about. The only possibly solution to this is to keep traveling, I suppose. This does, of course, mean having three jobs throughout the school year so that I can spend each summer in Europe—2010 is England! But it is so worth it.
Despite my terrible experience teaching in France, I have been thinking lately about doing another assistantship. Not in France, obviously, but the last two or three months here have really cheered me up about the experience of moving to a foreign country and teaching. Now that I know that it is definitely possible to do this, and enjoy it, I am excited about further opportunities. It won’t be for a couple of years, not until after I finish my masters, but I think I will try to get another teaching position for another year somewhere different. Maybe Europe, maybe Asia, maybe South America. Twenty-four really is way too young to start a PhD, let’s be honest. Now I just have to start studying another language…