Adventures and misadventures in France.

Archive for April, 2013

More English Class

The participants in my English classes have been very enthusiastic and dedicated so far. With many of the groups, I am reviewing the present tense (simple and continuous), and beginning to get people involved in literature and TV series. Some of the more advanced groups have started to read The Hunger Games and Fahrenheit 451, and some of by beginner groups are going to watch The Walking Dead and How I Met Your Mother. Needless to say, this makes working extra hours enjoyable.

Boston, You’re My Home

In the aftermath of Monday’s attack during the Boston Marathon, it is difficult to be so far from home. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. I am so grateful that Boston has many of the best hospitals in the world, and that the emergency responders and medical teams were able to save those suffering from terrible injuries. My aunt Jackie and many former classmates are among these heroes.

The Boston Marathon is meant to be a day of celebration for the city and its heritage. I can remember staying at my grandparents’ apartment on Exeter Street, only a block away from the finish line, and collecting free merchandise among crowds of spectators. Another year, I helped my aunt Pam film a marathon-themed audition tape for the reality show Survivor. It’s terrible to think that tragedy will be the only memory of the 2013 marathon.

An article by LZ Granderson published by CNN eloquently reflects many of my feelings about the attack:


This morning, I received a call from a French coworker, Jean-Francois:


“We have never met, but I have heard you are from Boston. I read about the attacks this week, and I wanted to express my sorrow for your home, your friends, and your family. I hope that your loved ones were not injured. Boston is a lovely city. I studied there on an exchange program in college, and the Boston Marathon is a great celebration. Our country shares the pain of your losses.”


My city, my home, and the people of Boston are in my thoughts and my heart this week.

Sunday Outing

Jojo and I went for a lovely walk through the farmlands on Sunday. There are access roads open to the public, with signs leading to loops 3-5 miles long. I guess this could be considered the rural version of hiking.

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Afterwards, we stopped by Max’s soccer game in his hometown (pop. 300). It was a beautiful, sunny day, so many people brought their families and dogs. Somebody brought a pony. Yes, there was a pony at the soccer game. And across the field, some cows were also enjoying the game.

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An Easter surprise! When we arrived home for lunch, there was a message from the post office explaining that we had missed a delivery, but that our package had been left with a neighbor. I went and retrieved the package, which was a great opportunity to introduce myself to the gossipy neighbor across the street.

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Thanks Mom and Dad!

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English Classes

I’ve just finished teaching the first week of English classes at work. Each week I’ll be teaching two small groups on-location, one group by correspondance (basically a video session with people working in our Lyon branch), and 5 individual sessions by correspondance with coworkers dispersed throughout France. The majority of my “students” (several of whom are technically my supervisors) have studied English in school for 8-11 years, and have a solid grammar and vocabulary base, but need to practice listening comprehension and speaking. While the language ability disparity will present many challenges, overall I think the groups will be useful and worthwhile for my coworkers. Each week, we’ll be completing speaking and listening activites. In addition, I’ll be requiring each participant to watch TV series and read articles and books in English based on their interests. If anyone has ideas for language activities, TV shows, or books/websites that could be interesting for people trying to improve their language abilities, please don’t hesitate to add them in a comment!

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Also, I now have this fancy globe with the company logo to decorate my desk.


Each week night, food trucks pass through the center of our town. Tuesdays are kebab, and Wednesday nights are when the PizzaYOLO truck comes, and this gentleman peddles all his pizza wares to all the fine rural people.


L’Etang de Choisel

Choisel Pond is part of a park complex 15 minutes from our house. They have mini golf, 3 ponds, and several walking paths. IMG_1009

Jojo especially enjoyed the ducks. IMG_1007

And there’s also what appears to be a play area for adults. IMG_1015

Each structure is made for working out – some of them even require partners. The sign specifies that children are not allowed, though I can’t imagine anyone enjoying these structures more than kids.


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