Monday, February 4, 2008


I know he's only nine, but I'm really sick and tired of one of my student's excuses. "But I didn't take English last year!" You have nothing in your notebook, you don't pay attention in class, you don't participate, and you spend half of class facing the other direction. There are PLENTY of other students who didn't do English last year, and they're doing fine. The problem is your attitude, sir, and it had better shape up. I expect more out of you. But he is only nine.

I've long said that I have a different personality in French. My word choices, the way I express myself, the times I choose to involve myself in conversation and how, all make me a different person than my normal American self. I can say normal because France has only been nine months of my life so far. Maybe it's because it's different, or maybe I genuinely dislike this other person. I don't really know how to change it either externally or internally. It's really putting a bad flavor in my mouth. I'm also incredibly homesick and people-sick and America-sick. I have a right to these feelings. It's part of living abroad. I won't give up on this job, despite brief moments of feedback from my colleagues and students. It's just so emotionally draining. I have become a pragmatic and practical person to a fault; to the point where I just do NOT feel or express my emotions. And when the slightest thing gets to me, I break down. All I think about all day are my classes, my bank account, and the best vacation arrangements. I do a good job of pushing out images of Mom and Dad and Peter and Nicholas and Andy and the rest of my family and friends out of my head. It just makes me sad that I'm SO alone here. Everyone else has a family and a real life. I'm here temporarily. After vacation, I won't even have my roommates: Ben is leaving and Rocio and I are rubbing each other the wrong way. So I focus on the practical. I've become a different person and I don't like it, and then I resent France and the French language. It's awful. I don't care about getting words or grammar or my accent right; I don't even want to talk at the end of the day in any language. English is frustrating because NO one understands it, not even my students who were supposed to have studied for their evaluations (why do I bother, honestly...). I just feel so so so alone and self-centered and lost. I have got to find a way out of this.

Also, is good French internet radio, broadcast from the region where La Rochelle is. Keeps me from going entirely insane.

1 comment:

sweetie lauren from CSTATE said...

rose, keep your chin up. i kno the american you pretty well, and you are strong, smart and determined! kids will be kids no matter what country you are in, and you are probably being your worst critic and i bet you are doing an awesome job with them! your vacation sounds amazing and will be so refreshing, and if you send us silly americans a postcard, i can promise you a postcard straight from good old NY! hope ur dreamin sweet since i think its about 2 AM there. have a lovely day!!!