Saturday, March 17, 2007

The countdown

I have four weeks of teaching left. Two pre-holiday, two post-holiday. This means several things.

1. The Good
•I will no longer have to worry about what to talk about with my next class of unimaginative students. Already, I have vague plans for all my remaining lessons, which means more free time and less panic.
•I will no longer have to take the metro at 7.30 am to get to school by 8, in fact I only need to do this eight more times.
•I will have completed my obligatory time abroad and will therefore be "free" to go home/elsewhere as and when I wish, although in reality I shall be staying in Lyon another two months or so.
•I can do more new things (including, perhaps, some travelling around France), and actually get on with my dissertation (this will be a Very Good Thing).
•In only two months I will return to the land of friends, family, short skirts and common sense.

2. The Bad
•Several of my friends will disappear off home/to other exciting places.
•I will no longer be paid a salary
•I will no longer have any excuse not to be working on aforementioned dissertation
•My year abroad is nearly over. But it only just began!
•Because of the aforementioned lack of salary, I need to finish writing my CV and lettres de motivation in order to make some attempt at getting job of some description for some/all of May and June.
•I will shortly be 22––and 21 already seemed grown up!
•I need to think about The. Dreaded. Oral. Exam. (and other similar academic nasties)

3. The Indifferent
All in all, not a lot will change vis à vis normal life (except the removal of teaching)–unless, that is, I do something totally wacky à la Mylène, on the topic of which…more soon!

What this "end is nigh" feeling, coupled with the arrival of some pretty spring weather, also means is that we are beginning to make more of an effort to go and see all the places we intended to see this year and haven't yet got round to. With Saturdays no longer dedicated to lesson planning, last week a bunch of us English, German and Italian assistants, went on a very windy daytrip to Avignon, and just today I went (despite missing two trains this morning, oops. What a spectacular achievement!) to a tiny place between St Etienne and Puy en Velay…it's called Monistrol sur Loire, and it's where Lucy is an assistante. Very cute, very French–the rugby club were celebrating St Patrick's day in one of the town (village?) squares in a somewhat continental fashion (french folk music, waffles and crêpes and dancey people in regional dress). We had lunch in a crêperie (yum) with her friend Maggie who is a primary assistant from Georgia, and then went on a wander into the countryside where we met some very friendly, rather beautiful horses whose legs were puzzlingly short. All in all, it was a lovely day.
Next on the list for visiting are Paris (during the Easter Vac), Annecy, potentially Annemasse and Geneva, and Le Puy en Velay itself, which I am told is a lovely place. Oh and Montpellier once Lucy has moved there in May. Oh and Dijon. Think that's enough to be going on with!

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