Published: September 28th 2011September 19th 2011
Finally back in the blogosphere. Hopefully this time I'll be able to keep an active updating schedule, but I guess we'll see how things go. It's not I'll be swamped with work and stuff this year; I'll only be working 12 hours a week. Here's the story:
Last October I started applying for an internship that would get me position as an assistant English teacher in France. After countless hours of putting together a portfolio-like application for the French government, I finally turned everything in on New Year's Eve and waited the next four months to hear back. I ended up getting the job, and waited another three months to get my assignment. I was placed in Annonay, a couple hours south and west from Lyon or Grenoble, respectively.
When I applied, I requested to teach in a middle school or high school where I wouldn't have to worry so much about speaking French and could make jokes in English and stuff. Maybe make friends with some seniors. Well my assignment paper (l'arrête de nomination) stated that I would be working in an elementary school. I was a little disappointed at first, even considered sending an e-mail to complain to this lady the interns were coordinating things with, but then I decided that if that's where I'm supposed to be, then that's where I'll go.
The next thing I had to do was get my visa. Which meant driving 14 hours down to San Francisco with my dad to turn in a butt load of papers for 10 minutes, then turn around and come home. It was a little ridiculous that we had to go so far, but apparently there's no other way. I sat down with people from Oregon, Nevada, and a girl from Walla Walla. Also, they needed my flight itinerary and I hadn't bought a ticket yet. Why would someone buy a plane ticket to a country if they didn't know if they were even allowed to be there? Well after we got back I bought one anyway and it was only $700, which was a steal considering the next cheapest was like $2,300. It was a fun trip though, I had never been to Cali before then. We got to visit with the Potters (dad's friends) in Bend, Oregon and that's always a good time. It only took a week for me to get my visa back, which looks pretty snazzy, which also means I'm good to go!
While I'm there I'll be paid about 800€ a month after taxes to work 12 hours a week, which means I'm grossing about $30 an hour. Not too shabby! I was told I can sort of pick my schedule, so I asked to work 6 hours Monday and Tuesday so that I would have Wednesday through Sunday to travel and do other stuff. I was then told that I wasn't guaranteed that I would get those hours, but I'm still waiting to hear back.
Up until a couple weeks ago I had no idea where I was going to live. I was ready to show up in Lyon and then live in a hostel until I could find an apartment near my school. Thankfully, however, I was set up with a host family, the Maurins. There's the mom, Isabelle and her 15 year old daughter Anouk. I'm really excited to meet them! They live 2 miles from my school, which is perfect. I'll probably get a bike while I'm there and then it'll only take me like 10 minutes to get to school.
I honestly can say I have no idea what I'm getting myself into. I don't know the first thing about teaching English, let alone to kids who have never spoken it before. Maybe I can play some songs in English with my guitar? I really don't know. Good thing I'm just an assistant :P
Now I'm just sitting around at home, saying my goodbyes to friends as they leave for school. I bought a Nikon D90 to document my travels this year, so look forward to pictures!
Travelin' Man is anxiously awaiting his departure (Monday the 26th at 3:00 p.m.).