Well, all of a sudden I’ve been in France for a full month! Boy has it flown by or what?! Little by little I’ve been settling into Marseille, into my new job, into different expectations and realities, with help from so many people (and in despite of some others…)
Thanks to my mom who dropped me off at the airport. No thanks to my 25kg suitcase (plus 2 other bags). Thanks to the AirFrance employee who let the extra 2 kilos slide with no fee. No thanks to the diva in front of me in the ridiculously congested customs line at Charles de Gaulle airport who yelled at me for apparently cutting her in line when I was merely trying to take the outside lane on a turn, rather than bottleneck all 3048302 of us through the inside curve.
Thanks to whatever caused a ten minute delay of my TGV that allowed me to make it on with a few minutes to spare! No thanks to metros without escalators, train platforms with large gaps, cobblestones and sidewalks full of dog poop. Thanks to all the kind men and women who saw a young woman struggling and chose to help.
Thanks to my Airbnb and hosts who welcomed me into their stunning apartment for my first week, and then told me to stay for as long as I needed while I searched for permanent housing (and for a much reduced rate!) Three and a half weeks was more than they – or I – bargained for, but they were welcoming all the same. No thanks to the super strict landlords of Marseille who make it SO HARD for foreigners to rent from them. Thanks to social media and the internet for connecting people in search of roommates.
Thanks to my new friends from all over the world who helped me move in once I finally found a (fantastic) place to live! And who are always down to decompress over a drink or go explore a new part of this city. No thanks to TAPIF assistant groups on Facebook full of very high maintenance people who sometimes seem to unable to complete a simple google search (but that are also full of extremely kind souls who answer questions, propose meet-ups, and share lessons).
Thanks to my three new schools who are very excited to have me! No thanks to various levels of miscommunication that caused me to arrive an hour and half late to school my first week. Thanks to my supervisor who helped arrange my schedule so that I only work three days a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Thanks to my year working with and observing amazing teachers at Discovery ES and Educational Theatre Company who gave me the confidence and planning skills to plan two successful weeks of introductory and Halloween lessons which were a blast!! No thanks to a certain lack of support from the higher-ups which would have made planning and executing 45-minute English lessons for 14 classes of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders extremely daunting if not for my previous experience…
Thanks to the French education system that gave us a two week vacation after less than two weeks of actual work ❤ I will always love that about you, France!
COMING SOON: additional EXCLUSIVE content about my schools, my first month, Marseille AND MORE! Stay tuned. ❂