All posts filed under: Chambéry

Académie d’Aix-Marseille: Anne in Marseille

Originally posted on Alexandra Woodfin:
This guest post is brought to you by Anne over at Present Perfect, who was previously an assistante in the Académie de Grenoble and has compared her experience in both. When I first applied to TAPIF, I put off ranking my académie preferences for so long that I’m pretty sure I ended up choosing more or less at random… Thankfully, I lucked into the stunning Académie de Grenoble and the amazing city of Chambéry. HOLD THE PHONE! you’re thinking. I came to page looking for info on the Académie d’Aix-Marseille! T’inquiète mon ami –  I’ve already written volumes on how much I love Chambéry, which I definitely invite you to read. But I’m here today to tell you some more about my current home: Marseille. For my second go-around in TAPIF, I was looking for a different, new experience. I had visited Marseille during one of my vacations and felt somehow drawn to this city of a million contradictions despite the short stay. I had a feeling there was a…

the gratte-frog

The four of us piled into our Airbnb apartment in Montpellier, France. As my friends began to change into their pajamas and brush their teeth, I examined the bookshelves: A full set of hardback Harry Potter books; several shelves of paperbacks, their titles written upside-down as is the way with French publishers; a small CD collection and an unplugged stereo; three little wooden frogs, decreasing in size. I now know these small wooden figures are called Frog Rasps, or güiros, a type of Latin American percussion instrument. But at the time, I just thought they were funny. Because we are hilarious, Julia and I decided to play a prank on Hannah and Rachel, who were quietly reading in the bed they were sharing in the other room. We waited until it was absolutely. quiet. and then… brrrrrrr-ap! , brrrrrrr-ap! the sound of the mallet stroking the frog’s bumpy back. “What the hell was that?!” we heard from the other side of the curtain that separated the rooms. We had already dissolved into giggles. Because apparently we are 12. …

croziflette

If you are dreaming of ways to add more carbs to your life, then I definitely have the recipe for you!! Tartiflette is a dish famous across France, but originates in the mountainous Alpine region of Savoie, where I lived. It’s the perfect dish to warm you up after a long day of hitting the ski slopes, or to clog up your arteries in a delicious whirlwind of potato, cream, cheese, and bacon. Really that describes all of the famous dishes from the region, which also include raclette and fondue. But my personal favorite version of tartiflette is a variation called croziflette, which substitutes the potatoes for a specialty made in Savoie, called the crozet. Crozets are tiny square tiles usually made with buckwheat flour. I like to think of croziflette as Alpine mac & cheese. This dish became our go-to for weekend get togethers, and always served up a week of creamy delicious lunch leftovers! Being Americans from the country famous for its casseroles, my friends and I often modified our croziflette to include broccoli or …

two very different lessons

This afternoon, I sat in on a lesson the school counselor was giving to my mom’s class of 3rd graders. They learned to be a “friend to some, kind to all.” They learned how to use “I Messages” when they had conflicts with their friends, and how to respond when their actions accidentally hurt someone. The class played a role playing game where the counselor gave a scenario, and with a partner, they had to play out how they would respond using the I Messages and Responses they had just learned. “I felt upset when you said you didn’t want to play with me. Next time could you please be kinder?” “You were mad when I said I wouldn’t play with you. But it’s because this game only has 4 players. Next time you can switch with someone to get a chance!” One year ago, I was helping the English teacher at my French school lead a very different kind of role playing game. This class of CM2, or 5th graders, was also learning about conflicts …

keys. wallet. phone. ✓

Looking through some of the memories from my jar, I found at least 3 that referenced getting locked out of my apartment. I suspect there are probably more, and that doesn’t even include the times I was locked out BEFORE starting to keep these notes, including locking myself out in the very first hour after moving into said apartment… I think my problem is because I’ve never really had to keep track of keys. When we moved to Arlington when I was 6, the house was already old. By the time I was coming and going on my own, the door had long been broken and no longer locked on its own. We never bothered to repair it or to make copies of the key to the deadbolt. In college, I only needed my ID to swipe into my building. I could have locked the door to my dorm room, but I was at the top of three or four flights of stairs, so I was never really nervous about potential thieves. Plus, the only thing …

small talk

“March 26 – The bus driver chatted me up for 10 minutes about his BLUEGRASS BAND after taking the wrong route.” The bus I rode every day to work was Ligne 4: Chamoux – Champet par Madeleine et Myosotis. Not to be confused with Ligne 40: Chamoux – Champet par Buisson Rond et La Villette. The former stopped right in front of the school where I worked in Chambéry, France. The latter was basically the same exact route, minus the two stops near the school. About once a month, the bus driver forgot which of the two he was driving that morning and turned off the wrong branch of the roundabout, a road that would bypass my stop entirely. Those were always great mornings… The first time this happened, there were only three people on the bus: me and two other women. “Any of you going to Ste. Thérèse or Madeleine?” the bus driver called back to us, obviously hoping that he could avoid having to turn around. Too bad for him, all three of us were headed to Madeleine. …