All posts filed under: Chambéry

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. …

a jar full of memories

  With mugs full of hot tea (and probably some cookies), arms overflowing with stickers, and all the pens we could scrounge up from the bottoms of our backpacks, we stomped into Hannah’s bedroom. Julia pulled four glass jars out of her bag as I spread out my stickers all over the floor. We had decided a few weeks before to start a new tradition for 2015: rather than set resolutions that were bound to be forgotten, we wanted to collect memories and moments from the year. The plan: write down one thing from each day, be it something we are grateful for, a funny anecdote, or a series of events from the day. Save each of these notes in a glass jar and open it back up the following year to remember and appreciate. Our “rememberlutions”. We finally made a date to meet at the 2€ store in Chambery a few weeks into January. We explored the shelves overflowing with odd 2€ goodies: mugs with pictures of hot dogs, bowls labelled “BOWL bowl bowl” (in English), …

Train Wreck

DC has the Tourist Trolley. Boston has the Duck Boat. France (and many countries in Western Europe) has the Petit Train. These are two- or three-car tiny trains that would fit in at an amusement park or an especially large zoo, meant to drive tourists past notable attractions in any given city.Walk around the city center anywhere in France, no matter the size of the town, and you are likely to hear the clang of the little train’s bell beckoning tourists far and wide to climb aboard. Chambéry has one of these “Petits Trains Touristiques“and from my arrival, I was dying to take a ride on it. Yes, it’s overpriced. Yes, it’s a ridiculous tourist attraction. But, c’mon! It’s just so darn cute! Not too long after I arrived, the train sadly went on haitus, making way for the Christmas market and waiting for the snow to clear up. It is very difficult to understand why and how these trains became such a weird obsession for me. Any time one passed, it gave me a little burst of joy. I think the thing …

I’m basically famous now

Several months ago, I published this post about everything I love about my adopted French hometown of Chambéry, following a National Geographic Intelligent Travel questionnaire. After revamping my answers a few months ago and sending it in to be considered for the site, I got word yesterday that Intelligent Travel decided to publish my post as part of their weekly “I Heart My City” feature!! They made a few edits to make it more consistent with their questions, and they added a bunch of flickr photos, some of which I don’t even recognize where they were taken….but hey! It’s still pretty cool. I hope that this highlight will encourage people to consider visiting this little corner of the world 🙂 And I hope some of you will also be encouraged to publish similar pieces on your own blogs, and to share them with National Geographic. Then maybe you, too, will feel as famous as I do today !! ❂

Flashcard games!

Here we go, current/future assistants, just in time for the start of your contracts. My favorite, easiest games that require little-to-no prep!! Plus, see here for my favorite art activities! Flashcard games GALORE!!!!! Flashcards and other visuals are so important to teaching new vocabuluary. Your colleagues may have flashcards you can use, especially for basic things like the weather, days of the week, or emotions, etc. But if they don’t, you should ABSOLUTELY create some. Simple clip art or hand drawn faces/sunshines/rain clouds/animals are all you need. There are tons of games you can play with vocab flashcards….here are a few of my favorites: Show me – Very simple premise: ask a student to show you one of the vocab words. They come to the board and point to it. Or, you can pass out the cards and call out a word and the person with the corresponding card must hold it up. Another variation is to hang the flashcards on all sides of the room, and students must point to them when each is called. What’s …