All posts tagged: Chambéry

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 …

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), …

2015: year of this blog

In 2015, I hardly blogged as much as most people. I don’t even think I blogged as much as my mom (who has way more discipline and motivation than me in almost everything). But it was the year that I wrote on this blog, and kept writing, even when it took me a month to finally publish a post about something I had done 2 months before that… So I am declaring 2015 the year of this blog! According to the cute annual review WordPress sent me, I wrote 49 posts in the past twelve months, which, now that I’ve written that down, sounds super pitiful, but when you consider that those 49 posts make up a total of 91 total posts on the blog… I’ll just have to keep in mind that everyone starts from zero. And I’m definitely curious about what my 100th post will be!! To no one’s surprise, the most popular posts are ones revolving around the logistics of my year doing TAPIF, including my advice for completing the application, my guide to …

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 !! ❂