All posts tagged: politics

Get off our Lawn

Charlottesville, Virginia is one of my favorite places in the world. It was my home for four years while I attended the University of Virginia, and there’s still a part of me would be willing to move back in a heartbeat. Lots of people are emotionally attached to their university towns, but Charlottesville is truly special. A little blue dot in a sea of rural right-wingers, this little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains is progressive, artistic, quirky, and utterly charming. Today, and for the past few months, Charlottesville has become the epicenter for a kind of bigotry and hatred that the country hasn’t seen in decades, and I’m pretty conflicted about it. My home state of Virginia is home to a violent and oppressive history. Thomas Jefferson’s university was built by slaves. There is a confederate graveyard in the middle of its grounds. Construction of a new academic building halted when they uncovered a slave cemetery. “Tradition” is honored above all, often to the detriment of progressive change. In short, UVA is full …

election night in france

Okay, so remember how I was going to write every day in November? Turns out I got way sidelined by the shock of election results and a resulting desire to completely detox from the internet and social media, including my team of Cheer Peppers. But I’m back now, fired up and ready to go….more or less. I hosted an election party at my apartment on Tuesday night. Several assistants don’t work Wednesdays as they are often half days for schools, so the whole gang came out to eat classic American dishes (chili con carne and pb&j) and try to comprehend the American electoral system. By the time polls began to close around 3AM, only a handful of American assistants were left. We bunkered down in blankets in front of my handy laminated U.S. map, streaming MSNBC. First we were nervous. Then the panic began to set in as state after state turned red. By 7AM there were still a handful of states too close to call, no one had officially been declared the winner, and everyone …

The Next Adventure!

Hello World! Guess who’s back?! That’s right, I’m resurrecting this blog for my next exciting chapter! Beginning in October, I will be acting as an “assistante d’anglais” or an English teaching assistant in France! I got the position through an exchange program run by the French Embassy and French Government, the very creatively named Teaching Assistant Program in France, popularly known as TAPIF. To chronicle this exiting new adventure, I’ve made some major updates to the blog, including a name change! But, Anne, you cry, Why oh why did you choose “Present Perfect” as the new name for your blog? Well, I answer, I honestly am so terrible at naming things and all the obvious things about Americans Abroad seemed taken. So, I used the name of a beloved English verb tense, which also seemed to appropriately idealise how I feel about returning to France: At Present, Perfect!! (Ironically, the French have no Present Perfect tense…….eh, details) So, where will I be this time? While I would love to be back in Paris (and you better …

Commence le Stage!

Yep, I did it! I officially started my job. As an intern at an art gallery. In Paris. IN FRENCH. I had basically no idea what to expect at first, despite having been to the gallery already to meet Charlotte (my maître de stage) already for my interview. Turns out, they’re in the middle of taking down the current exhibition (called an exPOsition in French…gets confusing) and putting up a new one that opens on Wednesday, June 5! I spent a lot of this day following around Charlotte and Emmanuelle, trying to understand what they were saying, mostly communicating through awkward sign language.

Birthday Weekend!

Moving right along to last weekend!!! Saturday was the birthday of one of my good friends in the program: LANA!!! We planned a day of picnic-ing (or as the French say: faire un pique-nique) in the park that happens to be just behind the apartment Steph and I live in: Parc André Citroën. Yep, like the car. Evidently, this park was built on the former site of a car factory. We wanted to go because during dinner one night, our host family told us that there’s a giant hot air balloon that you go up in! Obviously that needed to happen. So, a group met Steph and I outside our apartment and we left in search of lunch and the park! Along the way, we discovered a bunch of small grocery stores, shops, boulangeries within a 4 minute walk…aka things we should probably know exist so close to us. The park is really funky and modern–sort of like a post-modern version of the traditional French Le Nôtre style garden. There seemed to be a TON …

School?!

Well okay here we go…I finally have found some time to write a new blog post!! I’ll probably end up splitting it up into a couple; there’s just so much to cover! I think I left off with orientation week, so I’ll pick right up with our first week of classes…Hang in there people, it’s gonna be a long ride.