Bonne année to all! I don't really feel like it's a new year at all, but whatever. Vacation is over now and I'm going back to work tomorrow. I have no idea how that is going to go. I hopefully picked some fun things to do with my kids, but we'll see. It will be tough to get them in learning mode after vacation.
Vacation was great. It was wonerful to see my parents and my brother, even if he was a little shit sometimes. I thought we were going to have totally packed days running around to all kinds of different museums and whatever, but as it turns out we had a lot of down time to just be together and enjoy each others company. That was really special. It was a little stressful being their only means of communicating with the world (like when they would all tell me to ask someone five different questions at the same time. I only have two ears and one mouth!). We did have a little conflict about eating though. My mom thought it was the greatest thing to go to the boulangerie down the street for pastries and baguettes every morning and have that and some cheese for breakfast. I am kind of over that at this point and I really just wanted the gigantic buffet at the hotel! Give me some nice, normal American food please!!! So a few mornings my dad made the sacrifice and had buffet with me.
Along those lines, honestly, I am sick of French food. I need something with flavor please! I have realized that I honestly prefer "exotic" cuisines like Indian, Mexican, Thai, etc. I could really use a gigantic burrito with real salsa. Like now, please.
Anyway, so I had a great time with the fam, but unfortunately they had to leave. They left the morning of the 31st, and after that I spent some time in Lyon and Dijon with two other assistants, Shannon and Rose. I was kind of blue about going, I really wished that I had bought a ticket home for the last week of vacation, but I ended up having a really good time. I really liked both Lyon and Dijon. Dijon in particular I thought was really cute. One of the best things I did thise break was go to the Muée de la Resistance (Museum of the Resistance) in Lyon. The exhibits were really informative and well put together (even if not necessarily in the most logical order). It assumed a certain base of knowledge about the Resistance, so sometimes I had a lot of questions, but I really liked it. Those who participated in the Resistance were so brave, and as a Jew I feel personally grateful to them for their work. I highly recommend the museum. I got to see a lot of churches and cathedrals and torture my poor travelling companions with art history lessons. Good times all the way around. I can't wait to travel again! February vacation is really close and I really have to start making concrete plans. Like now. Right now I think I'll end up doing Rome, Florence, Greece, and Prague.
I guess New Year's is a time of reflection on the past and planning for the future, so I'll do a little bit of that here. I'm so proud of graduating from college this past year. It was a really, really impressive accomplishment for many reasons. I had maybe the best vacations of my life with my family in Northern Michigan this summer. It was just such a wonderful, beautful time, and I can't wait to go back. Hopefully we'll go again this coming summer after I get back. Of course there have been some frustrations too. I still have these ridiculous medical problems that just won't go away (isn't it time yet after three and a half years???). My time in France has been really difficult. I've heard that it gets better starting in January and I really hope that's true.
So what will 2008 bring? In the immediate future, I really hope to make French friends my age. I also want to be a better teacher. I want to get back my optimism. I'm the most optimistic, positive person I know, and that hasn't been the case lately. I don't blame France for this, there are a lot of contributing factors, but I just want to get over this hump and back to my old self. I want to travel a lot and have as much fun as I can for the rest of the time I'm here. I guess you can call those resolutions.
Happy New Year to all, and to the other assistants, good luck with the rentrée!