Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I got my first reply from the first round of applications to be a lectrice that I sent out. It was from Paris III. Apparently they only accept lecteur applicants who are currently living in anglophone countries. I thought that was kind of weird. Do they think I've forgotten how to speak English while living in France? I actually think having already spent two years in France is a positive thing for a lectrice, because I've learned a lot about the differences between French and American culture (well, in my letters I said anglophone cultures, shhhhh), and if I'm working with students who are planning to use English in their future careers they will need to know that kind of stuff. Although I guess most of what I would be doing is drilling them in pronounciation of the short "i" and "r" and "th." Oh well. No news yet from the other universities, so I guess I'll take that as a good sign? No news is good news!

Interestingly enough, when I was calling around to find out where to send my letters and asking if they had already looked at applications every place I called said that they haven't started looking through dossiers and probably wouldn't until April or May, or maybe even June! Lucky for me, since I got my act together very late in the game.

I had a good laugh at myself when I was making my phone calls. I had decided that I really wanted a spot at Paris 6, which is a big, prestigious medical and science university, partly because that's my chosen future career and partly because they offer night classes in physics and chemistry that I could have taken for free if I were working there. I was all nervous about calling because I really wanted to make a good impression and not make any silly mistakes on the phone, so I put off calling them until I had "warmed up" on other universities. Then when I finally did call what is the first thing the woman said? They never employ lecteurs or maitres de langue! I hung up and burst out laughing. So much for that one!

My new obsession is planning my vacations for all the upcoming holiday weekends. I'm still up in the air about Easter weekend but thinking about Honfleur, Deauville, and Trouville. For the weekend of May 8 it looks like I'll be heading to Bruges. We have Thursday May 21 off for some reason, and since I don't teach Tuesday afternoons and there's no school on Wednesday I'll probably go to La Rochelle for a few days. I'd prefer to go for longer than that but train tickets are majorly expensive on the weekends. Then for the last weekend in May I am thinking about going to Stockholm. This summer I'm going to do a big British Isles tour and perhaps rent a car and drive around Bretagne depending on when/if a friend from home comes. I really want to see Bretagne, but it seems like it's best to do with a car, which is expensive, especially since I can't drive shift!

Any travel ideas, places to go, stay, or travel buddies welcome!


Jennie said...

I wish I could travel around with you! My brother's wedding screws up the April vacation though, and I'm already traveling in the south at the end of May. And then with the whole moving thing and not yet knowing where David is working, I'm already a little too stressed out. I so want to take a road trip through Bretagne though!!

shannon said...

Well, seeing as my English level skills have dropped these past two years, I kind of get the Paris 3 thing, but still... kind of ridiculous logic on their part.

I'd love to visit Bretagne as well! But unfortunately, I will already be in grad school at that point. Scary thought. LOL.

Oh! I forgot to mention earlier but I am like 95% sure I'm going to Paris on Saturday. Unless it's like a monsoon out, I'll be going.

Andromeda said...

Bruges is awesome!! I'd totally come but most of May/June is dedicated to moving! If you want to travel around Belgium a bit, get the gopass, last year it was 45€ for 10 train trips around the country, any length, and you can use it with other people, so two of you each get five . . . even if you're only going to Bruges, if you're passing through another city, you could use it for that part of the trip, and it's good for a year so you can go to Belgium again!!

That's like, my one Belgium tip so I love telling people, lol.
Did you ever get my FB message with the offers?

Ksam said...

You definitely need a car to visit the cool things in Bretagne!

And I almost had a job as a lectrice at the Sorbonne last year thanks to Kyliemac, but in the end, they said no because I'd been in France for so long. It was a twofold answer - first of all, because you lose your English and second of all, because your French improves so much (and they don't want people speaking French to the students).

au soleil levant said...

Jennie - I hope you get some answers about David's job soon. Kind of like waiting for the assistant placement all over again, huh? ;)

Shannon - I am definitely not going to Paris on Saturday but will be there the week after. Have fun!

Andromeda - thanks for the gopass tip! Sounds like a good deal. Yes, I did get the FB message, thank you so much! Unfortunately since I no longer have Facebook access at the lycée (and am still pissed about it) I couldn't reply right away, and then kept saying "oh, I'll go get wireless in a couple days and respond..." and that turned into never. Hopefully this weekend though, and then I'll send you a proper response. Sorry!

Ksam - thanks for the insight into the twisted logic of the hiring process. Guess that means I shouldn't expect a positive answer from the Sorbonne, huh? When I do end up going to Bretagne I will be sure to ask you for tips!

Monique said...

ooooh I wish I could travel :) I'm so jealous it sounds like you're having a blast!!

Fingers crossed for the job search continuation!

Zhu said...

I guess it does make sense to employ English-speakers living in English-speaking countries, so that they don't end up with some Jeanne or Jean who was born in England, has an English passport, but has been living in Trifouillis-les-oies since age 2.

That said, they should have understood that your situation is quite different!

Stupid bureaucracy...

Animesh said...

good luck with the job hunt!

And count me in as a potential travel buddy. I can drive shift, well, kinda :-)

au soleil levant said...

Monique - you are travelling! With a baseball team! That makes me jealous!

Zhu - yeah, stupid bureaucracy. Good point though about someone who's lived in France forever.

Animesh - you've been officially pencilled in as the official stick driver. You will probably regret this!