So…still no internet box. Am currently at the town mediathèque, which is basically a library with multimedia resources- press, movies, magazines, etc. I signed up for a library card so that I would be able to check out books and get free wifi access. For the past 3 weeks, I had been going to McDonald’s and buying 1€ fries for free McWifi (yes, I know….how very stereotypically-American of me), and/or trying to filch off of my neighbor’s networks (which is very difficult to do, seeing as 99.9% of them have network passwords. How inconsiderate). The mediathèque is only a 20-minute walk away from home though, so it’s not too bad.
The thing about French libraries that is weird is that if you don’t return your books on time, you only owe 1€ for every week that your books are out….whether you’ve taken out one book or five. It’s so weird. It makes me wonder how libraries here have any books at all. I know that in America, the only thing that makes me turn my books in on time is knowing that I’ll owe a $10 fine if I keep my books out past a few days. But imagine owing only $4 after keeping 5 books out for a month. Completely changes things, huh?
I desperately wish I could upload some pics of my apartment and the town, but my camera is broken. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a disposable camera, but I’m not sure where to develop film here, and nobody I ask seems to know either. You know how in the US, you can go to Rite Aid and get your disposable camera pictures put on a CD? I was hoping that there would be a store that would offer that same service here- cross your fingers that I find such a place soon!
So today was the first day that I started teaching classes. The past two weeks were the orientation and observation period. I had 4 classes in total today, and I taught “Hello, what’s your name?” and colors to first and second graders. Today went really well….but unfortunately I can’t talk about it in detail in this blog (don’t hate me lol) because I have to finish my Fulbright application, which is due on Monday. I really, really want this grant very much, but I’m gearing myself up to be able to accept defeat gracefully if I don’t get it. I know a few people who did not get it last year who are reapplying this year, so it gives me hope to know that the Fulbright committee won’t penalize you if you don’t get it your first time around. It’s my first choice for next year, but I have a few other things that I’m applying to for next year that I’m excited about, too. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see where life takes me.
In other news- I have off from work from October 23 to November 3 for the Toussaint Holiday! Toussaint is French for “All Saint’s Day,” which is November 1, my birthday. It’s pretty sweet to get 12 days off for my birthday, but I’m stressed out as to what I’m going to do. There’s a group of English assistant teachers that are traveling to four cities in the south of France, and originally I wanted to do that but now I’m thinking that budget-wise, it may not be the smartest thing to do. I think that perhaps spending half the time in one city and half the time in a second city would probably be better for me. But then there’s the whole complication of it being my birthday and me wanting to, naturally, be around people who I can celebrate it with. It would have been perfect to visit my relatives in England and spend a week there, but since I don’t yet have my carte de séjour (French version of a green card), I’m not allowed to leave the country. To top it off, I’m turning 22. How lame. It’s the age that marks the end of fun birthday milestones and shoves you towards the uphill walk to the 30s. Argh. I’m just trying to look at the bright side of things (birthday = automatic day off in France), and figure out what I want to do, and where. (While at the same time ignoring the fact that I’ll be old and no longer 21.)
Well. Til next time, take care & hope to be back in the next blog with some pictures!