Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Am Tired and It Is Only Tuesday

OH. MY. GOD. Classes started this week and I have 400 students. 400! Not only that, but my schedule has been changed 3 times since last Friday. I went from teaching 16 classes in two days to teaching 13 classes in 3 days. Although I am teaching less classes, I am really bitter about the new schedule because it means I can’t work an extra day at my other job; not only will I have to spend about 40 euros more a month on travel and waste an extra day at the university, I will also lose out on teaching a whole day at my second job! And to top it all off, I teach the same course 13 times. I get to say the same thing 13 times a week. Do you know how boring that is? Yikes, but I only have ten more weeks of class and if you forget about the two days I am giving tests, that makes 8 weeks I have to teach. It’s not so bad when I think of it that way. I guess I shouldn’t complain, but being positive goes against my nature.

I finally broke down and bought a gym membership. I paid about 3 times the amount I would pay in the States and the gym is about 1/8 of the size of my old gym, but I don’t care! I have missed the gym so much this year. I just couldn’t go another month without a gym. I had no idea how much I liked going to the gym. Fair enough, I used to go twice a day, but I just thought it was because I had nothing to do, but I want to go twice a day here as well. My gym doesn’t open until 7:30, so I doubt I will be going twice a day expect on Saturdays and Sundays. I am so American!

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Live in Paris!

I have been in my new apartment for a little more than two weeks and I cannot begin to explain what a difference living somewhere nice can make! I have not done much, went to a few museums, a few movies (Little Miss Sunshine and Thank You for Smoking, both of which are excellent), read a few books, including Chuck Pallahniuk’s Haunted, volunteered at the American Church in Paris, and just walked around Paris. (Speaking of Chuck Pallahniuk, he is going to be in Paris along with a load of other famous North American writer’s the end of this month and I am so excited!)

I can honestly say my attitude is 80 percent better than it was last month. Now, all I have to worry about is money, so if anyone would like to make a donation…..I have several other jobs lined up and am just waiting for my schedule from the university before I tell the other jobs what days I can work. School starts next Monday at the university and I still have no idea what days I will teach, how many classes I will teach, what classes I will teach, or how many students I will have. I was told today the secretary would try to get a schedule to me by Thursday. THURSDAY! Classes start Monday and I have no books. The university does not have any for me to use. I think we will be watching a lot of movies. I am going to see how much I can not do this year. I do not have a lot of incentive to excel; I cannot be fired or rehired and the university certainly does not care whether or not I am prepared to teach, so I do not see any reason I should stress over making decent lesson plans.

FYI, I still do not have internet or a decent phone line and will not have them for three more weeks, so it will be a while before I can post regular updates, answer emails or call home.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Another Update

I like my new apartment and the area. It really does make a difference! I love waking up in Paris and knowing I just have to take a quick shower and in about 20 minutes I can be at the Louvre. I wish I had lived in Paris all this time; I bet my attitude would have been different.

However, things are completely fantastic yet. I have been without internet and phone for more than a week and it is driving me insane, and I see no solution in site because the phone line is not working. France Telecom has to come to my apartment to fix it, which will cost more. I really do not understand why everything is so expensive in this country and why it takes so long for anything to get accomplished.

For example, I had to apply for another work permit and on the piece of paper they gave me to prove I had applied for a new work permit, they wrote "not allowed to work." Why in the world would a work permit say I am not allowed to work? Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that the whole idea behind a work permit? And because of this little mistake, I had to go stand in line for 6 hours another day to get a different permit so I can work, except I couldn't get it because my address had changed. I have to change my address before I can get a piece of paper saying I can work. Want to know how you change your address in France? You have to call a number. And guess what, that number is ALWAYS busy. I now know how dogs feel; I have been chasing my tail and I am never going to catch it. Why, oh why doesn't anything make sense in this country?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Quick Update

Just to let everyone know, I found an apartment in Paris. It is fantastic and in a great (safe) area, so I am going to give it one more shot. If in a few months my attitude has not improved, I will try something else or go home. However, I really feel positive about this move; I am keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks everyone for all the positive wishes, prayers, thoughts, etc. I will post more when I get internet again (possibly three weeks!!!!).