hello, summer?

Summer in the North isn’t really the summer that I knew growing up near Dallas, Texas. 55° versus 100°. Rain versus sunshine. Windbreakers versus tank tops.

But when I have a view like this on my evening walks, can I really complain?


This week has been better: the sun finally came out for my birthday, which was on the 22nd. M and I went for a drink in Lille where some of my friends surprised me and joined us. Since then, I haven’t had to put my winter coat back on – yet – so, maybe summer is finally here!

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My birthday gift: my very own violin, with help from my parents, grandma, and M. Thanks, guys!

Schoolwise, I finished classes in early June. I had half a week off and then had to go check on some 10th graders who were doing their mini summer internships. This past week, I picked up my “birthday present” of 90 national tests to grade in a week’s time. France, unlike the United States, has a national education board. Therefore, all seniors take the same subject tests at the end of their senior year to receive their diploma.

The tests I’m grading are for the students doing a specialty in technology. They took a two hour test made up of two texts, comprehension questions, and a 150 word written expression exercise.

If any of you are wondering what sort of level French high schoolers are supposed to have in English, here’s the test subject for technology students.

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My 90 tests are anonymous, so I have no idea whose tests I’m grading. They’re definitely not students from my school, just in case I might recognise their handwriting. So far, I’ve had tests between 4/20 and 18.5/20. Some students just chose to not answer half of the comprehension questions; others didn’t even write anything for the written expression. But, once in a while, there are tests that are extremely well done. So it’s not TOO bad. I’ve made it through all 90 tests for the comprehension questions, and have done about 20 tests for the expression. So I should have no problem finishing on time!

I finish work for the year on July 7th. Between now and then, I have: my tests to finish grading, half a day of internship presentations by the 10th graders, the school’s end of the year soirée, and three days in Calais to grade make-up exams and act as a jury member of the final grade deliberations for any strange test cases.

After that, my friend Shane will be here to visit for a week! The week after that, M and I are heading down to the Alps for the Celticimes Irish Music Festival! Yippee!

Here’s hoping the weather doesn’t change anytime soon.

coming to terms…

Well, I guess it’s about time I write about graduating from college.

I’m not in denial or anything.

No really, I’m not!

Okay, maybe a little bit. After spending 4 years living in Waco, it grows on you as much as a tiny town with 1 mall and 5 decent bars and… well, that’s about it… can. The thing is, it also has an awesome university. I had a great time at Baylor. I changed a lot. And besides all that sappy sentimental stuff, the only real pressure I had during those 4 years was to graduate.

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This past week, I finished my very last week of classes as an undergraduate. I also had my exit interview with the French department (required for all majors) and became a member of the Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society.

The exit interview was not for a grade, but was for the department to see the progress in all of the French majors in order to improve the program each year.

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Oh, my dreams have come true.

Today I received my acceptance e-mail from the TAPIF (Teaching Assistantship Program in France), saying that I had received a position to teach in Lille, France during the 2011-2012 academic year.

It really couldn’t get any better than this. Now, I wait about two weeks to find out what age I’ll be teaching (elementary, middle school, or high school). During the summer, I’ll find out exactly what city I’ll be placed in. Lille is a big metropolitan area, so I could be placed at any school within about an hour of downtown.

I am so relieved and so happy! I can’t believe I’ll be living in France again, with a real job this time. Get ready for “Haley in France: Part 2!”

and life continues…

I might be cheating by posting in a blog called “Haley in France” when I am very much in the United States right now, but after last semester, there will always be a part of me in France so I figured I could write in it anytime I want to. Then again it is my own blog, so I do what I want!

So, welcome to the new Haley in France, in the US. I’ve been back for about a month and a half now, and I think about that place every day. Michel has booked his plane ticket to come to Texas on May 7th and I couldn’t be more excited!!! It will be his first time in the US so I’m looking forward to playing tour guide in my own country. He’ll be here for a week, and in that time we’re planning on road tripping to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. He’ll even be here to see my college graduation.

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