Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Still Not King"

Galette party at my school

I have rotten luck. Five galettes in three weeks, and I'm Still Not King (heads up to you VSD fans). Last week we had a festive galette party at my school, in which I once again did not get to be king. Then we attended a party for assistants at a friends house, and of the three who were crowned that day, I was, alas, not one of them. Then, at our Tex-Mex potluck night, Patrick brough yet another galette, and I was once again unlucky. I've never even had the honor of being chosen as the King's Queen! Tonight there's another galette party happening at one of my schools, but I say "Enough already!" I'll just stage a coup and crown myself (this is me sticking my tongue out). And if that doesn't work, I'll go buy my own damn galette and eat it all myself and THEN we'll see who's King!
Party at Sandrine's
Sarah, making nachos
Tex-Mex night was a delicious success. Everyone and their mother brought chips and salsa and guacamole, but we also had some exciting favorites like chili and cornbread (made by me!), quesadillas, bean-bacon dip, nachos, and some other yummy stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting.
Kyle and Andrew pigging out
Seamus, our Irish friend, hiding under the table to dole out galette slices
Catherine the new Queen (of Canada)
Tuesday night Andrew and I taught a swing class to some assistants and a couple of French students. Yes, I said ME. I was his partner and helped out a lot. I was quite impressed with myself and plan on rubbing it in Andrew's face the next time he whines about how I never dance. :) It's definitely a different atmosphere when everyone else is a beginner, just like me. It's nerve-wracking when Andrew brings me to dancing venues where everyone is advanced like him. Who wouldn't hate dancing after that?

In other exciting news, we've been offered a teaching contract in China. It's a nice employment package, including a very decent pay, free modern housing, airfare, and medical insurance. But it's in the middle of nowhere. The middle of the Gobi Desert to be exact. Well, not really. It is on the border of the desert, but it's in a very green stretch of land and it's a big city and there's also plenty to do in that area, touristically speaking, but it's still pretty remote (24 hours by train to Beijing). We're most likely going to say no, as we don't want to spend 12 months in China if the situation isn't 100% ideal. Maybe we're being too picky, but for us, we've had enough of "roughing" it and don't want another Peace Corps experience. Also, we have so many options right now, among which are:

1. Stay in France until May 1, 2010, then head to China until May 1, 2011.
2. Andrew could possibly extend his contract until June 30, 2010, after which we would spend 1 month in Italy teaching English before most likely returning to the U.S.
3. Stay in France until May 1, 2010, then teach in Italy June and July, back to teach in France in August, find some random job for September, then renew our positions here until May 2011.
4. Stay in France until May 1, 2010, then teach in Italy June and July, back to teach in France in August, then head to China and do a 6 month contract, returning to Missouri for the months of March and April before Andrew starts graduate school in May in New York.
5. Stay in France until May 1, 2010, then teach in Italy June and July, back to teach in France in August, then teach the 2010-2011 school year at a university in France.

My preferred option is number 5, but it's very difficult to find a job in the universities here, and for the two of us to be placed in the same school would be doubly hard. And we wouldn't find out if we got the job until June or July, so it doesn't help much with planning things out. And because of the issues with renewing our work visas (some programs insist we return the states to get them), we might not be able to stay in France. And Andrew wants to start graduate school at Columbia in May 2011 (assuming he gets in), so everything also depends on his acceptance and finding a job that ends no later than May 2011. Any suggestions?


  1. I'm excited your plans include teaching in Italy in July and August! If we all keep our fingers crossed, Keith and I might be spending our spring and summer in Rimini. It's currently between he and another guy for a position coaching/playing on Rimini's baseball team. YIPPEE!!! What city in Italy would you teach in? It would be so fun to be near you guys.

    Also, random thought for when you return (assuming you're not headed to China), and your amazing chef skills necessitate I share the idea. Since you've left LA, there has been an explosion in the popularity of "gourmet food trucks" that drive around the city making various stops, and people flock to them on their lunchbreaks - basically traveling restaurants. Keith and I have discussed starting our own Italian/Spanish truck, but YOU are really the one who would have success doing this with all with your amazing recipes. Here's a link to one of the sites that keeps track of the trucks, in case you're curious: Just an idea in case cooking instead of teaching sounds most fun to you when you return! :) You and Andrew could run your own. I would eat at your truck for sure!

  2. Dude, don't go to the Gobi Desert, that does not sound appealing. China sounds more appealing, but if you're there for a year, you'll be risking lung cancer from all the shit in the air, and really, who wants that? Before you decide, you should read Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost (you should read his books anyway. He truly has an amazing gift with words, and he writes about his experiences living in third world countries mostly. Sex Lives of Cannibals is right up your alley. Or rather, it's right up Mali's alley). Whatever you decide, just make sure you can be here the summer of 2011. We'll send out save the dates early, but still.

    P.S. Due to severe lack of funds and our impending wedding expenses, I very much doubt Daniel and I will be able to come visit you guys now :(. Lameness, but what can you do?

  3. *and just to be clear, when I said China sounds more appealing, I meant China in general. The Gobi Desert just sounds, well, dry.

  4. Go to China! Graduate school is overrated; there are no jobs for recent PhDs (seriously) nor will there be in the next fifteen years. Manhattan is outrageously expensive. I doubt you would be roughing it in China; it might be somewhat solitary, yes, but what a tremendous opportunity (and can you imagine being able to add that to your CV? The UN will be calling you before your contract is up!)!