Or at least, this year’s normal. I fell a bit behind on my entries during the holidays, as I thought I might, because I spent so much time with actual people. Living, breathing, blood-pumping human beings who know all about me and still love me, either because of or in spite of all my quirks and oddities. My two weeks on holiday were packed full of wonderfulness, as well as a bit of not-so-wonderfulness: friends and family, presents and presence, magic and Magic, snow and ice, cities and tiny villages, museums and parks, bicycles and taxis, Parisian hospitals, hugs and kisses, smog and a stark moon, Uno and Egyptian Ratscrew, and no one under the age of 11.
My return to France was made infinitesimally better than it could have been, after a mere one week at home, as my little brother accompanied me. (I say “little” as in “younger by almost 4 years,” not as in size…seeing as he is not exactly vertically challenged. And I am.) I have been in awe of this place since I arrived in September, but he gave me a new set of eyes to look through, and I saw everything again with a new sense of wonder. I also re-realized that I cannot live here beyond this one year. I crave much more than a sleepy little town of 800 people with one restaurant and no boulangerie, much more than the 2000-person sousprefecture town with two pharmacies for goodness knows why; “I want so much more than they’ve got planned” for me at school. Granted, I don’t plan to get locked up in a tower against my will to figure out what that desire encompasses, but I can’t stay here forever. This is a place to live in for a while, to visit, to enjoy in all its glory and to remember fondly.
But, since I am still living here, I have a job to do. School starts up again tomorrow, and I have little kiddies to teach. My goal for the second “semester” is to show them how big the world is outside of their little town. Teaching English is a big part of that, but if I can get them interested in the tiniest bit of culture outside of the rap songs that they know phonetically because all of France knows them, then I think I’ll have done my job well. We’ll see how far I get on that.