You know you’ve been in France too long when…

  • A friend mentions that someone in the corps wants to start a French club, and that very possibility makes your day
  • A teammate says that her birthday is July 13, and you remark, “That’s right before Bastille Day! It’s how I remember one of my friend’s birthdays,” and another teammate comments, “That’s such a you thing to say”
  • You’re on the way to the Silver Spring farmers market, and your friend mentions how delicious a chocolate coconut macaroon there is–and you’re shocked to see that she actually meant a macaroon and not a macaron
  • Every time you see a baguette or a pain au chocolat, you stare at it despondently because you really want one but know that, unless it’s from Europe, it’s going to hardcore disappoint you
  • You, one of your roommates, and two other friends immediately agree on how much worse the -isms (racism, sexism, homophobia) are in France
  • Your friend’s Nutella croissant is taking ages to come out, so you ponder aloud, “Are they making it fresh back there?” and your friend replies, “Probably not, this is America”
  • Daily crossword clues like “Right to the French,” “City in the north of France” and “French seaport city” make the long commute to school so much better (in case you were wondering, the answers were droit, Caen, and Brest, respectively)
  • Every time you walk into a grocery or convenience store, you miss being able to buy fresh, real pastries
  • In Giant, you stand and stare in absolute horror at a $4 box of petits écoliers (biscuits with chocolate on top) because in France, you could buy those for 80 cents
  • The highlight of your Sunday is beefing up your French writing sample so that it comes to a total of 10 pages and 3429 words
  • A friend puts a Trader Joe’s baguette in your basket, and you give it the dirtiest look before saying, “Take that out right now”
  • You pick up a little jar of sea salt because it’s so cute, but immediately put it back down because it says “fluer de sel” (how dare they misspell fleur de sel)
  • You’re still astounded by how quickly the checkout lines move in grocery stores
  • A school bus labeled “French International” passes by, and you stare longingly after it because you want to know where it’s going
  • After a student tells you something in Spanish, you inform her, “I don’t speak Spanish, I speak French,” and she says, “Oh, bonjour!” and you’ve never been happier
  • You have a bite of a Costco croissant and have never regretted a decision more
  • It’s cold and sad and rainy outside, and your first response is to shake your fist at the sky and demand, “Why would you bring Laon weather here? What did I do to deserve northern France climate?”

Things Kids Say, Pt. III

  • Right before she started reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: “Can I have a blank piece of paper? I want to write down what’s different in the book and movie.” She’s going to grow up to be even bigger of a nerd than I am.
    • On the playground, after giving me a hug: “You’re my favorite because you have little feet.”
    • She beckoned me over in class one day, and I thought she needed help, but all she did was giggle and say, “I called you Little Foot.”
  • Student: “Have you ever eaten octopus tail?”
    • Me: “No, octopi don’t have tails! But I have eaten octopus.”
    • Her: “Ewww! Was it alive?”
  • When a 7-year-old proposes to you: “Will you kiss me? Will you marry me?”
    • The next day, undeterred by my rejection, she made a kissy face at me and announced, “Ms. Sarena’s going to marry me!” at lunch. She’s so weird. Especially because she keeps announcing to all my other teammates that she’s going to marry me.
  • During group rotations, one team finished all the directions first, so they all put in a hand and let go on “Team Earthquake!”
  • A student used the word “can” in a sentence: “I can go to Ms. Sarena’s party.” Boy, the day I have a party is the day I’ve been kidnapped and replaced by a clone.
  • At breakfast, I noticed the little space cadet holding a napkin to his face, so I went over to check that everything was okay. Turns out the syrup packet had exploded all over his face, getting on his cheek, ear, neck, hair, jacket, and shirt. I wiped his face with a wet napkin while he sat there passively, unaware of my heroic efforts to restrain my laughter.
  • In the hallway, as my partner teacher and I watched in utter confusion, the astronaut walked straight past the tape line on the ground.
    • “Where are you going, O?” partner teacher asked.
    • “I can’t find the line,” he said.
    • “It’s right there,” I said, pointing.
    • “Oh,” he said, walking around in another circle before standing on the tape.
    • Ms. K and I burst into laughter. To echo Ms. K, is he okay? We just don’t know.
  • When I caught him climbing the vertical monkey bars at recess: “O, why do you still have your backpack on?”
    • Him: “Oh, it was a dumb decision.” *climbs down, runs off, puts backpack down, resumes being a monkey*
  • A student walked up to me, arms crossed, in full angry face mode, and stomped his foot as he told me, “-insert classmate name here- called me gay!” I had to try so hard not to laugh because he was obviously upset, so I told him “gay” isn’t an insult and sent him off.
  • “What color is India?” a 5th grader asks while looking at a map of the US.
  • A 5th grader in afterschool tried to give me attitude by repeating everything I said. I shut him down by speaking in French. The resulting look on his face was beautiful.
  • I thought that I was going to have to seriously discipline a 5th grader when I picked up a discarded card she made, but luckily she’d been trying to draw a book character called Fly Guy. But seriously, look at it. Tell me that it doesn’t look like a certain piece of anatomy.


Anyways. check out some adorable 2nd grade writing and art: