Petit écoliers, grad school, and lavender

While literally crying over the first petit écolier I’ve eaten since leaving France, I realized that I never posted my grad school decision here. So after five acceptances, three campus visits, multiple conversations with brilliant students and professors, countless discussions of French and feminism, and endless days of agonizing between my top two choices, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be attending Cornell’s PhD program in French literature this fall! Their French department is small and diverse, and actually part of the Romance Studies one, which offers me plenty of interdisciplinary options. I can’t wait to see what Ithaca holds in store for me for the next five to seven years!


I also adopted this lavender child from the farmers market! She reminds me of my time in Nice, and I have named her Maëlie.

Things Kids Say, Pt. VII

I can’t believe I only have a month left with my munchkins. It’s not enough, and I will miss them dearly.

  • One of our most dramatic children, after pretending to cut his throat, collapsed forward onto the cafeteria table and then announced, “Bye, I’m going to heaven.”
    • I carried the breakfast bags to the table, and little drama king tried to take the bag with ~40 pears and cartons of milk from me. I asked, “Are you sure you can carry it? It’s really heavy.” He replied, “No it’s not heavy. I’m strong.” He tried to pick it up, failed, and then fell to the ground in defeat.
    • Collage materials in hand, I started to introduce the afterschool lesson to him by saying, “It’s Women’s History Month—”
      • He made a loud noise of distress, shoved his construction paper across the table, stood up while shouting, “I hate women!” and then stomped to a corner to sulk. (Fear not, I got him to change his prepubescent misogynistic inclinations.)
    • He spent a morning proclaiming, “I wasn’t a chubby baby!” because his older sister said that he was a baby who had the chubbiest cheeks and cried over everything, and my partner teacher gave him this look and said, “You’re still a chubby baby.”
  • T came up to me and asked, “Can I do my work? I want to go to third grade.” My little egg, you won’t be held back, but of course you can do your work.
  • H tried to pull my ring off my index finger, proclaiming, “I want to break your engagement.” Boy, it’s a dinosaur fidget spinner ring, and it’s not even on the right finger.
    • A day or so later, he insisted that I needed a boyfriend, and when I asked him why, he said, “To protect you.” I told him that I could protect myself and then asked him again what I would ever need a boyfriend for, and he had no response. Feminism lesson completed.
  • My little space cadet fell asleep in two assemblies. I don’t get how. It was so loud, but apparently he equates assemblies to nap time.
    • I witnessed him do the most wholesome thing: after he saw a 1st grader sitting on the stairs, sadly rubbing her foot, he took her boot and tried to put it back on.
  • When one of my kids told me that she wanted to see the president, I looked at her in horror. “But he’s a terrible person!” I exclaimed, to which she replied, “I want to see him so I can kick him in the butt.” Okay, I’ll accept that.
    • A day later: “I’m going to meet the president and then smash his face and put it up my nose and then snort him out.” Well, she’s certainly ambitious, and I won’t be stopping her.
  • The same child who’s been trying to marry me since the beginning of the year: “Ms. Sarena, I’m going to marry you.”
    • Me: “Okay, but it’s not official until you give me a ring.”
    • Her: -walks to her backpack, rummages until she unearths a ring, comes back to me-
    • Me, not expecting her to have a ring: *…well guess I can’t put it off any longer* (The saddest part about her ring is that, even though it was clearly made for a child and is bent, which makes it smaller, it’s still too big for my ring finger. Welcome to my life of child-sized hands.)
  • One of my faves was mad that I told all the afterschool kids to go inside, and his 4th grade brother noticed his angry face. He came over to ask why T was mad, and when I explained why, he went, “He’ll get over it” and walked away.
  • Second grader insults: “You’re saying everyone’s ugly but look at that top bun!”
    “Well you’ve got worms on your head!”
  • J accidentally called me Mommy, clapped his hand over his mouth, and tried to cover by saying, “No, I said ‘blobby!’”
  • One of my third graders in afterschool purposely fell on the floor and then, while laying on his back, started singing, “Hello darkness my old friend.”

Also, check out various expressions of love from my children, ranging from wholesome cards to a zombie story where I poop myself: