Welcome to Dreux:
I’ve tried to condense the last week into a series of bullet points to make it as easy to read as possible. SO much has happened!
- I moved in
When I got off the plane I had the most massive customs line ever waiting for me (like seriously it took 45 minutes), but once all of that was over my teacher contact from my high school was waiting for me just on the other side! I’m really lucky that I didn’t have to navigate Paris with two suitcases to get to the train station because then she tucked me into her car and we drove to Dreux.
Then she gave me the low-down on all the gossip of the school the hour drive we had and when we arrived at the school she dragged me inside to meet the Principal (Le Proviseur) and half of the administrative team. Who were all quite nice and tbh I didn’t remember half of their names because I was so jet lagged. And then she brought me to my room.
Basically I’m living in the student dorms. They’ve reserved a couple rooms for teachers. It’s a tiny bit bigger than a dorm room, but not by much, but I have my own bathroom and a communal kitchen I’ll share with another language assistant and the nighttime workers who stay awake to make sure all the kids are in bed and asleep at curfew. All this is fine because it’s free.
Yes you read that right. I won the jackpot in this town.
2. Welcome dinner
On Thursday my contact from the high school organized a welcome dinner at the Italian restaurant in town & I was able to meet many of the people who work there. (And not just the English teachers) I sat next to the science teacher who also participates in National Novel Writing Month each November so we ended up talking about books quite a lot, the teacher across from me had fun trying to make me say as many French cuss words as possible, and I drank soo much wine.
I was so happy I was able to speak with people, outside of the work context and just have normal conversations *IN FRENCH.* I find there’s always a little “trial” period when new people try to figure out if I actually do speak French before they try to speak to me, but at least I got a lot of that out of the way at dinner!
3. I’ve adopted a café
Dreux doesn’t have a Starbucks. It’s that tiny, but it does have a cute little coffee shop that I’ve been to… 5 out of the 7 days I’ve been here already. The second day I came in they gave me a rewards card… and I’m over halfway already… oops?
The employees all know me… probably as the American, but well that’s fine. Plus the food/coffee/wifi is great there.
Oh did I mention that I don’t have wifi where I live?
Yeah, they don’t want the students staying up all night on the internet. I’ve got a little bit of data with my international phone plan, but for now if I need to do any heavy internet use I have to come to this café.
Besides internet surfing I have gotten quite a bit of writing done there too!
4. I still haven’t started work yet.
We had our teacher’s meeting in Orléans yesterday, which was really really boring.
They didn’t give us any new information or give us any instruction on how to work with students. To me it seemed like a meet and greet more than anything, but at least there was free coffee?
But yeah, I’m not sure when I’ll actually go into the classroom for the first time, so we shall see. Tomorrow maybe?
5. Phone companies suck.
I’ll just leave that one as is.
Compared to living in Paris I already love this city more. I don’t feel quite so anonymous here & I’ll be able to get to know people better I think because I see the same people every single day–even walking on the street!
There’s so much more that’s happened that just couldn’t fit into one blog post! If you’re interested in keeping up with me this year, click subscribe!