…de perles

The bird of pearls

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Jobs and such

Yesterday I saw Bernhoft in concert in Paris and he was amazing.  Please, if you haven’t heard about this amazing artist please youtube him.  I have to admit, I have a crush on him now. He’s got a great sense of humor when performing and comes off as someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously (although if he did I’d understand entirely).

Today I had my oral French test for the DELF B2 which, surprisingly, it went ok?  I’m really surprised at how easy it turned out to be.  Well, we’ll see when I get my results if me and the examiners had the same perception.

More importantly, I never got around to mentioning the developments in the job department here in France.  I mentioned before  that I was waitlisted for a teaching job in April.  About three weeks later I was given a position in Rouen, to start in October.  So, that’s a relief.  Plus, I got a little part time work teaching in Paris until I go back to the US in June to visit and do visa stuff.

I’ve been applying for other jobs , State-side in museums, just because I loved when I interned in the curatorial department before my masters.  I met artists, I learned about people I’d never heard of before, and was so inspired/full of ideas for my own work.  Honestly, aside from working as an artist full-time, working in a curatorial department is my dream job.  I mean, the access to other artists, curators, gallery owners…easy networking!  And the money would be good enough to allow me to experiment more freely with photography, video, etc.  Anyway, we will see if any of those applications turn into interviews!


Hello, doc. Part 1.

As I mentioned in the last post, I made my first appointment over the phone in French recently.

I made no phone calls since being in France (unless they were in English or to friends) and I’ve done everything in my introverted powers to do everything face-to-face with people or by email.

That all worked fine until last month when I had the worst birth control induced (and bf influenced) rage ever.  Followed by intense depression that, up until that weekend, I hadn’t realized was possibly due to taking the pill.  Now, I’ve been on three different types of pills in the past two years.  The first one I was prescribed in the States. It was the generic form of ortho tri-cyclen lo.  It wasn’t too bad, it just screwed up my appetite and gave me pretty bad acne for a few months, but was otherwise alright.   Then, when I moved to the UK, I had to switch to another brand.  This brand, I don’t remember the name, which was horrible!  It gave me the worst acne, the worst mood swings, and just made me feel like shit all the freaking time.  So I switched to Femodette a few months before moving to France.   I thought this one was the winner.  Initially my acne cleared up and it seemed I had no side effects at all.

Well, I was wrong.

The the past couple of months, I’ve been suffering from  mild depression, a ridiculous appetite (to the extent that I could eat what would normally hold me for at least four hours, but instead be hungry again in less than two), and mood changes.   All of this built up until last month, when I just completely lost it.  It’s not that I did anything particularly bad, it’s just that I could feel myself becoming tense, irritated, angry, before anything even happened that should make me feel that way.  Needless to say, one weekend ended with me and my boyfriend having a huge fight, followed by us making up days later and deciding no more bc pill.

So I decided I wanted one of these:

Specifically, this: the NT 380 short.

Initially when I started my contraceptive journey I wanted an IUD. I wanted to avoid the hormones altogether but, in the US there’s only two kinds of IUDs (the paraguard and mirena) and they are super expensive.  I realize now I could have went to planned parenthood and tried to get it done at a reduced price, but oh well.   At the time, I also thought that because the other two are geared towards people who have had children and have a larger cervix, that I wouldn’t be able to have one inserted anyway. (I know now that nulliparous women have had them put in).

Anyway, now that I’m in France where there are a tons of copper IUD options, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and do it.   So, two weeks ago I made an appointment to have a consultation.  Today I went to see a random gynecologist and it went really well.  He was super nice, in spite of the usual, creepy French medical visit (I essentially walked into a room beside his office and was told to get naked, told to jump on the table for a quick pap smear. Let’s just say I wasn’t expecting that), and got the prescription for a shiny IUD.  My appointment is next Friday. I just hope and pray it doesn’t hurt too much.  Wish me luck!

French battles = Serenity

This time around in France has definitely been a more “authentic” experience.

When I studied in Paris three years ago, I thought I’d had a more thorough experience than my classmates (not to say that I thought I was better).  What I mean by this is that unlike almost all the other American students I didn’t go through a study abroad program because I couldn’t afford it and, as a result, had to find my own housing.   So, I found a little hostel outside of Paris to live in, where I met tons of random, interesting people from all over Europe (a real Auberge Espanol experience).  Of course, I went for a place geared towards foreigners in order to avoid French bureaucracy.

So, when I got here in September I was READY for the real deal. Ready to get my very own, Frenchy bank account, my long-stay OFII stamp, my Freebox, my carte vitale.  Well…I thought I was ready.  I nearly died  from all the waiting, the excessive paperwork that I had to endure for the whole of September while my boyfriend sat in astonishment and disgust at my fits and rants about how “I’ve been waiting two weeks for a bank card, two weeks! They send me a letter saying it’s available and then, when I get to the bank, tell me to wait another week!” (that’s only slightly exaggerated).

On top of all of that, I suffered from extreme anxiety from being forced to engage with people in French only, literally from the point I arrived here.  I handled the immersion better before because there wasn’t so much to do except sign up for classes and talk to teachers.   This time, I’m living in France, not just study for X number of months (if that makes ANY sense).  Which meant having to interact with random people who (in my mind) would judge my French and/or assume I couldn’t speak it because I’m American.  All of this was exacerbated by the fact that I am an introvert…and literally HAD to speak to people in another language that I was rusty in.  Let’s just say my first month wasn’t super fun in that sense.

So now, after being here for 9 months, I honestly feel as though I’ve gotten the hang of most things here.   My last obstacle was….the telephone.   I’m one of those people who HATE telephones.. I found it super awkward using them when I was younger (I mean the calling people I’m not close with part) and I am only now getting out of feeling uncomfortable making appointments, calling for information, etc.  Now, that’s in English.  Recently I called and made my first appointment over the phone in French.  I can’t tell you how freaking proud I was of myself.  It was ridiculous.

So, I feel I have almost reached a point of serenity with this wonderful French culture.  Almost.  More on that later.

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