Monday, June 28, 2010

Death of a loved one

My computer is on the rocks. Almost dead, even. I've had it for about 5 years, and in the Mac world, that's pretty normal. The computer itself still works (slowly), but the power source has been giving me trouble for months and then the other day, it would not charge. At all. So the battery wore out and I didn't have enough time to transfer my files. I'm going to take it to a shop on Wednesday to see what the damage would be to repair it. I don't know if it's even worth fixing, so I might just see if I can get my files extracted from the HD.

Anyway, I had all these great blog entries to write! Like about how I went on an outing with my favorite class two weeks ago to an amusement park. Or how I ventured into the illegal parts of the catacombs with my friend Hannah and some of her friends. Crazy, I tell you. Not something I would usually do.

Or how it's my last week of school - tomorrow is my last day - and I'm a little sentimental because I found out for sure that I won't be renewed for next year.

Turns out that there are too many incoming assistants and priority is always given to them. I'm kind of annoyed though because it took a lot of work for me to find out that my department wasn't renewing. There are a lot of people still waiting for answers that won't come until much later. The entire program is a mess and no one ever knows anything about what's happening. I had to contact no less than five people to get a reponse. It's frustrating and I wish they were more efficient. I also find it unfair that the wait list - people that didn't make first cut to be in the program - are above renewing assistants. So priority goes: incoming first-cut assistants, wait list second-cut, renewing. And then in the renewing list, god knows where I am. I understand that incoming assistants get priority, but I now have a year of experience, not to mention a easily renewable visa! It's like they're trying to make their lives harder..

So what's happening? Well. I got accepted to grad school, yay. I thought I could renew my current visa here seeing as I am a legal foreigner. But France wants to be difficult so it appears that I will have to return to the States and change my worker visa to a student visa. So fun! Especially since I will have to make a trip to Chicago (again) to get said visa. Yes, I have to go in person, yes, this is stupid, yes, I still will do it all because I want to live here. Since I'm obligated to go back anyway, I'm just going to use my original ticket (the second part of the round trip) in early July and come home for two months. I will likely be working the same job as before (restaurant), at least I hope so. I've contacted them to make sure it's okay and they're being wishy-washy about it, but I gotta find something! I need to make money! I desperately need a new computer for school, not to mention money to live off of.

The one thing that's really stressing me out is that I won't have a paying job when I come back to Paris in early September. I recently landed another babysitting gig closer to the center of Paris, and with a great family that comes highly recommended. I'll have a tiny room on the 7th floor (no lift, but damnit, I'll have thighs of steel) with access to an awesome roof. But like this year, I'll be working in exchange for lodging. Not a bad deal for 15 hours of work, although I had hoped I could leave behind nannying during my studies. Not quite yet, I guess. As far as money goes, I will have to babysit on the side (there are lots of families in the area) and/or give English lessons. I don't like this new part of my plan - not having a for sure source of income - but I'm confident that I'll find some job. I'm familiar with the city and I think I'll be able to figure something out. In the meantime, it'll be work work work at home to provide a buffer of money when I come back to France and also to pay my inscription fees at the university. (around $600 for the school year). And of course I'll be on the lookout in KC for a used Mac to tide me over for at least this year. I can't live without one, and not just because of my internet addiction! The program I'm going to take is very book-heavy, with loads of papers to write and projects heavily relying on the Adobe suite of software.

I have one more day of class, but for the last few weeks we've just been reviewing and playing playground classics like Red Rover and Color Tag. I have a little slideshow to show my kids tomorrow about American schools and we're having a goodbye party. Should be fun.

Well in case I don't update again, I'll be back stateside in about a week. Arriving at the airport and passing the ginormous NON AMERICAN line is one of life's little pleasures. Payback for all the lines and paperwork I've endured for being born on the wrong continent! I will remove my passport from its normal cover, smiling slyly. I'll make sure to flash the blue passport as I walk to the much shorter, familiar line of AMERICAN CITIZENS. Home.

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