Orientation for My Job as an "Assistante de Langue"

Today was my third day in a row waking up extremely early to travel extremely far to get to my job. Today was special because it was orientation for all of the "people like me" in the area that I am in--Essonne in the Academie de Versailles.  Essonne is in the southern suburbs of Paris (Paris has some very nice "banlieue," or "suburbs," though, the news does not differentiate the banlieue that contains governement-assisted housing from the rest of the Parisian suburbs, also known as the Ile-de-France.)

I woke up at 5 am for a Skype date, and then left home while it was still dark outside. I am indeed looking forward to the weekend, which is a welcomed change. The weekend has not had any real significance for me in quite some time. Every day has been Saturday for the past 2 months, and in the months that I was studying for the bar, every day was Monday!  It does feel good to be on some "real" kind of work schedule.

Orientation was not at the school where I will be working--it was at a different high school in the area, Lycee J.B. Corot.

The lycee looks more like a chateau.

Orientation itself was quite fascinating. There are 37 of us in Essonne who will be working at colleges et lycess (the equivalent of middle and high school, respectively).  I will be at a high school in Limours--a very small country town in the middle of corn fields and horses.

But, the interesting thing was the unique collection of English accents. I have never before felt quite so intimately connected to my English accent. Normally, we only hear our lack of an accent.  Most of the "assistants" are British--which includes England, Whales, Scotland, and part of Ireland.  A few of us are American--maybe 25%. Some are Caribbean (Trinidad), and some are Australian or South African (though we don't have any in our group).  Our accents are as diverse as our geography.

We also vary in age and experience. Some are just 20--completing the "stage abroad" required of their Uni. (Uni = what English call university, what we call "college".)  Some of us are college graduates, and some of us have even graduated from graduate school in fields as diverse as architecture and philosophy.

I am very excited to see what the next seven months has in store. A bientot!