After thinking more and more about the conversation with my Small School supervisor I ended up sending her an email. I let her know that since the end of our semester is in two weeks I really thought it might be better for the students to get their new professor at the start of the semester as opposed to half way through it. Changing teachers half way through in such an unorganized place leads to incredible difficulties with grading. I didn't say this but it's true. There are no standards as to what a 10 is or what a 15 is. (All grading in France is done on a 1-20 scale.) All I know is that "no one gets an 18, 19 or 20." So why have them? Why set grades that are not attainable? This drives me friggin nuts. But enough...bottom line is that I asked to be let go early from my contract and we are meeting Tuesday to talk about it.
One a good note, I went to my Big School Thursday to check in and they found my key under the desk. Yeah! I looked all over that classroom but apparently I missed it. Whew. Too bad I alerted my boss about the whole situation. If I would have kept my mouth shut no one else would have known other than the receptionist, the technician who found it, and me. Grrrr...Drat my need to communicate!
On Friday Cyr went with me to my day of French Integration. This whole process started last July 16th when Cyr and I went to the Marie. Only 6 months to get my card. Huh...so we were running a little late (how very French of me) but we got there before anything started. The day was scheduled from 9-5 (break into song! what a way to make a livin', barely get-ting by...) which seemed pretty long to me. Apparently it seemed long to the instructor too. Here is how the day went:
9:05 - Instructor enters but does not say hello. He untangles wires from projector and laptop to plug in.
9:15ish - All wires in, role is taken. He asks us all to say our names and what country we are from. I'm the only American and the only one who needed a translator.
9:25ish - He begins a presentation about the history of France, it's symbols and government. It was actually kind of interesting.
10am - Let's take a 30 minutes for a break. My thoughts "let's not and get out early." Ah! Here is my fatal flaw of liking to end things early...it has followed me here I see and has reared it's ugly head.
10:45 - Class resumes, more history. I had no idea Clovis was the first King of France in 481 AD. Damn...this country is old.
12:00 - We break for lunch. He gives us 1 hour and 50 minutes. Again...could we just take an hour and get our early? It's Friday man! Already I have counted almost an hour and a half we could lop off this day. They brought lunch in but Cyr and I decided that with almost two hours it might be nice to get outside.
2:10 - Class starts up again, he tells us we get out at 4:00. It's actually all the interesting stuff now though. We talk about where we can work and all that jazz. Here is what I learned about the Titre de Sejour:
- Turns out I can only work in France, I thought I could work in the Schengen Countries, but nope, just France. Well pooper...it's going to be hard to find an English speaking job in France other than English teacher.
- It's only good for a year from the date of first application, which means mine expires November 11, 2009.
- You must renew your TDS 3 months prior to it's expiration. So basically you are doing something every 3 months almost because of all the receipts and crap.
- I can renew my 1 year TDS 3 times, then after the third time I can request a 10 year TDS.
- If I want to have French citizenship we need to live in France for 4 consecutive years, then apply and it takes 18 months to process. So that would total 5 and a half years in France total consecutively to be a French citizen. We won't live here that long because of the business Cyr is in, but our instructor said that "everything has an exception" That sounds very similar to "everything is negotiable." Hmmm...ok. But the laws change all the time and by the time we get back they will be different.
- France allows duel, tripple even quadruple citizenship.
- Our kids will be French no matter where they are born (an American too of course).
4:00 - He let's us go right on time!
And there you go. Now I have a shiny new Titre de Sejour and am integrated! Now we will probably move in 3 months...ha...you have to laugh really.