Good-bye Grad School, Hello Henry!

Part of me still can’t believe that I’m finished with grad school, the past two years have went by so fast! I did a whirlwind tour of the Mid-West the last two weeks of August, finishing it off with my Master’s presentation in Madison. Oh, how I miss that place! Also, Kansas City. And Springfield, MO.

While I was back I also got a visa for my new work contract. Yay! It’s only for four months, but with so many people having such a hard time finding work, I’m super happy to have it. James and I will for sure be in Paris through mid-January!

Also…I brought Henry back with me! He was scared when we first got to the airport and then through security, but once we were on the plane, he was so sweet. The ladies sitting next to me didn’t even realize he was there! I couldn’t have done it without the amazing blog DogJaunt, the help from our fantastic vet, and of course both sets of parents. My parents were so sad to see little Henry go!

Henry was a little scared of all the people, dogs, and loud noises, but he’s starting to get use to it. I’m hoping for a family trip to the Eiffel Tower sometime very soon!

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Oh December

Whew,what a crazy month!

I had so much work to do for school, I’m surprised I got any Christmas shopping done. I am proud to say though, that I finished my first semester of grad school! Yay!! Only one semester of classes to go then an internship! I’m thinking about applying for a job next semester in addition to my four classes, which could make my semester super crazy. We’ll see. 🙂

A lot of our French tutors have returned to France. Sad. We had a bunch of going away gatherings and I think I said goodbye to some of them four times. A couple pics:

we're not ready!


much better

James and I stayed in Madison this year for Christmas. He was only off work Friday-Sunday, and since it takes a full day to drive to KC (and there’s no way we could afford plane tickets) we decided it wasn’t work it. Which ended up being the best because James’s parents got delayed coming back from a vacation on the 25th and didn’t make it home until after midnight.

So we stayed here and had fun, even though we were both a little sad not to be with our families for the second year in a row. A guy James works with gave us his old TV (weee!!), so we spent the last few days watching all of James’s Christmas movies. Christmas day we opened our presents in the morning and skyped with my family (my niece is getting so big!).

We have been wanting to take some winter pics, so we decided Christmas was a good idea since not a lot of people would be out. It wasn’t super cold outside, but after a while my face was definitely numb. James is editing the pictures now, so I’ll be posting some of them later. You’ll also be able to see them on our super cool wedding website.

My fav pics are the ones we took on Lake Mendota, by campus. Yes ON! Its frozen! We walked on the frozen lake for a little bit (not too far b/c I was scared of falling in…which is silly since cars can drive on it), and it was so cool! I was surprised that it wasn’t flat/smooth. Its almost as if the water was really choppy and then frozen suddenly. Posting these pics soon too. 🙂

Then we went out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. At first it was just us and another Chinese couple, but after a few minutes some more people started coming in. I was hoping they would sing Deck the Halls to use like on a Christmas Story, no such luck. Either way, it was a fun Christmas!

Henry enjoying his gift from BFF Kai


"don't come any closer..."

PFMP Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving with the other students in my Masters program and our French tutor a few days before actual Thanksgiving. Including a fabulous turkey! James and I brought green bean casserole (my fav!) and a delicious pumpkin cake (recipe provided by James’s mom). We ended up eating a little later than planned–turkeys take forever to cook!–but it was a great evening nonetheless.

Francophilia Revisited on WPR

The director of my grad program, Ritt Deitz, is going to be on Wisconsin Public Radio! Okay, a little small-time maybe, but he’s pretty much famous. Here are the details:

When: Thursday at 3pm CST

Where: Wisconsin Public Radio (the show is a podcast and webcast)

What: “Here on Earth: Radio without Borders.” What draws Americans to become fluent in French and to things French in general? Once they become fluent and well-traveled, what unexpected new reasons keep them devoted to the language? Why does the non-French-speaking population in the U.S. continue to imagine Francophilia as an elite luxury for wine-sipping painting enthusiasts who only want to watch films in black and white?

I have class all day and night on Thursday (lame!) but I’m definitely going to listen to it online! Hopefully they get some good callers. 🙂

Autumn in Madison

The weather here has been amazing! Very warm and sunny, although I’m sure things will change to frigid winter in about a week.

our neighborhood


Lake Monona


State Street

Right now I’m researching for my mid-semester project…ugh. My topic was originally how a French student’s socio-economic status influences their decision (or ability) to study abroad, but I haven’t found much on it. I think I might just change it to how it influences their higher education decisions. Either way it no longer sounds interesting to me, lol. I started thinking about what I want to take as my two electives next semester and I think I might try to find a history class and maybe something about second language acquisition.

James’s parents are visiting this weekend! I think we might go to the Wisconsin Dells (apparently something along the lines of Branson) and/or just hang out around Madison.