Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Big news!

In case anyone who reads this isn't already aware, I'm moving to Tours! I just heard today that I got the job, after an endless wait. Applied: mid-Jan, interviewed: early Feb (you may recall my trip to Tours - secret intent!), then waited and waited and waited while they told me that various echelons of the administration were favourably disposed towards me, but they still could not confirm that I had the job. Was beginning to fret/get pissed off (yesterday was a bad day...), but today I finally heard back! Yay! The BEST part is that it's a real job i.e. it puts to use my librarian training, which I worked... ummm, I'm not gonna say hard, but I worked for at any rate. And it cost a lot of money and virtually cost me the use of my right arm - which is a big question mark over my ability to do the job, but they didn't ask and I didn't tell and I'm trying not to think about what it will be like when I have to once again be at a computer all day long...

Anyway, positive thoughts, I have plenty of time to stress out (being in a French-speaking environment, even though my part of the job is in English, having to find an apartment, being in a new city knowing no-one and without a sort of 'instant' pool of friends - besides being quite a bit older than me, they still vousvoyed each other (used the formal form of the word 'you') in the office I'll be working in, which kinda freaked me out!), having to go from a laid-back 12-hour-a-week lifestyle to full-time work again, having only a weekend between finishing one job and starting the next in a different city etc.etc. Hold on - what was the point of that? Oh yeah, think positively! It's just so unlike me...

What I'll be doing is running a 'current awareness service' for a website - basically, I have to find articles, book reviews, conference announcements, exhibitions etc. etc. to do with a certain field, evaluate and select them, describe and abstract them, and publish them on the site. Maybe not the most fascinating job ever, but what an opportunity to finally break out of the English-speaking ghetto. So far I've had three different jobs in three different parts of France, and spent the vast majority of my time speaking English almost all the time, surrounded by other expats. And I'm not blaming anyone else but myself and the general fact that this is the easy way out - anyone who's ever lived as an immigrant will, I'm sure, never rant about how immigrants come to 'their' country, don't speak the language, and never mix with the locals. For the record, I am definitely in favour of people mixing with the locals and learning the local language, but it is a lot harder on many levels to make friends and become part of the community than many people think, especially if you don't have an instant 'in', like a partner or relative from that country. At the moment, I speak French more rarely than I care to admit, so I have grand visions of rapid improvement once I move somewhere that is less touristy (although I suppose chateaux visits pick up quite a lot in the summer), where I will be living with French speakers, and working partly in the medium of French (all my correspondence about the job and even my interview has been entirely conducted en fran├žais - if nothing else, I'm proud of myself for getting through a job interview - already scary enough - in French!) Either that or I'll go down like a sinking ship in a sea of French, we shall find out.

But overall, I am excited, and I am proud of myself. When I came here 6 months ago, it was my plan to use the assistantship as a bridge to getting a proper job in France, but as time went on and I learned more about how French libraries work, my own failure to progress in more than a vaguely osmosisological (okay, not a word) fashion in French, and the French view of foreign qualifications (i.e., not much) I began to despair of it ever happening. But it has! I don't know what I'll be doing years from now, whether my life is in France for good or whether my peripatetic lifestyle will continue, but for the next year starting 1st May, my future is in Tours!

9 comments:

  1. Wow! Congratulations!! That is beyond awesome! That's like a dream come true for any expat who wants a real "in" in their chosen country. I'm not going to lie... I'm a bit jealous ;-)

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  2. Well done, Jo - hard work has paid off! M x

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  3. Time to move from osmosisological to symbiosisological then!

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  4. Perhaps you have to go through the evolutionary stage of parasitological first though?

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  5. Bout time to change the profile!

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  6. Thanks Shannon!
    I don't know what you mean about the profile Mum?

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  7. Oh 'I'm moving back to France' yeah maybe so...

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  8. Nice work! I'm sure you speak more french than you think you do. If that makes sense. When do you move? x

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  9. Thanks Jess. I bought my train ticket the other day, overnight train on the 27th...

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