Wednesday, September 19, 2012

La Rentrée 2012

My last day at my old job was August 25 and I had a week's break before I started my new job in Reims. I mostly spent that week stressed out, second guessing myself, terrified that I'd made a bad choice.

Luckily, from about the middle of my first day, I felt myself relaxing a bit and realizing that everything is going to be ok. I can't say I felt that way from the very beginning, as I jumped right in shadowing a colleague and everything went straight over my head for the first hour or so. Then, I really thought, "What the hell have I gotten myself into??" Lucky for me, my lunch spot looked like this. I munched my tuna avocado sandwich and people watched for forty-five minutes, and I was ready to attack my new life.

It's been two weeks now and I can honestly say that I love, love, love my job. I still have so much to learn - it's in a business I knew nothing about, though my experience in administration certainly applies - but little by little it's starting to sink in and my confidence is growing everyday.

Of course one of the hardest parts is the fact that we don't exactly live next to Reims. Even with the toll roads it's an hour's drive each way. Our lovely Citroën C4 that we bought last year is unfortunately unleaded and the price of gas is killing us right now, never mind the fact that I have to refill the tank every three days. We made the decision this week to find a new car that runs on diesel, and after a quick search online, we found a decent Ford Fusion that will do in a pinch. Saturday we went to look at it and after a quick test drive we decided to take it. It's definitely a step down in terms of comfort, but it's going to make a huge difference in our wallet! We can pick it up this Saturday. Of course, after we move next year, we can always change it again.

And yes, that's the next big step for us. December is when the "Movement" happens within the Education Nationale system. Stéphane will make a request for a town closer to Reims (but not Reims itself - a bit too pricey and crowded for us) and we'll find out in March where he'll be placed. Of course, he can request two or three towns but there are so many conditions - how long you've been in the system, if you have a family and children in school, how many points you have (teachers are inspected every two years and gain points according to their performance; Stéphane is maxed out), and obviously it depends on if a place is available in the school you've requested! We're hoping that the fact that my job is over there will help us, but we've heard so many movement horror stories that we're only cautiously optimistic.

So you can see that our Rentrée has certainly been a full one with plenty of changes! I definitely had the "back to school" vibe going, since I started the day before students went back to class! I hope everyone's rentrée was a smooth one!


Anonymous said...

you should have gotten a hybrid...I have a Prius and it gets 50 mpg.

Vivi said...

I would *love* to buy a hybrid but it's out of our budget. I hope our next car will be a hybrid!

Stella said...

Good luck, Vivi! Hope it all works out for you. x