Monday, May 17, 2010

Why anniversaries are not just for lovers

Three years ago today I wrote my very first blog post. It was long and rambling and plaintive and come to think of it, not all that much has changed since then.

Or has it?

Anniversaries, even the kind that don't come with a card attached, are always a good time for looking back and taking stock. How is my life different than it was three years ago? How am I different? Am I different?

Three years ago I lamented my "bad luck" and "worse timing
" with an array of "liars, cheaters, narcissists, criminals, and general all-around assholes." So clearly...well, fine, not all that much has changed there.

But, but! Three years ago I was miserable, hating my life as a poor, impoverished, over-worked grad student. But those days are long over now, right? Remember when I gave grad school the boot, in order to work as an impoverished English teacher in France, and then as an impoverished French teacher in central New York state? I mean, I may not be exactly where I want to be in terms of my career, but at least I don't have to worry about papers and mid-terms and hours of studying a day and the constant, nagging daily stress of being a grad student ever again, right? Hahahahaha! Hahaha...



Oh that. Right.

Master's degree? Why sure, don't mind if I do!

Because with a Master's degree in French literature you can teach French part-time (but only part-time!) at the university level, but not at all at the high school level. Because even though I currently teach college French, I have to pay a ton of money to go back to school so I can get a Master's degree in education so that I can get a full-time job teaching high school French. Which I don't even want to do! (For some reason this all makes sense in my mind.)
So, if you don't hear from me for the next thirteen months or so, this is why.

But still. Today is a day to celebrate. A day for looking back, and for new beginnings. I would love to do some sort of contest to mark the day, but as I find myself once again as an impoverished grad student, soon to be up to my ears in debt, I have nothing to give but my love. (Awwww.) But I ask you, even if you don't usually comment, to stop in and say hello today. And answer this easy question: how long have you been reading here at the Diary of Why? Have you been following since way back in the Boston days? Did you discover me when I was living in France? Or are have you only recently stumbled aground here? (Welcome!)

I do love an anniversary. And until either my luck improves or I decide to lower my standards and become less picky, this is the only anniversary I'm going to be celebrating for a while. So let's celebrate! Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and thanks for sharing. I'm still asking why, but it's good to know I have all of you out there to hear me.


  1. I think I started reading when you were in France - but I have gone back and read every single post. I love your writing and always look forward to reading your posts. Thanks for spilling all here - you're the best!

  2. I clicked through a comment you left on another blog, and this was your current post:

    It was a revelation. I read your archives immediatel. I've been hooked ever since (in a non-CreepyFangirl kind of way).

  3. I've been reading your blog since the Boston days and it's one of my favorites :) Happy Anniversary!

  4. Happy Anniversary!

    I think I’ve been reading for over 2 years but it’s hard to date since upon discovery I immediately read through your archive. I have many times forwarded your posts to friends and co-workers. I’ve never commented before but I’d like to tell you how much I appreciate your writing for its honesty (often at the expense of your pride) and excellent story telling. You have definitely helped me get through many boring days at work and given me some hope in knowing my feelings/emotions aren’t unique to myself. Keep it up!


  5. Like Sarah, I started reading when you were already in France (about a year ago) but was so hooked on your writing style, that I read back through all your archives. I always look forward to your blog posts, and I certainly hope you plan on celebrating many more years of blogging anniversaries!

    Congrats on the second will be a ton of work, sure, but a great investment for your future and something to work at for the next 13 months! Good luck!!

  6. Hey there, I never comment but I was an assistant (ages ago now!). I probably started reading 1-2 years ago since I'm interested in what assistants during and after and since I went through similar experiences in France. I have taught high school (not French but Spanish) and you can do it without the degree in private ones but good luck with your new Masters!

  7. I must sincerely apologize for the negative tone of my comment - I think it would be great for you to complete this degree if you are sure that it is what you want to do and are aware of the obstacles that currently exist. I just want you to be aware of the obstacles now and are certain that this is the right path for you before you take out loans.

    I teach in an adolescent education program at a very strong university in NYC, and I am concerned because my students are greatly struggling to find employment. My students just completed their master's degrees in May, and the employment prospects for English, social studies and foreign language teachers are quite bleak. The NYC public schools are threatening to lay off thousands of teachers, and the budgets in suburban schools have been rejected by voters, leading to significant cuts.

    If you really want to be a teacher, please consider switching your specialty to math, science or special education. The SUNY system offers tuition reimbursement to its adjuncts (one class per semester) plus its tuition might be significantly lower than Mythica. If you are not certain that you want to be a teacher, please give this a lot of thought before going into debt.

  8. I'm in the Sarah / Crystal boat. I started reading in the France days but I was sad when you left and it's good to be able to keep you on my radar. :)

    You want to teach high school French?? I think high schoolers are EVIL. You're nuts!! But thats why we love you, of course.

  9. hey there. i found you thru my brother greg back when you were in boston (just about to leave i believe.) i don't comment, but i always read.

    happy anniversary :)

  10. Happy anniversary!
    I started reading you when you were in France- I followed a link via BlogHer. I think you're fabulous and your adventures are my most anticipated in my reader.

  11. I started reading when you were in France. It is a testament to your writing skills that I followed you after you left that country. I normally don't read bloggers that aren't based there. Shallow, I know!

    Happy Anniversary.

  12. Happy anniversary! I think I started reading when you were in Paris, but it could have been earlier, when you were dating in Boston. Like others, I read through archived posts so I'm not sure. In any case, your writing is entertaining and endearing, so celebrate!

  13. Eek! Just posted and it didn't work, argh!!

    But hello! Fellow high school French teacher here!

    I started reading your blog just over a year ago, I think. I love your writing style and your honesty.

    As for the teaching thing, becoming a French teacher has probably been one of the decisions I've ever made. Definitely not because I love teaching (because I DEFINITELY don't) but because it has allowed me to have the type of lifestyle that many only dream of. I have a Canadian teaching credential that allows me to teach high-school French and English, and am currently working on a Master's in French language education (same degree you're doing) from a school in the States.

    I have over 3 months paid vacation a year, and getting my teaching credential has allowed me to work in the international school system, which is perfect for someone who loves to travel. I am currently teaching high-school French in an international school in Hong Kong, and taught before in another international school in Mexico. I document (most) of my adventures on my blog, so check it out...

    Keep in mind that I am talking about international schools (for expat kids whose parents work abroad) so I'm not talking about teaching ESL. I think that ESL teaching is different... Not as much vacay, not as good pay as international schools, longer work hours (I only work from 8am to 3pm, Monday to Friday).

    Most of the kids at my school are Canadian, American, British or Australian (though here in Hong Kong there is also a good amount of local kids at my school too-but they speak perfect English).

    My current job is very well paid (as are many teaching positions in international schools) and my class sizes are relatively small. Professional development is awesome (got sent to Australia for curriculum training, all expenses paid) and the field trips are incredible (so far have gone on paid field trips to Paris, Nepal, and Beijing, China)!

    If you're not interested in going abroad to teach then there are also TONS of French teaching jobs in Canada (I taught there last year) and they are really well paid. There are a lot of French teaching posts in Canada (particularly Ontario- Just a few hours north of Mythaca!) for obvious reasons... Great health benefits, too.

    Anywho, I don't mean to preach, but getting my teaching credential has really worked out well for me. Many people say that I'm crazy for being a teacher, but let's face it, the benefits are working out to be far better than the disadvantages (did I mention I get 3 months paid vacay a year)?!? I don't love teaching, nor children, but I like having lots of free time to develop my other interests (like reading blogs- as I'm typing this I'm at work on my "prep" period, lol).

    I am living the dream and travelling the world (sometimes on my school's dime!) while the naysayers are hanging out at the local strip mall on Saturday afternoon (no offense to anyone, just not for me)...

    Just trying to represent for the high-school French teachers (who used to work as an English assistant in France) out there!!

    Contact me if you want any more info!

  14. Hi! It's my first time here. I like your blog and I enjoyed going through it. I'll visit you again soon! I just LOVE the title : Questions without answers, and answers to the questions that nobody asked.

    Have a nice day!

  15. Happy Anniversary! I only started reading a few months ago but I've worked my way through pretty much all of the archives too!

  16. I have no idea when i started reading, most likely cuz i smoke to much dope and drink a bit and in between i eat painkillers to take the edge of this horrible thing we call existenz, i don't even know how i found it, i think i was bored at work and someone who reads my site reads yours and i surf around and read things (though i do believe you've never read mine, i do think you'd enjoy the revisionist history and late night maudlin street stuff) and if it's interesting i come back and read some more and what could be more interesting than you Charlie Brown, so happy anniversary, i myself think you should take Nikita's advice cuz that sounds like a kick ass gig.

  17. Au contraire, Kono, mon ami. Of course I've been to your blog. The urge to break out the red pen is strong, but once you get through all the run-on sentences it's not a bad read. ;)

  18. I started reading when you were in France. I was preparing to move to Europe and was looking through expat blogs to get an idea of what life might be like. I still follow your blog - I am around the same age as you and can relate/think your posts are funny.

  19. I've been reading since Boston, too. Congratulations on the anniversary. I love your blog!

  20. Have you ever read Celine? I've had to unlearn all my teachers taught me in order to cultivate what i call a conversation in written word, there is a rhythm to be sure and of course i often make mistakes but i have no fear of the red pen... in fact i quite enjoy it, i'm a masochist like that... ;)

  21. I have read Celine. Finished Celine, no. Couldn't get further than a few pages in. Ah well. This is why I'm a defunct French lit student.

  22. I'm pretty new...discovered you a few months ago and have been hooked ever since... something just resonates with me. I can so relate to how you think about things, the friendship stuff, the relationship stuff. Ever done the Myers-Briggs personality typing thing? Are you INFJ? Are you?

  23. Ha! It's been a loooong time since I've done the Myers-Briggs test, like high school psychology class, but INFJ does seem familiar. So, maybe I am?

  24. Hey...I stumbled upon your blog somewhow...don't quite remember... and added you as a fave before even reading the details your interesting, eventful life from the beginning of this thing. I'm in France, teaching English at a university, coming to the end of my 2 year stint...looking for a way to stay. The drama you know too well...
    Why not try a career in writing, maybe even something on the side...There are lots of writing competitions out there, Expat Writing Contests, and different other things that might suit you well, or at least open up some doors for writing, as a profession. Remember that blogger-turned-writer who got fired for 'mentioning' her workplace on her personal blog?
    Anyway, keep doin' your thing...

  25. Happy anniversary. I've been lurking for a couple of months.

  26. I found your blog through a link on Crystal Goes to Europe and have been been reading it ever since (this is actually my first time leaving a comment). Happy Anniversary, cheers for many more to come!! :)

  27. I started reading when you were in France - I think because briefly we were on the same blog her ad group.


    Good luck in graduate school! Can't wait to read all about the adventures!

  28. Hi,
    I stumbled here about 8 months ago and have enjoyed everything you have written. I love the way you are open, honest, and funny.
    I'm hooked and here to stay. Happy Anniversary!!

  29. Hey, Happy Anniversary! I found your blog a few months ago and always enjoy reading your posts. You write well and you're very good at expressing your feelings and emotions and I appreciate that.

  30. I've been reading for probably 6 months, but I did go back and read all the archives, so I feel all caught up.

    Good luck with the newest degree!

  31. I started reading ever since Ksam wrote about Doritos several months ago. I was hooked from the get-go.

    Happy Anniversary!

  32. Dearest Rachel, I have been kicking around since the early days of Boston. From the days of when you hid all pictures of yourself and left the rest of us wondering who this fine and articulate lady was. I was instantly smitten and have been kicking around ever since. Hey, what ever happened to the obnoxious male commenter dude?

  33. Hmmm...I've been reading since the Boston days, of course, and my discovery of the Diary was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Haha! Before that I never knew the REAL Rachel...
    ...and I'm all for your career in writing!
    You are a very talented lady.

  34. I've been reading for a few months, ever since an ex sent me a link to a post about your sister that made us both nod with recognition. Happy blogiversary! Thanks for sharing with us. :-)

  35. I started reading roughly 2 weeks ago when I saw a link to a post on Blogher. Since I have endless amounts of time at my meaningless corporate job, I was able to have the luxury to read through all of your archives and your life has been interesting and compelling! It's also a motivational tool for me (as a 23 year old) to be proactive in my relationship and my career search so that I don't end up living back home with my parents, ever. I wouldn't want to kill anyone at 30 after all.

  36. Hi, I found you when you were living in France and I've been hooked ever since. Love your writing. Your blog is the first one I check daily. Always happy to see a new post. Happy Anniversary!

  37. here since day 1, rach. i owe you another guest entry.. maybe when i get back from my job interview. love ya.

  38. Been reading since you were in France. You've definitely got a way with words. Have you ever thought of doing this for a living?

  39. I've been reading for only a few months, and I can't remember how I found your blog. Maybe you commented on another blog I read.

    At any rate, keep up the good work! Or keep up the good words, if you will.