Like this dude

About the Address:

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us -don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

-Emily Dickinson

About the Title: “I confess I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip…” -V. Nabokov, Speak, Memory


Waiting for Saint Nicolas during Nancy’s Saint Nicolas parade, 2006

Who am I? I’m Eileen. I’m American and I live in France. A Landscape Selected at Random is my personal blog, and it has existed in some shape or form since May of 2005. It’s mostly about my life in France, languages, teaching, cultural differences, and random personal things. I started it in college and when I moved to France in 2006, it quickly became more about staying in touch with friends, getting in touch with other foreigners in France, and keeping track of my time here.

How long have I been in France? I moved to France in September, 2006, as a language assistant in a small town in Lorraine. I’ve studied French since I was 6, but didn’t study abroad in college, so I applied for the assistantship program during my senior year. I spent seven months as a language assistant (see the CIEP website) in a collège and a lycée, tacking on an eighth month just for travel and because I wasn’t ready to leave. Turns out, I never would be.

In front of Mumm with my mum, 2008

I returned reluctantly home to Texas for the summer and luckily found a last-minute lectrice position in Champagne (Reims) for the fall. I’ve written about my process for finding lecteurships in France on my blog. After that year, I went back to Texas to complete my masters degree in Foreign Language Education, with a French specialty. But I came back to France to finish my masters report (on borrowed words and French learners of English), this time as a maître de langue in Poitou-Charentes. Before starting my second year in that position, I signed up for the competitive exam to become a private school English teacher in France (the CAFEP CAPES d’anglais). So I spent my second year in my maître de langue position preparing for that, passed it in July 2011, and started working as a professeur d’anglais in September 2011. I passed the agrégation externe to transfer into the public system in 2022 (which was possible for me because of having become a French citizen).

Is there a boy involved? J, or Ju (I’m not very good about keeping his name off the blog, but he has his own blog anyway, so…) is my husband, whom I met when I moved to Poitiers in September of 2009 and lived in a colocation (=flatshare). He was one of my three lovely roommates, but I moved out of the house six months later to live in the city center. Three months after that, we started dating. We got PACSed in December of 2011, bought a house we renovated in April 2014, and got married in July 2015. Our first Franco-American baby was born in October 2016, and his little brother was born almost four years later.

I now spend my weekdays with teenagers trying to get them to learn English from me, and my weekends with my husband and littles. To the chagrin of my parents, I still love living in France and can’t really imagine wanting to leave permanently (especially since I got French nationality in June 2015), though I could imagine doing a few years back on that side of the ocean.

With my chéri in 2010

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Nicole says:

    Bonjour Eileen/Eyelean!

    Thank you for your blog, I had no idea about the CAPE test to be an english teach until I read it here! I’m doing a Masters of Tesol at the moment, but next year I want to come to france to do the assistant program like you did. I also lived in Reims for a year! Anyway I just wanted to ask you a few questions, if you don’t mind. Would you be able to send me your email address? Thanks so much!

    PS I’m a 23 yr old girl from Australia, just so you know 🙂

  2. Sarah Payen says:

    I’d love to learn more about your expériences teaching ! I have a very similar story.. Assistant, (arrived 2 yrs after you,) lectrice on Reims, and passed the cafep..i’m in my stagiaire year..would love to ask you à few qs as an American teaching in the french system!

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