Archive | Paris


Incremental Change: Debbie’s Gap Year Wrap-Up

Sam had his say, reflecting back on our Gap Year. It is always a pleasant surprise to learn more about what he is thinking. Now it’s my turn. My thoughts are not as organized or logical. I picture tidy file cabinets inside Sam’s brain, clearly labeled “Africa,” “France,” “Hunting,” “Lemurs,” “The Last Ferryman,” etc. Not so […]

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We Will Always Have Paris

During my third week of classes at the Alliance Française we listened to rapid fire recordings of random French conversations and then attempted to transcribe what we heard. It was as if Barbara, mon prof, was familiar with my last blog post (I Will Never Be a Parisian) and wanted to help us “break the […]

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Why Does France Turn a Blind Eye to Smoking?

One of my goals for a Gap Year has been to view the world and my self from a different perspective, to force myself to be different from the conservative and quiet private practitioner. I have been looking for a different voice. That is why I have been participating in the blogosphere, a world apart […]

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Midpoint Review: “Why” a Gap Year

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week prompted me to think again about why we are taking a gap year at age 62. Today is my birthday so I can accurately say 62 for both of us. In The Case for a Midlife ‘Gap’ Year, the reporter lays out several reasons why aging Baby […]

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I Will Never Be a Parisian (They Won’t Let Me)

Pamela Druckerman, author of the bestselling Bringing Up Bébé, recently wrote in the New York Times about Americans in Paris. She divided them into three groups: those that have to be here for their jobs or their spouse’s jobs; fantasists who come and stay longer than expected because they identify with famous expats like Hemingway […]

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Paris: Dark Corners in the City of Light

I had a Proustian moment at the Alliance Française recently. Our professor was explaining the plus que parfait, the pluperfect form of a verb. Suddenly, it was 47 years earlier. I was at the Collège Cêvenol, a boarding school in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a small town in the mountains of central France. We were dutifully studying […]

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Breaking Writer’s Block in Paris

What do an American physician, a German hausfrau, an Armenian priest, a Vietnamese nun, a Peruvian mother, a Philippine economist, and university students from Italy, Poland, Mexico and Ohio have in common? The answer is French lessons at the Alliance Française. What else do they have in common? An atrocious French accent. We have been […]

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