No, this is not a near-death experience, thank goodness. It's that I'm less than a month away from finishing this degree program that has been consuming my life the past 11 months. You couldn't pay me to go through it again, even though there have been some very fun moments, like Friday when we all had a picnic lunch in a nearby park to take advantage of the finally spring-like weather.
I'm glad I did this thing. It had been eating at me for years, literally, to reconnect with my science degrees. To give myself some other possibilities in France besides teaching English. It's been tough though: late nights studying, not seeing Juliette as much as I used to, Remi sitting on the couch watching telly (and feeling single, as he said) while I studied, and generally just feeling tired all the time.
I still have two national exams to take, one in the scientific subjects, the other in economics and French (yeah, what's with that?), then the famous presentation of my internship in front of a jury of two people I've never met before. Yeah, just that. But I'm trying to remind myself I've been working steadily all year. And I must thank my years of teaching English for making me less stressed at public speaking. I've just got to hold on a bit longer...
And what's next? Yes, I'll be looking for work in my new/old field but will resume my old job teaching in the meantime. That was the advantage of doing this sabbatical year to do the training. My job was reserved for me. It will be strange to be teaching again, after a year of being in the student's seat. Perhaps I will feel more compassion for my students now! I know what it's like to be sitting there not understanding something and feeling frustrated.
And I'm gonna take a well-deserved break and go back to the US for a few weeks. I want a bit of home so badly I can really taste it. I need this, and my US family needs to see us, too. I don't think I'll ever get used to not seeing them as much as I really want to.
But a bit more work lies betweeen me and that lovely reward. So I'll buckle down and daydream a bit, too.