11 June 2009

Bonjour, Metz!

Although I've known since April that I've been accepted to the Nancy-Metz académie, better known as the Lorraine region of France, up until today, I had no idea what city or town I'd be placed in, the length of my contract, or the age group I would be teaching. The odds of getting one of the two large cities of Lorraine (Nancy or Metz) are pretty slim, and I anticipated getting a small town or suburb. I didn't even want to get my hopes up for one of the big cities.

Today I received my first contact from my school district in France, via email.  It seems that indeed I will be teaching in the city of Metz "proper", the capital of Lorraine! This is wonderful! It's a fairly large city (not by American standards, of course). 

After some Googling, I've determined that Metz (pronounced "mess") will be a lovely place to live. It has a gothic cathedral, Saint-Etienne, which contains stained glass windows by my favorite artist of all time, Marc Chagall.  It has a large train station which means I'm only an 82 minutes from Paris, and even closer to Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium! The city center is closed to traffic, and very pedestrian friendly.  The Moselle River splits in two around a small, picturesque island in the centre ville. Nicknamed the "green city", Metz has a number of public gardens and parks, all beautifully landscaped. 

Of course, the arrival of my work contract, or Arrêté de Nomination, will tell me what age group I'll be teaching, as well as the length of my contract. I'm hoping to teach primary aged children for the longest contract available, which is nine months. I want to spend as much time in France as possible.  Apparently, the Arrêté should arrive this month. I can hardly contain my excitement... I need to know!
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