The Story

What do you get when you cross Mary Poppins with Fraulein Maria? 

If you're feeling cheeky, you would probably say Julie Andrews, but you would be wrong. The correct answer is: me! And what, you might ask, makes me a combination of these two iconic female characters? Well, it's definitely  not because I'm practically perfect in every way...but then, it's also not because large groups of nuns consider me a problem. (And I know what you're thinking--it also has nothing to do with running around in the alps and spontaneously bursting into song!) You see, it all started in April of 2012...

I was dutifully working on finishing my thesis for a M.A. in French teaching (yes, I believe in taking vows of poverty) as well as applying to teaching jobs at colleges and universities all over the U.S. The hope was to beat the odds and actually find employment right out of college. But after weeks went by with no response at all, things were looking a little grim.

And what happens when life gets grim? Well, a bit of magic, naturally! 

I was on campus one day when I overheard a friend discussing an opportunity to work as a teacher for an American family who would be living in France for three years. The family would pay for all expenses, and they wanted someone who could teach French as well as all other junior high subjects. It sounded to me like being a governess, and as a serious 19th Century nut, I couldn't imagine a better idea--and in France?! Code: best job opportunity of my life. I contacted the family and within three days, I was hired. That sounds simple, but believe me, my mind was reeling for about a month afterward.

So, that's all well and fine, but what about our two leading ladies? The first connection: Maria leaves her life as a potential nun to become a governess. Erm...if you want to know more about the nun part, ask me later... The second connection: when I went to meet the family, they actually informally christened me Mary Poppins. They apparently feel like I fell from the sky just when they needed me; little do they know that I feel like it's the other way around!

Since that unexpected beginning, there have been loads of fun field trips, many amazing destinations, a few culture shocks, and even an unexpected love story! In October of 2013, things got a little thrown off kilter and the European part of the adventure has been temporarily paused since then. But not to worry--Poppins stays until the wind changes, and things will definitely be blowing in the right direction this upcoming fall!

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