Thursday, February 14, 2013

Derring-Do

One of the best things about being vegan in Paris? Bo bun!
Those who know me well know that I am impulsive. I'm known to leap off metaphorical mountain tops without excessive rumination, and while the regrets have been few, there are a couple of things I'd have done differently if I were given the chance for a do-over.

Vegan cheesecake from Cafe Ginger.
Moving to France wasn't one of my typically impetuous maneuvers. I planned everything meticulously and thoughtfully, taking into consideration every facet of such a big geographical shift. One of the aspects that required the greatest investment of time and energy was figuring out how to work here legally; not many countries freely distribute working visas, unless the person asking is highly skilled/educated, and the need for his or her particular talents is high.

Buying in-season produce at the marche is one way vegans can fully experience  la vie francaise.
Thankfully, I was able to pull it off by submitting a proposal for a Carte Competences et Talents, a visa that allows artists to live in France to work on a project of their choosing for three years, and to get paid for it while they're here. (If they can find a way to earn money from their project, that is.)

Did somebody say "organic wine"?
Two weeks from today, I'll finally be able to tick off one of the goals I'd outlined in that initial proposal when I teach my very first class on the subject of vegetarian living in Paris. The class is offered through WICE, a non-profit cultural organization for Anglophones and others who want to learn new things, meet interesting people, and enjoy the process in a language they understand.

Like Nutella, only better, since it doesn't have milk in it!
I'm excited to meet my students and learn why they're interested in vegetarianism. My greatest hope for this experience is that I'll be able to impart some of the wisdom and experience I've collected over the years and offer it in a way that will support them on their path toward compassionate living. That will require gentleness, a non-judgmental attitude, and patience, which I intend to deliver in the spirit of fun and adventure.

Does anything lift your spirits more than a flower stall erupting with springtime blooms?
And food samples, of course. That's the surest way to win someone's heart, in my experience! If you have teaching tricks, words of wisdom, or any suggestions for successful information sharing, I totally welcome them! 

4 comments:

  1. I don't have any teaching tips, but I do have speaking in public tips: humor and a relaxed attitude help, as do times to admit failure to reduce anxiety for people who might be trying too hard.
    I have always enjoyed your cooking and of course your company, so this will be an excellent event and you will maybe become the Guy Fieri of Paris. Ha ha just kidding

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    1. Thank you, dear Beth! Who's Guy Fieri?! (Googling now!)

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  2. How exciting! I can't think of anyone more charming and knowledgeable than you that I'd rather learn from. My only teaching advice is that if you have fun while you teach, the students will too.

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    1. What a lovely thing to say, Paris Paul! I will listen to the voice of experience (yours!) and try to keep it fun. That sounds so much better than all of the alternatives!

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