The Backstory to Now

“In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread, brushed their teeth, and went to bed. They smiled at the good and frowned at the bad and sometimes they were very sad. They left the house at half past nine, in two straight lines, in rain or shine- the smallest one was Madeline.” -Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline. 

“We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all, we love each other.” -Madeline TV series

We love our bread.  We love our butter.  But most of all,  We love each other!Madeline was a character from my youth who had a huge impact on my future. When I say that Madeline is the reason I chose to learn French, I’m not kidding. Really. I made a promise to Madeline when I was about 4 years old that I would learn French so that I could speak to her one day at her old house in Paris that was covered in vines- and I don’t break my promises. By the time I got to middle school, I was well aware of the fact that Madeline did not exist, but I still chose to learn French rather than Spanish or German. My mother was furious and we had a huge argument about Spanish being more useful, but I held my ground and on my first day of middle school, walked into my first French lesson. Cumulatively, I’ve spent about a year of my life in France. Without Madeline, I may never have developed my love of languages or my desire to understand those of cultures different from my own.

TAPIF is done. I don’t know when I’ll be abroad again or for how long. I have a feeling I’m not done living abroad yet, but it pains me not to know when that will be. I was home for less than two weeks before I moved to Washington DC to start my internship at World Learning as an intern in the International Visitor Leadership Program. Well, “moved to DC” is a loose term. After many visits, I still don’t have an apartment and I think I’m going to be forced to go way above my budget given my summer options. I miss CAF and affordable student housing options. So far, I love my internship. The World Learning team is great and I’m learning a lot. I have mixed feelings about living in DC and American cities in general. However, I believe this is the best option for me currently. I have an internship in the field of International Education, and this is the field I want to work in. I experience the joy of meeting others from around the world and hearing languages I hope to one day learn around my workplace. I believe that the work I’m helping achieve will allow for a more peaceful and educated world. I have Madeline to thank for these passions. I’m excited to learn more about International Education at George Washington. I need to go into this with the same mindset I had in France. I will make the best of all situations, and if I’m not happy, I’ll change what’s not working. Life has been crazy and non-stop since my departure. I am so far behind on posts and correspondences with my friends… Things #1 and #2 to change.

Madeline age 4Little me had no idea how much Madeline would impact her life. The me of now is sure glad she did, though. Here’s to Madeline and Madeline-esque adventures!


About Quiche Lauren

A blog by an English teaching assistant in Nîmes (Académie de Montpellier) through the TAPIF program.
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7 Responses to The Backstory to Now

  1. Andrea says:

    OMG!! I Love this and I Love the picture of Little Lauren!! You were adorable. Now I am going to make your Mom pull out family albums of you and John C. And now I will think of you as
    Little Madeline!!!!Going to movies with her today!! Wish you were coming with us!! xoxo ❤

  2. Anne Elder says:

    OMG. I feel exactly the same way about Madeline. I was the only one of my friends in middle school not taking Spanish, and I don’t regret it for a second!

  3. eyelean says:

    I also loved Madeline when I was little! My mom was equally into it and made me a Madeline Halloween costume one year. Love the doll!

  4. jetgirlcos says:

    What a sweet story! I also loved Madeline quand j’étais petite! They didn’t teach foreign languages to elementary students back then, but I at least tried to learn French in high school (didn’t work – bad teacher, long story) so instead I learned to play the music of French composers 🙂 Your photo is adorable!

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