Back to School in Paris: One More Time

All ready for my first day of class!

It was the last time I’d ever receive this type of letter. After grammar school, there was the excitement of high school. Then letters arrived about college. Then an acceptance letter to a master’s program arrived. Then came the notification that I had been adopted by the Sorbonne as a PhD candidate.

Yesterday I received my last set of “certificate de scolarit√©,” renewing my enrollment for the 2014-2015 year – my final year – at the University of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3. This officially marked the end of my higher education in France, and probably in the world. There will be no more first days of school for me as a student after this October. My lunchbox would be retired, forever.

Well, at least that’s the most likely scenario. But this being France, who knows what hiccups I may encounter…

I might totally drop the ball on my thesis and have to take another year. I could go into the as-of-yet unexplained world of a post-doc (shudder). Or I could have to repeat my final year on some sort of administrative technicality, like forgetting to register for the class on Africans and Tarzan in 20th century film.

No wait, I took that seminar already. Silly me.

Maybe I should read...

It’s still a milestone. I have hurdled time and again the obstacles of French bureaucracy to register at the Sorbonne and secure a visa (since 2010, not too shabby). Now it’s all coming to a close. This time next year I’ll hopefully have a job, that thing my dad keeps asking me if I’ll ever get. And I might even be French, if all goes well. I’ll be Docteur Bryan with a PhD in information and communication science from the University of Paris. I’ll be able to heal all of your communications woes.

Let's just not get too far ahead of ourselves. In the meantime, I have one year of lesson plans to update in order to attempt to engage the French students at the Sorbonne Nouvelle. I have to wrap up some research for my thesis. And then I suppose I should write the thing.
A last bit of paperwork...

But before any of that, I’ve got to get ready for my last first day of school, so I packed and repacked my trousse (pencil case) like a good obsessive French student. 

I think I’m ready now.