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allô, salut, coucou !

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Hello and welcome! I am thrilled you found me.

My name is Charlotte Bulkeley and I am a scholar, Francophile, language educator, historical researcher, and adventure enthusiast. This website is my personal outlet for sharing the challenges and joys of pursuing a language and culture that was once unfamiliar to me but is now dear. Learning a language, stepping outside your comfort zone in small, every-day ways is something I want everyone I know (and do not know!) to also share. If you like French, learning, or even just school, I hope you'll stick around. 

Here you will find learning materials, my own tips and tricks for making the most out of your university experience (I am still learning myself), and, hopefully a community that will encourage you to keep learning and exploring until the once foreign and unfamiliar becomes near and dear to your own heart. 

À propos de moi

I was born and raised in Black Mountain, North Carolina, homeschooled, and graduated in three years from North Carolina State University with a double major in International Studies and French Language and Literatures. During my undergraduate studies at NCSU, I had the privilege of gaining experience as a student researcher and translator for a twenty year-old ethnohistorigraphic research project based in Burgundy, France. Transcribing and translating thirty- and forty-year old interviews about Burgundy in World War II brought to life the importance of preserving the past through written and spoken word, and quickly became something I not only enjoyed, but sought out professionally.
Following my freshman year, I spent the summer months in Lille, France studying abroad. During this time, the French language and culture captivated my heart and ultimately redirected my academic interests into a full-fledged pursuit of higher learning in Francophone studies.
My sophomore year of college, I began pursuing the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's (ABM) degree offered by my department. I decided to switch gears from my original second major, Biology, to International Studies, which allowed me to graduate early and continue with the French studies I found so fascinating. The ABM allowed me to absorb the depth and breadth of the undergraduate French degree and to solidify my other interests in international politics, political science, intercultural relations, and history, while matriculating into a specialized MA program, all in four years (three undergraduate, one graduate).
Over my junior/senior year, I discovered my passion for teaching while working as a teaching assistant for a graduate-level French certification course. I realized that there is an invaluable reward and pay-it-forward return in demonstrating to others how to create their own opportunities by expanding their language proficiency and cultural knowledge. This experience impressed upon me the value in a give-and-take, inquisitive-learning classroom environment that encourages students to speak and interact as much, if not more, than the instructor.
By this point, I had completed my undergraduate requirements and had graduated that spring, having already applied and been accepted into the ABM program. Covid-19 had arrived the previous spring, bringing with it all the losses and tolls the virus had on universities, the idealized process of planning in the academic circle, and the lifestyle and possibilities available to everyone. Along with everything else that summer of 2020, my plans of attending Middlebury College's Summer Language School program were shifted online. Despite being online, the learning experience provided me with the challenge and revitalization I needed to jump back into full-time graduate work in the fall. Check out my blog to hear more about the wonderful programs Middlebury offers.
The following fall and spring, I began the full-time master's work which included taking classes (at the level I had been taking for a few semesters prior), a teaching assistantship in the 80-person French 101 course (fall and spring), solo-teaching the second-semester beginning French course (spring), and the initially harrowing process of developing and writing my thesis. While the coursework felt familiar and manageable, the teaching and thesis-ing were stiff competitors for the most growth-inducing experiences I have ever had. There is nothing more rewarding and thrilling than feeling one of your greatest fears become your source of joy and energy. The ups and downs only added to its significance.

This progression of how I got to where I am is only the first chapter of a book which, I hope, will hold as many chapters as L'Heptaméron by Marguerite de Navarre or Notre-Dame de Paris by Hugo. My aspiration is that whatever tips, tricks, and roads to success I have found will be of use and motivation to you, and that I can learn something for you in return, wherever you are and whatever you do. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you around.


Interested in French? Want to build your own système-D qualities? Got a cool story? Email me! I'd love to hear from you.

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