Monthly Archive: December 2012


Nikolaus, right on time

December is a good month to be a French living in Germany. First, we had a beautiful snowfall all morning, and I granted myself the pleasure of walking through Tiergarten instead of taking public transportation between 8:30 an 9:00 (bike is not an option any more, for a few weeks at least). Crisp air, still a few birds trying to convince themselves that  it is not that cold, fresh snow under the feet – nothing to do with the cold rain of Paris. What do I want from this day, I asked myself. I want to get some real, good,...


On the dust of facts (a French habilitation)

Instead of polishing my application / beginning to write my next due paper / copyediting this or that / taking care of my family / filling my fridge this Saturday, I took an early plane to Paris to attend my friend Sylvie Le Moel’s habilitation defense. It is a French exercise, only understandable (if at all) by French and likely to remain a mystery to all other people, which is only right. To be awarded the right to defend your life’s scientific achievement 6 hours long, sitting in front of the 6 jury members and having your friends and family...