Today I open my mind, energize my brain cells, focus my eyes and listen carefully to the words and phrases I repeat verbally and write over and over again.
Becoming afraid (but not discouraged), I decided to arrive at my last class early in order to learn how far we were expected to go in our instruction booklet (there are 9 dossiers ((neuf from my recent lesson)) and we are only on 0 !!). I knew it would be impossible to finish the booklet, unless we became much more intense, moving ahead at a faster clip — leaving me behind in the dust, struggling to find the words to say Wait, Slow Down. And how would we be judged to move on to the next class; a test (written—I will do better, or oral, not so good for me)?
With some relief I learned that we were only supposed to master dossiers 0 and the beginning of dossier 1. Our instructor would let us know at the end of the classes, whether we had achieved enough knowledge to move ahead, or we must repeat the class again. My current standing, I am certain, would have me attempting the class again.
However, there is always hope, and I draw my arms firmly around it. There is, at least, not as much as I thought we might be required to learn. I understand learning the alphabet and the numbers (there is a very funny UTube video of a NYC cab driver listening on the way to JFK to his French passenger, who is trying unsuccessfully to teach the cabbie how to count in French—I laughed until I had tears in my eyes, and couldn’t agree more). How to say and spell ones name and introduce oneself and make introductions is certainly useful. And asking where one is from (country) (town) and what one speaks or understands is also a very useful leaning or exercise. However, the time spent learning the names of many, many countries in French and the l’, la, le, les of it seem a bit much. Wouldn’t I just introduce myself, and say where I was from, then ask the other person their name etc, and if I didn’t recognize the country, I would learn it then. Thankfully, thus far we have only two verbs to learn: Etre and S’Appeler.
Walking home from my class, I saw art work drawn on a contractor’s boarded up renovation that expressed the local hope of our home town basketball team. There is always hope when combined with hard work and collaboration. I will remind myself as I work hard at achieving the language of French.