In the midst of trying to remember all the little details about work, I am faced with the challenge of remembering and understanding all the little details of living in a foreign country with a foreign language. When I walk down the street on an errand, to the grocery store for example, I run through the potential conversation with the checker in my head. Or pretend to ask a stranger, in classic language classroom fashion, where is the library? where is the train station? (haha).
Little things that come so automatically in English it could not even be considered a thought. But in French, oh in French they take thought and practice. And mumbling to myself as I walk down the street. And stress in the checkout aisle that I won't understand what they say.
So when a pamphlet arrived in our mailbox announcing French classes at a very inexpensive price through our local commune (neighborhood government), I thought it would be a great opportunity to remember all those French verbs and conjugations I learned back in high school (and you all thought taking French classes instead of Spanish was going to be useless :)
I had no idea these classes were so popular, but when I showed up woefully early (per usual), there was already a line of 89 people. How do I know there were 89 people? Because I got ticket number 90. I waited and waited for nearly 2 hours before my number was called and I could take the french placement test.
As it turns out I placed in a level 2 of French, and of course because this class is something I was getting excited about, the classes are full except above level 3. In level three you need to be able to conjugate verbs in the past and future tenses, which I cannot. Next term, I will be going to sign up on the first possible day!
I put my name on the waiting list and walked home more than a little bummed out. I had visions of speaking effortlessly with waiters, of being able to actually participate in a conversation with V's family. I was looking forward to going to class twice a week, to getting away from my computer screen and interacting with human beings. Oh well. Its time to research other options, other classes that won't like be as affordable, but that certainly will get the job done
In other news, did you hear? Bill Clinton has gone vegan. A French doctor makes the claim that soda is completely unrelated to obesity (sorry, french article...). And chocolate may be good for your heart? (Although, proceed with caution and don't eat the entire bar, as Marion Nestle so aptly explains here.)
|Photo: wikimedia commons @André Karwath|