On Tuesday, we started our intensive language workshop. Each class meets for four hours a day everyday until next Thursday, but luckily it’s going by pretty fast! The first two hours we have the writing portion and the second half is speaking and phonetics.
When our professors came to introduce themselves on the first day, they came in together and could not stop laughing. They are close friends and were crying from laughing so hard–un fou rire–and we weren’t sure whether to laugh with them or ask if they were ok.
That’s what I love about French professors, they have always seemed so much more personable than other disciplines(generally speaking and high school teachers not included). Even the strictest ones can be loosened up by the end.
In my writing class, we’re reading Un cirque passe by Patrick Modiano. It’s great because he references so many places throughout Paris, it makes me want to go to all the places while I read about them (with maybe Deux Magots as an exception, my professor says that now it’s a huge tourist hub. Which means I’ll go later so I can make them feel inferior ;))
In my phonetics class, it’s a big review of what I learned in my phonetics class at UMW. The sad thing is that I can remember all the symbols and how to spell things out using phonetics, but I still struggle actually pronouncing things…which is kind of the point of phonetics, right?
Today, our professor gave us some good advice and told us that whenever people respond to us in English (which they do a LOT), we should say, “Je comprends le francais, en fait je parle francais mieux qu’anglais,” (I understand French, in fact I speak it better than English). Technically, this is true because we learned proper French so we speak very formally, whereas in English we’re more accustomed to speaking in slang or more informally.
While this class only has 5 days left, it’s making me more comfortable and excited for my other classes…even if it means the end of sleeping in. Which will hopefully make me have a better routine. That’s the weird thing about being here, at UMW I have SO much to do, running around and organizing and editing and doing random other things, but here life is so much more calm. I have time to sleep, which is a nice change.
Good thing you made me buy a round-trip ticket, Mom.