Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fatigué


I was seriously debating skipping my French class this morning -- the sky is blue, the sun is out and oy vey, I am tired of French. (I can't even bring myself to use a French term of frustration; I'm resorting to Yiddish.) I told my coffee coworker that I wouldn't be there today and fantasized last night about how I would spend my morning lying in bed, reading, while the laundry churned.

But these classes weren't cheap, so this morning, my mind is changing. I suppose I'll drag myself over there after all. Maybe I'll go and then reward myself with a photo walk afterwards.

I have to decide whether I want to continue French when this term ends in a few weeks. It's been almost a year, with a few long breaks, and while I know more now than I did when I started, I can speak only a bit better. My dreams of someday being fluent are swiftly receding, unless I unexpectedly find myself with an opportunity to live in France and be immersed. The classroom can only take me so far.

At the same time, I feel like I ought to push myself. And I'm still a beginner, after all.

So, anyway, it's like we used to say when I practiced Zen -- just showing up is a huge part of the commitment. I think I will, at the very least, show up. This week.

Beyond that, who knows what the day will bring?

(Photo: A photography experiment with some student sculptures in the library.)

11 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Your French agony reminds me of my O level French classes at school in the late sixties. It just was not fun and I could never find it motivating. Conjugating French verbs and learning vocabulary for homework was not my cup of tea. It would be so much better if those stubborn Frenchies just learnt English instead.

Jennifer Bradley said...

I did French at secondary school but was never fluent in it, though I enjoyed the classes and did well score wise. However 30 years later when I was about to spend a week in Paris, I borrowed some language tapes from our library and was surprised at how much came back into my memory. I found during that week in Paris that I was able to understand what I was seeing in museums etc and could read a menu and then order a meal. I also found that by trying to speak in my poor French that the French people then tried their equally poor English and we hot by. Therefore I think that you will find that your classes have not been in vain

Ms. Moon said...

Well, I just think you're amazing for taking this project on. It's good for your brain if nothing else. And like Jennifer said, it will not have been in vain, no matter what.

ellen abbott said...

I don't know, if you have to force yourself to go and aren't enjoying it as much as before, then why?

Red said...

Keep on with the French. You're right that you can only go so far in the classroom. Learning another language pays benefits for the rest of your life.

Sharon Anck said...

French is not an easy language! I understand completely. You are way braver than me for even beginning the process.

The Bug said...

I'm really terrible at languages. At least this is the story I tell myself to get out of having to try to learn any. Maybe I'm just lazy. Ha! You, on the other hand are NOT lazy, so if it's not something you enjoy, maybe you can give yourself a break from the lessons & see how you feel next term.

jenny_o said...

I think you have a good attitude about completing this term, and a good idea in rewarding yourself for going. Maybe then it will be time for a break. I do think that what you learn comes back fairly quickly so a break would not negate what you have learned. I'm curious - why did you want to become fluent in the first place? Did you want to travel to a French speaking area? Or just learn another language? I have found that as I get older I realize I can't accomplish everything I once dreamed of, and sometimes it can feel very good to let a dream go - takes a lot of pressure off!

37paddington said...

Maybe you and Dave can spend a summer in France? You'll be fluent after that.

e said...

There was a French person with whom you blogged at one time...Try contacting that individual and see if you get anywhere...I got a bit of help that way.

alphabet soup said...

Stick with the French, Steve!

It's not easy learning another language as an adult; just see it as a challenge.
Is there perhaps a group of people who meet somewhere in London for French conversation? You've put a lot of time and effort (and money) into this project - it would be a pity to just let it slide.

Ms Soup