Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Mon Française est Très Mauvaise
Am I ever going to speak French? Really?
I got pretty discouraged yesterday when I tried to practice at work because I kept getting things wrong -- things I should know by now, like conjugations of the verb avoir, to have. That's pretty basic stuff.
Then again, I was on Duolingo at my desk, and feeling sort of self-conscious about the fact that I was practicing French and not doing anything library-related, but there just wasn't much to do at that moment. Maybe my self-consciousness got in the way of my French, and said Arrête!
My next round of French classes begins this Saturday, and I'm embarrassed to even show up because I feel like I'm really no better than I was at the beginning of summer. I guess I do know more, but my brain just doesn't process the information fast enough for me to listen and speak very well. There's a mer of difference between book knowledge and practical, applied use of a language. (One of the French teachers at school insisted I speak "beautifully," which is hilarious. I can barely utter a sentence.) I just need to keep plugging away and not feel embarrassed to practice with the teachers.
I mostly just feel annoyed with myself for not trying harder.
In other news, the other day, a huge metal ladder appeared in our side yard, beside the house. We had no idea where it came from. I asked our upstairs neighbor because he'd been doing some work on a window frame, but he said it's not his. I began to think someone dumped it in our yard, leaving us with the responsibility of disposing of it. I wondered: Could I sell it for scrap?
But yesterday evening I asked our next-door neighbor and she said she thinks it belongs to some builders who are working on her roof. (This is the same neighbor with whom we have occasional tension over maintenance of the communal garbage cans.) I think it's a bit strange that they would put this ladder on our side of the fence without saying anything to us, but I told her it was no problem and she could leave it there as long as necessary. As long as I know it belongs to someone.
On a brighter note, Olga found a deflated soccer ball on our walk yesterday morning, lying in a parking lot at a nearby council estate. She was thrilled, and brought it home, and we've been playing with it. So at least for the time being she has two possessions -- ball and Kong -- an embarrassment of riches!
(Photo: Colorful chairs in Plaistow, East London, in June.)