I haven’t written much about my fellow class mates or my teacher. My teacher’s name is Cecile. She is funny and fun and hasn’t once screamed in frustration by our attempts to speak French or the countless times we make the same mistakes. Why she hasn’t thrown in the towel and walked out is a mystery to me.
In our class is a man from Switzerland, the part that speaks German, a woman from Hong Kong who is a lawyer and who works in a bank there, two Australian ladies who are friends in Melbourne, a man from Texas and another from North Carolina, a lady who lives in the States but is from South Africa, a lady from Canada who lives below my apartment, and an Australian from Greece who wants to live in Paris. Everyone is really nice and we have fun in class. There isn’t someone like a guy in the other intermediate class who I think would be very difficult to tolerate-who has all the answers and is just basically very bosy. Everyday our classes are combined and when they split us up into little groups to work on something, I always seem to end up with him. He takes over and listens to very little input from the rest of us. He’s some sort of professor, I think. He may be very nice but I haven’t gotten past that iron like exterior yet.
We are exposed to several other teachers and I enjoy all of them. I think they must be hired not only on their ability to teach but also on their personalities which are fun and patient. The other day we had a class learning some of the vocabulary of cooking and cooking utensils and the teacher made crepes and then we got to eat some. Again, not something you would find in another class not in France.
The food has been very good, something different every day. The chef, Natalie, comes out and helps serve and sort of mingles with all of us and she corrects our French along with the teachers. Sometimes the food isn’t something that is my favorite, such as a country pate and one day we even had, eek, rabbit, which I finally tried. It was ok but I just have trouble eating it but I got past eating foie gras so who knows?
The basic intent for this school is getting us to speak everyday French and we seem to spend a lot of time doing that-which is something I of course need. It’s everday French using the most commonly used words and phrases. Sometimes one of us will say something which is correct but the teacher gives us a better way to say it, in the way that is commonly used by the French. Several of use routinely forget to use the liason, the way of combining two words together as the French are wont to do. I know to do this but when trying to say something outloud in front of the other students I forget to do it just about everytime. We have each had to prepare a ten minute talk about any subject we choose and we can’t have it written down and in front of us but have to try and give it using correct French-both past and present verbs too. Mine, unfortunately, falls on Monday so I have the weekend to worry about it. Luckily I have a built in French speaker here that I can practice with. Since most people are amazed that I not only live in France but give walking tours in Paris, I thought that I would give a talk on that. I’m sure my mind will go blank and I will be throwing out verbs like bullets all over the place, past, present and probably some non existant.