Well, Dear Diary, I did it. I finished four weeks at the Institut de Francais. I remember now that an instructor said that by the last week we would be dragging, on our last legs, and I didn’t believe him at the time but I do now. I keep wishing I had stopped at three weeks. All of my bad French has returned when I have to use it extemporaneously. My verbs are all wrong and I forget to use common French words and phrases. I don’t know why that is-brain overload, my old brain rebelling. Sometimes, I just want to throw in the towel and revert back to my English, especially with Maurice, but I’m going to try and hang in there. I’m hoping Maurice will be tough with me too and not let me use English with him.
We students are all chipping in to get a good bottle of champagne for our teacher, Cecile. I hope she is here the last day as she has been having some back pain and I can tell she is in pain as she sits there or stands and listens to us, mainly me, massacre her language. Mostly, she is encouraging and fun but she must be a little disappointed when we say something wrong after she has been over it many times and we have practiced it over and over.
I think most of the students in my class have had a very positive experience. I had hoped to be much more fluent myself when the class is over. I’m not sure how that is going to come about. Use it or lose it, mostly, I’m sure, and just keep plugging along. Most of the French people I know and spend the most time with, speak very good English and will let me just speak English with them. I’m going to try and force myself to stay in French with them which I know will be painful for them, not to mention me.
The last day we took tests, written and spoken, to track our progress or improvement. There was an actual improvement from the test I took the first day. That’s good to knowAt least it’s over.) The last day we had a little party with champagne and each student was given their “diploma”. It turned out that a few students, one from each class, got the most improved type of rating and one girl got the best of all. I met her, a very nice young girl originally from Serbia, now living in London but taking a 3 month long sabatical to live in Paris.
I do know one thing–I will miss that spectacular view. I loved looking out at the bay and seeing a big cruise ship anchored there with little boats taking passengers back and forth to the shore, or a sail boat setting out early in the morning for a lovely day at sea. I’d love to do that, go exploring along the coast line but I have an unfortunate condition of mal de mer, sea sickness. I also see people rowing those little skifs out into the bay I guess for exercise. What a nice place to live.