The End

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.

20 thoughts to “The End”

  1. Félicitations — tu as fini! Bravo!

    OK that is as far as my jet-lagged brain will allow me to go today in French. Looking forward to hearing more about how this was for you, next time we get a chance to talk one-on-one.

  2. Congrats! You did it!
    I think the trick is just to keep on plugging away at it; read in French, listen to French, etc. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway 🙂

  3. Wow congratulations and well done…I am going to have to find a class, maybe I should of paid atttention when I was at school 🙂

    You must hang on in there , and keep speaking French…!!

    Oh yes would go there just for the view, beautiful !!

  4. Sending you an electronic “pat on the back” for seeing your class thru to the end. You must have a great sense of accomplishment, no matter how your French sounds to your own ears. Thanks for all the beautiful photographs and for blogging.

  5. Well done, you! I visit France every summer for a month or more, and each time my French gets very bad and strangely, also my English! Its as if the language center of my brain says “enough already!” and shuts down. After that, everything suddenly gets better. (of course, then its time to go home….) You have such an advantage of LIVING in France, I am sure you will be amazed at what has stuck with you. I’ll be in France soon, and your blog is a reminder to start studying now! I can’t wait to be in your part of the world again.

  6. it’s been 4 weeks? gosh… how time flies!

    i’m sure u’ll somehow feel accomplished. learning a language is never easy, and u’ve passed the course with a diploma! 😉

  7. Yea! You DID it!! Perhaps you are not living up to your own expectations, but you did it and improved your skills!! Congratulations! I think you have a good plan in conversing with your French friends in French. It will get better with time. Mind you, this is from someone who has failed German, French and Japanese!!

    And I have a new home on the web. Formerly Martie’s Place, now So Many Roads!!

  8. Congratulations. As you use it more and more I am sure you will become far more expert in French.
    Just think of it, you are probably light years ahead of most!
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us, the photos, as always, were elegant.

  9. I cannot believe it’s been 4 weeks. Today’s pictures and that daily view….wow. It will stay with you I know when you return home. Congrats for hanging in for all this time. I’ll bet you are a lot more confident than you let on. Maybe just relax, use it when you can..even just phrases, and not worry.

    Now time for Maurice and Paris and magic.

  10. What a wonderful experience you have had! You sound SO motivated to continue improving your French – continue comme ça, ma belle! Je t’envoie mes meilleurs sentiments et beaucoup de félicitations d’avoir bien accompli ton cours!

  11. Je vous admire pour finisant les quatre semaines. D’ordinaire, je commence une phase en francais et finis en anglais. Je je me sens gêné quand je ne peux pas trouver le mot, ou quand quelqu’un interrompt pour me corriger. Quand j’ai eu une semaine dans une classe d’imersion l’an dernier j’ai senti que le professeur était très impoli avec toutes les interruptions. Je pense c’est formidable que vous êtes resté pour quatre semaines et travaillé si dur.

  12. Hooray! Your perseverance is admirable – and you deserve all the congratulations you are receiving! I add mine too. All good wishes as you go forward from here and continue practicing what you have learned.

  13. Wow. You are so brave! And what a view. I could study anything with a view like that! And fyi, my mom loves reading your blog, she just doesnt know how to comment. But she’s a big fan!

  14. Hi Linda,

    Your blog is so lovely. I really enjoy reading it and your photos are great.

    And about learning french, it is soooo hard! Why can’t it be abit easier? I was amazed when I went to Slovenia that I could understand quite a lot because I spoke that language as a small girl. Maybe the language part of my brain was activated by my continuing struggles with french!

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