So right now I'm anxious. Real anxious about my knowledge of the French language. For the last 2 months I have been hitting the Rosetta Stone software package, trying to get some of the basics down. It's just so hard to commit the hour or two per day that it really requires. So when I can, I sit on my family room sofa with my laptop, headset in place, looking at screens like this:
With the program there isn't a single word of English, as it is supposed to be "immersion" as you're learning the language intuitively, much like a young child would learn his/her first language. And that's pretty much how I feel with French.... like a toddler! I've been trying to tell Madame Gildersleeve of my latest French understandings, but they're still real, real rudimentary. Last week I was making small talk with Madame and Chris Kalinowski, MHS' math department chair, and Chris said to me, "Hey, how is the French going?" I made a grimace and Chris replied, "What's wrong? You're just not a French kind of guy?" With her typical dry humor, Madame replied, "Well he certainly knows how to say "The cat is under the table" real well!" (BTW, that would be Le chat est sous la table.)
Okay, maybe I'm being a bit impatient. I do, however, feel like a 7th or 8th grade student at QMS learning French for the first time. The Rosetta Stone takes some getting used to, as it does not teach the language in a classic way. From my three years of studying Spanish in high school, I am still expecting to conjugate verbs in the classic way. With this program.... not so much. At this point, I just have to give it my all and put my best foot forward. I am told that the French love the Americans that give a good faith effort at the language. Still... I'm kept up at night with nightmares that go like this:
Me, with a group of teachers from Lycee St. Louis:
Them: Que pensez-vous à l'administration d'Obama ? (What do you think of the Obama administration?.... Those French, they love talking politics...)
Me: La pomme est verte.
They start laughing hysterically. I break out in a cold sweat...
I need to hang with some French speaking people.... and fast! Excusez-moi, j'ai besoin d'étudier mon français!