Tuesday, October 6, 2009

French Class

So I just watched Joe drive off. He's on his way to a French class. It's a twelve week course offered through the adult learning program at the local high school. He's very excited. Ever since we started training the dogs in French, he's been interested in expanding his knowledge of the French language beyond sit, stay and down. He endeavored to teach himself. I helped by buying flash cards and books. We watched French cartoons and the French language tracks of some movies.

But still Joe needed more. He was beyond delighted when he discovered the adult ed catalog had a listing for a conversational French class. He couldn't wait to sign up.

Me, not so much.

I did my time. I took my three years of French in high school. I took a year of French in college. That class was the first 8am class I had in college. I think it was also the last 8am class I had in college too.

I read French pretty well. I used to be able to write in French well. My listening comprehension sucks big time. It always has.

I read Le Petit Nicholas and most of Les Miserables en français. I used to be able to sing Gavroche's and Eponine's part in the French version of the musical. I know a mnemonic for the sixteen intransitive verbs. I can even name some of the sixteen intransitive verbs. I can say "purple skirt" and "steak and fries." I can say that Mont St. Michel is a grand monastery. I can order red wine. I can ask if someone wants to sleep with me (side note: I very seldom actually use that phrase.). I can ask people if they have a porcupine stuck in a very sensitive and dark place. I can ask people if they have been checked for rabies recently. When my college choir was on a tour with a pitstop in Montreal and Quebec City, I was a popular bar hopping buddy because of my ability to not only ready the French menus but communicate our needs and desires to our waitstaff. I even managed to use my marginal French skills to help prep a student a couple of years ago for his French final. He failed it but it wasn't because of my lack of skill. It was his own laziness. I swear.

So Joe was a little disppointed, I think, when I opted to not sign up for a twelve week French course but I really have no desire to go back and revisit a French class. Really none at all. I am happy with my inadequate and mediocre French skills. It's enough to suit my purposes.

I applaud Joe's efforts. He's a self-starter. He's the kind of guy who reads textbooks at night to further his education. Because he wants to. So I think he'll get a lot out of the class and his mastery of the French language will soon pass my own. I told him we could go to Montreal some weekend so he could practice his new skills there.

C'est chouette! Très excitant! Au revoir, tout le monde...jusqu'à la fois suivante.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Vous devriez prendre aussi le français, il est très amusant!

    (And I just say that because I like saying random things en français)

  3. Hey, I am all for saying random things en français. But attending a twelve week course devoted to conversational French when I could be home catching up on my DVR recordings...Je ne pense pas ainsi.

    À bientôt...

    BTW...Votre français dépasse mon propre