The Test

November 5, 2009

I felt a bit defeated after my French class last night. The strange part is that yesterday the class was pretty good. Even though I’m the only one in my group (third level beginner) who has never taken a class before, I seem to be able to keep up. Thing is, we had a mini test at the end of the class and my oral comprehension sucks. Comment vous dite, huh, en francais? I’m not so bad at reading and writing. But, when it comes to deciphering what someone is saying, especially when it’s a recording delivered at what sounds like to me, a mind boggling pace (parler lentement, s’il vous plait), my brain gets all fuzzy. I start to panic. And really, this should be fine. The reason I’m taking the class in the first place is to better at understand, right? But I guess, judging by the tension in my belly and a mild haze of the blues, I’m making one of those gigantic errors by comparing myself to others.  Add to that my desire of not wanting to appear looking like an asshole and I’ve got myself a recipe for failure. Tragique, non?. What I should be lifting from yesterday’s class (along with my spirit) is the simple realization that I just need to listen to as much spoken word french as I can lay my ears on (duh!). How else will I improve my comprehension? This is how I should be using my energy, instead of doing what I’m doing, which is channeling all of it into feeling like a big loser.

As disappointed as I am with myself after muddling through that test (oh, the very thought of it…) I only want to improve. I promise myself, I will not trip and fall into the same pattern of how I usually deal with things when life requires I kick up the effort a notch or two. I usually slam the door shut and skulk away. Nah-uh. Not this time. I’m going to clamp on those headphones and start listening until my ears ache. I guess this is will be the real test. How badly do I really want to speak and understand French anyway?

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