Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Student... Teacher and a Little Vacation

One thing I have wanted to do for many years has been to reacquaint myself with the French language.  I studied it in high school and college but never had an opportunity to use it until much later in life and by then it was all but a distant memory in my brain. I just never had the opportunity to practice aside from a few trips to France when I found myself totally unprepared to speak the language and overwhelmed by how much I did not know!  To speak another language you need exposure and regular practice.  After a week or so in France I could tell that if I was given the chance I could actually learn to communicate in French.  Sign me up for the next flight to Paris, I need to learn French!

In an effort to keep my brain from turning to mush and the reality that I can't just hop on a plane and spend the next year in France, I decided to so the next best thing and take a French class.  I am also secretly hoping that if I learn the language well enough I might be rewarded with a "graduation" gift and get some real life practice in France, before it all escapes my feeble memory!  One can hope.

So now on Mondays and Wednesdays I teach English and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I attempt to learn French. Last night in French class my head was spinning.  I missed class last Thursday

(a little hint as to where I was instead of in French class)

and even going one week without class I missed a lot.  I sat with that confused look on my face as the professor spouted off unfamiliar words and phrases.  Yikes!  Mush-brain!  I will be doing a lot of studying before tomorrow night's class.  It would help if I had the textbook.  I ordered it on Jan. 24 and still haven't gotten it.  Don't even get me started....I think the seller on Amazon sent it via bicycle or something.

My French class has been an eye opening experience when it comes to teaching my ESL (English as a second language) class.  For my French class I had to take a placement test similar to the test we use to place our students (I'm in level 2, must have remembered something!).  Now I'm the one who speaks with an accent and I am the one who looks up into the sky for the right word!  (still haven't found any answers on the ceiling)   I know exactly how my ESL students feel, immersed for an hour and a half in a class where all you hear is a foreign language.  I also have learned a few techniques from my French teacher.  One of my favorite lines he says is, "It is the same mistake whether you say it soft or say it loud, so speak up!"  He is always saying, "Courage!"  Spoken with a French accent of course! 

 After all that talk of school and classes we need a vacation.  We spent the weekend in New York City and it was another excellent trip with a surprise around every corner.  Enjoy this virtual vacation.
Katz's Deli, he used 6 pounds of meat on this sandwich!

a peaceful stroll through Central Park and what is left of the snow
we were fortunate enough to see a parade in Chinatown, complete with dragons!

and tons of confetti!

YUMMO!  TJ's favorite stop on our tour of Little Italy!

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