Living with francophones has really brought into focus how much of my French is gone. I guess I’d hoped that it was just sitting up in there, lying dormant, that it would somehow reawaken in my brain and I’d be awesome at it. Nope.

In elementary school the French teacher was also the gifted kids teacher so she used to tailor a lot of the assignments for me so I wouldn’t get bored. By the end of elementary school I had worked two full grade levels ahead in the curriculum.

I know because in middle school they forced me to repeat those two grades, assigning literally the same assignments, the same worksheets and the same dumb songs that are supposed to make learning French ‘fun.’

I complained to my teachers about this. One of them said one of the worst things you could possibly say to me – “well you’ll just do it better than everyone else then!” Well, no, actually I wouldn’t. I didn’t hand anything in in any of my classes with her until the end of the year when I handed it all in in a big stack of unmarked work. A dark shade of red rose up from her neck and washed over her face. She was livid. It was beautiful.

In high school I switched to Latin. Latin was awesome because we got to have toga parties in class, among other good reasons to learn Latin.

But all this has left me with next to nothing for French. I signed up for a continuing ed class. Five minutes into it I realized the other reason why I didn’t take French any further: conversations.

This class is all about the conversations. There are puppets. And dancing. And charades. Oh dear lord I am out of my element. This is probably good for me.

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