Thursday, December 15, 2005

Boy Friday, Interrupted.

Today the vacation is over. Fred’s employer called on Tuesday and asked that he begin work this Thursday, opposed to his previously scheduled start date of December 19. Apparently, the HR staff will be out next week getting a jump-start on the Christmas holiday. Fred must come in this week if he wants to start this year, which his contract and our pocketbook require. Although Fred’s vacation is also over, I was referring to mine.

Up until today, I’ve had a Boy Friday to run all of my errands, e.g.: set-up my computer, pick-up groceries, tend to the banking, wait at the social security office, and assist me in my Christmas shopping. But, starting today, I’m on my own. I suppose I should be happy that I had a transition period, but I’ve become dependent on my enabler. I’m thinking of stock-piling lunch meats to hold me over for the next 6 months, but they don’t sell sliced turkey here and I’m not a big fan of ham sandwiches, which leaves me one option: to learn French.

Fred’s accelerated start date sent me straight to a French language school to inquire about class schedules and teaching methods. The instructor spoke in French, mostly to Fred - which I found annoying because I’m the potential student and Fred won’t be attending classes with me to translate for her. That being said, she was nice. It’s just that I have no idea how much English she knows because she was speaking in French nearly the entire time. I know schools like to pitch their classes as “immersion”. This bothers me. If I wanted to immerse myself in French with no guidance, I could walk around the streets of Paris asking people for directions. I think immersion courses are code for “your instructor can’t speak your native language and explain the grammar to you in your native language to better help you understand the language that you’re trying to learn, but if it’s called an immersion course, then your instructor will have an excuse not to speak to you in your native language, if even to impart necessary information to you that you can’t possibly understand when said in the foreign language because you don’t yet have the vocabulary to process the words”. Anyway, I’m going to register this week and start after Christmas. And if I can’t learn French, I’ll just run an English immersion school out of my apartment. I’ll accept payment in the form of lunch.


David said...

Do what we did in Tokyo on our Honeymoon - watch American movies you've seen before. You'll start picking up the odd word here and there, and before you know it, you'll be fluent in French. Well, maybe not fluent, but you'll be able to say, "Luke, I'm your Father," in French! May the Force be with you in your French lessons . . .

Anonymous said...

I inquired into the Rosetta Stone at the airport you can get basic and Advance French for $325.00 maybe that would work for you. Good Luck, Mom

Anonymous said...

Oh no, vacation interrupted! :-) Nice incentive to get you into your french classes now! It will be fun once you learn the language a bit more. And, suddenly, when you least expect it, you'll be out drinking one night with a bunch of French people, and you will realize that you've been conversing (easily) in French all night! I think it's something like a "confidence block" - as in, you know much more than you feel comfortable saying, but hey, give the American girl a few martinis and she'll be talking up a French storm!!!! :-)
Love, paula

Delf & Hub said...


if you want to be "a perfect French woman" you need to have two or three adds :
First, you must think you're allways right ! You can't make any error, because you're french now... :)
Secondly, you need to have the "negative attitude". it's really simple, if someone has an idea, you had to criticize and begin a strike... If gouvernement try to change our educational system, you begin a strike. Strike is power, strike is a gift, strike is our national sport. It's not necessary to have any reason for being in strike. In France we are in strike because night falls earlier in winter!
Thirdly, you have to criticize america even when they do something good. It's in the mood...
You have to support the French soccer team because we won the Earth's coup in 1998, you have to think about adopt a dog, a very big dog(bye-bye Bilbo, you're has-been now), you have to buy a 4x4, you need to say in your blog that in France we are all perfect lovers, with perfect food and if we don't have any oil, we have a lot of ideas (an exemple ? heu... we have a lot of idea OK ? Don't ask !)
But if you want to stay the smart, cool and happy american girl, I would say : "thank you, it's a good idea!" (Bilbo says thank you too)

I'm sure you'll be fluent in French very soon.
Courage !

Hub & Delph

PS : kiss for Fred