When I Learn a New Language

It’s been quite some time since my last update. For those wondering what happened, I’ve been taking an intensive course that eats up literally half of my time and energy.

I had always been a nocturnal being. My work required limitless attention and I used to sleep in the morning. Sometimes I slept at 8AM or 9AM. 3AM would be a luxury. Then I enrolled into this intensive-whatever-course and I faced the reality that my life was never going to be the same. Now I wake up at 5 every morning and prepare myself for 4 hours of intensive learning. My last time at school was 11 years ago. To add up to all that, I was among the oldest ones in class. The girl sitting next to me is 10 years younger than me. Even my teachers are younger than me.

The first few weeks were hell. I was so tired I slept right away once I got into the cab. Every day. There were numerous fights with my boyfriend, lots of frustration and anger because, apparently, being the older student in class doesn’t guarantee you’d learn better than any other students. On the contrary, I had forgotten how to sit still for hours, how to absorb things.

Then, few more weeks later, something happened. I found myself smiling hearing the chirping sounds of my teenager friends. I even saw myself laughing with them. Listening to their conversations and jokes reminded me of those times when life was simple. When they laughed, they truly laughed. I often laughed to please people. These young students spoke, asked questions, learned, and listened because they wanted to. I started to love my teachers. It was not easy to teach someone like me. I bet my skinny ass it was a constant CHALLENGE for both teachers. In capitals. I just hope I didn’t cause traumas to any of them. 😀

Time flies–as cliché as it might sound. After a month or so, I became the oldest student in the class, and somehow I didn’t mind. Or maybe it wasn’t that important anymore. My French class has become an important part of me. I started to miss the class every now and then, even when we were having holidays. The tiredness was still a lot of pain in the ass but somehow I managed to cope better. I also learned that being older doesn’t mean smarter or better. In the class, we’re all the same.

But the most important thing for me was not the course itself.

I’ve always loved to see how people transform. Into a better version, or worse. Doesn’t really matter. It’s always such a marvelous experience to see people grow. In this class, I saw myself grow for two months and the growth was rapid. My friends and I started from zero and at the end of the first level we’re able to make conversations and short writings! Isn’t it craaa~zeh or what? And it brought me such joy to discover new things every day, though the genders, conjugations and exceptions still make me swear every once in a while. I am now able to converse with my boyfriend in his mother language. I can understand his phone conversations. I can flirt with him in French (oh yes, baby!), and dirty Skype sessions are so much more interesting. 😛

But the greatest moment for me was not the brief chat with my boyfriend’s parents who almost don’t speak English at all, en francais. It was not the inexplicable feeling when he looked at me with the brightest smile, saying how proud he was of me, nor the sense of satisfaction when the exam’s results were out. It was when I listened to myself, speaking in one of the most complicated languages in the world. It was when I read my own writings, altogether with mixed-up genders, conjugation mistakes and wrong accents. It was when I composed a conversation and found myself enjoying every bit of it. It was then that I realized, at the end, we never truly do something for other people. We do it for us. It always comes back to us.

And it was worth it.

Et voila.

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4 Responses to When I Learn a New Language

  1. Catastrova Prima says:

    Aku bisa kursus nih 😀

  2. olivier says:

    tu es mon étoile..

  3. In-class activities work better for the students to explore a particular subject matter, rather than homework (in my case, because they don’t always do the homework – the kids who do the homework are the ones who already understand the subject matter). It is good to send out a homework but for me, it is only for extra credit.

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