Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thoughts About School

Since I can’t seem to write a proper blog entry, I’ll try doing a quick list of thoughts:

1. Going to school at night is very difficult. By the time 7pm rolls around after a full day of work (which has been very stressful lately), I’m pretty much brain-dead. Our teacher, Abeer, expects a lot of class participation. Normally, I’m the quietest one in the room, so add that pinch of lethargy and you’ve got me hiding under the desk!

2. Next semester, I’m going to try to get a Saturday morning class and see if that works better. Even though it would be 4 hours instead of two 2 hour classes at night, I think that might be easier.

3. I can’t hear French. OK, I can’t comprehend (comprends) French that well when I’m listening to it spoken. I’m such a visual person that I seem to need to visualize the words but I can’t understand it well enough to do that yet. I don’t think we’re expected to be able to do a complete, understandable conversation with French 1 (Thank God!) but we do have oral portions of our tests that Abeer has had to slow down to 78rpm for me to understand… Last night, I took the final part of our latest test with Abeer asking questions and me answering--not too bad but she still had to repeat and mime some things.  LOL!  She really wants me to succeed.

4. I can’t hear French and I’m trying not to stress about it. It’s my weakest thing and that’s ok. I’m not taking this course for anyone but me and I’m good with this. I’m trying to listen more to the video’s on our Supersite (our homework site) from now til the end of the semester because I want to do my best to understand it but I don’t want to get to that point where I’m giving myself anxiety attacks. Also, Tutor Joel suggests listening to spoken French while reading the script of what’s being said, so I can associate the words with the sound.

5. Now that I have a beginning knowledge of French, I’ll continue to read a lot and use the second half of the expensive textbooks to continue educating myself. I subscribed to some Etsy newsletters in French and in planning a trip to Paris and Normandy in 2 years, I log onto French websites and attempt to read those. There are plenty of places to ready French, so I’m not worried about running out of interesting things to translate.

6. I bought a Memorize Words app for French. It starts with flash cards of new words, then tests you on those. Then you can move on to concentration, word match, word find, Invaders (match the article to the noun before the noun dropping from the sky blows up the city!) and even Hangman games in French. It will keep me interested after class is over.
7. I don’t enjoy doing homework but neither do I loathe it. While doing the sometimes endless homework on the website and in the workbooks, it amazes me when I’m on a roll, making an effort to finish just one more assignment. Ok, now maybe another one, I mean as long as I have the books out and I have the French mindset goin’ on. It’s my personal mental challenge.

8. Love my Kindle! I think I’ve mentioned before that the French-English dictionary wouldn’t let me search on the Kindle app on my phone but it does on the device itself. It’s come in very handy!

9.  Not sure how I wound up with an 82 out of 80 score on my last test but I’m happy with it.  Unless I totally mess up the next one or two quizzes and the last big test of the semester, I should come out with a good grade for my first college class.  Not bad for an old girl!

10. The Spring Semester catalog came out today.  Yes, there’s a Saturday morning College Writing class I was thinking of taking.  But there’s also a History of Art: Impressionism to Present online class that I want to take.  And there’s philosophy…  And geography…  And Literature… Why can’t The Husband and I find a Sugar Grand-daddy who’d take us under his wing and grant us the gift of unlimited leisure time???

11. I feel like I’ve been in a cocoon in this class.  The teacher really does want us to succeed and the majority of the kids are funny and nice to each other.  When someone’s stuck for an answer, they start whispering to help them.  We all laugh at our wrong answers.  I never feel judged or stupid, even though I do feel “senior” sometimes, just by virtue of my advanced years.  I don’t know if I’ll feel this safe in future classes.

12. Less than a month left of school.  With all the craziness at work (the company I’ve worked for for 25 years was bought out in late September, worked a lot of over time and double time) and a few other stressors, it’s been a wild ride.  Two nights a week at school, most Saturdays (and some Sundays) devoted to homework, Wednesday nights out doing wash (washer broke down weeks ago…), then throw in some quality time with The Husband and The Cats.  Whew!  Just gotta get through these last few weeks and I get 6 weeks off.  I’m planning to celebrate with a new tattoo!

It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves.  The domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, who may not be who we essentially are.

Alain de Botton

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