Fabien returned to the States on the 1st of January. Sad face. This means I had two solid days to prepare for my placement test at the University d’Orleans. So, like a good little student I reviewed by vocabulary, verbs, listened to a few ‘Coffee Break French’ podcasts and made a solid attempt to speak in french more. I wasn’t all that stressed because I was quite comfortable with what I knew and understood.
The other challenge of the day is that this would be my first time driving the manual car and finding the University on my own. Now, I admit that I got lost but eventually found my way to the Insitut d’Francais building. When I arrived I said “Je suis la pour la (and not ‘le’) test.” (I am here for the test). Mistake aside, I was understood and instructed to follow the professor to the testing room. When I took my seat, I noticed the other students had the same terrified look on their faces. The test was distributed and after my first review, I thought, am I in the french class?
I understood almost nothing in the grammar and listening section, but struggled and reasoned my way though. Next, I had to write 250 words (no, that is not a typo) on the things to do in my country. Thank God I live in the United States and not Liechtenstein. I put my best foot forward, but I’m sure the essay was riddled with mistakes. And finally, the oral test – a 15 minute dialogue with a professor.
She asked me questions about myself including where I had taken french and for how long. I answered, “Une annee a l’Alliance Francais a Detroit.” (1 year at the Alliance Francais in Detroit). She replied “1 annee ou 1 mois?” (One year or one month?) Did I stutter? Well, probably, but I clarified 1 year. Surely this was because she thought my french was so awful. The second part of the oral exam was all on my own. Fortunately, the day before I had just listened to a podcast on the very subject I was being quizzed on…what I do everyday. (In french) I explained what time I get up, what I eat for breakfast, the processing to getting ready, when I leave the house, what I do at work, what I do when I return home and when I go to bed. Again, I know I made a million mistakes and had a billion “um’s” and “uh’s”, but I’m pretty sure I got my point across. I left after 3 hours, totally exhausted and slightly demoralized.
I felt like I had failed big time and was certain that when I returned for the results on Friday, they would tell me I did not make the cut. So, for the next few days, I did nothing but worry and prepared myself to take the rejection like a big girl.
When D-day came, I arrived at school early so the instructors could tell me I would not be admitted while the other students were not there. The Prof advised me I was early and to have a seat in the class room. Well, this is just cruel, I thought. The least he could do was put me out of my misery now. I even sat next to the door so I could make a quick exit once I was asked to leave. After the other students arrived, my name was the first they called. The teacher handed me a letter that said “Accepted – Level 2”. Surely this was a mistake.
So, I played along with their sick joke and after a couple hours of them explaining class structure (all in french) and understanding 1% of what they were saying, I was told “Bon week end” and “A lundi”. (Have a good weekend. See you Monday).
9 thoughts on “Testing My Confidence”
Stacie, I LOVE hearing about your adventures in France. Congrats on Level 2! Can’t wait to hear you speaking French! xoxoxo Holly
Thanks! After my first couple of days, I think I understand about 5% of what is going on, but I am hopeful for much improvement. Let’s catch up soon! XO!
Bienvenue en France et bravo pour ton acceptation a l’universite!!!
Mes meilleurs voeux pour cette nouvelle annee 2012!
Et bon courage pour la conduite avec une boite de vitesse manuelle. ;-)
Thank you Sandrine! When I return to Nashville, we must talk only in french so I don’t forget. (: All the best to you. I hope you had a nice holiday. XO!
Way to go, Stace! Love reading your blogs (still!) and keeping up with what’s happening in your life, Sylvia
Thanks, Sylvia! All the best to you in 2012!