Wednesday, March 02, 2005

My French Tutor

It seems I have been a little harsh on my tutor, Ann. So I am posting this to set the record straight. Ann is actually a very nice lady, and a dear friend. Her and her husband have been incredibly kind to us since we've been in Strasbourg. Though she is a qualified, and well trained teacher, she asks me to pay a very small fee for my lessons. Even with that she never fails to fill my belly with drinks and cookies during my lesson (which are at her home). In fact if added up my hungry mouth has probably eaten any profit she might make from me. She is a wonderful teacher. She is kind and patient with me. She never yells at me when I don't finnish my homework, she never agrees with me when I say I am stupid. I am, in fact, a rather rotten student. Mostly I manage to do my homework, but I rarely do anything beyond that, and certainly don't speak French outside of the classroom. On occasion she has lectured me, but only because she is concerned with my progress and attitude, which is generally poor. I enjoy her teaching immensely, but often hate the learning process. Her lectures come out of me being moody and grumpy during a lesson. Learning this language is painful. There is much I would like to say, but am unable which frustrates me beyond belief.

So my tutor is in reality a very kind person, and a good teacher. Sorry if this is schmaltzy, but several people have made comments about my grumbles toward Ann. I wanted to make sure that it is understood that it is learning French that frustrates me, not my tutor.


bigsip said...

Brew, i understand. Hang in there and learn all you can, though. I think that most Americans have similar frustrations with learning different languages. It is sort of inbred i suppose. We are all brought up to believe that America is the pre-eminent power and therefore, everyone should speak as we do and do as we do. To go to a country where English is used very little and be told, "you need to learn our language" is indeed a difficult thing. I know it must be hard. Never been there, but i am sure it would be very hard for me, too. Just stay open and take in what you can.

midnitcafe said...

Yeah, I think Americans are taught from an early age that or country is the richest, greatest land filled with the most opportunity. So that when we go to another country we are surprised that they have a different opinion. France has a lot of national pride as well, they tend to believe their stuff is the best. It's similar in language too. I remember being taught that almost everyone is taught English in school all over the world. Though many are this doesn't mean they are fluent or that they prefer English over their native tongue.

Leaning the language now is not so bad. i have actually learned a great deal. But it is a lot of work. Look at any sentence we have written here. Realize they are filled with all kinds of words: nouns, pronouns, verbs, etc. Then realize if you were learning english all of this would be new. New vocabulary, new understanding of verb conjugations, tenses, etc. It is a lot to remember, a lot to understand.

But, I'm hanging in there. I like it for the most part, strangle during some of it as well.