July 3rd, 2011


12. To cram or not to cram?

Saturday night:

Tonight I played Scrabble with his mother and her companion. His mother takes Scrabble rather seriously. I’m leaving in a week, but she warned me not to put it past her to look me up to settle a dispute, as she knows whereabouts I live.

I thank Grzegorz again for introducing me to Old Speckled Hen. It’s really good stuff. And I also thank our bus driver for having introduced us to Borlico on the trip to Sandy Cove. Funny thing – Acadian folk sounds pretty much exactly like Maritime-Celtic folk except for the lyrics!

I think I’m going to watch La Grande Séduction again. I watched it with Julie, but she’s significantly more advanced in French than I am, so she preferred to watch with French audio and subtitles. I’ll watch with French audio and English subtitles.

Speaking of advancement, Emmanuel is our friend from California who is taking both sessions of immersion. He’d just finished Beginner 2 (Spanish is his home language, so I figure that counts as a little bit of a head start) and the other night he was speaking in terms of being ‘happy’ to be at Intermediate 3 for the summer session. Excuse me, but what the heck? I skipped one level and spent the first week in mortal fear. He figures he can skip two? (Well, he is already multilingual. And he’s working very hard – harder than I am – at French, and stranger things have happened...)

I am probably just defending my decision not to cram for the spring placement test. But succeed or not, he was on to something – the women gave him sustained one-on-one instruction to help him out! Ha-ha – smart* guy, he is! Seriously, it was like the time I got wrongly booted out of a pet store on an elementary school field trip and was subsequently showered with female attention that more than made up for the indignity of the false accusation (of tormenting the animals – I was instead admonishing some blokes from another school not to do such, but the proprietress didn’t believe me).

OK, time for the movie! And tomorrow? I don’t know if I’ll go to campus tomorrow or not. Actually, I probably will – I’ll want to post this, and I’ll be able to eat at the cafeteria. They also might show a movie. I was very happy to have seen Little Miss Sunshine, after all.

* - He also told me, “Next audition you see, you’re going to try out!”

13. Quiet Night

Turns out the movie was Catch Me If You Can, which I've already seen.

Now almost everybody except me (and except at least one who's staying on Virginia's farm) is staying at an apartment behind the Clare Social Club. It's there for the benefit of musical groups - there are a surplus of beds, but nothing to cook with besides a microwave. There are several showers - they're just downstairs, across the hall from the raquetball courts. I am not making this up.

At dinner we were talking about the levels and the workshops and one of our crew who was a Beginner 2 took the Conversation for Beginners workshop even though she wasn't required to. She said she loved it. Meanwhile, one of my dormmates who was a Beginner 1 - well, let's just say she didn't feel quite the same way. She skipped it fourteen times! What's more, absolutely nothing came of it. (Strictly speaking, one can receive an official warning after four unexcused absences, and one only gets two warnings before being asked to leave the program.) I guess they weren't counting heads very closely the week they were preparing to make a video to accompany "Alors On Danse". ;-p

Tomorrow the students will take their placement tests. I know most of the professors, and it'll be interesting to see who ends up with what. And then there'll be the wine and cheese in the evening. It's almost certain that I'll have occasion to ask mid-locution questions like "... uh, what's the past participle for 'have to'?"

I think I'll stop by the apartment on the way home and see if there's anything going on.