Now that I'm a broken man on a Bedford patio chair, the last of the Intermediates 1 to leave Clare, it's time to reflect. Interested readers may wish to retrieve a can of their favourite beverage before sitting down with their scroll wheel. Again, I am composing this post with dictation software, so you may notice that the prose is a little robotic. Instead of thinking as I type, I have to think, then utter a word, clause, phrase or sentence. It will change the way I write. At least it makes spelling less of an issue! :-) Although, that reminds me of one maddening thing: the version of the program I am using has no allowance for Canadian English. I have to say “zee”, not “zed.” The program does, however, have Australian English -- perhaps this is to the annoyance of New Zealanders, as they are not explicitly represented, but I would guess Australian English is a closer analogue.
So instead of feeling better after the French immersion program, I actually feel worse. I probably should have declined my slot and gone to the doctor first, but I thought my condition would improve with rest alone. I was wrong.
I have in front of me a piece of scrap paper filled with little things I wanted to write about after the program was over. There are a few Tweets in it and also the beginnings of some long-form observations -- I will stow the latter. I can't take every photo, and I can't publish every thought.
Nick called me at work a few days before my departure and asked me if I could take one of our workmates along with me to the airport. I agreed, and having missed Friday night’s toga party (I couldn't get a ride, so I couldn't drink, and since many of my workmates had already left, I decided to chill out for the evening instead.) I was ready to go. It had rained heavily the night before, so I thought I'd better try starting the car. I tried starting the car. The car almost tried to start.
Mild panic. If it were just me, I wouldn't have cared, but there I was having committed to drive this guy to the airport to catch a flight. I phoned Nick. He advised me to try starting the car again later. I tried starting the car later. The car almost cooperated. I phoned the garage in Little Brook. No mechanic on Saturday. Moderate panic.
Well, I figured I could at least try loading my things in the car, as I would have to eventually anyway. I put something in the car and then sat in the passenger seat forlornly. I noncommittally tried the ignition. It started. Hooray! I phoned Nick.
I topped off the tank, put air in the tires, and picked up my passenger. We drove the three hours to the airport without incident. The road was wet, but the car was up to the task. It would have been a nightmare to drive the same road in my rear-wheel drive Cougar.
I don't know why the car started then, but you know how it is with problems that go away by themselves -- they tend to come back by themselves. The day I went to meet Ashlea and Jessica, it would not start. There was a bus at the time, so it was no big deal. We later got the car towed, and it is now at a garage in Sackville. Rather disobligingly, the car started today. I presume that the mechanics are now pouring water over the bonnet in an attempt to replicate the conditions in which it would not start.
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I am not in a very good physical condition at the moment. I don't know what is wrong with me. I'm getting pins and needles and tingling all over my body. I will see the doctor again tomorrow evening.
I do, though, feel increasingly sagacious. Perhaps pain is a good teacher. I learned a lot from (or in spite of) the program, and if I can make myself better, I know what I need to do to be who I want to be. Among others, I need to thank one person in particular for helping me realize that I can be loved just as I am. Oh, sure, I could stand to get fit, but that is related to another kind of love! And not everyone will like me, and sometimes my own errors will be responsible, but somehow, I will carry on. For better or worse, I doubt myself less than I used to.
I learn slowly sometimes, but I get there. :-)