Classes and Daemons

Facing my daemons: Second term of French.

Sleep deprivation is starting to become a real problem for me now. With the extra long commute, dealing with a split class, and working longer hours to keep up with the demands, I have started feeling the effects of the new fall schedule on my body already. I am two weeks into the new semester, and I have tweleve more weeks to go, so I am find myself counting down on everything–anticipating the end as it nears.

The countdown:

  • Twelve more weeks to go
  • 26 more trips into Richmond (213 letres of gasoline: averaged on four trips)
  • 7 midterms
  • 3 midterm papers
  • 1 final exam
  • 1 take home final exam
  • 1 group project
  • Approximately 1200 page of text to read
  • 78 lecture hours left to go.

Not only does this countdown the end of the Fall 2010 semester for me, but it also counts down the last term until my graduation. So each of these numbers really spells the end as me as an undergraduate.

Excited, but full of anxiety. My last course, French, is probably the greatest challenge in all of the courses that I have taken. Learning a second language in the pace at a university level curriculum hasĀ  really put my self-esteem to the test. Last night, for example, we had our first “Conversational Class,” or lab as we call it, and I was freaking scared as we marched into very small room where there are only eight of us and the instructor for the whole class. When the students who just completed the previous lab were leaving, they were telling us that their class was “unbelievable” and “way above” their heads. So, naturly, I started to have seconds thoughts about going in there and facing my daemon.

Once we got in there, thank the Gods, time went by quickly. It was not as bad as the other previous students had made it out to be, but then I found out that our instructor had mellowed it down a lot since we came in. I think she was getting tired of doing three groups in three hours. But nonetheless, it was challenging as I found myself lost for about 80 percent of the time as the whole lecture was done in French. I discovered that my processing power takes me about six minutes to intake the information, process it, translated it, then conjure up the French equivalent the best that I can: then spew out the answer. This pales in comparison to the six seconds that some of my cohorts take when they “struggle” with their French.

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