Les grands écoliers
Last Monday we attended our first French class at the Alliance Française Paris. Much like the first day of each school year in America, we were excited, but had a bit of trepidation for the unknown. But also much like other memorable school experiences, it turned out to be better than we imagined. We found that our teacher was encouraging with a light-hearted teaching style, and the other students were similar to ourselves in their eagerness to learn and their ability to laugh at their mistakes. Although we are all there to study a common language, where we come from and the reason for our studies couldn’t be more different. To our surprise and delight, we are the only Americans in a class of 15 students. The countries of origin range from Russia, Iran, Italy, Germany, Venezuala, Norway, England, Brazil and Turkey to name a few. And the reason to study French for some was for work, others for school, and others because they have family members who are French that they’d like to be able to talk to.
In addition to the 4 hours we spend each day in class, we typically get 1–2 hours of homework each night. Marc and I try speaking French to each other sometimes too, but it usually ends up in broken franglish. Even after one week of classes, we can hear and feel our progression. The possibility of actually being able to learn French seems possible. It may be part of the romantic nature of Paris, but when you’re eating a nutella crêpe in the sunshine, all things seem possible.
It is amazing how quickly the school day passes. The amount of information to retain is sometimes daunting, but it is a challenge that we welcome with each new lesson. With 10 more weeks of classes to go, we feel a little closer each day to our quest…
After school, Marc and I like to grab a bite to eat, explore the city for a couple of hours, and then return home to study and sometimes a run. We know that many of you have been curious about our second apartment, so we’ve taken a few pictures that we hope will paint the picture.
Between the move and school, we were also able to make a visit to the Pantheon, a first for both of us, as well as get in a few runs around town. However, these will have to wait for the next post, so we hope you will check in on us again soon to see and hear more about what else we’ve been up to. For now, we must study some French verb conjugations and figure out why everything in French is either feminine or masculine… even a chair! (That’s “la chaise” by the way)