Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

Echouer (Monday, 2010 August 2)

August 4th, 2010

Got my new language test result back. It’s Intermediate Mid, whereas I need to be Intermediate High to go to post. It’s not fair to say I "bombed" it, but I sure did "fail" it. People here say echouer, "to fail, to fall through".

Earlier today I was so furious I lost my temper at Gaston (language coordinator). He was saying something along the lines of "Oh, it’ll be fine, you’ll be able to pass the test in no time," to which I said something like "No, I was ALREADY able to!" Which shut him up for a minute. I think he was astonished that I successfully constructed a sentence that actually expressed my emotions, but on the other hand he could have been thinking better of correcting my grammar.

I know that if you didn’t know better you could get the impression that stagiaires are indifferent-to-hostile about learning French, but that’s not the fucking case. I speak French chaque fucking jour. I teach two hours a day in the goddamned language. The goal is to be able to communicate and by goddamn, I am fucking communicating. Sure, I mangle the fucking language. But I’m a damn sight better than many of the other stagiaires with higher fucking language levels.

There was a long list of reasons why this is bogus here, but the pertinent part is this: I’ve been thinking about flunking out again today, probably for about three or four hours. It seems like an increasingly good idea:

  • I am fucking tired of French classes.
  • I am fucking tired of the other stagiaires.
  • I am fucking tired of sweating all the goddamned time.
  • I am tired of trying to make things clean using dirty water.
  • I am tired of everything being a fucking ordeal (√©preuve).
  • I am not a good teacher. I have no desire to become a good teacher. I have no desire to remain a bad teacher.
  • I do not see how I can make a difference here. I do not see how this program can make a difference here.

In the meantime I have been motivated to study a little bit some useful vocabulary. "Waste of time", une perte de temps. "To waste my time", perdre mon temps. "To prove", prouver. "The proof", la preuve. "Ordeal", as noted above.

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June 3rd, 2010

Staging is done now; tomorrow it’s immunizations and then off to JFK to fly out. I’m taking notes on pen-and-paper again. I spent a half-hour saving pages of the Icehouse wiki as PDFs. The Organization pretty much out-and-out forbids you from writing anything that is negative about the Organization or the country you’re serving, which rubs me the wrong way. I was going to go through the old posts and remove tho country’s name to crudely hide from Google, but hey, there it is in the domain name. Guess I’ll have to robots.txt that bitch before someoene stumbles on this.

Spoke at dinner with a lady whose Swedish husband of 26 years is waiting for her back home, and another lady whose relatively new boyfriend is also. The Peace Corps keeps statistics — “We don’t know why, but for married couples of which only one goes to serve, there is a divorce rate of about 40%”. Scary stuff when your girlfriend is as awesome as mine. The other lady said something like “Actually I kind of like knowing that he’s there. Because after Peace Corps you’re so different, you won’t know what kind of place you’ll want to live in, you won’t know what you’ll want to do, but before I left I wanted to make a life with this guy and I haven’t felt that way in a long time. So to know that I have something nice to look forward to coming home to, that makes me feel good.” The married lady suggested letter-writing as a means to keep romance alive. I have 19 stamps and no envelopes. Please send help.

Otherwise, it’s a lot like college — printed materials, stupid getting-to-know-you games, and the promise of an environment different from any you’ve seen so far.

Turns out you can brush your teeth without toothpaste, but it sucks. Got away with shampooing/conditioning with much less material thanks to my mighty girlfriend’s hair-trimming skills.

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