Thursday, March 23, 2006

Je ne sais pas le français

I realised yesterday for yet another time that I cannot cheat in exams. It is shameful and has dealt a great blow to my self esteem. I always knew that I was a tough cookie and would never chicken out in demanding situations, but yesterday was a repetition of the one fear that has been gnawing at my soul since my tenth standard boards.

We had been attending these classes in French for the past six weeks. It started off as fun at first. M and I were showing off our newly acquired knowledge of a foreign language to the children of lesser Gods in our project. Homework was no sweat, coz I discovered my best friends in Stilettoes and Google language tools . Classes were great because, most people yawned through them and we were always giggling over the pronunciations.

I learnt to spell my name A-N-W-E-S-H-A the same way, but pronounce it - A (as in 'a' bird)-En- Dubl Vey- A (As the first letter in the English alphabet) - Ess - Aash - A (as in 'a' bird)

Confusing huh? You bet it was. I hate getting confused, but I persevered. And this was before they started teaching us Verbs (affinitive?) That's when we got totally muddled up regarding the first persons and third persons, and present tenses and future tenses and what not. I still lingered. When they drowned us in questions and negations I threw the towel and refused to look into the books anymore.

Yesterday, we had our exams. I extracted a promise from M that she would let me look in to her answer sheet. Now M is one of the most sincere students I have come across. She takes to books with a missionary zeal. Nothing can deter her from scoring the perfect 10 in whatever she chooses to do. I know she did not find French a cakewalk, but she persisted long after I gave up.

We took our seats. The French looked like Hebrew to me. I tried to make English out of it, it got worse. Out of desperation I looked at M and found her looking at me. M was carrying all her notes, and I had forgotten to get them, Despite the obvious advantage, she chose to peep into my answer sheet and I had not the courage to ask her a single answer. This went on for twenty minutes, when I realised that I could no longer take the strain. I managed to scribble something and left the paper, M and the French classes behind me.

M came out ten minutes later. She had copied all my answers and then tallied them with the notes and corrected whatever was wrong. Effectively, even before submitting her paper, not only did she know how much she was going to score, she knew for a fact how much I was going to score!!!!!

This French thing is behind me now. I treat it as a bad dream on a hot, power-cutted, mosquito-infested, night on a wooden bed full of nails and a mouse bitten mattress. Suffice to say that I dreamt last night that M had topped the exam and that she was handing our answer sheets and she knew everybody's score even without looking into the paper.

Sigh! La vie est comme celle!

Edit #1 : I passed the French exams (for those who won't care to read the comments or comment the comments) Since I have already given a thank you speech in advance, I do not think there is any need to kill fellow bloggers with another one. But grave injustice would be commited if Maxime is not thanked for making sure that I was always on my toes while asking him any doubts. Thanks Maxime for all the help! We'll miss you, if we go for the advanced course!


First Rain said...

Ah... I know precisely how you feel ... about the exam-of-a-foreign-language thing I mean. Hope usted está bien :)

stiletto said...

Lol! reminds me of geography exams back in 10th grade.

so did the non-cheating bear any fruit? ie, how did u do? :)

Anwesha Chatterjee said...

@First Rain: I know you are doing Kannada classes, so my empathies as a fellow in distress. I have no clue what you have written in French ( see I am that bad in it) but assuming that its something good (bien means good?) thank you for it

@Stiletto: Hey!! you did mah homework and that kindof raised my teacher's expectations. So, she was a little surprised when I was faring so badly in class :-p. I am sure, she is going to glare at me when she gives me my answer sheet back. I am ready to hang my head in shame as long as I pass in it, because otherwise i cannot appear for the advanced level French course that they are planning to start in a couple of weeks.

First Rain said...

Lollz ... well I am still at the alphabet! Believe me learning a new language is whole new ballgame if you don't know the script as well!!! It's like a game of Memory :D

Anyways I was referring to my Spanish classes earlier and that was my not very good attempt at writing `Hope you are well' in Spanish ... yep it has some similar looking words as French (looking because looking has nothing to do with the way they are pronounced!! :P ) Hope you pass though... Best of Luck!

Anwesha Chatterjee said...

Tears of joy

I actually passed in that exam. M got 2 marks more, but then who cares!

Aparna.G said...

French is actually a simple language -i.e. when you compare it to German,Spanish, Chinese, and a host of others..

I tried learning French too..along with some freshers - I went for 8 sessions and then work got the better of me! So, you are better off to go all the way atleast! Congrats!

Since I saw this blog after your results got out, congrats again! I ha many words of wisdom to give otherwise...

All the best for the Avanced Course...I hope to do it too someday..

Maxime said...

You're welcome! I hope you'll try the advance class... Bonne chance!