I forgot I love French
Le Mont St. Michel
There is a principal in nature of resurrection. A seed is dead and dried and you put it in the ground and the DNA kicks in to a new creation. I love cycles. I am in a cycle now. I find myself revisiting many interests that for various reasons I stopped in college. This is quite by accident on my part, but maybe these interests have only been dormant, in a long stretch of winter. I have returned back learning the cello and now French. I thought these pursuits were dead and I find them resurfacing!
This spring, I was casually inquiring about French for AFTER my children left my home, which would be in six years. To my shock, I found myself signed up for language school in France for the summer in order to prepare for a second bachelor’s in French. Wait, what? The summer was a dream.
We got to travel as a family for two weeks. We had the chance to connect with some places that we had read about in letters by Van Gogh and George McDonald. That was satisfying.
It turns out at my ancestral castle (yes, I am a Deyo but back in the day we were du Joux) was used to imprison several famous people, including Toussaint L'Overture, who was a Haitian independence leader
My husband returned home and the kids and I stayed for language school. To my surprise, I found myself deeply grateful for my time in Uganda, which culturally prepared me for France. It turns out they have a lot in common. Information is a premium. You have to know the right questions to ask to get the right information. It was a delight to be in the cross cultural setting again with other folks who are working in other countries. It was a delight to take a risk and have it work out! My kids were able to take a beginner class. They gained independence as I was in a more rigorous class. They had to wash their own dishes and get themselves to class. There were other kids their age, but not in their class. These kids get each other, so that was a wonderful surprise gift. We heard so many encouraging stories of people doing important work all over the world.
This is a classic shot of the older part of the town. French Alps!
I really didn't know a lot about the program. To my relief, this was a very challenging program. It turns out the class was already in progress, so I just joined in with what they were learning. My class mates were incredibly gracious and made room for me. My teacher was strict, intelligent and full of wonderful stories. I love French grammar and I love speaking and hearing French! It was grueling and inspiring. Such outstanding people--the teachers and the students! Before I went, I took a placement test. It told me I had to start with French 101. I grieved the loss of all that work. When I came back, I took another placement test and I placed out of five classes! I am now in French 301 which means I only lost two classes after all this time!
I am really trying to get over the shock. I did not ask or expect to be a French student, but I cannot express how pleased I am. I have remembered that I LOVE French. I forgot. What a gift to be able to pick this back up again after so many years. I love my current class even though it terrifies me at the same time. My teacher is very French and very strict. He is from Cameroon, which culturally is so satisfying! It turns out this university also has an African focus.
I have asked this before, but I am telling you, it is worth revisiting. Got any old, dead dreams? What if it was just a matter of timing? Do you need to remember some things you forgot you love? I felt compelled to speak French and I couldn't stop. I took a risk and it has paid off. I wonder if you have anything waiting, deep down?
This year I will only take three hours in the Fall and three in the Spring. My son is a senior in high school. My other two need me less and less. Being in class and doing encouraging things has utterly enriched the rest of my work at home. The kids need me to not be there so they can continue to grow in their independence. It turns out cycles are God given and resurrection is for real--it's all about timing!
It was funny to find this book at a French bookstore!