Les mels et les courriels en deux milles onze

Last Monday I took my first French class in over a decade, at the Alliance Française a couple of blocks from my house.  I suddenly realized that, in the time since my last class, the internet happened.  In a big way.  And boy did it produce a lot of vocabulary.  I looked at the page of my workbook and thought, "What the hell is a mel?".

There were deeper problems, however.  I didn't know how to express any date in the twenty-first century because the last time I said a date in French it began with "mille neuf cents."  It had become so automatic that I was paralyzed with indecision when I had to begin a year any other way.

It was also the first time I had been a student in the classroom in seven or eight years, and it's really hard to go back to being a pupil when you are used to being the teacher.  I had to remind myself constantly that when you are the student, you shouldn't be doing more than 50% of the talking in any one class....

2 Responses so far.

  1. Ann says:

    One of the things I found hardest about doing my PhD while lecturing at another institution was being in seminars where I actually spoke up rather than spending my time trying to enable the other people there to speak. It took my supervisor pointing out that I was trying to do his job to make me realise what I was doing, but I don't think I ever managed to entirely stop.

  2. I'm SO glad I'm not a student any more for exactly this reason, Annie. But I actually wish that more of my graduate seminars (and conferences now) involved people participating in the sort of collegial behavior you describe instead of vaunting and worrying about the impression they were making. Sigh. I'm especially glad I'm no longer a grad student!

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