Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Flashback to French class

coming home from work tonight, after a long day... I had a flashback... a bittersweet one too... let me explain:

after completing the Clifton Dupigny Community College, I cluelessly went to Guadeloupe to further my education at the Lycee d'Agricole de Baie Mahaut. It was a great school, to be honest, but I wasn't ready to study in a foreign language. let me just get to the point of the story. In preparation for school in Guadeloupe, I took summer classes in french, approximately six (6) weeks... Why I thought six weeks in french class would prepare me for a life in french was beyond me. So after that preparatory period I went to class on my first day and that's where the rude awakening begun.

My professor (de zootechnie) knowing that I was a foreign student asked me a few questions, in french, just to be warm and friendly... but I really wasn't prepared to be the centre of attention in the classroom. She asked me my name and how I was doing... my response was crisp and clear, after all I had been practicing those lines for weeks... then she rolled her tongue, her speech got a little quicker and the accent a little less recognizable... I stood there, with over 20 french eyes on me, stuck... I couldn't understand shit, I couldn't respond... I just sat back down in my chair, put my head on my hand, laying down on my desk till the end of the class. there was no being saved by the bell for this one. She, the teacher, came to my desk after the class to speak to me again... I still didn't understand what she told me but someone explained later that she said she didn't think I would make it or that I wasn't ready for that class. 

I remember going back to my room, immediately after that class was done. My school day ended just one hour after it had started. I went back there to basically cry my eye off... I packed my bags and I was leaving on the next available ferry boat to Dominica. It was a hopeless situation and I didn't feel like I belonged. 

As I opened the door, suitcase in hand, ready to leave... a few of the French students came to my room. They stopped me from leaving and one even promised to tutor me in french as well as the various agricultural courses we were doing... he was a guardian angel if ever I was sent one during my lifetime... Thanks Alexandre Lehhman.  

I did stay and I completed school, got my advanced diploma and returned to Dominica almost immediately after that. I haven't seen Alexandre (Alex for short) since and although we spoke a few times on the phone and on Facebook, I feel like I still needed to reach out to my best friend. In all truth, I miss him... I've been to France three times since we last saw each other in Guadeloupe but each time I was unable to visit him in Strasbourg. I have little knowledge of his exact whereabouts now but I do hope we cross paths because I truly miss my FRIEND. 

Not just because he helped me with school but because of everything else we taught each other, from football to french girls (Rosemonde).

Alex tu m'es manques mon ami. 

1 comment:

Rum-Punch Drunk said...

You just never know what life has in store for you. Maybe try the facebook thing again and see if anyone knows where he is. Anyway, hope you do get to meet and I'm sure your conversations will be fun - in French of course.