Since my D-slot is free and happens to lie between the C and A slots, it made sense to take up French class for fun. So I did just that today. Granted that it's a bit late in the semester to take up any new courses, but with all the experience in school I thought I'd ace it up easily.
Unfortunately, I've been out of touch for quite a long time now. But fortunately, the blokes in class are all in fourth year and too lazy to really learn up pronunciation well enough. So it was immediately obvious to Evangeline Manickam - when I took up a passage to read and pronounced all the R's like the err's they are meant to be - that I had taken French before. "Combien d'ans?" she proceeded to ask. It was then that I realized that although back in class X, I had aced the Alliance Francaise interview for the CFE, the "touch" was all but lost. So I stared right back at her much like a stuffed pig stares back at you if you ask it its name. For a while, she kept repeating the question, then finally gave up and asked "How many years?"
"Four," I answered, and only by reverse-translating the question into French was I able to make sense of what she'd asked. And even the four was a lie. It's actually more like seven, but three years we did nothing but parrot the teacher's sounds without understanding a word of what was taught. So, I guess those three years don't count. In any case, I made a quick judgement about the period of time so that given my failure to understand an ordinary two-word question despite repetitions, she doesn't take my first impression as a pathetic birdbrain. Stupid ego.
Of course, deep down all this was deeply depressing.
We went over the text and some grammar after that. Articles indéfinis, Pronoms possessifs. It's been a month and a half since the course began. Conclusion: These people are primitive :)
So it's decided. A revision of French fundaes is required. I am auditing the course. At worst, I end up being far ahead of the class but get some practice recognizing really basic spoken French. At best, the level of the class increases and all my friends end up scoring high and give me a treat for the coaching.