Nerves And French Classes

I close the last tabs on my Blackberry UCBrowser and try to remember all the tips I’ve gotten from the internet about how my body language can influence observers’ minds. And mine too. It all started when I watched that TedTalk video by Amy Cuddy who says that standing for two minutes with my arms spread wide in the air, like the winner of a race, would significantly affect my demeanour and make me feel more powerful and confident.
Confidence. I need that on Monday as I resume my french classes which I’d suspended since September last year. I’m moving to Beginner Class 2, called VIP2 at Alliance Francaise. People in this class should understand the basics of french and be able to hold conversations fairly fluently in french. One of my former classmates that passed through the class says English is not allowed at all. You have to speak only in French. Can I? I don’t want to be the girl who’s left behind as my classmates who freshly graduated from VIP1 this month, hold their own in the french class.
I did well in VIP1. I was actually the best student. One day, I wrote a letter to mon ami about my vacation and all I was doing, in french. Monsieur Alfred, my instructor was so happy, he read it out to the whole class, gave me a bisou on my cheek and promptly pinned it up on the wooden panel which also served as a notice board for everyone to see. My classmates cheered and clapped for me. They envied me.
During la pause, they would ask me if I’d done french in secondary school. They wanted to know how I was so good. How I remembered that when the instructor said to put something “dans la poubelle”, it meant to put it in the waste bin. Or when he asked if he could wipe the board, we were to say “Allez-y” – “go on”, if we were done taking notes. I was the only person who remembered how to use little phrases, during la pause or after the class, like “on y va” which means “let’s go” or “J’ai faim”- “I’m hungry”. I felt good with myself. Everyone wanted to compare notes with me; everyone asked me the french translation of things and I’d be tempted to point to their new blue Harrap dictionaries and ask,” what is that for?”
When I told them I wouldn’t be going to the next class with them, they wanted my phone number so we could keep in touch. I wasn’t afraid to call Monsieur Alfred and have a long conversation all in french. In VIP1, I reigned.
But VIP2 holds a new challenge for me. So maybe, Monday will see me standing in the bathroom of Alliance Francaise at No. 13 Azikiwe Road, with my arms up in the air, like Amy Cuddy asked me to, and a silly grin which I’d need to fake till it becomes real. The winner pose has been guaranteed to reduce my stress level and boost my confidence. That’s alright because I need all the confidence I can get to walk into that class, say a firm “bonjour!” to everyone, sit in my favourite position near the front and just flow with the rhythm. On y va!

16 thoughts on “Nerves And French Classes” by queennobo (@queennobo)

  1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

    Awww Felicitations… in advance, this was a good read, all the best.

  2. Thanks, Sunshine…I’m happy you found it a good read. I’m not surprised you are the first to comment :-)

  3. beautiful write up…you have it in you, i cn see you emerging the best in VIP 2

    1. @topazo, merci beacoup for reading and your compliment. Glad to know we have a prophet on NS… :-D

  4. hmm, i jst got motivated, i might jst start foreign language sch soon

  5. @koollove, glad I inadvertently motivated you. Learning a foreign language is a lovely skill which will serve you sometime, somehow in life. And unlike many others, it’s fun while you’re learning too!

  6. You will be fine Queen. Just keep working hard. Btw, you nearly made me like French.

    1. Sodiq, just ‘nearly’? Lol. And I was hoing to make you a francophile. Thanks, anyway… :-)

  7. @queennobo, cute story. Remember the capital for French. Also check the punctuation. Et bien sur ça me fait plaisir que tu aimes le français puisque je suis française. :-)

    1. Punctuation? And I thought I weeded properly. Pray, tell me where I need to check.
      Et vous êtes français? Intéressant. Comment ça?

      1. I’m not an expert in punctuation but it seemed to me that some commas were needed.Of course I can’t find where now, so maybe they are not. :-) Je suis une française née à Paris et expatriée à Miami. Je suis tombée sur Naijastories par hasard il y a trois ans et j’ai tout de suite aimé ce site.

        1. Wow. You are serious. It would be nice to practise french with you oh…

        2. Sorry to turn this into Français 101, @jefsaraurmax, but I thought that “tombée” meant “fallen” in French, but you use it like it means “discovered”. Am I wrong, then?

          1. No need to be sorry @tolao. I will gladly speak French.”tomber” has several meanings in French just like “to fall” in English.It can be falling down or falling upon or even falling in love (tomber amoureux). In this case it means I fell upon the site by accident.

  8. Hmmm…nice read. It’s almost nostalgic, you know, that kinda feeling you get when you are threading new grounds, charting new territories. And yeah, being the best is so good a feeling. You will come tops again! Go girl! Rock your world!

    1. Thanks, @chemokopi. I’m flattered that you find it a nice read, being headwriter and all ;-) thanks for your confidence in me!

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