Bonjour à tous et à toutes, c’est le nouvel an! This year, my new year’s resolution is to speak only in French, all the time, to people who can understand French. (Which is why my blog is still in English, as I want all of my friends to be able to understand it :0).) The level of my French makes me sick. I’m speaking way too much English, and my French level is way too low for someone who has spent 15 months cumulatively in France. It needs to be higher. It needs to be more fluent. And I’m unhappy with my domineering English accent that comes out while I’m speaking French. But it is so hard to make French friends that 1. I see and speak with regularly on a daily basis and 2. actually want to speak French with me (lol). Most of them want to either better their English OR let me rattle off in mangled French because it’s quicker and easier for them that way than for them to correct every single mistake I make. Also many of them may not feel comfortable correcting my French, even when I tell them to feel free to do so.
I also have another important New Years resolution:
Write for at least 15 minutes every day. This doesn’t just pertain to blogging, but it also includes journaling, writing short stories, and poems. I want to be a writer, but I don’t write enough. My time always seems to be eaten up by lesson planning, working, and miscellaneous mundane life activities (grocery shopping, mailing documents, cleaning, taking care of bills, etc). By the time I get the chance to settle down to read a pleasurable book or crack open my journal and write, I find myself dozing off out of sheer exhaustion lol.
The problem isn’t the writing itself- as soon as I start writing, it’s usually hard for me to start, and two hours can easily go by with me scribbling away. The problem is making the time to do it, and not allowing myself to put it off and do “more important” things (laundry, reading the news, cooking, etc). If I want to be a writer, I have to make writing a priority in my life, and not treat it like a pleasurable activity. Yes, it’s fun to do, but I also need to make sure I’m disciplined and doing it every day, not simply on days when I don’t have any other activities/errands planned.
Those are the two main resolutions that I have for this year. I have smaller, more personal ones, but those two are the ones that I really want to focus on. I think they’re both going to be difficult, as they require an enormous amount of self-discipline. I know it’s going to be especially tough for me to speak with other English teaching assistants in French. When I arrived in Orléans yesterday, I met Meg, and I immediately started speaking in English with her, without thinking. And obviously, once I realized I was speaking English several minutes later, it was too awkward for me to switch into French because it would slow our conversation to one sentence per minute and make communication insipid and tedious.
I don’t know how I’m going to make this work. I was contemplating giving myself 2 free days on the weekends to speak English, just to give myself a breather and a chance to express myself fully. What do you think? I want to practice French as much as possible, but I don’t want to become resentful of this resolution because I speak like a 4-year-old 24/7, you know? We’ll see how this goes.
Well, that’s all I have to say for now, but I’ll most likely be posting later this week. Take care.