Chinese New Year came to Paris and I miss the red papered doorways of San Francisco and superior Dim Sum. I see dumplings in windows of Chinese fast food spots that they microwave making it more repulsive. A former classmate from Singapore promises to take me to a good spot when she returns from visiting her family.
My horoscope said to be beware the backlash of the Monkeys tail as he leaves his throne and allows the Fire Rooster to take over. Nothing could be closer to the truth and the week was a huge challenge.
The number 19 is broken into two parts, number “1” represents new beginnings and number “9” represents endings. 19 represents a phase or situation in your life is coming to an end just like New Years.
Perhaps the stress and emotions have been catching up with me. The course is 20 hours a week and I study before school in the library making me more than a full-time student. I am not where I want to be with the language but even college students major in Languages and never finish. I understand I can stay in school forever and not feel it was enough.
I have mentioned before that I am not a fan of my current teacher and this week I finally blew. I stood my ground when being bullied and it didn’t go well. I have been very lucky to have two wonderful teachers and odds were that at some point I would have someone not as good.
The teacher lectured me in front of the class which was embarrassing. Thankfully, we still are learning the language so not everything she said was understood, I still got the essence. I left the room quickly at break and spent the time cooling off instead of having a coffee with my classmates in the café of the school.
Upon returning from the break, I was again lectured regarding my mistake and subjected to more embarrassment. She made sure to ignore me the remainder of the class stating that I obviously preferred to work alone. It was extremely uncomfortable, but I stayed and tried to remain engaged in the coursework.
I was frustrated and hurt for being singled out for expressing myself and my classmates came to me as we left the room to console. Each student had already shared how they felt that our professor hated them and that they felt picked on and today was my turn.
After a sleepless night, I was still upset worried about returning. I would not have gone back at all if it was not for my sweet Antonia. It was her birthday. We had worked hard to surprise her with cake, flowers, beverages for the break and a card that had been circulated. I decided to return despite wanting to stay in bed.
As I entered the building, I stopped at the administration office to ask for the person in charge of teachers and was taken to an office to explain my upset. I assured them that my other experiences at school had been positive to balance the complaint. I was sad to not wanting to be there any longer because of the situation.
I was assured that they would work with me and I went to class to face my fear. Antonia was delighted and the teacher seemed to behave better than the previous day. I went back the next day and felt the awkwardness of her having been spoken to by the administration and by the last day of class for the week I was done.
We took the practice exam for the conclusion of B1. I’m still scoring in the middle range, but at this level it is not good enough. They always dangle the carrot of the next course in front of you to keep you going. In this case, they were threats. If you don’t master such and such you will not be able to go to the next level…
I have been getting to know several the students and it has become apparent that they for the most part have all taken French before and are returning to tune up their skills and get better. After discussing the options, Claude and I decided it was time to end my education.
It was a long weekend waiting for the other shoe to drop. I needed to go back to the office to confirm my decision and formally request the refund. Claude had the day Saturday to keep me distracted and Sunday I went to see the Chinese New Year parade.
Surprisingly, Claude was sent home Sunday night and he kept me distracted till we went in to the school together Monday morning. Now it is done, the check will be in the mail and I’m on to the next chapter like it or not.
With freedom comes Falafel. I walked thru the Marais after getting hooks to hold curtains back in the bedroom. I sat on the edge of a building and contemplated what adventures were ahead. Adventures will wait another day and I went to the market to engage in a marathon cooking session.
Several hours later; a lasagna to thank the Rivera cousins for helping Claude to get all our new Ikea furniture, sits cooling in the kitchen. Chicken Mole Enchiladas are in the fridge ready to be popped in the oven tomorrow for dinner with Noriega part of the family, and I miss my friends.
School has been my anchor, where I knew people and had a pattern and thankfully Claude has the next two days off and I don’t have to think about what comes next. I know it will be fine, I have my pass for 4 days at the museums ahead and I am committed to studying and painting more than the living room.
Vacation time was granted for Claude and we will on a trip in the next couple weeks. We are waiting for the last of the papers needed to arrive that will push my visa status along. A long and sorted take for another week.
Several loved ones have purchased or are purchasing tickets to come visit. This push me to see the parts of Paris I don’t know yet to ensure that I’m the best tour guide. Each day I learn about a new treasure to seek out and my hunt will be fun.
I’m committed to nurturing the few relationships I have started, and took advantage of Free Museum Sunday with Tyler. I’ll meet Pia for lunch Thursday. Azer and I will get together that same day and Maeve and Antonia want to start a study group. I am sure I’ll be at Disneyland with Juan Marcos soon.
The Monkey is off my back and I can speak enough French now to really go out and see what this city is all about. Look out Paris, I might indeed be ready for you this time around. One door closes and the other opens.