I have a French TMA due tomorrow. It is not finished yet and I ran out of fucks to give about 3 weeks ago. This is a rather troubling position to be in as this is only the first of 5 TMAs and while this one is only formative and will not count to my overall grade I really should care more right?
The thought has occurred to me that I just don’t like studying French this way. I love being able to speak the language and have conversations with actual French people – I never did talk about my trip to Paris in detail but I spoke French to every person except my boyfriend which is something I am proud of – but I really dislike studying really arbitrary topics in a French context. I know it might introduce some vocabulary I may not have come across otherwise but really, with how many people am I likely to want to discuss the commercial impact of having shops open on Sundays? Basically zero.
This particular TMA is supposed to be looking at giving advice to fellow forum users about managing their time better and discussing how increased working flexibility affects people’s lifestyles. I find the idea of *me* giving advice on time management fucking laughable since as you might have guessed from my blog, I procrastinate to doctorate levels. I spent most of today sat in my bed watching Youtube videos, knowing full well that this deadline is tomorrow and I had only about 160 words of the 300-350 that I need already written. That is some serious apathy I’m rocking right there.
I mean look, I’m blogging instead of finishing off this assignment now! I’m at around 250 words but I’m procrastinating again! It’s an endless cycle of doing a little, distracted a lot. *dramatic sigh*
Anyone else feeling similar levels of “meh” towards some aspect of their studying? Or is it just me being an apathetic lazy bugger?
p.s. This post has been the length of my TMA that I should be finishing right now. So easy right?
I’m not writing this whole post in French you can relax.
It takes me three times as long to write in French and since most of the people who currently read this blog are from my OU writing module it’s not very fair to just dump an entire post that’s unreadable to most people.
If you don’t know what the post title means; J’ai peur = I’m scared. Currently I’m finding my French module a lot more intimidating than my writing one. I kinda know what I’m doing with writing, at least in the sense that I can put words down in a row and they manage to make sense and be marginally interesting to at least me. The worries I have about writing at the moment are more related to not knowing what I’ll do with the words once I have them and whether other people will like them.
French however, is a whole different kettle of fish. I’m not saying I’m shit at french – on the contrary, to anyone who has only studied to GCSE level I may seem like I’m fluent. To my Yr 7 & 8 students when I was a TA in French lessons I was basically a native. But when it comes to the degree level modules that I’m doing suddenly my ability to speak with a pretty convincing accent is just not enough to get me through. When my marks are relying on my ability to teach myself grammar points and make an effort to learn vocabulary around a topic and then use both these skills together, everything is a lot scarier.
I’ve been avoiding picking up my French textbooks for the last two weeks or so and now the module has officially started I really need to shuck off this fear otherwise I’m going to be left scrambling to complete my TMA at the start of November having not done most of the activities for this topic. I am going to have ample time to do everything in my textbooks for both French and my Writing module so I gotta make the most of it.
To this end I wanted to just make a concrete list of what is scaring me right now about this French Module. I’m sure that if I show this to my boyfriend later he’s going to frown at me and tell me I’m being ridiculous (I probably am) but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think these things.
Fears for L211
1. I won’t understand the course materials
2. I won’t be able to think of the words I need/want to use
3. I don’t have the level of grammar knowledge I should have by now
4. I won’t be able to keep up with the activities each week.
5. My TMAs won’t be complex or accurate enough for this level
6. The other students will be will better than me.
7. I will fail.
So there you go. Those are the worries that are currently making my attempts to do French seem all silly and pointless. Now I need to tear up this list before it just infects my brain with its toxic negativity.
Do tell me I’m being an idiot.
It’s damned inconvenient when you want to read the introductory paragraph to your French course book and can’t without comprehensively translating the whole thing because you don’t understand the odd word or phrase that is rather necessary to knowing the overall meaning of the text. *le sigh*
I will be the first person to admit that I am a terrible French student. I’m a lucky cow in that I can speak it fairly well and *sound* like I’m possibly French but my reading comprehension is probably not equivalent to my having studied the language for something like 14 years (although frankly Yrs 5-8 are pretty much the same thing every year). I really kinda suck at sitting down and reading French texts and actually picking out the words I don’t know and making a conscious effort to learn them so that I can read the whole text without having to translate it fully.
I’m also probably getting awfully lazy at conjugating verbs since I have my beautiful verb table book (I do also have a Bescherelle book but since all the grammatical explanations are in french it’s less helpful). Why bother to remember which groups of verbs have a third person vowel change from “e” to “ie” in the present tense if my handy dandy verb book can point me right to the page I need instead? There can be such a thing as too many language books since I don’t necessarily need to retain all the vocab and verb knowledge if they’re so easily accessible on my bookshelf.
In the end I managed to translate both the introductory paragraph and the first paragraph of the first section. It took me a good chunk of my afternoon since I’m not quite up to maximum productivity yet *coughtwitteraddictcough* but I think I was able to get close the true meaning of some of the words and phrases that I didn’t previously know. Of course it doesn’t help in the slightest when one of the words which is exactly the same in French as it is in English and you still don’t know what it fucking means. Exhibit A.
I had to bust out both my bi-lingual *and* my English dictionary for this little bastard and I’m thoroughly sick of the word. I’d much rather say “…after the law, which reduced working hours, was brought into effect…” but I imagine that is going to make the French a bit more complicated hence the use of the word “promulgation” for succinctness.
Hopefully if I get myself ahead with reading the textbook and making copious notes of the words, phrases and grammar structures that I don’t know (even though I probably should know them by now) maybe by the time that Envol starts properly in October I won’t be feeling quite as much like a fraud who somehow fluked her way to a 90 on her TMAs and 70 on her EMA for L120.
I gotta lot of work to do though.