Frenching

Today, I posed a question to myself. Though, I didn’t actually have words to the question until after I answered it. You see, I was looking at myself in the mirror, about to go downstairs to go on an afternoon walk (since I still can’t run after my accident three weeks ago). In my head was French and the excitement of living in France as an adult – something I have only dreamt of doing, but have tasted as a student – due to this Netflix show called Emily In Paris.

I was somewhat lonesome today, and wanted a movie or series to keep me company while I cooked for a long while. I somehow ended up with Emily In Paris, and fell in love. We had a full and satisfying relationship all day long today (think Jim Gaffigan on Netflix shows being like dating), and I was taking an unwanted but necessary break to go on my walk (got to get those hundred miles in somehow). And so, I’m looking in the mirror, French and Frenchmen and France and chocolatines in my head. And I somehow answer this unsaid question aloud, in French.

I say first, before seeing myself in the mirror, “Bah ouais. Je ne parle pas le français comme langue maternelle. Ce n’est pas ma langue maternelle. Mais j’adore le parler….”

Pourquoi ? someone asks in my head.

“Parce que quand je parle le français…, je me sens…,” and I now look directly at myself in this Masaie mirror on the wall, halted just before the first step downward. “Je me sens… un peu sexy…,” and I smile as I admit it, adding raised eyebrow as and a head tilt at the second feeling, “tellement à l’aise… et,” and this last is he hardest to admit, “comme quelqu’un qui en vaut l’envie. Je veut dire, quelqu’un qui mérite être envié…,” and I look at myself with these words having been said aloud, experiencing the fullness of their truth, and somewhat being that person envying his girl in the mirror – woman in the mirror – and I smile, fully content in that moment, give one final glance to the freckles around my nose, and head down the stairs and out the front door for a hearty walk in the chilly late afternoon air, under the overcast, Fall sky.

As I began my walk, I realized that my unsaid question – it felt a bit like playing Jeopardy, I suppose 😛 – was, “Why learn a foreign language?”

I contemplated this on my walk, and even recorded myself for a bit, just to see what it was like as a means of keeping track of my thoughts. (It was cool, but I’m not sure it is my style for sharing those thoughts with others.) I repeated my earlier statements on speaking French, but added the question to the beginning, and continued my statements with a further idea: When I speak English, these are not the ways that I feel. By speaking French, I have discovered and continue to discover things within myself that I previously had not known. By speaking a language different from my native language, I get to experience myself and life in a new way. And that is possibly the best and most valuable part of speaking a different language.

And, to be clear, this is not due simply to saying words in a foreign tongue. It is by having learned the language, which means experiencing its people and culture, as well as its use, that I have gained access to these formerly-foreign parts of myself. It is the Frenchness within me that I have learned and found throughout the process of learning to speak French, the language. I always support immersion as a necessary part of learning a language, because the language and culture not only go hand in hand, but cannot be separated from one another and still remain true to who and what they are.

So, why learn a foreign language? To discover how life and you are better than you ever imagined. 😉

Yeah 🙂

P.S. For those who do not know French and have not already stuck that paragraph into Google Translate, what I had said roughly translates in English to, “Well, yeah. I don’t speak French like a native speaker. I’m not a native speaker of French. But I love speaking it. Why? Because, when I speak French, I feel… I feel… a bit sexy…, entirely at ease…, and that I am someone worth envying.”

Post-a-day 2020

Going Gossip Girl crazy

Step One: Fall in love with Blake Lively.

Step Two: Watch Gossip Girl, simply because it stars Blake Lively (but also because I am stuck at home alone and feel like I have no friends, since we aren’t supposed to socialize in real life right now, and watching the show makes me feel like I have friends in whose lives I am invested and everything).

Step Three: Fall in love with Chuck Bass, the character.

Step Four: Fall slightly in love with Ed Westwick, the actor who plays Chuck Bass.

Step Five: Discover that Ed Westwick is actually British, and fall a little bit more in love with him.

Step Six: Pointedly ignore the fact that these are all people I never will meet, be it that they are either fictitious or absurdly famous – whatever the case, they are basically unreachable by me – as well as the fact that I am in love with the character people are supposed to dislike and almost hate.

Step Seven: Daydream middle school obsessively about them all, and even consider putting up posters on my wall of a tanned, slightly unshaven Ed Westwick.

Step Eight: Acknowledge that my love is absurd, determine not to be worried about it, indulge happily, and accept confidently my own silly and delightful absurdity that truly helps to pass the time well.

Step Nine: Do near-absurd levels of research of Ed Westwick interviews online, and enjoy it thoroughly.

Step Ten: Get over it all suddenly and entirely, and move on with ease, almost forgetting that it was ever even a thing, and preparing mentally for whatever shall come next in life and personal fancies. 😛

Gossip Girl Crazy

Post-a-day 2020

Sans wifi…

Students found out today that I have no television and no wifi (which means no Netflix) at home.

‘But what do you do at home?’ they ask, concernedly.

Well, tonight, I made this, while listening to a crazy mix of music (through my speakers) on a iPod I found that I think my dad handed down to me years ago…, possibly with a good part of the music included…

And now, I’ll go to reading as “Silver Bells” sings along gently on the speakers…

Farewell, digital world – goodnight.

Post-a-day 2019

Life and Language

No, I don’t watch television.

Do you watch Netflix, Hulu…?’

I don’t have Internet, wifi at home.

“Your life is boring,” he declares, matter-of-factly.

The other kids begin to panic, eyes wide at his blatant statement of potential rudeness to the teacher.

I laugh heartily, tell them how to say it all in French, and then mention how I’m actually really busy a lot of the time, and that my life is actually rather interesting – a fact which even takes me a bit by surprise in the moment.

I laugh and smile some more while they recover.

Later in the day, I am told…..

Actually, I am so tired, the memory I was intending for the past few hours to share has decided to go on vacation for a while…

I guess we’ll find out later, if it ends up coming back… 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Bachelor??

My friend has gotten me stuck on watching the shows “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”.

It isn’t that we actually are all that into them… – I don’t even watch television or television shows or anything anymore (including all of the streamed shows and whatnot [which I have to say, because people tell me all the time how they don’t watch tv anymore either, because they just do Netflix and Hulu and such…]) – more so that it is fun to have a weekly date night in place, during which we get to see beautiful places, see others’ opinions, and consider our own opinions on various topics we perhaps hadn’t considered or, at least, discussed with one another (or, even, others).

The last I had seen the show before this year, they all just spent the whole time in one location.

Nowadays, however, they travel the world.

Upon discovering that, I commented that I wanted to go on the show.

It was a sort of joke at first, more interested in the travel than anything else.

Tonight, however, months later, we got to talking about it in a rather serious way: Do I perhaps actually want to go on the show?

If so, now is the time to apply, we both agreed.

And so, I looked at the application online, and am genuinely considering whether I want to apply for it… it seems simultaneously absurd and a wonderful adventure for me to make… and both sound rather intriguing, to say the least.

“Why do you want to go on ‘The Bachelor’?”

That is my question to consider and to answer in the coming days… if the answer is worth it, I’ll fill it in on the application and submit… if it isn’t to me, then I will close the application… either way, I will feel and be satisfied with my determined path, and I will be delighted for what life has to offer next. 🙂

😛

Post-a-day 2019

Magic in our pockets

Tonight, I have dance class (at long last).  But that is not exactly the point… merely a piece of the mix.  I am on my way to dance class now, writing this, as I listen to the lady’s voice coming through the hidden speakers on the train, announcing clearly, “Please off your seat to those who may need it,” at which I inwardly chuckle/cringe each time.

Before I left home for class, however, I was baking cake cookies, while watching a film.  The film was “Kate & Leopold”, and it was showing on a laptop near me at my convenience.  It was well past time to leave, but the film was not quite finished.  However, I had finally finished my cake cookies, and so had no real excuse to delay my departure – the film could pause and wait just as easily as it could continue playing… Perhaps even more easily, as it required no power source from my apartment to do that.  Though, that is not the point here.

So, I paused the movie, once I saw that it had a good ten minutes remaining in it, and it therefore would not finish in the time it took me to go to the bathroom and put on my socks.  Now, I know how the movie ends.  That, too, is not the point.  The point, my dear readers is this: I didn’t have to stop watching the film, despite my then immediate departure.

How crazy a world is this one in which we now live, where I don’t have to stop watching the film that is at home, when I leave my home?

I could have easily pulled up Netflix on my phone, just as easily as I checked the time when I was slumbering down the stairs outside – which was, indeed, how Inhad even had the idea – , and immediately resumed the film where I had paused it.  Just by opening the website (or app if I’d bothered to download it), I could have simply clicked the play button and continued my film as I was heading to the train station.

It seems so simple and normal and standard, because people do this all the time.  I see people watching TV shows and movies almost every time I am on the train.  And yet, having experienced this particular situation tonight, I suddenly see how bizarre and futuristic a concept this is.  A movie can travel with me in my pocket, even if ten seconds ago, it was on a huge TV screen or a computer or wherever.  It’s like shapeshifting or magic, and we’re all carrying it around with us, as though it’s a cup of coffee or a slice of bread.  Or an apple.  Literally, I guess.  (Though I’d definitely intended that one to be a reference to its connection with the magic of physics.)
Post-a-day 2017