Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Oh blogosphere, how I have missed you on my trip! And how many stories I have to tell you! But me voici en train de writing an academic paper pour a discours I'm giving tomorrow to the French department--my French was always bad mais c'est deprimant to find that the more French I write the worse my English gets. Je suis all messed up. And I used up the good picture from the trip yesterday so I should compose quelque chose plus consequent.


How about some random but insightful observations about campus life ... um, like, urrr, on university campuses you can easily find 18 year olds reading deeply and carefully in public? Or how about how campus is great because it's a well-landscaped pedestrian utopia, where everyone gets everywhere on foot? How this is very cheering to a 34 year old cynic?

That should do. Et je me penche encore a la tache enorme de composition ... and trying to remember how to type all the accents.


NotSoSage said...

Oh, how I hate trying to find all the right accents on an English keyboard (and Blogger doesn't seem to accept alt+130, etc, inside the composition windows). When I can, I steal Joe's work laptop 'cause he has it set where the apostrophe is also an accent. I know that I can set my own laptop that way, but it gets frustrating when I actually intend to write in English.

Sorry...you're getting the incoherent ramblings of a sick Mama. Public Health should post multiple warnings around daycare centres. Toddlers are just giggling, running, paint-covered disease vectors.

Jenifer G. said...

Glad you are back. We had a crappy drive back from my Mom's Sunday night, and yes the 407 was one lane with lovely ruts.

Winter driving. Yuck. Looks pretty on the trees though!

Melanie said...

Two years of high school French in the mid-90's did me no good deciphering your lapses into that wonderful language. I actually used it once, in England. A young boy told me I was belle and I was able to say merci! That's very exciting for a simple Nebraskan. Good luck with your paper!

cinnamon gurl said...

Ha. I read a bunch of my old letters, mostly ones I hadn't got around to mailing, this weekend, and a few of them to my sister were in French with occasional English words thrown in from when I was doing OAC (remember that?) French. It was really frustrating, because all my French has flown out the window and I couldn't understand what I was reading. It looked juicy too. Oh well.

Good luck!

Bloor West Mama said...

I know zero French...my parents hoped that since we are Spanish speakers that I would have picked up French easily. But that was not the case, thought I blame it on the fact that I was trying to learn English at the same time as quickly as possible so that I could make friends.

Ahh...the life of an immigrant kid, good times I tell you.

I have to say that I love University campuses, more so in the summer when all the green spaces are beautifully landscaped. Sometimes I miss working at U of T.

Beck said...

My public school French teacher - and this is true - did not speak French. WE played a lot of bingo. I owe a lot of my current semi-unilingulaism to him.

Mimi said...

BWM - yeah, the U of T campus is beautiful, but it's not self-contained like my campus is; once you're in it, there's no cars except around the edge, so you can read and walk at the same time :-) Spanish is a beautiful language ... and all I can do in it is order beer. Beh.

Beck - *snort* My grade nine french teacher was a first year teacher and a roaring drunk who was incredibly shy and thus afraid to talk. Good combo! We spent a lot of time doing 'library trips' before he got canned in November.

CG - well, I think you should be excerting these letters on your blog, so we can all share. I would be happy to translate, teehee.

nomotherearth said...

Votre discours - c'est à quel sujet? Theoretically, I'm bilingual, but my grammar sucks. Comprehension is excellent, though. Lack of practice opportunities is my downfall.

And I do love the "landscaped pedestrian utopian". It never fails to calm me. C'est charmant, n'est-ce pas?

Oh, The Joys said...

The blogging - so weirdly addictive, no?

Alpha DogMa said...

I studied french for 2 years before I learned a single verb. My teacher was Queen of the Nouns.
When the Trudeau government handed down the legislation for french language education in the late 70s, the Alberta government scrambled to hire any teacher remotely bilingual. Then they waited three years before setting a curriculm. I'm still unilingual.

Mimi said...

NoMo: oui, charmant, surtout quand il fait aussi beau qu'aujourd'hui. My talk was about (seriously) computer keyboards. Whoopee!

AD: deepest darkest northern ontario was always bilingual, and my hometown is a 50 minute drive from the Quebec border.

Her Bad Mother said...

we have been tres desole (insert your own accents) without you.

Alpha DogMa said...

Did I offend you? I'm not sure how to interpret the tone of your follow-up comment.
My comments about biligual education were specific to Alberta, as stated.
Nor did I mean to imply bilingualism is strictly the product of formalized education.
I was following-up to Beck's post. Perhaps I should've been more specific.

Mimi said...

AD -- nonono, sorry! I just meant that I'm a product of where I live, and can't take any credit for my French. I always feel show-offy when I use it, and try to minimize my own responsibility so that no one should feel bad for not being bilingual. sorry for worrying you! :-)

ewe are here said...

heh heh

I had ten years of french, and my accent is horrible! When I was in France, I would ask for directions in French and whomever I was asking would snottily reply that they didn't speak English. C'mon! My accent can't possibly be that horrible, can it?! ;-)

NotSoSage said...

Clearly, Pynchon should only have charged you one dollar for this post because 'merde' is used once in the body of the text. The title doesn't count...it's a reflection of the content. Take one of your dollars back and buy yourself a...what can you buy for a dollar these days?

Was the talk seriously about computer keyboards? That's hilarious.

Rock dweller said...

I bet this is hard for you, especially since your mom raised you, and it does not seem as if she is giving you the freedom you need to raise your child.... Ducks, I could see little rubber duckys, but I can not see, a mallard....
BTW nice blog, and cute kid

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