March 5, 2007
My French is pitiful. I imagine that I resemble a miming caveman when I speak, with great sweeping hand motions. This gets my basic needs met, but after returning from a recent weekend of travel, I desperately wanted to tell my host family, the Schirmanns, all about it. I decided to write about the trip in French and read it to them.
I was admittedly a little nervous. I walked into the kitchen where they were preparing lunch. “Bonjour, Monsieur et Madame Schirmann. J’ecris de mon weekend pour vous.” This translates roughly to: “I write about my weekend for you.” I can’t really remember how to do the past tense (sorry, professor Mothion), but they got the idea. Madame Schirmann smiled that sweet motherly smile of hers and said something to the effect of, “Oh, great. Well, how about you read it to us some other time.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the Schirmanns. “But geez,” I thought, “it would only take five minutes, and I thought you might like to know what I did while I was away, and I could just read it to you real quickly while you’re making lunch.” “OK, thanks,” I said with a half smile and moped back to my room.
The next day, Madame Schirmann knocked on my bedroom door. She asked if I would read my report to them. Oh, well, as long as they were sure they had the five minutes to spare. OK, I wasn’t that bitter. Actually, I was still excited to read it to them. Madame Schirmann walked me into the kitchen and had me sit down at the middle of the small kitchen table. She sat on one end and we waited for Monsieur Schirmann for a minute before he strolled into the kitchen and sat at the other end. I looked right, and then left at the both of them.
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