Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Re: Intensive French at Middlebury College

Man, where to start? Well, firstly, at a certain point I have to question the pedagogic theory here: this might well be very useful for beginning or intermediate students, but once you reach a certain level--which I had definitely done--being surrounded by fellow students who, like you, are only speaking disjointed, poorly-accented French really isn't going to do much for you. But even beyond that, the grammar course we were required to take was weirdly low-level. Given that I was in the highest level here, it was just odd.

On a non-course-related level: holy SHIT was this program ever cliquish. Whether I actually wanted to BE in any of these groups was questionable, given how...unpleasant I found a lot of my fellow students, but be that as it may, I didn't exactly have the option. It was an isolating experience. And then my roommate...man alive. I'm not saying that ol' Optat was a bad person; I really never got to know him well enough to say. Although he had a whole bunch of Bibles and books on being true to the faith and abstinence and whatnot, which I found a little humorous. But what I WILL say is that, due to time zone differences, he could apparently ONLY talk to his family in Tanzania late at night. Ever try to sleep while someone else in the room is having long, loud phone conversations in Swahili? Not as fun as you might think.

And although I never really had any dealings with him, the director of the program was apparently kind of creepy. He resigned for unspecified reasons soon after the Summer. Huh.

So anyway. Was glad to be out of there.


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