June 26, 2012

In Search of the Avoidance of Doubt

"Est-ce que tu vas continuer?" my French teacher, Corinne, asked me when I arrived to class tonight, indicating that it's the last week of the early-bird special for current students to re-up and sign up for their next course.

"Non," I replied, "parce que je n'ai pas d'argent," bemoaning my impending doom of my job ending this week and no other subsequent work lined up.

Qualifying my answer, I said, "Mais...Je crois que je dois étudier le Basic." After all, at some point, when I do have more money, I do want to continue to learn French, but I feel foolish for having placed into too advanced of a course for my ability level.

"Le Basic?!" Corinne laughed, and told me I was ridiculous, that I could speak French very well.

"Oui, je peut parler," - I can speak it, and I can read it aloud - "mais je n'ai pas le vocabulaire! J'ai oublié tout!" I've lamented since the beginning of class that I seem to have forgotten everything from my five years of studying French, over 20 years ago.

"Tu as le vocabulaire!" Corinne protested.

"Je crois que je suis stupide." I confessed my suspected stupidity to her, and to the couple of students who'd also arrived early to class.

Corinne then said something to me in French that I didn't understand, and, upon my quizzical look, translated it into English:

"It's always the best students who have the most doubt."

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