three’s company (but five might be better)

Because I’m an EFM, there was always some doubt as to whether I’d be able to take French at FSI. There might not be enough room, I was told. We’ll have to wait and see, they said. In fact, up until I saw my name on my first professor’s roster, I still thought they were going to boot me from the class – that the only French I’d know was from them saying “Au revoir” as they escorted me out the door.

That turned out not to be the case. There was actually plenty of room for me. In fact, for the past week, I’ve been in a class with only two other people, and one of those is the professor.

The way language classes work at FSI (at least French, and probably all the other languages with more than just two or three students enrolled) is that you are put on one month rotations. At the end of every rotation, you switch teachers and maybe some reshuffling is done with the students. This is so you get used to hearing different teachers speak (different accents, different vocabulary, different styles) and so you are always with students who are at the same level of language learning.

Somehow, my current rotation only has two students. Part of me feels like I won the lottery. I get four hours per day of one-on-two tutoring. Another part of me can’t wait for them to add more students to my class on Monday. Having only one other classmate is exhausting. I walk out of class each day feeling even more drained than usual. And on Friday, when I also had a one-on-one session with my language counselor, I’d had enough. I hardly touched my books during our lunch break.

I can’t really complain too much because I’m getting the opportunity to learn French – something that might come in handy once I’m finally placed on the Management Register. But I’m hoping on Monday a new student or two will make class a little more interesting. Or at least make it slightly less exhausting.

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