My Parisian Journey: Week 12 (12-12-12): There’s No Crying in Grammar!

“There’s No Crying in Grammar!”

I cried in my Phonetics class today.

Now for those of you who know me, this is not a surprise.  For those who don’t, please don’t rush to judgment until you have heard the whole story!

I have to say that in the nine years that I taught university students in ESL, I never had a student cry in class.  I had some get frustrated, even angry on occasion, but never cry.

Keep in mind that I am in a country where people don’t cry.  They get angry, laugh, shout at each other, kiss on the cheek every time they meet, honk, gesture (in French!!), try to run you down in their little cars…but, no tears.

So imagine my Phonetic professor’s surprise today in the listening lab when she heard me trying to reproduce her beautiful, melodic, perfectly pronounced French with garbled, muffled sobs. I came to the realization that I am very far away from my goal of perfecting this language; therefore, in my discouragement, I began to cry. “Ils sont sortis sans permission, sob, sob, “Je vais m’abonner au meme magazine”sob, sob…

“Ca va?” My professor asked me?  “Non”, I replied.  (English translation) “Are you upset about a personal problem or phonetics?” I then proceeded to share my frustrations with her and she was very kind and encouraging.  In fact she even approached me after class to encourage me some more,  “Bon courage, Robyn”.

Now, I have to admit that I have also shed a few tears in my Grammar course as well as I have stressed over each cumulative exam.  In fact, when I asked my professor which nouns, verbs and adjectives to review for the final she replied,” The ones in the dictionary”!!!!

Of course we all deal with stress in different ways.  My way just happens to involve my tear ducts!! I need to just “chill” as my younger classmates do, learn from my mistakes,  and take the advice of my husband, David, who after hearing about my experience, quoted the famous line from “A League of their Own”, “Rai, there’s no crying in Grammar!”

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