Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 5


I'm starting in the morning again because I've quite at lot of time

before class starts and I didn't forget the iPod I'm writing this on

in my dorm room.

I'm tempted to start waking up earlier than 7 because of the major

rush of English as a second language students when I'm in the

cafeteria, but I already wake very early considering the first event

in my day is an 8:30 class in a building less than a five minute walk

away. It's not the lines; the only food I want has no line whatsoever

unlike the sausages and eggs; it's just hard to complete my finicky

tea ritual when I'm trying to stay out of the way of the flock of

people trying to get coffee and I can't go far because I need the

cream dispenser. *sigh*


Spending four hours in class without eating gives me a headache but

when I went to get food during a break there was no one manning the

till. Since I couldn't just take something I'm now very, very hungry.

Today I finish my marionette: he shall be an evil overlord with a fine


Class today was good and I think I did well. I'm beginning to

understand future simple and I'm able to communicate well with the

councilors. The best part of class came after our professor had people

repeat a several words a few times for pronunciation, when he mentioned

the difference between dessert and desert the entire class started

chanting "dessert, dessert, dessert."


I finished my marionette and he is a handsome fellow! His name is

Monsieur Amicable (Mister Friendly) he has a dark cape scary eyebrows

and horns and I like him very much. I used him to talk to the

councilors and to arrange going on the trip to Buchart Gardens.


I forgot to eat supper today, perhaps I shouldn't admit to that since

I will likely be reprimanded. Low blood sugar is a problem for me

because I don't feel hunger

We went on a pleasant hike today, though I wish the pace were more

relaxed. I was about 10 metres behind a few minutes into the walk and

over 30 metres soon after. I dawdle at the best of times and I slow

terribly On hills. I'm like a old junk car that's bought during

financial straights and kept for sentimental value.

I finished the day with a hour long hot shower because with my

previous shoulder ache, various muscle aches from walking, and my...

tailbone pain from soccer it's starting to hurt.


Day 6


Started today nearly mixing up my two kinds of medication and since I

only have anti-anxiety and a sleep aid, that might have ended the day

as well. I’m not planning on operating any heavy machinery, but I’d still rather not drool on anyone today.

I was at the cafeteria a bit later than usual today and apparently

it's even busier at that time. The line up was terrifying but my usual

2-3 bananas were still easy enough to obtain. Class was alright, but I’m a touch frustrated with the time limit given for our tests, ten minutes isn’t long enough for me to answer even half of the questions and though I know it isn’t a serious exam it still upsets me.

I have a blue 4 on my face and we’re going to have an in-house Olympics.


My team won. Weird. That was pretty fun though. When everyone left I

was left behind again. Oh well, At least only one person got covered

in egg.

I feel too warm by far but I should eat before the next activity.


Went to the beach and made a sand castle, I worry that I am missing

the point of these activities because I don't talk much while doing

them. I still feel very warm; perhaps I've had too much sun.

It turns out there were too many people signed for the three day camping trip and they had to draw names. Mine wasn’t pulled, but I’m not upset, I’ll have other thing to do.

French Phrase of the Day


Vouloir c’est pouvoir.

(French proverb)


Wanting to is being able to.

(Translation of French proverb)


This one is interesting, because rather than being an example of my usual word-salad, this is a common proverb. It’s similar in meaning to ‘where there’s a will there’s a way.’

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 4

I don't feel very confident about today's class, though this is likely
my usual paranoia and superiority complex. Though I did end up
explaining Quebec's provincial motto "Je me souviennes" for the class
which helped my mood a little.
At least now I know some of the rules behind future tense.
My main problem in French immersion so far is neither understanding
nor communicating, it is in fact the same problem I have in English:
social skills. Particularly now that I do not know how to say all the
social niceties that I do in English.
I'm having some trouble finding people to speak to in French, most of
the immersion students switch to English when ever The councilors are
out of range and the councilors and professors seem too busy. The

other students often ask me how to say thing though.

Played an exciting/exhausting game of soccer for two hours today and
received another back ache from an interesting fall, I drank around a
litre of liquid afterwards. I also saw someone eat French fries with
tater tots on the side as the entirety of their meal. Healthy no?
Apparently there are a couple of students here who have no desire
whatsoever to learn French. I wonder why someone would enter into a
course they can receive nothing they need or want from. I heard one
say he only wanted to see the west coast which... though he is in one of the advances classes.... 
We're going into the city soon to play pool. Most of the planed
activities are not favorites of mine but they're very enjoyable when
allowed to be. There is a minimum participation goal of 7 events a

week, but I'm just going to go to them all if I can.

I'm far more tired than I usually am at this time, even accounting for
the time zone difference. I spent today playing pool and talking to a
guy named Trevor who is very determined to learn and is taking
French for the first time. It was nice to talk to someone equally

enthusiastic about this.

French Phrase of the Day

Il faut écrire un roman pendent manger un citron.

One must write a novel while eating a lemon

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 3


I woke up today to a back ache significantly worse than is has been for the last four days. I think I may have done something moderately serious to a muscle of my right shoulder, but I have not an idea what considering the most strenuous activity I generally participate in without stretching is a slow walk or power nap.

Today was the first day of lessons and I am ever so glad. I feel far more comfortable when I'm in a classroom than when I'm in a summer camp-like one. In any case I am feeling more confident now that I've had my first lesson and I know I understand what's being taught.

According to my results I'm in level four out of six (one being the easiest) but my instructor mentioned that I may want to try five, because I may not find four challenging. This part of the conversation was pretty amusing:


Le professeur: You might find this too easy because of your strong French base.


Jessie: I've only been studying French since September.


LP: Are you kidding?




Either I should take this as a complement or it's a combination of my French last name and my tendency of mimicking accents.

The cafeteria signs amuse me; they give both the retail price of the items and the price for students in residence.


Bananas                                      0.45                          0.65

Chips/Candy                               1.25                          1.25


The administration strongly suggests you have a banana.



I started making a marionette today, (crafts being my favorite summer camp-like thing) and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was also late because I didn't know when it started, that was upsetting. Next we tour the city! On a bus...



Huge spider in my bedroom. I don't know spider in French but this guy has a legspan an inch long. I'm going to defenestrate him immediately.



My first time in a double-decker bus! We just took a tour of the city and around half the students are staying in the city and the remaining half are returning to the university, I'm with the latter. It was a nice trip and I got tea at the Empress. Note I did not have tea, I just purchased some as well as a tea bag squeezer.

There seems to be a French children’s song called "Je suis une pizza."


French Phrase of the Day


Pourquoi est la soupe une femme?

Why is soup a woman?

Monday, July 5, 2010

La Maison Francaise - Day 2

Day 2


First thing today I took a shower in the communal bathing room on my floor. That was pretty nice, though I can see why the curtain is weighted down. It is far too friendly and keeps trying to touch me.

Today I'm going to scope out the cafeteria and see if I can find some serviceable tea making implements, hot water at the very least.

Next we all take a placement test and are grouped according to the results.


The test today was about what I expected. The first two "easy" portions I completed masterfully, the third "advanced" level I might as well have spun a wheel because I was guessing. After that we were led away in groups to have oral interviews. I think I scored somewhere mid to low-intermediate, but we won't receive the score until tomorrow. I also spent a half hour lost looking for the cafeteria, disoriented and cranky because I hadn't eaten in hours, angry at everything from passing bystanders to stop signs and bunnies. I'm really, really not a nice person when I'm hungry.


My new student ID is now in the works and I'm outside the building waiting for it. I've been using the sun as a compass point because it's much easier to use a map when one knows which way is north. I'm in the north and the sun move eastward during the day, therefore the sun is to the southeast around mid-afternoon, very helpful. They say there will be a campus tour at 3:30, but at that point I think I will finally have lost myself enough times that I know where everything is.

I may simply look through the bookstore instead.


I have my new ID and I must say I look completely stoned, as I do in all my important documentation.


Why are there urinals in the women's washroom?


There is a karaoke bar in the student union.


Went to a campfire on the beach today, I think it was enjoyable; other than the prevailing wind pattern that blew smoke in my eyes and my non-existent love of bus rides that is. The social part was nice and the ocean was pretty.


The students of the program have a certain amount of points to use on food during their stay and it recommended that they use no more than 950 points everyday. I don't think this system will be a problem at least for me as in one day I've used a total of 430. Others may have more difficulty, as I know of at least one who used over 800 by 1:00.


French Phrase of the Day


Les lapins nous regardent. Toujours.


The rabbits watch us. Always.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

La Maison Française Journal de Jessie -Day 1

July 4, 2010



Mom and dad just saw me through security, so now I'm on my own. So far

my original flight was canceled and the airport experienced a power 

outage, but i am rerouting through Edmonton and the power returned

shortly after. Both good omens and bad, though such things have no

control over what will happen or even what is likely to happen.



My first flight was overbooked by one passenger and slightly delayed,

no doubt the staff of the airport are experiencing a great deal of 

stress today. Due to the delay my arrival time was 11:00 instead of

10:20, as my next boarding time was 11:05 this was... distressing. I'm

not one for emoticons but I believe T_T is appropriate.

My current plane is a larger, more tech-heavy model in comparison with

the last. Every passenger has a personal screen, headphone Jack, USB

port, and a funny-looking electrical outlet which I think is both

North American/European plug compatible.

I fell asleep on the last flight though it only lasted approx. 55

minutes, this habit will no doubt land me In trouble one day. Perhaps

I'll take a bus to Calgary and end up in Costa Rica because of an ill-

timed nap.



I have arrived at the university of Victoria, it is bunny-covered as usual. I forgot my luggage at the airport, but I've already contacted someone about it and they are bringing it to the university.

So far I've discovered that Vancouver Island has an prodigious cougar population, a large portion of my more vocal classmates speak little or no French at all, and that is why the course councilors are talking slowly and pantomiming.



My first afternoon of French immersion and so far it's pretty nice. I took a nap earlier because I was cranky and a wee bit paranoid which isn't the best combination when I need to talk to people.


Well-meaning French councilor: Bonjour!

Jessie: Bonjour...

WMFC: Comment ça va?

J: *kidney punch*


J: Très bien, merci.

Bad Jessie.

All that and only one huge mistranslation! (Simon aime la délicatesse d'un bébé lapin, does not mean that Simon eats baby bunnies.)



French Phrase of the Day


Il y a une cuillère sur le toit du bâtiment.

There is a spoon on the roof of the building.