It started slowly, quietly and I almost didn't realize what was happening until it was too late to do anything about it. French classes at the Alliance Francaise rotate students in and out every week so the classes are like waves of ever-changing social dynamics. What started out happily as my quiet collaborative French class of mostly Asian students and myself, by week four had turned itself into unruly three hour shouting matches between Italy and Brazil with occasional outbursts from Spain and some disjointed lengthy wastes of "I can't even formulate a question but I am going to sit here for five minutes and mumble something while I hold up class for the 6th time in an hour"....you guessed it....California.
Am I the ONLY one who actually WANTS to learn French? And learn French efficiently? My teacher is very nice but she is prone to letting students drone on and on and ON and OOOONNNNN about whatever topic they want at whatever point they want to during class. In the beginning, this wasn't really an issue. But one by one as the loud, belligerent most annoying "WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE" students infiltrated, they tested the boundaries, found none and proceeded to hijack every class. If I wanted to listen to bad, uncorrected French for three hours, all I need to do is open my own mouth. Why am I sitting in class for this? I made a TANGENT CHART and at last count the average number of interruptions per class is standing strong at 38. Why bother speaking French when you can shout in Portugese across the room? Why bother paying attention when it's OK to use an electronic translator that SPEAKS Chinese throughout class? Why bother learning French grammar when you can instead argue and INSIST every day with the French teacher who is FRENCH that "In Italian it is not like this! You don't do that! You are not right!" Are you seeeeerious? WE ARE IN FRENCH CLASS. WHY are you insulted that the teacher would even DARE to teach something that's not ITALIAN??? I am not paying a whopping 336 euro a month to listen to you flex your imaginary brain muscles and last time I checked? I DON'T CARE ABOUT ITALIAN. I LIVE IN FRANCE. F-R-A-N-C-E.
Where they speak FRENCH.
That language I don't know.
The one I am PAYING to learn while the minutes tick off on your diarrhea of the mouth/I just wanna hear myself talk some more tangent.
I've officially had it with this sitcom situation where everyone is a cliché of their country. I am clearly the snotty New York bitch who thinks she's better than everyone. I try and show up late to class (in black) so I can best gauge where to sit the furthest away from the battle of the dimwits but there are too many of them now, it's impossible to escape. They are in France for only a few months, half of them don't even do the homework anymore and I sit desperately rolling my eyes at the teacher, BEGGING her to DO something. In NEW YORK time, please.
I feel that my time at the Alliance Francaise is slowly turning me into an eye rolling racist asshole so I have decided to cut off classes after next week and take another breather before I really start assuming things based on peoples' country and place of origin. Or I totally lose my shit altogether, join a secessionist movement and vote for McCain or something.
I'll be back again but I'm going to insist on getting my old teacher back from January, the one who made me cry and openly made fun of students. Hey, at least the students were too scared to speak much during class. Well...everyone except Italy. ;)