Feb. 1st, 2014

pegkerr: (All that I have done today has gone amis)
I pulled a frozen Open Arms soup out of the freezer and set it to thaw in the microwave for lunch. It managed to boil over and make a mess.

I mopped it up, brought what was left of the soup to the table and ate about three-quarters of it--and then managed to upset the mug all over my lap.
pegkerr: (100 things)
I've managed 21 days on Duolingo now, studying French, and it's going swimmingly--except that I'm speaking one or two sentences at a time, to my iPod touch. If I want to get better (and especially, if I want to record a video in 90 days, perhaps speaking French with another person), I need to practice it with other people.

I had a vague recollection that there were some language conversation practice groups in the Twin Cities--I recall seeing a notice of some that met at several of the local Barnes & Nobles, many years ago--so I went to the Internet and googled 'French conversation groups Minneapolis.'

That led me to a website, Alliance Fran├žaise Mpls/St Paul, which I gather is a school/culture center for the French language. It has a list of places for French conversation groups in the area. I found one that meets on Saturday mornings at Espresso Royale, a coffee shop near downtown (at 13th and Hennepin). I was a little doubtful whether a mere three weeks of (re)study would make me fluent enough not to be simply an annoyance to everyone around me, but it has been coming back rather quickly, so I decided to give it a try.

So I went, and I was quite glad that I did. I spoke French for an hour and a half! Stumbling French, mostly in just present tense, but I did better than I thought I would. The group has apparently been meeting there for years, and I had the great good luck to sit down with two women, my age or a little older, one of whom has been coming to the group for ten years, and one who also considered herself a beginner but was certainly better than me. They were very patient and friendly, and the second woman was groping for words as much as I was, so I didn't feel too self-conscious. The group was a nice mix of young and old, from a variety of different professions and countries. I managed to get the gist of about 85% of what I heard, I think. I had much more difficulty coming up with words to reply, but I persevered.

It was fun! I plan to go back next week, and I think it'll give me a great deal of help in improving my French.




{Take the 100 Things challenge!}
pegkerr: (Default)
On my way to Espresso Royale for the French conversation group today, I heard this song come up on [livejournal.com profile] marcgunn's Irish and Celtic Music Podcast (Episode 150) and I was so taken with it that I took note of the singer (Jesse Ferguson) and when I got home, I bought it. Found a video of Jesse singing it:

Why do I like it so much? Not sure, but I've had it on repeat all afternoon.


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