“I salute the effort you are going to make”

In one of last week’s posts, I alluded to the fact that I’ve continued – somewhat – my French language learning. The truth is, for a while I was très motivée. I even enrolled in an online course! Then in February I began to lose my focus, and then March-which-was-200-years-long happened, and now it’s been a month since I’ve done any French at all.

Then. Out of the blue, on Friday, March 27, I got an email from Laurine.

Laurine: You may remember her as the reason behind my Paris alter ego, my French teacher in Paris.

Anyway, she was reaching out to former students to see if anyone wanted to take virtual French lessons since she’s not able to work otherwise during the pandemic. She wrote a beautiful email to us in English. Perhaps it was too late at night or perhaps it was the recklessness that comes with weeks of social isolation, but before I realized what I was doing, I hit reply and scraped together a few French sentences saying that I was interested in taking lessons and could she send me les détailles, s’il te plaît?

My email to her was nine short sentences. In response, Laurine wrote NINE PARAGRAPHS. All in French.

It hurt my head to read, but I persevered. Near the end of her note, I finally had to stop. I couldn’t help it: I was laughing too hard.

J’ai conscience d’avoir beaucoup écrit… I am aware that I have written a lot,” Laurine wrote me, “but I salute in advance the effort you are going to make to understand me.”

Pardonnez-moi for the self-congratulation, but I accept her salute. I read every single one of those paragraphs!

(Joke’s on me, though, because her next email was 11 paragraphs. I had to take a break midway through that one.)

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