Saturday, March 27, 2010

JOURNAL | UP Memory 2: BA European Languages Major in French

Three years after I posted this entry, I now regret that I didn't pursue French. Now I am struggling and starting from the very basics of the language. There are so many opportunities that I could have seized if I only persevered (24 August 2013)

The first few days in UP Diliman were certainly challenging for me, with me always struggling to prove my worth and I usually find myself disappointed and frustrated for feeling inadequate compared to my brilliant classmates. I always felt substandard. This is the reason why I always had to put an extra effort with all the things given to me be it homework, reports, exams, etc. I was not easily satisfied with mediocre grades because I felt it a duty to maintain a worthy reputation as a UP student. After all, UP students have always been known for their mental eliteness and I wanted to fit in.

I took FRENCH as my major thinking that this was perhaps the best option for me. I am not good at math and I never had the opportunity to take exams and interviews at other colleges due to financial constraints. Those have been my obstacles which when I think about now, makes me wonder how in the world have I been able to get through all of them. Today I treat my survival in UP as one of the biggest miracles God have done to my life. It was such an awe inspiring journey for me full of twists and turns.

Le Debut De Ma Voyage

I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn't know anything about French. The only time I heard of French was when I was having breakfast while watching Magandang Umaga Bayan (hosted by Julius Babao and TinTin Bersola) in my house when I was still in high school. They featured French language as part of Francophone Francais-Manille Fetes. I thought, French sounded sophisticated so why not give it a try. I did and I realized within two years that I was not cut for this.

UP Ikot

My first professor I remembered was Monsieur Requinta. He had those sleepy eyes and often wore fitted brown shirts. He is our skinny professor who always looked serious to me. He seldom smiles. He was the first professor to introduce the French sounds to me. He was the one who made me say "Je prends" with me ending up to say "Jufran" and made my classmates laugh. (Jufran is a local ketchup brand in the Philippines).

Professeur Requinta

I pretended that I am doing well in this major. I tried to make my classmates believe that I am also a cut above the rest, and was taking French easy as pie. But it was actually the opposite. My only good friend in the class, Ann Molinyawe, was the only one whom I had to talk to when everything doesn't make sense to me anymore. I admired her a lot because though she was not a show off like me, she was just doing good in the class. We often ate lunch together and she shared most of her stories to me, which I won't forget ever. And she was the one who introduced COMMUNICATION RESEARCH to me. She took that subject as a minor but when I got fed up with my pretending to be a good French student. I jumped right then and there and made COM RES my major instead.

There was also some other people who were so unforgettable. Ada Villoria (aka Ada) was always the eccentric gal in the class who would do the most unexpected things like grand standing or jesting with other classmates, but this was taken positively especially in my case. I was only too relieved to have someone to make me smile at times when I was so anxious. JM (Jose Mari Agustin) perhaps the best French speaker in the class made me develop my confidence in my self. Adjani and Lorax were two of the non majors in the class who became close to my heart.

Mon francais 14-15 classe avec mes amis 
et professeur aceremo 

Apres Monsieur Requinta etait Mademoiselle Ventanilla qui etait mon professeur. She was the reason why I hesitated shifting to another major. I had fun in her class and thought that French can be exciting too. She always had a smile for us and good stories to share, like how she likes Ricky Martin very much. She always answered our questions with utmost respect to our ignorance, and for that I felt some self-esteem and thought I can make it through. But things went back to how difficult they were when I took classes with Professeur Aceremo and Requinta again. That's the time I decided that I have to make  decision and I decided.

Mademoiselle Ventanilla (with her new baby)

Why have I decided to leave? Well, everyday was like dragging my feet to attend my classes. It was such a heavy feeling for me. French was not that difficult but I just couldn't bring myself to love the language. I had no attachment or reason to attach to what I was studying. I felt bored and burnt up from trying to understand those people talking on the CD player of my professors. I was always nervous that I might be called for a recitation which I wouldn't be able to answer satisfactorily. My pronunciation was not even acceptable, unlike most of my classmates who looked like they're having the greatest time of their lives. After a year and a half, I decided to quit and change my major.

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