Tuesday, October 13, 2015

This Is Not a Kaffee Klatsch

Part of the incredible assistance Larry’s company provides in getting employees settled is a free language class for spouses. Given their professionalism in every other aspect of what they’ve done so far, I’m not sure why I thought this class was going to be a casual affair.

Maybe because the class is only offered every other week. Maybe because they call it the language class for Good Game Studios spouses. Anyway, I went to my first session as a way to meet other spouses and “prime the pump” for when I found the right intensive language course for me.

In my head:
  • A group of ladies is sitting, talking about funny situations they’ve found themselves in and saying, “I wish I had known how to say…” or “What I really need to know how to say is…” 
  • The instructor pipes in with the requisite phrases and similar ones for similar situations. Some laughter, some work on common vocabulary, time’s up till next time.

In reality:
  • I am speed-walking to the Berlitz offices because the bus I’ve taken ended its route about a kilometer away. After finding the reception floor then going to the classroom floor then finding the class, I am late and anxious.
  • I enter a stark classroom consisting of a long rectangular table, whiteboard and teacher at the end to my left, and two students--one male and one female--sitting across one end of the table from each other.

That’s it. No circle of ladies sharing tales and tidbits. No coffee or tea and biscuits. No as-you-need-it adaptable lesson plan.

There was a roll book and handouts and eventually four of us students and the teacher. We spent our two hours studying a map of a fictitious city and practicing getting and giving directions for various streets and institutions on the map, and using the correct form of the dative case with prepositions.

The last arrival to class was a woman who’s been taking an intensive class in the afternoons, five days a week for the past three months. I had originally thought I would take an all-day intensive class for two weeks, but re-thought that strategy after talking to her during a brief lesson break.

So I did not get my social club, but I did get some good information and thinking on next steps for me and how best to meet my goals.

(And a reminder that I need to start studying those noun articles again—so many words!)

1 comment :

  1. The Goethe Institute that Paul attended in Mannheim wasn't a circle of proper ladies but definitely a partyin', fun group! Anyway, hope its all coming back to you smoothly & quickly!