Thursday, March 29, 2007

Missed a Cog

Apologies to my blog reading public. I got home late last night. Teresa was there. We hobnobbed about her adventures in the Falls. About the creepiness of a late night motel exercise room. Give me a soft pillow and a good book anytime.
While she was gone I made a major breakthrough in my studies. I have been studying French off and on since I was 14 and have not broken the skin yet. I've gone through my little "Teach Yourself French" book several times and still comprends rien. Then this summer I decided the key to learning the language was to learn lots and lots of words. I went through my word frequency dictionary. This has the 7,000 most commonly used words in French. I copied the words I didn't know onto both sides of 46 sheets of loose leaf paper for a total of 2,760 words. This took a couple of months. I reviewed these words off and on all fall, putting the difficult words onto 3x5 index cards. We took a trip to New Orleans in January and I brought three quarters of the cards along to study in the car. I lost the cards in Nashville. I called the motel, but no one had turned them in. In February I went through my sheets again and filled up 46 cards with 1012 words. Just finished on Tuesday. Once I learn those of by heart I'll be in trouble. I'll know the 7,000 most common words in French, but I won't understand French. What to do? And why should I even care? That's for a future blog. Just grant that it's very important that I do this.
I have banned all reading in English (except Bill Bryson in bed) until I crack this nut. I'm only listening to the French language station in Winnipeg of which I understand about 4%. I'm not sure why I called this a major breakthrough. Just to encourage the troops I suppose.

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