Given the number of years (15ish) that I've studied French and the amount of time (a handful of summers, a semester in college, a month here and there) that I've lived in France, my current proficiency in the language is pretty appalling. So once again, I've placed myself in French class, this time with little Megan Marion by my side. Our class is composed of 30 students: 27 Moroccans, 1 Japanese woman, and us. Our Moroccan professor rather delights in bringing up (making fun of) America (us) as much as he possibly can. Last week, we were in the middle of a fascinating lecture on the names of various vegetables when, seemingly out of nowhere, he gestured towards me and Megan and said, "In America, most people are very obese because they only eat McDonald's... Julia, have you lost weight since moving here?" Well, Teach, that was indeed another smooth-as-butter transition to putting down Les Etats and the answer is NO, thank you very much, I'm currently having a wild love affair with pain au chocolate and lamb tagines!! You can take the girl outta MN...
Anyway, I typically don't mind his frequent taunting as he does so in a good-natured and humorous way. Last night, however, things got a little heated dans Lycee Vic-Hugo. He was teaching us agreement and opposition phrases, like "I totally agree with" and "I am opposed to." La Prof decided to use the subject of abortion as an anchor for the lesson and prefaced it by saying that everyone should feel totally at ease discussing the topic as the excercise was not at all on how we actually feel about this issue, rather simply how to correctly use our agreement and opposition phrases.
Evidently that was only true for people who utilized the opposition phrases. With the exception of one other girl, the entire class was vehemently and categorically opposed to abortion. When the teach asked me and Megs to agree or disagree, and we both explained that we thought it was the right of the woman to choose, the class took a quick left turn. The teach and students alike bombarded us with non-sentence-structure related questions... "What if the woman just does it because she does not want to be fat?" "So, you don't think you are committing murder?" "How can you say this is not a crime?" While I sweat bullets and turned a marvelous shade of scarlet red, we tried our best to defend ourselves in broken French until the bell finally rang... "Next week, we will discuss divorce," announced the professor, as he turned towards us with a slightly inquisitive glance but somehow fully aware that we are indeed products of a 100%, good-ol' American divorced family. Next week sounds totally awesome!!!
What's one more Big Mac...
Julia Andrus Kelly
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