I’m in limbo. In many ways.
I’m between posts, so I’m in limbo between Cotonou and Ottawa.
Neither my UAB nor my boxes of papers have yet arrived here, so I’m in limbo on clothes, electronics and French references.
Verizon was on strike for a while, so I’m in limbo on telephone, TV and Internet at home until next week when they can come out and do the install (which makes the UAB, which has all my electronics in it, less of a hassle).
My State Department email account is somewhere in limbo between Cotonou and Ottawa as well, so I can’t access it (although I faxed over the request today).
My household goods are all either in storage or on their way to Ottawa, so my house is in limbo between empty and being furnished with Ikea, yard sale finds and friends’ leftovers.
So, I’m bouncing in limbo between Ashburn and my Oakwood apartment (provided by State) where I at least have TV and Internet.
Today is evaluation day for we “parachutists” into French at FSI. I took a written test which verified what I thought — I’d forgotten a lot. We have oral and reading evaluations this afternoon. Some time before then I need to get a parking pass for FSI (they open in 10 minutes…so I think I’ll pause this and go take care of that. Back soon!)
Okay I’m back (now posting from the Oakwood apartment). Turns out I needed to apply for my parking pass online, but as I noticed above, my account is in limbo…
They sent me to another part of FSI to have someone enter my information for me so I now can park through December.
After that, I ran out and got an umbrella to protect me from the rain coming down today. I have an umbrella. A very good one I bought to be windproof and large and…it’s in my UAB…with my raincoat.
Finally, came my speaking and reading test. I did about as I expected. My reading is down a bit from lack of practice but not bad. I’ll have no problem getting it back up to speed. My speaking is another story. The good part is my vocabulary isn’t as bad as I thought, but I’ve forgotten most of the grammar I knew. I will get there, and had fears of being worse.
There have been a lot of changes to the (French) department since I was last here. They’ve lengthened the standard course (which begs the question, if I had 30 weeks instead of 24 would I have gotten my 3/3 the first time…yes.) and are making better use of external tools available on the internet. They’re strengthening the emphasis on informal talking outside of formal class – with meetups and lunch groups of students. This existed before, but I think there’s a stronger push for it now.
I will get around to that critique I promised, but for now, a musical interlude…