Tuition? French Requirement? Sacre Bleu! - New Chimes Article 1/29/09

Considering that the new semester had just begun, I finally decided it was about time to start registering for classes. Although it was spring and I only had enough money in my bank account to make a minimal down-payment on a beef flavored Cup of Noodles, I still knew I could cherish the knowledge that I still had another full year and a half to cherish my status as a senior in college. This meant I finally got to sign up for all those special classes I had been setting aside until now, such as Nature of Math and Ideas Involving Biology. My dreams of taking core curriculum requirements were shattered, however, when I was told that I still had a semester left of French.

The French language and I have a troubled history. My grades within the subject began to slip when the only vocabulary I could recall were the terms "Grey Poupon," and the phrase "Do you have any Grey Poupon?" Apparently naming food toppings does not necessarily count as a valid essay writing technique. Speaking the language for class presentations came with a whole host of new complications, which I managed to cover up by use of a heavy accent, lisp, and carefully placed belly laughs. "Oh, ho, ho!" I would cheerfully chuckle from the back of my throat, "Ooh la la! Escargot Grey Poupon!" It was the most satisfying C- I had ever earned.

I myself am not gifted when it comes to speaking a foreign language. It took me 21 years to learn English and even then my grammar will does stuff not good. At the same time, I am an esteemed graduate of Biola’s Excel program and have since been promptly labeled “special” by both my mother and close friends. Also, I can jump without moving my arms.

I worried about taking my learning disability to the language department.
“Nah, ah, ah!” They would say in response to my question, as they twirled their mustaches in a haze of smoke. “En Francais!”
“Non parlare Francais!” I’d exclaim. “Je ne can’t learn los French!”
"Sacre bleu!" They would gasp, with their berets flying off their heads in shock.
Memories would rush back to me about my past torment in high school French class when I was too afraid to ask if I could go to the bathroom because my teacher would insist on using her native language. Realizing that there was only one way I could escape, I would revert back to the only phrase I could still recall.
“Où est la bibliothèque?!” I would cry out.
There would be no escape. No offering of baguettes, crepes or Nutella could ever quell Biola’s insatiable desire for me to learn French. I feared I was doomed to take a 300 level foreign language course.

With my head cast down in shame, I meandered towards the registrar’s office to sign up for the educational experience I dreaded most. It was then that destiny intervened. For upon my arrival at the office I was told that my obligation to fulfill a language credit was no longer applicable! I was done with French! As a matter of fact, I was told I didn’t have to go to classes at all ever again! There was much celebrating on my part.

After being informed that not being allowed to attend classes didn’t mean I had actually graduated from college, I ceased my triumphant, stiff-arm jumping fest and returned to casting my head down in shame. Apparently I don’t have any money left in my account to pay for next semester. It appears that although my delayed Stafford loan means I don't have to take French, it also means I can't sign up for any classes in general. It seems I have more problems now than before, the kind of problems you can only solve by selling oranges at intersections or selling illegal pets out of your coat pockets down a dark alley. Speaking of which, if you happen to want an albino ferret just give me the word.

Thanks a lot, French.

And no, I didn’t actually mean that. I only just learned what sarcasm is.

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