I need to study more. Today we had an oral exam in French, while we had a regular exam last week. While we were on break in class this week the teacher handed out our graded exams from last week, and I am a bit disappointed in myself. I got a 79. Since I missed a week where we started a new chapter, I missed some information, but I thought I had it covered by reading the pages that were covered. To my thinking the grade is a high C or a low B, but it reminds me that I should have spent more time studying.
This week was probably slightly better. For one part we just had to read/record a short poem in French and we were given the text we had to read. For the next section, we had were paired up with another student and we had to have a short conversation in French. We were given English instructions for what the conversation was supposed to cover, e.g. “Find out the last time he/she went out.” One student asked questions while the other student answered. We can write out our questions and answers ahead of time, but we cannot have them in front of us when we are doing the recording (it’s a computerized language lab). Though it’s not too surprising, I had a hard time remembering what I came up with, and I also suck at spontaneous conversation in French. I do okay writing it out, as long as I have a book in front of me so I can check my work, but speaking French spontaneously is something I have to work on.
In Second Language Acquisition last semester, there was a lengthy discussion (that kept popping up throughout) about using the L1 in the L2 classroom. At early levels it is needed, but at some point it becomes a crutch for the student. In the second semester of Beginning French we are to the point where we should be able to have some simple conversations, but have problems expressing ourselves because we still don’t have a large vocabulary and don’t know all of the rules of grammar. I need to hit the books a bit harder.
Also, since I got Poser last week, it has proven to be big time waster. I was never very interested in gaming, but I think this is a similar situation. To create props, clothes, morphs, etc for Poser, you have to export the model from Poser as a generic file (I used .obj) and import it in a different 3D editing program. I used Blender in this case. Surprisingly, even for a speedy computer like my Mac, Blender takes a long time to import .obj files – like 1/2 hour or more. Once it is imported, I save the file as a .blend file so it will load quicker next time.
After the post about battery life, I found myself making sticky notes with the time I unplugged the laptops to see how long it takes for the error messages to pop up. I also started doing that with Blender importing .obj files. I thought it was strange that I did that, because it seems a bit anal in retrospect. Although if I actually compiled the data in a spreadsheet and graphed the data, that would be a bit too much, so I guess I’m okay for now.