A month-long intensive language course is a strange animal. One barely gets into the routine, learns the way to school, gets to know the teachers and fellow students, figures out how to study (again), begins to feel some proficiency, and WHAM-POW, it’s over. Yesterday we had an exam that covered five different proficiencies for a total of three hours, and today we received our grades (and certificates, if we passed). Here are my scores:
What this means is that I got 4.25/5 on the dictation, 8/15 on the listening section (it was HARD; most of us had trouble), 14.5 on the grammar (dang those articles!), 9/15 on the reading section (I thought I had nailed it; guess not), 17/20 on the writing section (well, finally something I can be proud of) and then 18/20 on the spoken section, which basically means our in-class participation – we weren’t assessed on our spoken abilities in the final. My grand total is 70.75 (passing is 65) which basically translates into a high C+. *But about half the class did not pass at all,* so given the length of time since I last studied German (empires have risen and fallen) AND the amount of extra studying I did (nil), I’m delighted. Plus, of course, my main reason for the class was to observe the emotional aspects of language acquisition and reflect on ways to make teaching and learning better for students, and that, unlike the scores above, has been a 100% unqualified success.
We aren’t allow to keep our final exams for all the good reasons any school doesn’t allow finals out in the wider world, but we lucky ones were given certificates proudly proclaiming our achievement. If I could read it, I would know what they think I accomplished:
But a much better memento is a shot of my stalwart classmates – those who were brave enough to show up in person today to learn their fate this morning:
From left we have Hao, Frank, Carlos (seated), Lukas, Tong, Xenia (one of our teachers), yours truly, and Chiara. Thanks, guys. You’re the best and I hope you all achieve your dreams. But before I get too maudlin, let me share a little local advertising crazy that just caught my eye by way of suggesting what some folks might be up to before the start of the new month of classes on June 6th:
Who knows? I might partake a bit myself.
Next on my agenda is moving out of my student digs tomorrow and into a local hotel for three days to finish my up sightseeing, then a quick trip to Copenhagen to meet a cousin who’s been off the grid up to this point – more on that later. On the 8th of June I head back to the States. But for tonight, I’m feeling a little proud and a little wistful and very very much grateful to all concerned for this grand adventure. Old dog = new tricks. Woof.