19 December 2009

Mort de francais

Walking into the small library where the ceremony was going to be was like walking into an international party in which no one knew what they were supposed to be doing. Rather, that's exactly what it was. The group of French graduates was small, and the library was even smaller. Of the French majors graduating -- there were seven or eight of us -- only three had shown up. It was combined with the Classics department to add a few more bodies to the entire thing.

I came in wearing my black gown over my dress, but once there for a few minutes I took it off. Only the three Classics graduates were wearing their caps and gowns, and who wants to look like one of them, anyhow? Maybe I shouldn't make fun of them too much; I did take a semester of Latin once upon a time in high school...

So we entered and no one really did anything. The cliques stood in their circles and stared at eachother, and every once in a while one of them would venture a glance at the table in the middle of the room, whose aroma of colors was enticing everybody. The food in the middle of the room was calling my name, too. Marshmallows, hors d'oeuvres, fondue, strawberries...it was all just sitting there, waiting. But no one was eating any of it; none of us were sure if it was open to eat or not.

Then one of the Dean dudes (no idea what his name is, oh well) told us to hurry up and start eating. Can I just say, fondue is awesome? Melting delicious things and pouring them on top of other delicious things is rather a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself. And I do.

Of all the moments that happened after trying to look like I wasn't hoarding food, I believe my favorite was the instant the French Dean dude informed us that he wanted the graduates to tell the room about our senior capstone theses. Hm. The Classics Dean dude had known everything about his students--where they were from, where they were going, that sort of thing. You can imagine how much his French Dean dude counterpart knew about me, considering that I still don't know his name.

After he announced that he'd like us all to share about our papers, I glanced around the room and found my acquaintances, whose faces were suddenly in contortions of pain, fear, and a little bit of annoyance. It was a little silly; they'd only written 15 pages or so on their respective topics, and there I was, 45 pages floating somewhere in my mind, and they had the nerve to pretend to complain. I glanced at the list of alphabetical graduates in my hand. I would be second to speak, and with this in mind, I gathered my thoughts as succinctly as possible.

All I did next was lift my chin, square my shoulders, and speak a little above my normal volume. Apparently the effect was commanding, because the whispered side conversations stopped and everyone I looked at was looking right back at me. Does this mean that I'm a good public speaker? Maybe. Think of it this way: I like showing off, and being praised. I'm trying very hard not to brag. And now this blog has turned completely away from my intent of telling stories. Well, I mean, minor intent, anyways.

Before we left I rethanked my French advisor/prof for helping me this past semester. She told my dad that I was a hard worker. Thinking about that thesis now....well...let's just say that I'm ecstatically happy that it happened. Emphasis on the past tense.

No comments: