I'd like to go back to France. (Yeah, I know: what a surprise.) But before I do that, I want to be able to understand quickly spoken French, and that means that I have to spend a great deal of time listening to dictees, where I can see the words as they are spoken, and I have to spend a great deal of time reading French articles, and kicking up my vocabulary a great deal. Neither sounds like a great deal of fun. I have to remind myself that three years ago right-about-now, I didn't speak French at all, and the first six months were incredibly tedious and boring. The end result is worth it, I know.
Tomorrow we take my daughter back to college. She's going to be a sophomore. We're a little sad about this, because we've liked having her around, despite the occasional disagreements about various things. She's never played the but I'm an adult now card, and we've never played the as long as you're living in OUR house... card, either. In fact, this afternoon, she mentioned to me the idea that someday she would be living on her own, someplace other than near here, and that saddened me a little. I was looking at the Facebook page for parents of the cadets at her school, and there were several saying oh, my, I'm going to be crying when we're driving home. Not us. Sad, but not crying. Because we know that this is a good thing for her, we know that she will learn things and have experiences which are good for her.
But come Monday morning, when my wife's gone off to work (first day of school), and my daughter's not around.... I'll be a little glum.
I am pleased that the mild amount of exercise I've been doing has had an effect. I know, I know, that tomorrow I could awaken to find that I've somehow gained five pounds overnight -- a fluctuation which would not be unprecedented -- and if it happens more than two days in a row, I'm going to think well the hell with it, its not working any more. And it could even be that it's not the exercise at all -- after all, walking at a mildly brisk pace for 22 minutes over a fairly flat surface isn't what I'd call challenging (which is good: I hate challenging). So the bottom line is, I don't know if it will continue, and I don't know what I'll do if it stops. Be morose, I'd suppose.
Speaking of moroseness, I'm a little sad that my friend from Paris is once again unavailable for easy - well, relatively easy - communication. For two weeks, she was in Mauritius, a small island off the southeastern coast of Africa, and now for two weeks she is going to be in Portugal. On the one hand, I think it is good for us to be separated, because we were having some fairly serious conversations about her relationship with an older guy; I think she really wanted me to say that if she worked at it, the relationship would work out, but I had to admit that, no, I didn't think that. And truthfully, neither did she. But its one thing for me to give her my honest opinion when she asks, and its another for me to be doing that every day. I'm not her father, brother, uncle, or lover. So when she comes back, if she wants to broach the subject, fine. Until and if, I'll just stay hands off. Even though I do miss talking to her.
Speaking of talking, on Tuesday I start with a new French conversation partner -- someone a little different; this guy is a singer (I assume semi-professional) so he has a great interest in how words sound, how you pronounce them. Intellectually, sounds like fun. As the person who has to make those sounds, in French....hmmm. And there are at least three other people who haven't been seen on Skype in about three weeks. Actually, about five or six friends. We don't talk all the time, but we talk fairly often, and I miss it.
Of course, if I was to go back to France....