Friday, March 02, 2007

Winds of Change


There its out. Its done. Its over.

I can breathe again.

The drive into Ottawa was actually not too bad... SLOW, but I got to school in plenty of time to have some light conversation with my teacher and a classmate. We ended up talking about how unnatural is to talk at the government C level. To pass the interview they want you to have well-structured responses for simple conversations. My example this morning went something like this:

In order to cross the street successfully, its necessary that you look both ways before approaching an intersection. Given that traffic is heavy in downtown Ottawa, I would suggest keeping in mind three main things during this process. First, you need to verify that the crossing light says walk. Then, you should assure yourself that all cars have come to a complete stop before crossing. Finally, in order to complete this process, you must be cautious of other pestridans who may also be crossing at the same intersection. Therefore, the reason for which we cross the street is to get to the other side.

I know, it sounds extra stupid in english... but it is bascially what they want to hear in a French interview. Of course the questions are more about your work, but simply undestanding the question and giving a response is not enough, it must be complex, and well-structured or you might as well not even show up.

Of course, this complex sentence structure was on my mind all night... and so this morning I was a little tense at school, but the teacher seemed to get me speaking and feeling more comfortable with my second langauge by about 10 AM.

At 10:30, I wrapped it up and headed over to the examination centre. I was suprisingly calm during the wait period... and then out of nowhere, some super tall skinney French dude calls my name in a very deep voice: Sa-ra-Cole-man.

It was judgement time.... but surprisingly the guy was easy to understand and he gave the odd smile of encouragement. When I entered his office, everything was purple, so I cracked a little joke saying: votre bureau est violet, c'est rare! To which he immediately laughed and told me its wasn't his first choice.

Okay... so we were off to a good start. However, its hard to really feel good about the interview, because I know at times I must have screwed up, but gerenally speaking, I never felt blind-sided by any of the questions, and I was able to use a lot of the key words and sentence structures my teacher and I have been practising.

Its definitely up in the air... it could go either way. If I didn't get my C level, I definitely got a strong B, which will further add to the argument that with a just a few more weeks of training, I could be at my final goal (if your listening management)!

When I arrived home this afternoon I was so exhausted.... the feeling of having finished 14 months of training was a little overwhelming. But one thing is for sure, I will not miss the sleepless nights, the bitchiness, the moodiness, the crying episodes, and the days of feeling sorry for myself... hopefully these things are over too. I am pretty sure the next month with be the final leg of the emotional rollercoaster - back to work, back to reality, and dealing with the highs and lows of searching for a fresh start.

I know I am happy to be making these changes, and I can guarantee that PC is doing his own little happy dance too... but we will see who laughs last by the end of the week because I've been too busy to notice the crumbs he has been leaving on the coffee table, the shoes he doesn't put in the closest, and the coats he's been hanging on the banister.

Oh yes... life in Embrun is about to change too.
Should be interesting.... stay tuned!

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