On Campus (Part III)


The Win­ter semes­ter started in early Jan­u­ary, but I can’t seem to put myself into study mode. First, there is my very full-time job. I work in an envi­ron­ment where futile things such as eat­ing and sleep­ing are almost frowned upon, let alone study­ing. And then, there is the usual win­ter blues. Hard to walk to class after a full day of work when it’s cold, windy and pitch black.

Last semes­ter, one of my class was just fucked up. The pro­fes­sor, as well as both of the teacher’s assis­tants, were native French speak­ers but the class was taught in Eng­lish. It was a strug­gle to under­stand what they were say­ing… and it got me mad. I’m not one to make fun of lan­guage abil­i­ties but come on, don’t teach an Eng­lish class if you are not com­fort­able with the lan­guage! And shall I remind you that I was myself “forced” to attend my classes in Eng­lish because I couldn’t prove that French was my mother tongue? I love Canada but this coun­try has an issue with language(s).

I mostly stud­ied on my own. The class quickly gave up on the prof (at one point, I showed up in class and only 8 were attend­ing out of 200 stu­dents) and we were left with a mas­sive list of read­ings to com­plete. I actu­ally learned a lot from them so I can’t com­plain too much.

I’m also happy with my grades so far: two A– and — believe it or not — I passed my French as a sec­ond lan­guage test! (insert sar­cas­tic laugh here) The Uni­ver­sity actu­ally sent me a very nice framed “cer­ti­fi­cat de bilin­guisme” that I will def­i­nitely keep for memory.

This semes­ter, I’m tak­ing a first year class (a pre-requisite). Not to sound arro­gant, but I find it very basic and I’m shocked to see a lot of stu­dents don’t mas­ter basic gram­mar skills… or lack gen­eral knowl­edge for that mat­ters. Last class, the teacher asked the stu­dents to name states. First answer of a stu­dent? Africa. Sec­ond answer? Québec. Argh.

I feel like an out­cast. Stu­dents are pretty “young and inno­cent” and I don’t really fit in. The prof also seem fond of group work, which I hate because I really don’t have time to hang out at uni­ver­sity with other stu­dents after class. I know I sound anti­so­cial — I’m not, but I must admit that all my group work expe­ri­ences have been lame. I love work­ing as a team in a work set­ting but not in academics.I guess I’m learn­ing now…

But That's Where I Was Going!

But That’s Where I Was Going!

Phone Booths

Phone Booths



In The Library Elevator

In The Library Elevator







Offices Or Rat Cages...?

Offices Or Rat Cages…?






About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Awe­some. I just love cam­pus pic­tures… it makes me want to study study study again! Con­grats on the great grades!
    .-= Brenda´s last blog ..Our first cou­ple of weeks in Canada =-.

  2. Hey Zhu,

    I so get your “ennui”! And it is hard to work and study at the same time; but girl…do not give up :D!

    Con­grats on your bilin­gual cer­tifi­cate: you must be proud LOL LOL ;)! And I totally agree with you: if one doesn’t mas­ter a cer­tain lan­guage please do not teach in it (I had the same prob­lem when I was in the uni­ver­sity: Por­tuguese teach­ers who knew lit­tle of Eng­lish teach­ing in Her Majesty’s language…c’était terrible!!!).

    Have a great week­end, girl!

    .-= Max Coutinho´s last blog ..Inside a Woman’s head on Valentine’s Day =-.

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