It's a few minutes to six, and between today and yesterday I've graded five exams. Must get to them, really.
Right now though, it's time to wrap up the workday early and get downtown for Italian class. Only, I haven't done my homework. I haven't retained one word of what we "learned" last week. The words from previous weeks are mostly gone already too.
Honestly, is there any point in going to this class?
Much as I hate to give it up, it is probably better to face reality and acknowledge that no, next week I will not have more time to study. Nor the week after that or the week after that. It's just not ever going to happen.
The other activity I took up this fall is going well. I'm playing bridge most every Wednesday and a lot of Saturdays as well. Last weekend I was invited for a Sunday afternoon social game and just last night somebody rang me up at the club to see if I'd like to be on their team for an upcoming tournament. Wow! I'm actually becoming integrated into a social group!
I'm remembering names, even. Last night we had eight people: Marcel, Christian, Ernest, Anne-Marie, Jacques, Solange, Claude, and myself. And André stopped by just as I picked up a hand with a slam in it. Saturday I might see Michele, Guy, Jean-Pierre, Michel, Didier, Chantal and Agnès, and if I do, I'll know all their names.
So that's working, marvellously, and I've discovered it's not that hard at all to push things around and make the necessary time.
But going over my Italian lessons at home on my own is a lot less fun than I hoped it would be. It requires a certain critical mass of time spent, and real concentration, before I'm constructing sentences and telling even the lamest stories on my own. Even my bilingual books, with the French version on the facing page, don't usually beat an evening watching tv. I'm tired when I finally get home, and studying a new language takes more energy that I'm willing to give.
I've decided what to do. I'll take three or four of these exams out for a beer and a bit of bashing with the red pen, then stop by the Italian club around time for the lesson to end, and take my leave. I'll keep my books around. I'll go to Italy, perhaps. And maybe next year when the beginners' class begins again I'll take a running start at it.