I can finally take a deep breath! Today was my oral exam for the DELF. The whole test is four parts, but we have the oral production part separate from the rest of the test. My time was at 10:00 this morning, and I don't think I have ever been so nervous.
I got up at 8:30 and made a cup of coffee, listened to some French talk radio, and picked out a cute dress to make me feel confident. I checked in and was given a fan of papers to choose two topics, and from those two, choose one. I only read the titles and one was on Erasmus for businesses and the other I cannot remember for the life of me. I remember knowing I knew nothing about it, so I chose the Erasmus for business one. My thirty minute preparation began then and I went to writing away. I've never scribbled so much in my life. Suddenly I just had thoughts and ideas and words come to my mind. I tried to organize it as best as I could to make sense. We aren't supposed to read our paper so I wanted bullet points instead of paragraphs. I finished with my prepping in about 20 minutes and my heart started racing.
With my big bottle of water, I sat the next ten minutes (they weren't ready for me, even though I was dying to go) preparing myself. Trying to stay calm, I took a sip, popped my back, and breathed in and out slowly and said a nice little prayer. There was one professor I did not want to be sitting in on my presentation (there would be two who listen and grade) and, just to my luck, I got her. Not that I don't like her, I just feel she is harsh sometimes and really kind of mean. Saying as I had no other choice, I sucked it up and sat down with her and a lady from the FLE office. After giving my autograph (in case you didn't know, I am famous in France) I began to talk. I attempted to do the triangle thing with your hands to give off an aura of confidence, but it didn't work and my hands were talking as much as my mouth was. I made mistakes, I mispronounced some words, but I said what I meant to. I said it clearly, I gave valid opinions and problems, my thoughts on it, and the pros and cons of the situation. When I finished, I was only asked about 4 questions, and during them, I noticed that I didn't even need to translate back. I just "knew" what was being asked. I won't lie; it is a pretty neat feeling everytime I can do that.
They asked me what I wanted to do and I mentioned teaching French to elementary-aged kids or even doing an au pair position or participating in an exchange program with teachers. The professor I didn't want for my exam told me that "if I want to become a French teacher, I only need to work on my phonetics, really, because I speak French very well." That warmed my heart :) Needless to say, today that professor earned some nice points! She must have not had someone pee in her Post Toasties this morning. The professors acted like they enjoyed and understood what I was saying so I feel very confident in my presentation. I am assuming this is what interviews will be like in the future: two people sitting across demanding answers from me, while I sit alone in a chair on the other side of the table. Talk about intimidating! Nevertheless, I am proud of myself. The highest score is 25, and while I am sure I did not get that, I know I at least passed, and hopefully with around a 11-14. We shall see :)
Now that that big stress factor is out of the way, I am going with Lelani and Klara to have an afternoon soaking up the sun! It is a beautiful day today and should be fun to just do nothing with friends. Eight days until my next exam and I am sure I will sleep as little the night before as I did last night.