23 October, 2008

Note to self: "Bleib am Ball, Betsy!"

It's been gray and rainy outside but I've hardly noticed it. My floors are covered with a thick layer of doghair but I pay it no mind. The children... The children? Has anyone seen my children?

I've got the Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom exam coming up. It's a notoriously grueling 2 day affair, and my appointments are on November 3rd and 12th. In addition to class and regular homework I've also been taking private lessons with my teacher and have been doing long hours of review of grammar and literature. Everything else may have suffered, but at least I can finally consistently tell you the correct endings for just about anything you throw at me. (as long as a noun's gender doesn't throw me off before I even get started! :-P ACK!)

Up until last week I harbored what I consider a healthy stress / anxiety level in these preparations. Scared enough to re-read the literature that will be covered, yet deep down I think I'll do fine. Up until the phone call, that is.

Sunday evening, 8pm, we'd just walked back in the door from a trip to NL and my German teacher calls. She's having a panic attack and says there's one section on the test that I might not pass and maybe I should consider pulling out. ???!!! The next day would be the last day to withdraw, so maybe I should consider it?

I was coming down with a virus anyway and was feeling especially vulnerable, and this felt like an act of betrayal-- how could she have gone on tutoring me these last couple of months if she had any kind of doubt in my abilities?! And here I've been feeling pretty good about the whole thing-- could I be so wrong in my estimate of my own preparedness for the C2?

In the end I've decided to take it. It will be disappointing if I don't make it, but I'll never know until I try. Even if I do fail it doesn't negate all the headway I've been making, especially during the past two weeks of intensive study...

It may be folly, but the boys have their fall break next week and we're off to spend some time camping in Umbria. I'm hoping that Tuscan wine might turn out to be a reliable exam-stress elixir. I might be on the verge of a breakthrough, people! (if not a breakdown... ;-) )

10 comments:

Jennifer said...

Good for you for going forward and good luck. Daumen druecken from Switzerland!

Michelle said...

I think it's great you give it a try! It definitely sounds like a breakthrough, not a breakdown...

Goofball said...

You'll rock Betsy, I am sure.
And do enjoy your vacation!

Anonymous said...

I, too, think you will ace the test. For now, just focus on the section your tutor is worried about. Then, relax in confidence on your vacation and during the exam.

Love, Dad

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're going to go ahead and do it and you WILL be fine, I know it. The exam isn't really that bad - well it wasn't when I did it back in 1991 and I'm sure it hasn't changed all that much since then. Just keep calm and you'll ace it for sure.

Christina/Mausi

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I hope it goes swimmingly, and then you can happily enjoy all that Tuscan wine!

Greg said...

Perhaps drinking wine BEFORE your exam....?

anno said...

Like Greg, I was going to recommend drinking that wine BEFORE your exam. You're gonna do great -- enjoy your vacation... and relax!

Astrid said...

For sure a bit of Montepulciano can't hurt :)

And for the exam, well, let me tell you what happened when I took my French DELF exam in 2003. It consisted of 6 exams, and you sign up separately for part 1 (4 exams) and 2 (2 exams). My teacher said I'd be fine for the first 4 exams but said it couldn't hurt trying out 5 and 6 even though I'd probably wouldn't make it. The 6th and final exam being oral, discussing a rather diffucult newspaper article.

I passed part 1 which allowed me to take the last two exams. I didn't have high hopes as my oral French was, and still is sometimes, quite limping. At the final exam I thought I had understood the article but when questioned by the examinator he continously pointed out my errors. Then he skipped the formal questions and rather enganged me in a general conversation about languages, until he said Thank you and Au Revoir.

I left thinking that I had failed it but a few weeks later my exam result came back with a small miracle - I had passed them all! Of course he, the examinator, took pity in my blond norwegian ways but I passed it and so I must have said something that convinced him.

Moral: You never know - but just go for it!! And you'll do just great with all the studying and tutoring you've had!! Oh, and the italian elixir ;)

Africakid said...

After all your work, going ahead with the exam seems like the best option! Maybe your teacher is the one who needs a strong dose of wine...
Hope it goes well! And enjoy Tuscany!