In David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day, the author provides an overview of his experiences as a 41-year old man who has gone back to college to study French. The author’s experiences in this class have a significant effect on his life outside the classroom. He goes from being an outgoing individual to become a withdrawn person who shies away from the public. He soon overcomes this, once he realizes that he can now understand French.
The author’s main goal in this article is to show how his hard work and resilience paid off in the long run. I find this to be true because he was initially intimidated on his first day of class because he was not fluent in French. Despite this, he continued to work hard and by mid-October, he was able to understand what other people were saying to him when speaking French.
The author provides a succinct depiction of his first day of school, in which he felt very scared and intimidated. He notices that the other students were speaking fluently in French, something he could not do at the time. Furthermore, he stood out from the rest of the students because his clothes were not as attractive and fashionable as the other students’ clothes. Moreover, the first class experience was scary as he could not understand what the teacher was saying. In fact, the teacher was bent on embarrassing him in front of his classmates.
The author’s nervousness during this first day is particularly evident in the fact that he did not understand his teacher. He notes that he “only understood half of what this woman was saying.” He then proceeds to write what the teacher was saying, He writes “if you have not meimslsxp or lgpdmurct by this time…” The incomprehensible words are used to denote the fact that he does not understand the French language.
These phrases are an indication of the author’s sense of loss, which demonstrates that his first experience in class served to make him feel uncertain about his own abilities. This offers support to his main goal, which is to show how he developed from being a clueless individual to someone who actually understands the French language. I agree with the author’s conclusion that the first day of school was nerve-wracking. He recounts his experiences in vivid details, which lead the reader to understand his uncertainty and loss. In this manner, he is able to show that at the beginning, he lacked the skills and knowledge required to speak the language in a proper manner.
Realizing that he no longer wants to be ridiculed in class and that he needs to put in more effort in his studies, the author makes the sound decision to spend four hours each single night working on his homework. This is also complemented by additional study time. He notes, “…putting in even more time whenever we were assigned an essay.”
There is a clear indication that the author was committed to excel in this class. He observes that whenever when working on “complete this sentence” exercise, he would “…fool with the thing for hours.”
The decision to work longer on his assignments is indicative of his hard-working and resilient nature. This works towards helping the author attain his overall goal for this article. It is clear that he understands that hard work does pay off in the end. Furthermore, he is aware of the need to put in more effort in his work if he is to not only excel in this class but also forge himself a positive identity. In the long run, he hopes that his hard work, commitment, and dedication will help him become a fluent French speaker.
Finally, the author realizes that he can now understand each single word of what the French speakers were saying.
The author states “it struck me that, for the first time since arriving in France, I could understand every word someone was saying.” He then proceeds to say that “understanding…it’s a small step.” This is a clear indication that the author had made a significant accomplishment.
This is an indication that the author had finally made a breakthrough. It is also indicative of how his hard work was finally paying off. He is able to reinforce his goal through this statement. He shows that despite his setback during the first day, his persistence in his goal had allowed him to finally understand the French language. He notes that even though understanding was only a small step, it was an exhilarating moment for him. He manages to show his readers that working hard can be rewarding.
The author’s main goal in the article is to show how his hard work and resilience paid off in the long run.
The author was extremely nervous on the first day of school. His teacher embarrassed him in front of his classmates. Despite this, he made the decision to work extra hard, setting aside four hours each single day, so he can improve his performance, and also forge a positive identity. This pays off as he is able to understand the French language by mid-October.
It is very common for people to expect to succeed without having to put in the work required. They also choose to give up on their goals if they fail to achieve them in the first attempt. This book has proven very insightful as it stresses the need to work hard. At the same time, persistence is also reinforced as the book demonstrates that resilience often yields victory.