I have written before about the Gazette Café as it has become something of a haven for me whilst learning French in France. I have been doing the intensive French immersion course for adults at the Easy French School in Montpellier, my preparation course for the DALF exam and writing this blog as well so I’ve had my hands full. At first, I thought I could just go monk and work continuously for the duration of my French language stay but after a while I realised that wasn’t the most effective route. Although I was spending almost all my time in front of the computer or my French books the time I spent there became much less productive as time went on. The DALF subjects started to seem incredibly arduous and because I was going slower with them I began to miss some of the coursework for my intensive French immersion course. Something I thought was probably not helping was that I was doing all of my work in my room so I was cooped up all afternoon and it felt like I didn’t have much of a life outside of my work. On the flip side, I really did need to work and couldn’t spend too much time or money socialising so I needed to find something as a little reward for myself that got me out of the house but still left me time to work.
My Plan to Crack on With My Work from My French Intensive Course
Since I have been learning French in Montpellier I had been to the Gazette a couple of times with some other students from the Easy French Language School and I saw that they do a decent glass of red or white wine for €3.50 and the atmosphere is great. There is a mixture of different people there; some are in groups, some are alone, some are working, some are socialising or reading. This creates such a welcoming atmosphere and also encourages me to work.
So, I came up with a plan. Working in the afternoon isn’t too hard for me as I can get some stuff done at my French language school in Montpellier; the other students there spur me on. I was going to use this natural momentum in the afternoon to take me through until dinner time, go home, get some dinner and relax for an hour. This is normally the make or break time for me; sometimes I power through and crack on with the work from my intensive French course for adults or my DALF preparation, sometimes I get into bed and watch 6 episodes of Friends back-to-back and before you know it I’ve lost the evening. So this time, when my bed started to look particularly cosy I packed up all my stuff and trotted on down to the Gazette, the fresh air and the walk woke me up a bit and gave me a second wind. I got situated with my laptop, books and a fresh hot coffee to start off with and cracked on. I found it extremely easy to get a good hour of work done and that was the target I set myself for my first break. After this I found something interesting happened. The pride I felt at having got more of my DALF stuff or whatever I was working on finished gave me another boost so I kept on working and working well. Before I knew it was 8pm and I had finished everything I wanted to for the day and the rest of the evening was mine.
So, I closed my textbooks for my French immersion course and did whatever I wanted for the rest of the evening over a couple of glasses of delicious wine, sometimes I read my French novel, sometimes I mindlessly scan the internet. It didn’t matter what I did because I KNEW I had earnt it. It felt incredibly satisfying and really charged me up for the next day at the Easy French Language School in France.