Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Very Bangla Week

This week has been the perfect illustration of what they call at FSI “no progress day,” meaning day for practice and no new material. For the Bangla class, this week was devoted to the obsessive practice of our Bengali song for the end of the year party for the SE Asian division of FSI, which was yesterday. If I may humbly say so, we were a smashing hit. Maybe it was because we gesticulated wildly during the singing; maybe it was because we seemed so eager and honest and folks felt sorry for us; maybe it was because we were dressed so awesomely in the picturesque sarees and Punjabis of our teachers and I wore the full splendor of most of my Indian jewelry. Whatever the reason, people kept coming to us afterwards to tell us how great we were.
The highlight of the day was the brief speech given by the director of the division, who baffled us with the following statement, “Some people make comments about the way we teach languages at FSI, but in the words of the director of language studies at Georgetown—‘at school, we have ‘Language education,’ at FSI you have—‘Language training.’ The difference is the same as between sex education and sex training.”

On Wednesday, a couple of other FS wives came over for a playdate—we had a bit of Kir Royals and gossiped. Oh yeah, our kids also had a playdate—naturally, I wanted Son to shine in his best, which he naturally did not, fighting and screeching for every single toy the other kids wanted to play with. Sometimes, I feel like the Beast Master dealing with him. I am sure a LOT of moms will the sentiment.

Also, I am still in adjudications. I call every 3 days to check on my status, and the annoyed rep on the phone in an ill-attempt to hide her irritation, keeps telling me tersely, “Um, you are STILL in processing!” The problem with that is that the invitations to join the March 2011 A-100 class at FSI will most likely go out right after the holidays and I really wanted to be part of that class. If I want to join the Diplomat in a timely manner in Dhaka, I need to be done with all my training around June-July. That means that by then I have to:
1. finish Bangla
2. complete the consular training class
3. complete the A-100 class


  1. Just wanted to quickly drop a note to tell you that I LOVE your blog. I am also studying Bangla, albeit on my own :) and I am trying to determine where I will stand on the scale when I have my language phone exam on the 13th of Jan!

  2. Oh wow! Awesome--GOOD LUCK to you, it is some language! Let me know how it goes. Ami cheshta kori je apnar porikkha bhalo hobe. :)

  3. Dhonnabad! Ami bhabchi, bhalo hobe!

  4. no, you 'asha kori' that her exam goes well; not 'cheshta kori'--she is the one who'll be 'cheshta korbey. You're doing well. I'm Bangla first language or more accurately diglossic, and planning to take the FSOT in February 2014.

  5. Right. Tell that to my scholastic teachers. I am obviously not "trying" for her. But at the time I was studying it my teacher claimed it could be used to highlight hope. Go figure...