The Devil speaks French, and other anecdotes

Today was the last day of the term (sans finals, of course), and thereby signifying the end of my second year (technically – aside from my summer term, but that’s neither here nor there).

This year has been a strange one, with a certain… je ne sais quoi. I spent the year in a state of flux, and building and destroying my sense of reality, my sense of self, and, more recently, my sense of right and wrong (thanks a lot, Nietzsche).

Initially I was going to talk about all the things I learned this year, such as the fact that the Devil supposedly speaks French (as seen in Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov), and I was going to link that to another text that I read, called Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, where the main character speaks a lot of French to impress people. But I don’t think a nine year old boy is a manifestation of the devil (unless, of course, there is a devil that lives in all of us, but Dostoevsky didn’t believe this was true in children, at any rate).

My English professor told us that his final exam is meant to test what people know, rather than what they don’t know, and I suppose this is fair given that I haven’t read a bulk of the texts we were supposed to read because I was too busy suffering (that’s a legitimate excuse, right?). However, my English prof also gave me a 58 on a paper because I used passive voice twice, so I despise everything about him now (why would he give me a 58? It’s stylistic! It’s intentional! Fuck you, prescriptive grammar!).

Alas (he also said that using ‘alas’ was outdated, even though that’s how I speak – alas!), the point of me writing all of this is to admit that I am still a huge idiot.

Perhaps testing for things people do know is good on exams, but I don’t think it’s how I measure my intelligence or experience.

I was mapping out my degree an hour or so ago and apart from my major and minor, I’m going to need to take another year to squeeze in all the courses I wanted to explore but didn’t get a chance to. There are a handful of philosophy courses, some additional linguistics courses, an info-tech course, a sociology course, and a creative writing course, plus some more courses in English, and an African Studies course, and an astronomy course, and the list goes on and on and on and-

I have a lot to learn. I wish school was cheaper so my last year of my undergrad won’t consist of me working two jobs on top of volunteering, and commuting everywhere, and suffering through everything (!!), but alas (!!!), sometimes living pay cheque to pay cheque gives you character (what type of character I’m unsure, although it sways towards passive-aggressiveness and bitterness, I think).

Is there a limit to the human capacity to learn? I hope I never tire of being curious. I wanted to drop out of school in first term, but I suppose my love of discovery surpasses my contempt for the nasty ass grading system and whatever.

That reminds me: I also did a presentation on Dostoevsky and Nietzsche’s contrasting ideas of the will of humanity, which I will post about at a later time, if I don’t forget.

This summer, I’ll be re-attempting ENGL 220 (Medieval to 18th Century Lit), and taking ENGL 321 (Grammar) and ECED 407 (Supporting Preschool Learning) online, so there will be a good mix for me to keep my hands full for the entire summer. I think I may loathe ENGL 321 though because it’s all about grammar and tree structures AND GUESS WHAT I’M SUFFERING THROUGH IN LING 201 RIGHT NOW??? But hopefully it’ll help me in that course, despite the fact I’m hardcore suffering.

I have July and August off from school, which probably means more work for me, but it could also mean more chances to do that whole “self-love and rediscovery” phase I went through last summer – albeit not on purpose, but it was beneficial, I think. I always fear going back to those months on my blog because I was so sad and trying to talk myself around and out of being sad and it was just… très mauvaise.

I kind of want to start a journal. I mean, WordPress is kind of like an online journal, but there’s something about writing things down and sticking receipts and ticket stubs and fortunes from fortune cookies in them that makes the whole experience of sharing your whole life with someone/something so much more… je ne sais quoi. I’m also going to be embarking on the “buy used and local” ship, as well as starting up a photo diary-esque thing (I just want to have a nicer Instagram, let’s be real).

I’m also going to be working hard with my fraternity to execute a sustainable fashion show, with a bulk of the planning phases occurring in the summer. This is an informal invitation to all of you reading to attend – I expect all of you to be there.

I was going to write down something more profound, something with a little more wisdom behind it, but I’m a pile of mush. I suppose I’m… vis à vis my own devil – that is, my inability to finalize things.

I also learned about unfinalizability of voice in literature; described by Bakhtin to be polyphonic and a representation of Dostoevsky’s works (especially in Crime and Punishment). Alas (!!!!!!), this is not literature and I am the epitome of… a faux pas (definitely could’ve used a better French expression here, oh well).

Featured Image: The Devil and Dr. Faustus Meet via Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0.


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Self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades. Intersectional feminist. Educator/linguist in training. Fashionista, food-lover, and fairly poor hand-eye coordination.

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