Unless I am speaking in front of a large group of people, I have always considered myself to be a fairly confident person. This confidence however, dropped to rock bottom when I stepped off the train in La Rochelle. I realized very quickly that the majority of my confidence comes from my ability to verbally handle every situation that I am confronted with. In this regard my two semesters of French hardly compare to my twenty-one years of English.
It was not until this trip to France that I realized how closely language and identity are tied together. This exact subject is brought up often in our English 400 class and it is something that all seven of us can immediately identify with. Without our native language we are completely different people. Our personality and how we view ourself correlates directly with the language we use.
For me the biggest change in my personality was ly confidence. I have never been the type of girl who sits quietly at the dinner table waiting to speak until she is spoken to, but during my first few days in La Rochelle, that is exactly who I was. I soon realized that in order to be myself I have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable and just start talking!
– Claire Turck ’11