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  • Analysis of Me Talk Pretty one day

    Me talk Pretty One Day is a short story written by David Sedaris. David Sedaris’ short story “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is a humorous and insightful account of his experience learning French in Paris. Through his use of vivid imagery, amusing anecdotes, and self-deprecating humor, Sedaris explores the challenges of language acquisition and cultural assimilation.The short story begins with Sedaris’ arrival in Paris with his partner, Hugh. Sedaris describes his initial impression of the city, with its “narrow streets and winding alleys,” and the sense of “terror” he feels at the thought of having to speak French. 

    Sedaris’ account of his language classes is both humorous and relatable. He describes his classmates, who come from all over the world and have varying levels of proficiency in French. Sedaris, who initially struggles to understand even basic phrases, is embarrassed by his own incompetence and feels like a “fool.” However, he quickly realizes that he is not alone in his struggles and that his classmates are also grappling with the challenges of language acquisition.

    I believe I can relate to this short story by David Sedaris because since I was in eighth grade, I have studied a foreign language. I have been taking Spanish classes for a long time and I have constantly experienced some similar struggles as Sedaris.  I feel like I can relate my experiences with Spanish to Sedaris’ experiences with French on a smaller scale.  

    In paragraph four Sedaris portrays some French words as a random hodgepodge of letters to let the reader infer that he has no clue what is being said by the teacher. When sedaris does this he makes it very relatable to anyone taking a foreign language. When i am in my spanish class i see how he could be feeling

    Throughout the duration of the story David Sedaris has in text evidence showing his struggles in and out of the classroom. In paragraph two David Sedaris says “ Some accents were better than others, but the students exhibited an ease and confidence that I found intimidating.”. Here David Sedaris portrays how he feels watching the other students speak and comprehend the French language. In this sentence he shows how he feels threatened by the other students and their ability to speak French. I found this relatable because I have had classes with people who speak excellent Spanish and listening to them interact in the class can be intimidating.

    Another in text example of relatable content within Sedaris’ story is “if you have not meimslsxp or igpdmurct by this time, then you should not be in this room. Has everyone apzkiubjxow.”(paragraph four). In this sentence David Sedaris refers to some of the french language he doesn’t know as a bunch of letters thrown together that don’t make any sense. He also shows he knows some of the basic things in French. He translated most of the sentence into english. This sentence was relatable to my experiences because I have experienced this exact situation. When I am in Spanish class I find it difficult to follow along with full sentences or I have to break down the sentence slower than most. David Sedaris does a fantastic job portraying the difficulties of not understanding a language that people around you know. 

    The last example of many in “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is  “ my fear and discomfort crept beyond the borders of the classroom and accompanied me out into the wide boulevards. Stopping for coffee, asking for directions, depositing money into my bank account.”(paragraph twenty one).  Here David Sedaris shows that he not only has to deal with not knowing the language in class but also that he doesn’t understand or is confused by what is happening in the real world when he does not know the language. I have never experienced this on the same level as Sedaris describes. I have never been thrown into an atmosphere where everyone speaks a different language than I do.  The closest I have experienced to this is vacationing to Mexico, but I was in a popular tourist destination so I was never really in a position where the only language to speak was Spanish. When Sedaris talks about not understanding what is happening around him I feel like I can understand what he is feeling just from having similar experiences just in a controlled classroom environment. 

    One of the central themes of the short story is the importance of communication and the challenges of bridging cultural and linguistic divides. Sedaris’ experience learning French is a metaphor for the broader challenge of adapting to a new culture and learning to communicate across cultural boundaries. Through his humor and self-deprecation, Sedaris emphasizes the universality of this challenge and the need for patience, empathy, and understanding.

    In conclusion, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is a funny, insightful, relatable, and engaging account of David Sedaris’ experience learning French in Paris. Through his use of vivid imagery, amusing anecdotes, and self-deprecating humor, Sedaris captures the challenges and joys of language acquisition and cultural assimilation. The short story offers a powerful reminder of the importance of communication, perseverance, and taking risks, and underscores the universality of these challenges in our increasingly interconnected world.

    Sedaris, David. “Me Talk Pretty One Day.”Me Talk Pretty One Day. Little Brown, 2000.

    pp. 166-73

  • Finding Success

    Throughout my four years in high school, I participated in a club called DECA. DECA stands for Distributive Education Clubs of America. DECA is a nationwide high school club that helps enhance a student’s marketing and selling ability. When in DECA, students get the opportunity to compete against others in a role play sales pitch.  The first competition is at the district level, and if you place high enough you move on to the statewide competition, Then after that the national level. I was fortunate enough to make it to the state level and compete against some of the best competitors in Virginia, however that was the furthest I was able to make it. 

    MIdlothian High school DECA Logo/ MIDLO DECA twitter

    Throughout my time in DECA, I was able to gain a plethora of business knowledge. I was never a president or had any leadership role, but during my time in DECA I was one of the topmost performing salespeople at my school. 

    2019 MIdlothian High School DECA / Carolyn Manheim

    In 2019, I competed in my first district competition,  and barely missed the cut to go to states.  In my first competition I went into it practically blind. I got up to the booth where I would be performing my first ever sales pitch, and had no idea what to say or how to start. I began by asking what the customer was looking for and after that it was a one-man race to the bottom of the hill. I lost eye contact trying to think of what to say next, my body language was completely off, and I was hesitating before everything that came out of my mouth. I didn’t score very well, but I took it as a learning experience to build upon for next year’s competition. 

    2021 Midlothian High School DECA yearbook photo

     In my second year, COVID hit right before I went to compete again for districts, and it eliminated my second opportunity to try to go to states. Junior year, the district competition was held online. Each participant received a scenario and had to record a business professional video responding to their scenario. I did a sales pitch for