200 Plastic Pens

I’m getting ready to collect data for my thesis, and I’ve got a box of pens.

There are moments of insecurity when it comes to my French language skills, but I’ve got a major moment of truth coming up. I’ll be collecting data for my thesis beginning tomorrow afternoon, and it’s been a long time coming.


I’m on my sixth draft of my survey and my supervisors are planing to integrate my survey collection process into an interview/counselling position. This feels like a big step for my professional development, because they’re encouraging me work with clients with minimal supervision.

It’s been nearly three full years since I moved to France and began learning French. I can speak well, for situations from parties to interviews, but I still feel so rehearsed sometimes. There will be nothing to do but try to brush up on the verbs I might use, and then to practice, practice, practice.

In the end, I’ll have to count on people being patient with me when I make mistakes. I don’t feel terribly professional in that regard, but I know that the only way to improve my professional French is to keep trying.

I developed a self-scoring data sheet for clients to use if they are interested in their results from part of the survey. My boss was so excited to be able to give a tangible result to clients. Still, I’m trying to balance the fact that I have to keep the hard copy of their data!

So here I am, armed with about 200 branded, plastic pens, getting ready to launch the client-facing portion of one of my most ambitious projects to date. I’m trying to savour the moment, instead of being scared. It’s been 6 months in the making, since I toured the facilities as a guest back in October. I never imagined that they would accept my cold-call proposal for a paid internship, but here we are today!

Wish me luck tomorrow, en Français!


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