Madame V begins the lesson by reading aloud the first stanza of a famous French poem: Il pleure dans mon coeur Comme il pleut sur la ville; Quelle est cette langueur Qui penetre mon coeur? Then she looks up and without any warning she calls on me to translate it. I swallow hard, and try: "It's raining in my heart like it's raining in the city. What is this sadness that pierces my heart?" Saying these words out loud, right in front of the whole class, makes me feel like I'm not wearing any clothes.