There I was in French class sitting in my 39 year old body with a 9 year old mindset. The last event for the evening was dictation. My heart froze. I have hated dictation ever since Mrs. Rose's fourth grade class. Something gets lost in the translation from aural to written word. I want to do it, but it is so incredibly difficult that frustration over rides the desire to learn.
The dictation difficulties are similar to my inability to cut a straight line. I received a "needs improvement" in kindergarten and have been cutting diagonals ever since. When working for a yarn company, a boss once asked me to trim sample cards that were soon to be distributed. I informed him of my scissor handicap and he told me to get over myself. I tried and tried and tried. The result was a set of 30 butchered sample cards and one ticked off boss.
When I can't master a particular skill, I tend to master the inability to complete it. I actually do have a slight hearing disability, but that isn't what impedes me from dictation. After innumerable C's and D's in the subject, I gave up and mastered the inability to succeed at it. This mindset is exactly what I battle against when teaching art to children and adults. If they can't master a realistic portrait, they believe they can't draw. Arrogance and pride are what impede me. My students don't need to be cloned Leonardo da Vincis to enjoy drawing and I don't need an A+ to learn from dictation. It's time to try in earnest.