Friday, July 18, 2014

Au revoir Québec!

Salut tout le monde!

Well here I sit, waiting for the time when my taxi will come to take me to the airport.  It's been an amazing three weeks here in Québec , and I come away with an experience I’ll never forget as well as a newfound enthusiasm for continuing my goal of learning French.  :-)

It’s always inspiring to network with a group of professionals that give up their free time to better themselves (and each other) in some way.  This happens a lot in my line of work, and it’s one of the reasons why I love it so much. 

On Wednesday, we had a tour at the National Assembly which is where the Parliament for Québec is.  After my experience in Ottawa at Parliament Hill, I was looking at and listening to everything with new eyes and ears… this stuff is actually interesting now!  Maybe I’ll quit teaching and go into politics.  Right?  Ha. Ha. Ha.

Last night, we had our final activity: a cruise down the St. Lawrence which involved dinner, music and dancing (of course)!  What a beautiful night with beautiful scenery.  It was a great way to celebrate our respective successes and end our time together.

However, the real end was today.  First we had breakfast, which they provided for us, which was nice since most of us had cleaned out our fridges and donated the food to a local charity. Then we had some thank-yous, then we filled out a rather extensive course evaluation, and then we met together again for the presentation of our certificates.

Before the certificates, though, a special recognition was given out to one person in each of the 4 classes.  Amongst ourselves (not the instructors), we had to decide who in our class:
          ** Spoke the most French while in class
          ** Spoke the most French outside of class
          ** Contributed positively to the class environment, and
          ** Encouraged and supported others

My class chose me!!  Ahhhh!!  I was so surprised and so happy.  It was like winning an Academy Award!  Well except that there were no speeches, and nobody wanted to hear the Level 1 person try to speak French anyways, haha.  Having said that, it was such a compliment because, while we were voting the day before I was thinking about how this award is even MORE significant at Level 1, given our circumstances and the fact that we have a… shall we say… disadvantage compared to the other levels.  :-)  Whoop whoop!

Okay, I’m done bragging now.  Just had to share that with you. 

I really recommend this program to anyone who wants to try to improve their French.  It was not only teachers from BC in my program – they were also from other provinces, territories, and countries!  In addition, they weren’t all teachers/educators, either!  So if you are interested in French, let me know and I’ll forward you the info.

As for me, I’ll be continuing to pursue French using any combination of the following methods, so beware:
-             Rosetta Stone

-             The Michel Thomas method

-             Duolingo

-             Pestering my French-fluent friends and colleagues
-             Pestering Ted (he loves it when I pester him)
-             SD43 French Conversation classes arranged through Sophie Bergeron
-             Travelling to French-speaking locations
-             Possibly a French class at SFU?
-             Eating poutine, baguette, brie and drinking French wine (that way I’ll FEEL more French at least!)
I’m open to any other suggestions especially if they involve eating and/or drinking.  :-)

Thanks for following along with me during my trials and tribulations!  I’m excited to be home very soon!

Cheers & love,

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