Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tales of the Old Dog

After I passed the EMT-B class, my next project was to learn to speak French. To this end I signed up to audit a Elementary French class at the private college in our nearest town. Yesterday was the first class.

Fifteen, brand-new, bright and shiny Freshman plus Dearest and me.

The professor is a middle-aged French woman, expressive, positive and kind.
Quite a change from the Christian Brothers trained demigod instructor of Irish class, but I digress.
Oh, how Madame coaxed the newly-minted college students to participate. First order of class acknowledge the rules and resources.

Nowdays, everything is computerized. Madame instructed with the aid of Powerpoint. The college hosts an online repository where each class can download assignments, interact with classmates, check grades, and post profiles. When she came to describe this resource, she clucked her tongue, clasped her hands together and said to the babies, “Of course, our non-traditional students will be lost. Can you tell them how to access?”

One coed, front row, started talking. Madame stopped her, pointed at us, “Tell them.”



I suppose non-traditional student is better than slow learner.

Madame then went on to discuss cliches about France that are not true.

Hello ...


  1. Truly I am in admiration of your self-control. I probably would have spoken out, something along the lines of pre-conceived ideas, stereotypes. Maybe the young sprouts would have learned something, though it had nothing to do with speaking French, if you had.

    Young male office worker in my unit had a similar misconception about "older" workers and tech savvy-ness. I set him straight, though it took several sessions of intense conversation. He denied any such attitudes, until I started quoting him back to himself. Oh.

    Every time we let ageist or sexist attitudes go unchallenged, we add to the problem. But if we speak up, then we make another stereotype of "rude old person". Sigh. Can't win.

  2. Later I calculated -- 20+ years on the computer. I'm rarely stymied. Not above the occasional hack, but a few ;) gray hairs render me clueless!?

    I just want to learn French.


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