I have a habit of saying “To make a long story short…” To which the exasperated listener rejoins: “Too late!”
But this time, for reasons of propriety, I mean it: The following story has been truncated for your reading pleasure.
Long story short: My eldest was asked to no longer attend French class. By the French teacher herself. It was the middle school principal who -- after a long personality struggle between teacher and student -- informed my daughter of this development. To her face. I swung into a role with which I’ve become increasingly familiar: advocate. Over the course of a few days, I asked the school what it would do to ensure my daughter’s ongoing French language instruction, so she’d be prepared for high school. Ultimate response: Nothing.
I had the incredible fortune and privilege to study during my junior year in college in Toulouse, France, at its kinda subpar humanities institution, Universite de Toulouse II -- Le Mirail. I later learned that the college’s location was supposed to have been somewhere else; in its current locale, it looks a bit like a barracks or a bunker. It’s not the pride of La Ville Rose, quoi. But esthetics didn’t really matter; I was in a French-immersion environment, 24/7, and that was what I’d wanted. My written and spoken French were quite good by the end of my academic year.
Obsessed with French still, I’ve kept up many of my language skills since that magical year of struggle, victory, stolen luggage, both rude and polite French folks, both good and mediocre wine, dreaming in French, and enjoying three-hour (or longer) meals. At one point after returning Stateside, I seriously considered going into translation work. But most such jobs at the time were abroad, and I wanted to live in the U.S. So, I wondered, beyond maintaining a(n) (healthy?) obsession with French, what could I really do with it?
You’ll recall from my long-story-short above that my daughter’s school removed her from her French class -- per her French teacher’s recommendation (request?) -- and provided no ongoing language instruction. Et voila! I am now a middle school French tutor. The kind who makes learning verb tenses and some fine points of grammar fun. Want to learn to conjugate verbs in a new tense? Let’s use “to fart”! Want to learn the difference between a grammatically correct way to ask a question, and the way it’s asked on the street? Bon alors!
This story has a parallel in the work 2B Writing Company does. Frustrated with the blank page? Wishing you had slightly better turn of phrase throughout a piece you’ll post on your website, accessible to the world? Lacking the time to pen that letter, that document, that case statement?
Don’t get mad; get even. Bring aboard 2Bs as your advocate. We’ve had plenty of practice. Beh oui.