Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

February 6, 2012

7 Things about Me, Day 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am
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(If you are tuning in this morning and haven’t read this post yet, please pop down and read that first.  This post will make much more sense if you do!)

I’ve had a long-time fascination with France.  Part of it may be my heritage.  One of my mother’s cousins traced our family’s ancestry back to the time of the French Revolution; that’s when it appears my ancestors first headed for North America and settled in Quebec.

When I was in 4th grade,  foreign language was offered as a class for the first time. I can’t remember if we had a choice of taking French or Spanish or if my class was simply given French.  I loved it!  I had started taking flute lessons in school that year too, but if the flute lessons coincided with French class, as they often did, I refused to go!

My love affair with the French language continued into junior high school, where I’m sure we had the choice of French or Spanish.  Seventh and eighth graders were allowed to take the equivalent of the high school class French 1 over the course of two years, then begin French 2 as a freshman.  I loved it so much, my teachers decided to place me in French 3 as a freshman.

One other freshman girl and I were in the class with many upperclassmen.  I was undaunted and I began my long-standing “pen-pal” relationship with Regis in France.  I still remember my French teacher passing a list around the class with the names and interests of students who were taking English class in France.  At the time I remember being proud of myself that I could also read the teacher from France’s side notes on the list too!  I selected Regis from the list and happily wrote my first letter.

In the summer of 1990, three years after we graduated from high school, Regis and I met in person.  He was travelling the United States with a youth group.  At the time he was to be in Massachusetts, my family was going to be on vacation on Cape Cod.  Hating to miss the opportunity to meet in person, we figured out a plan!  (Remember – this was pre-internet, pre-email days!) He took a bus to Cape Cod, and I picked him up and brought him to our vacation rental.

By the time we met in person, I felt badly that my conversational French had gotten fairly poor.  I started college with plans to become a French teacher, but after freshman year, I decided I was no longer able to understand French with the fluency I’d eventually need to pursue it as a career.

Regis and I still keep in touch.  We are friends on Facebook, and we still write a letter along with a card around Christmas.  His son Marc and my daughter Meghan are the same age.  I hope that we will get to meet again in person again someday – but next time, in France!  Despite the fact that my French is no where near as good as it used to be ( I can still read some French), a visit to France is on my “bucket list.”

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20 Comments »

  1. The dreams of youth and how they change – the story of life. Thank you for your award of The Versatile Blogger – I’ll address it soon. After I’ve had time to come up with some creativity or at least some new things about me.

    Comment by Carol — February 6, 2012 @ 10:13 am | Reply

    • No hurry Carol. Feel free to do with the award what you’d like! :-)

      Comment by Karma — February 6, 2012 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  2. That’s a wonderful story! Have you ever traveled in Quebec? Looked up the places where those rapscallion ancestors lived? I’m impressed that you still keep in touch with your penpal. You have a gift for friendship, Karen.

    Comment by Gerry — February 6, 2012 @ 10:16 am | Reply

    • Thanks Gerry. I’ve been to Quebec just once – on my 8th grade trip with my French class. I’d really love to go back some day, and to find out more about my rapscallion ancestors! ;-)

      Comment by Karma — February 6, 2012 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

  3. How cool! I hope you pass some island where they speak French on your cruise! :)

    Comment by Kathy — February 6, 2012 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

    • No French islands on this trip! It is a relatively short cruise with just two stops: Key West and Cozumel, Mexico.

      Comment by Karma — February 6, 2012 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  4. Haha, I bet your French is still better than mine ;-)
    Very cool that you got to meet in person…. crossing my fingers that you’ll make it to France soon!

    Comment by TheDailyClick — February 6, 2012 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

    • Really? I figured all you European-borns grew up multi-lingual! ;-) I’m sure France is in my extremely distant, if ever, future. :-(

      Comment by Karma — February 6, 2012 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

  5. Wonderful story, Karma, and wonderfully told. I do hope you get to France someday where you can practice your French until your heart is content. :)

    Comment by Robin — February 6, 2012 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

  6. I took French in highschool, too! Four years! I can’t speak it either :-( BUT I do understand it. How nice that you still remain in touch. Maybe, you can meet again on the cape and reconnect! :-)

    Comment by milkayphoto — February 6, 2012 @ 5:28 pm | Reply

    • I don’t think Regis has any plans to travel to the US any time soon, as far as I know! And I’m not giving up that trip-to-France dream!

      Comment by Karma — February 6, 2012 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  7. Loved this post! (And thanks for the nomination.)
    Another Frenchie here….my Memiere and Pepiere used to speak French whenever they didn’t want us to know what they were talking about. :) I figured I’d be clever and took five years of French, thinking I would finally be able to understand them. Lo and behold, high school French sounded NOTHING like my grandparents’ French…they were Canuck and their speech had a different accent and cadence, and they clipped many words. Ah, well…I’ve lost so much of it, but I can still puzzle out written French fairly well. :)

    Comment by kanniduba — February 6, 2012 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Danielle.
      Funny how that stuff works, huh? I remember my French teacher telling us a story about a French friend who wanted to learn English. My teacher offered to teach him, but he said no, he wanted to learn English not American !

      Comment by Karma — February 6, 2012 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  8. My sister had a French pen pal and they ended up being exchange students. My sister flew to France and spent some time over there. I wonder if she flew by herself? I’ll have to ask. Our ancestors on my father’s side are Quebecois.

    Comment by Becky Sue — February 7, 2012 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  9. Bonjour mon amie, lovely story. Enjoy France ! Sybil

    Comment by Sybil — February 8, 2012 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

  10. Karen..this is a great post. I remember that visit with Regis so well. I was so nervous but thrilled to meet someone from France. My father and Grandmother used to speak nothing but French and I was so frustrated wanting to know what they were talking about and wishing so much that I could speak French so I could feel special.

    Comment by Trish Dinsmore — February 15, 2012 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

    • I was nervous too! But really happy that we were able to make it happen.

      Comment by Karma — February 16, 2012 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  11. [...] I ever tell you that about me?  Maybe that should have been one of my 7 things.  When I start cleaning the house I am highly distractable.  I rarely finish one chore or one [...]

    Pingback by An Unusual Day « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — February 26, 2012 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

  12. […] you would like to learn? I’ve had a long-standing love affair with the French language, as I chronicled once in this blog post. I took it all through school and for a year in college. I can still read some of it, but my skills […]

    Pingback by Some Answers for Cee | Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — January 21, 2014 @ 7:01 am | Reply


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