My grandfather was a brilliant man. He was knowledgeable on many subjects, and was particularly interested in foreign languages. He started teaching my sister and me to speak French at a very early age, writing the words out phonetically in a small spiral 3-ring notebook.
Both of my grandparents would sprinkle into conversation the occasional word or phrase of whatever language they felt was appropriate: French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, German, you name it, you might have heard it.
They travelled Europe fairly extensively after retiring, bringing us girls back small goodies. We would meet them at the airport back in the days when folks still dressed up to travel. Skirts and ties and smiles all around.
It is with Grandpa in mind especially that I chose the class I am taking this semester: French II. I haven't taken francais since high school, when I excelled at it. It was my favorite subject through the years. But Madame G would be sorely disappointed to discover how little I've retained.
I managed to place into French II by virtue of an on-line exam, but after the first class last night I wonder if that was such a good idea. Verb conjugation may be the sticking point.
But last night in class I could hear Grandpa singing opera and quoting Shakespeare and Grandma's cheerful voice calling from the kitchen.