So, lastnight was my last french class with Madame Mouffette! I am actually kinda bummed about it. She is a great woman, she teaches everyday at an elementary school and this was her first time teaching at the adult level. She won’t be around for the next session of classes because it was too much for her to teach during the day and at night – but it was a great experience to have her as a teacher. She isn’t a traditional Quebecois – her dad was an Anglophone – so she knows both english and french. She is one of those people who is truly passionate about teaching – she is encouraging & supportive – these are the teachers & friends I will never forget. I will say my class was an amazing experience not just because I brushed up on my french skills but because my classmates were from all around the world. There were 4 of us in total, one from the U.S., one from Egypt, one from Syria & one from India. We were all around the same age too so it was cool to talk about our different perspectives.
For our last class we went out for dinner – to practice speaking in french but basically it was to enjoy eachother’s company since we had been with eachother for a month, every night for 3 hours. I honestly have never learned more about history, culture & where I fit in than I have through this class. Meeting these people was truly an eye opening experience. We spent 3 hours lastnight talking of our cultures, religion, own practices & ideas and they were all different. The waiter kept stopping by to make sure we were content – he’d sometimes stand there for 30 seconds or more until we realized he was there – we were so immersed in this new knowledge. The most amazing part was that as we all looked around the table, we saw that although we don’t share a lot of the same ideas or beliefs that there is a deeper understanding – that we are human beings all striving for the same goal of happiness. I am connected to these people now. We let eachother in to see pieces of ourselves. What a liberating experience. No prejudice – just complete willingness to understand and to listen. I learned a lot lastnight – I think more than I realize.
In some moments I sat back in my chair and just listened. Listened to these foreign words and ideas and realized that there’s a lot more left to learn. I have only begun to scratch the surface but I truly feel as if this experience has made me a better person. More aware and craving knowledge. As we all exchanged our phone numbers & emails my teacher looked around the table and said, “Although we all come from different places we sit here around the table and speak and listen and even if we do not agree – we understand – we are friends.” We smiled as she encouraged us to keep learning & changing- she said, “You can all change the world.”
Before we parted ways she gave each of us a card – we all held them tightly as we left the warmth of the restaurant and entered the cold and lonely trip through the city back to our homes. Each going our own way – but carrying a small piece of eachother.