I've come to use the computer at the Bibliothèque Gabrielle Roy from another session of lectures with sides at the Museum of Civilization, le Musée de la civilisation, down by the river, where the conference about the Saint Lawrence continues. (Maybe I should have travelled down to Vermont and points south today, because it was a day without snow or rain, good road conditions, but then, it was so beautiful, ... but I have to leave tomorrow, so future posts for some time will be from prior journal entries.)
Today I heard three speakers, one of them a woman (finally), one of them Tom McAuley, whom I figure to be an anglophone who worked hard (and well) to be fluent in French. Tom McAuley works for the International Joint Commission Canada & United States/commission mixte internationale Canada et Etats-Unis, thus for the government of neither country but for this cooperative commission that is all about saving the St. Lawrence (and Great Lakes) for both our countries. That web address is www.ijc.org..
This is what I understood through all the slides and research reports and photographs and films, though I really did not understand everything that every speaker said: the St. Lawrence is precious to both countries, especially important to the city of Chicago and the state of New York, for water usage purposes; and to the people of Vermont, Quebec, Ontario, and beyond, and all their living creatures (including whales and seals and many incredible creatures, like the little penguin, a penguin that can fly, and a bird I can't name for you that looks like a Puffin but isn't named that).
If I were younger, I would have learned French more easily. I would understand everything every speaker said. But if I were younger, I'd try to dedicate myself to saving the St. Lawrence. Nothing can be more important for biodiversity on this continent and for the future of many, many millioins of human beings.
Learning in Québec
- Sylvia Ann Manning
- I'm someone who began learning French when I was 53. I took a BA in French at 60 but wasn't happy with my level of comprehension (though I read very well). So, having really become comfortable with Spanish only by living on the Mexican border, I'm spending more time in Québec and near the border of Quebec, in Vermont, to see if I can do that here with French. I want to encourage others to do the same.