Learning in Québec

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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.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

about Jessica's Campaign

I listen to the radio a lot. Sometimes I've listened to the French version of Radio Canada, Radio Quebec, 24 hours a day, turned down very low but still audible even when I sleep. The idea is that even if I don't understand it, the flow of the language will find its way into my subconscious, into whatever part of my brain can still learn language.

Other times I say to myself, "No, this isn't helping. In fact, it's counter-productive. Just listen to French when you are REALLY GOING TO LISTEN!" Actually, I think both approaches are good.

Early in this stay, I switched to English Radio Canada to check out a news story of the day, and that's when I heard an interview with Jeanette Holman-Price.

Three people were hit by snow cleaning machines that day in Montreal, the day of the interview, at least one of whom died. Radio Canada contacted Jeanette Holman-Price because she is the mother of Jessica, a young woman who died saving her younger brother's life when a snow machine drew him in. Here is what was said when she was given a Medal of Bravery in her province:

Medal Of Bravery
Jessica Lauren Holman-Price, M.B. (posthumous)
Portugal Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador

On December 19, 2005, 21-year-old Jessica Holman‑Price lost her life while preventing her 10‑year-old brother from being crushed by the wheels of a snow-removal truck in Montreal, Quebec. The two were standing on a snowbank at a busy intersection, waiting to cross the street. When the light turned green, the truck came around the corner and caught the edge of the mound, causing the boy to slide under the vehicle. Ms. Holman-Price reached for him but she too lost her footing and slid under the wheels of the truck. In a split second, she managed to push her brother out of harm’s way before the massive truck fatally injured her.

Jeanette Holman-Price, Jessica's mother, cares for the brother whose injuries left him handicapped, but she also works to raise public awareness about the need for a shield on the snow removal machines. She has a petition on the website, www.thejessicacampaign.com, which anyone can sign. I urge you to.

I wrote to Ms. Holman-Price to ask if it was ok for someone from Texas to sign, and she replied, "We have letters from Hawaii and from countries as far away as Australia and the UAE. These are global issues, as everyone ... is put at risk by the dangers associated with not implementing these safety measures."

And also, family members lived in Houston, 2001-2004.

1 comment:

  1. Sylvia...thank you again for helping to spread Jessica's story. The more people who hear of her life and her death - the more successful we will be in implementing these life saving measures. Kindest regards Jeannette www.thejessicacampaign.com


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