If it existed, Charlène would win the Question of the Week prize. She is off-grid, i.e., not part of the community and is a neighbour’s daughter, and she is also very introverted. Wednesday afternoons are kids’ day, and a handful join me for creative language fun. They set the agenda and Charlène floored me with her simple question. “How did cuisine come to be?” she wanted to know. It is such a mundane activity that we do, yet we seldom question its origins. I now have to take this complex question and break it down into a teenage mindset and in a foreign language, create a series of exercises, all in a space of a week. But it is exciting, and I just might throw this one, adapted for adults, into the Brida ring.
But it goes further, and I wonder if people really notice what they are doing. Take Céline and Nathalie. Céline takes her daughter on an adventure trip. The first post that will tell us the story of a mother-daughter trip is also a life lesson. The mother wanted to impress on her daughter that being old doesn’t mean that we are confined to “old activities”. Nathalie picked up on this thought, asked a question and with some of our support, Céline wrote an interesting answer.
Maxime wants to see his former Gymnastics Team in competition and devises a way to do this, one week before his end-of-academic-year exams. Normally, one should be sitting at home, revising, cramming and not driving halfway down the country. The reactions show admiration and contain a hidden question. How does he do it? And Maxime duly provides the answer.
I introduce the potluck method in the Tuesday Get Together. Let them choose the subject. Sebastian tells of a friend’s Bachelor party and then comes Igor’s confession. He can’t understand foodies but wants to appreciate food more. And another question, along the lines of, “how is it that France came to be so sophisticated culturally?”
Rosi describes her mini-break in Socorro. In the “Sip’n’Study” I create, I dig out three videos. Two on the town and its surroundings, and one on how to make a Coxinha, apparently the epitome of Brazilian street food. I am itching to try and make some of this street food myself.
Language isn’t grammar and words. Language is life. We need to live it.