I was really fortunate with my first group of students.
I loved my Wednesdays at Groupama, my Thursdays at Natixis and Flammarion and my Monday mornings and Friday evenings at Société Générale so much that it didn’t matter that my Tuesdays were a bit bland.
But one by one, these students finished. And, although their replacements are lovely, there are only a few with whom I have a similar rapport.
Laurence is one of them – late 40s (maybe early 50s – her sons are a bit older than me), she is very friendly and has been working in my dream career for the last three decades . . . I just haven’t figured out how to get her to offer me a job yet. :p
And I absolutely love Denise. In her late 50s, she’s an elementary student so we can’t really converse in detail, but she’s so enthusiastic and gets so pleased with herself when she understands a new concept that I can’t help but leave her classes feeling on top of the world. She also bought me a box of chocolates last week after she came back from a two month break, but I don’t want you to think that swayed my opinion.
At the other end of the scale are Eugenia and Aline – on BTL’s thirty point scale they have scores of 28 and 28.5, so they are the most advanced students I’ve ever had. I get along with them well, but they’re such good friends that it’s usually more fun just to sit back and watch them talk.
So what do you do when you finish your course with a student you really like?
Valérie from Société Générale was my original favourite. A pre-intermediate to intermediate student, she worked with colleagues in London and used to avoid their calls because she had trouble with the accent (after listening to their messages several times, she would email back). Determined to be fluent, she had a great mind for grammar and progressed quickly. We talked about a lot as well – about work, her daughters, Jewish holidays, Paris and Oz. She had dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin, perfect teeth and dimples – when she smiled she was so beautiful that I knew she was one of those women that men would devote their lives to. When I think of a woman who embodies what a Goddess is, I think of her.
I would have loved to have stayed in contact with her, but I didn’t know how to approach her without seeming like a stalker, and I haven’t heard from her since we finished in October.
Then, on Wednesday, I had a lovely surprise. Marie-Maud, an advanced student, is finishing next week. She and I have a good rapport too – she’s quite young (I originally thought late 20s but have since discovered that she’s actually mid-30s – I hope I look that good in ten years!) so not only do we go off on tangents about our lives, but subjects extend as far as boys. When she was taking me back to reception after class last week, she said, “do you want to get a coffee some time before you leave Paris?”
I know this sounds really juvenile, but yay – I made a new friend!