Friday, April 18, 2014

Montreal: Choose your own adventure

Hello, friends!

The kids and I just spent a few days in Montreal. We had a great time, but that's not a very insightful post in itself. I have a lot of insights from this trip, but don't want to write 10 pages of insights. What do you want to know about?

1. How being a clear outsider in a new setting builds empathy (involves power structures in the US)

2. How direct experiences such as travel are so much more effective at building academic background knowledge than just about everything else (involves anecdotes about the trip that will stick, and why)

3. If I were to take a class to Montreal, how would we prepare? (involves Rafe Esquith)

4. My obsession with language and, in this case, inability to grasp even the most obvious dialectical differences (involves some technical linguistics and, ultimately, why we went to Montreal over, say, Toronto)

5. How we grappled with culturally appropriate code-switching and never quite figured it out (what we learned and didn't learn about being non-French speakers in a French-speaking city)

6. The nexus of circumstances that have led us to be so fortunate to be able to take this trip in the first place (involves why we will never take this sort of opportunity for granted)

All of the above, of course, involve funny and touching anecdotes about Barbara and Sebastian.

Vote in the comments! Or send me an e-mail! I'm happy to write about any of this but think putting all of it together defeats the purpose of sharing any of it. Let me know what you want to know, and I'm happy to oblige :)


  1. Considering that I will be taking my 11 year old daughter to Haiti in the summer, where french creole is the language, and which we know none of...I'd interested in all of the above topics but especially 1, 4 & 5.