May 27, 2009

Sometimes, I find some of the lines used by telemarketers quite funny when they are not annoying. Ten minutes ago, I got a call from one of them on behalf of The Record, the local newspaper. The conversation went like this:

Telemarketer: Good evening, how are you doing Sir?
Me: I’m doing fine, thank you.
Telemarketer: Sir, I’m calling on befalf of The Record, and the reason why I’m calling is that The Record would like to offer you a six day delivery for x number of dollars.
Me: I’m sorry, I don’t have time to read newspapers.
Telemarketer: How about you try it on week-ends?
Me: I don’t have time even on week-ends. I work full-time, study part-time, and also have a baby.
Telemarketer: Sir, I know you can do some reading on top of your studies.
Me (annoyed): You are are saying I can have some free time to read newspapers, even with A BABY?
Telemarketer: Okay then. Thank you Sir.

Honestly, I don’t have time to read newspapers. In the very case that I do, I go on The Record’s website and read the headlines there. What annoyed me was that she did not take the time to listen to what I said, and  was too eager to tell me what I can or cannot do. I could have been meaner and told her, “How about you come to my place and babysit while I read the newspaper? 

I don’t mind taking the calls of telemarketers from time to time. They are making a living making the calls. However, what I don’t like is for someone to tell me what to do.


Angelica à 5 mois

May 25, 2009
Angelica à 5 mois

Angelica à 5 mois

Je n’arrive pas à croire que ma petite princesse a déjà cinq mois, bientôt six. Je peux vous dire qu’elle fait la joie de ses parents. J’ai bien peur que bientôt elle n’aura plus ses cuisses et ses pieds dodus.

Entre les murs

May 22, 2009

Si vous avez l’occasion de voir  Entre les murs, (Palme d’Or 2008) je vous le conseille fortement. C’est l’histoire d’un professeur qui travaille dans une classe difficile où il est presqu’impossible d’y faire régner l’ordre. 

Spring 2009 Term

May 17, 2009

One of the two courses I’m taking this term is Philosophy 202: Gender Issues. Very interesting but a lot to read. It’s my first ever Philosophy course, and already there is an essay due next week on women’s oppression: women are oppressed as women, men are not oppressed as men. 

Wish me luck, because I’m going to need all the luck I can get.

Learning French

May 16, 2009

I’ve come across a fair number of people who genuinely want to learn to speak French. They usually start by taking a French course at their local community college. If you are one of the French learners living an English community, let me tell you that although this is a good start, I’m afraid it is not enough. Why do I say it is not enough? Well, it’s because outside of your two hours per week, you will almost never speak to anyone in French. Now, you can ask, “How then can so many immigrants who have never spoken English before moving to Canada learn to speak English so fast?” To this, I will answer that once these same people set foot outside their home, the language they will hear for almost 99.99% of the time will be English and wherever they go they will need to speak English if they want to be understood. This is very important for under these conditions, people not fluent in English are forced to make an effort to communicate in English. This is not your case. As long as you don’t go to a place where French is the only spoken language, you will never be forced to communicate in French. 

So, having described the problem, let’s see what you can do to improve your chances of becoming a fluent French speaker. You can start by listening to a French radio (on the internet) or watch a French television show for say two hours every week and gradually increase the number of hours you spend listening to French language. TV5 is a wonderful television station for this purpose. It offers a mixture of both French and French Canadian shows. Doing this, you quickly learn that you should not pronounce le as la. And once you’ve  made good progress in your course you can start reading some French books or articles.

Good luck!

Dis maman, comment on fait les bébé?

May 16, 2009

Voilà une question à laquelle mon épouse et moi devrons répondre  un jour qu’on le veuille ou non. Je sais que nous serons mal à l’aise mais je pense que la meilleure solution serait d’être honnête et de ne pas lui répondre que les filles naissent dans les roses et les garçons dans les choux ni que c’est la cigogne qui dépose les enfants dans chaque famille. 

Pourquoi je pense que l’honnêté reste la meilleure solution? Et bien, il y aura forcément un de ses amis qui sache comment les bébés sont faits. Une fois qu’elle aura appris que ses parents lui ont menti, Angelica ne ferait plus confiance à ses parents, en l’occurence mon épouse et moi. Et ça, c’est ce que veux éviter à tout prix.

Plus vs Plus

May 9, 2009

A l’oral, le s est muet ou non selon le contexte. Si plus veut dire d’avantage, alors on doit prononcer le s à la fin.

Jean n’a pas mangé depuis deux jours. De plus
Il en veut plus.
Par contre, si plus a un sens négative, alors le s est muet.

Je n’en peux plus.
Jean n’a pas mangé depuis deux jours et moi non plus.