From today's guest blogger Ms. C:
Ever since I saw Amelie, my lifelong wish to listen to a French man talk to me slowly (that accent has a lazy, sexy charm that beats even Matthew McConaughey's drawl) was transformed into a dreamy desire to speak French myself and to see Amelie’s Paris. A globetrotting friend has afforded me the opportunity to finally travel to Montmartre for a couple days this Fall. I've dusted off the French language CDs I bought years ago and I've finally made it past Disc 1. And do you know what I've discovered?
I love learning.
Love it. In learning, I’m discovering the thrill of school all over again. Even though the CDs instruct me not to take notes, I do it anyway! I’ve always enjoyed school and lived for that moment when the teacher said, “Yes, that’s right.” When I get a French phrase or word right listening to my language CDs, I must admit to some genuine fist pumping.
After graduating college, I still underlined sentences in books I read and wrote in the margins to the point where I can't loan anything out these days without checking it first for embarrassing or revealing notations. I walked down the aisles of office supply stores, delighting in the tummy thrill I felt at being near shiny paper clips! Post-it notes shaped like fish! Or folders in all the colors of the rainbow!
Those toys of the student impart more than just nostalgia. They signal the aura of school and education and the learning that revitalizes our senses, wakes up our brains, and changes our perspectives. Learning forces us to pay more attention and in doing so, start seeing the things we were taking for granted and embrace their charms again. There are few things more beautiful than the pleasure of mastering a new concept, broadening one’s mind, or putting pages together with a new, shiny, silver paper clip. Wouldn’t life itself be so much better if we were all rewarded with gold stars and A-pluses whenever we did things right? In fact, if I master French, I want a professor to knock on my door in front of all my neighbors and ex-boyfriends and mean childhood enemies and award me a perfect 4.0. Because it’s never too late to learn and more importantly, it’s never too late to look smarter than everyone else.