My mom just told me she saw the obituary for my Grade 7 French teacher in the paper. Mme Baxter died suddenly on Tuesday.

I started taking French in Grade 6, and took to it immediately. Through university, it was one of my favourite classes. Mme Baxter was utterly charming to the twelve-year-old me. She was French Canadian – or at least her French was Canadian – and her accent was different and sibilant and fascinating. Poor Mme Mackey spent the first couple months of Grade 8 French undoing it all.

Mme Baxter, I moved to Canada ten years ago. I wish your Canadian French hadn’t been overwritten all those years ago. It would have served me better than all the “proper” Parisian French I learned instead. Rest in peace.

3 responses to “RIP, Mme Baxter”

  1. Jennifer Watkiss Avatar
    Jennifer Watkiss

    If it makes you feel any better, we’re taught “proper” French in Canadian schools as well. Which is extra useless in BC, where there aren’t any French-Canadian immersion opportunities for us anglos. 

    1. Kim Werker Avatar

      Wait. French immersion here is Parisian French? WHY?

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      1. Jennifer Watkiss Avatar
        Jennifer Watkiss

        From the very limited amount I know, because that’s what texts, etc. are written in. French Canadian seems to be handled more like a dialect, with documentation, etc. in “high” French. 

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