The beach is icy

Not really. Not at all. “The beach is icy” is rather one of the very few things I can say in French. This phrase means little in my language repertoire (ooh! look at that! a French word in context!) and will mean even less in Switzerland next month. An upcoming business trip has me frantically looking for my Michel Thomas French instruction cds, thumbing through French for Dummies before bed, and determined to feel slightly less communication helpless than during last year’s trip to Germany.

I took French many years ago and would have kept it up if:
A) The high school teacher wasn’t a total lunatic
B) Our planned student trip to France hadn’t fallen through

Lunatic? Oh yes. You’d have to have been in class with her to really appreciate it. I sat through two years of loco on the promise of crossing the Atlantic. Crazy as they come, she was. From what I recall, the gawky, skinny, and eccentric woman fell in love with the new – was it math? science? I can’t remember – teacher and they began dating. My high school was a tiny thing, and my graduating class was only one hundred or so, so as you can imagine, secrets were hard to keep.

I had switched to Spanish for my final two years of high school and so I didn’t see the full-on breakdown happen. French Teacher’s tiny dog (which had a clichĂ© French name) apparently didn’t feel love for Mr New Teacher and so in a crazy effort to prove her devotion, Miss Crazy French Teacher killed her dog to keep it from disrupting the relationship further.
Then she got pulled out of class by the men in white coats. No joke.

Kinda glad I didn’t travel thousands of miles from home with her.