Welcome to the Cool Club

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Courtesy photo

Susan Dromey Heeter enjoying a getaway


Every once in a while you have a moment when the universe whispers, “Hey, you’re in the cool club.”  I had this moment when I attended the New Hampshire Association of World Language Teachers Conference in Concord in late March.

First of all, language teachers are cool. We can not only speak a myriad of tongues, we are vibrant, interesting, well-traveled.  We are orchestrators of solutions, we do not speak excuses, we get things done with color, with texture, with creativity, with noise. One woman, Suzanne, mentioned she swims often in Newfound Lake.  “Only when the water is above 60.” she remarked. 

We are not a glum lot.

French and Spanish cohorted with Italian, German and English at the conference, rooms were filled with conversations around the ways to improve language learning and acquisition. That is what a good conference does, it brings simple solutions, enthusiasm, dedication and vibrancy.  NHAWLT, the New Hampshire Association of World Language Teachers does not disappoint.

What does disappoint, is the New Hampshire Department of Education. Last year, the Commissioner of Education, Frank Edelblut, introduced a bill that not only would have removed art, health and physical education, engineering, computer science, and digital literacy from the core academic domains, it would also have removed World Languages.  There are words I know in several languages that I could use in response to this initiative, I shall simply go with the G rated word of:  poppycock.

Mercifully, this bill did not pass.

And, yet, dear Musers, there are other slashers on the horizon.  I’ll keep you briefed as I suspect, dear musers, you are supporters of public education, of language learning and cringe at the following joke:

What do you call a person who speaks three languages?  Trilingual.

What do you call a person who speaks two languages?  Bilingual.

And what do you call a person who speaks one language?  American.

Yikes.  Gracias for supporting the cool club. Are you in it?  Let’s hope so. If not, I know a myriad of ways you can join.

 Dänke, merci, gracias, gratias, tak, dankuwel for reading, dear Musers. Uds. son fabulosos.

Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.

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