B.A. from Tulane University (Classical languages)
University of New Orleans (MEd)
Tulane University (Master's)
Teaching has been my passion all my life. Since graduating from Tulane University, I have studied for two master's degrees, one in curriculum and instruction and the other in the literature of France. Twice during my high-school and college teaching years, I tried to leave education and earn a living doing something else, but I returned to teaching, too bored with the other jobs to do them well. Recently I have found more satisfaction in smaller groups and in individual tutoring since the educational bureaucracy is minimized to the essentials. Perhaps it is necessary to maintain exacting records in today's litigious society, but I have become impatient with tracking absences, supervising detention and doing hall duty. So I have decided to return to what is for me the real joy of teaching, namely the experience of participating in a person's understanding of things he or she did not understand before. In particular in languages, I enjoy helping people learn to communicate in every way in French, English and German or simply to read Latin, which of course is no longer spoken anywhere.
So after 40 years of teaching in New Orleans schools like Benjamin Franklin, de la Salle, Metairie Park Country Day, Destrehan and Virginia Beach high schools, I am become content to make appointments with students, high-school age or adult, who would like to understand, read, speak and write in the languages I can teach. My students tell me that my grammatical explanations are clear and logical, though I prefer to introduce grammar in context rather than study it for its own sake. I enjoy writing in both French and English and have begun a website, ChezDesmarais.org, where I publish my works instead of submitting them to a publisher.
ESL was not among my formal preparations, and I was invited to join the faculty of the Modern Languages Institute, located on St Charles Avenue prior to Katrina. For three years, I taught adult students of many nationalities, including the wife of the Consul of France. The owner chose not to reopen after Katrina, and he returned to Mexico.
French is a native language, along with English, and I grew up speaking both languages at home. At Tulane University, I completed all course work and preliminary examinations for the doctorate but have not written the dissertation. German was the language of my high-school years, when I lived with my army-officer father in Karlsruhe, Germany, and became fluent. I found the grammar interesting and studied it in great detail. Latin was the language of seminary prior to Vatican II, so I studied it for six years in minor seminary in preparation for the Roman Catholic priesthood, which I later chose not to do. At Tulane, it was simpler to complete a BA with Latin and Classical Greek as majors because I had so many credits from the seminary.
Let me help you overcome your fears of another language, which often seems like a foreign country in itself. If you hesitate to speak other languages out of fear of somehow losing your personality or soul, give it a try, and see that it is not that way at all, if you remain conscious of who you are every step of the way. I would enjoy taking that journey with you. Teaching has been my passion all my life. Since graduating from Tulane University, I have studied for two master's degrees, one in curriculum and instruction and the other in the literature of France. Twice during my high-school and college teaching years, I tried to leave education and earn a living doing something else, but I returned to
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