Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday

This one is from 1982 when I was a student at the Alliance Française in Paris. I was in the second semester of my French studies and the class was leading up to le degré supérieur. There are three Americans in this class, one of whom (Jane) was in our program. Our teacher was named Monsieur Grand.

That's me in the white sweater. I was 22 years old. The woman next to me is German.

I remember that he would start each class by calling on students randomly to conjugate a verb in a certain tense. They were always the hardest tenses, like the imperfect of the subjunctive or something similar. I was not very good at it. But he gave us hints to help us along, after thoroughly embarrassing us. Of course, we were only embarrassed in front of him. Nobody in the class wanted to be called on and we were never critical of each other.

The whole class. Our teacher, M. Grand, is standing in the back. Jane is in my row, to the left by the window.

I passed the class and went on to the oral exams (very stressful) and got my certificat de français parlé and diplôme de langue française.


  1. That's a great photo. Oh I wish I had I had gone to Alliance Française at 22 instead of 60.

  2. the guy behind you to your right looks like your twin brother. the guy next to him (in the striped sweater) looks like a young danny kaye.

    and you look as handsome as always.

    1982 - I got married to my now-ex. what a waste of 9 years!

  3. So the fashion was completely different from contemporary.

  4. Quel étudiant sérieux tu semblais être �� !!! Bises

  5. Hey there, I recognize Mademoiselle Jane there :) Her daughters (now all around the age we all were then) look sooooooo much like her, it's amazing. One of them is in Senegal right now, with the Peace Corps.
    You know, maybe it was because I was only signed up for classes for semester 1, but I don't remember anything at all about being able to study toward a certificat de français parlé or a diplôme de langue française?? Was this just part of the Alliance classes? Most of my courses were not Alliance classes, but Alma classes, hopefully intended to transfer to my home university.

  6. Très bien. Alors, conjuguez-moi le verbe ouïr au présent du subjonctif.

    Sutout ne trichez pas! ;P

  7. That was a pretty big class. How many hours a day? Ouir??? I had to look that one up. Looks like my french classmates will hear about that verb on lundi! Présent du subjonctif? That will take me a while... and my 501 french verb book better have that verb or I'm lost!

    Mary in Oregon

  8. The students either side of you seem very interested in your notes, they were obviously worth copying, or at least a sneaky look!

  9. Elisabeth Schrijver29 August, 2014 23:27

    How very nice to see a picture of Monsieur Legrand after all those years! I attended his classes in 1973/74. I particularly liked the 'timeline' he used to draw on the blackboard to explain all the tenses in a chronological way. I now do exactly the same thing for my students, having become a teacher of French (and German) myself. He once sent in one of my essays (without my knowledge by the way), which made me win a trip in France for a couple of weeks. I did not go, however, since I didn't want to miss one single day of school, not even in the summer... I owe Monsieur Legrand a lot and will remain eternally gratefull to him. Kind regards to you all!!! Elisabeth Schrijver from The Netherlands


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