I will see clearly now

Today, I managed two tasks I’ve been meaning to do for ages, ordering prescription swimming goggles and finding out how to sign up for French classes in September with the local school board (I was previously taking them at a community centre, but they only offer beginner to intermediate level courses, and it’s time to move up.) This round of classes is 25 hours per week, for eight weeks, to start September 6th. I’ve been taking a break from classes for a few months now, and am looking forward to starting again. Now that I can have simple conversations in French it’s becoming increasingly rewarding and interesting. I still wish I was learning French as rapidly as I learnt Spanish, but there are far too many English speakers in this town for that to happen. These classes are more intensive than any I’ve taken yet, which is good, but they start at eight in the morning, which is going to be a bit of an adjustment.

My mother was here visiting for a few days, and left early this morning. When in Ontario I was accustomed to spending a lot of time with my family, and I’ve missed them since moving, so it was good to have her here. She even came up with a friend, whose husband was here for an academic conference, and thus had someone to tourist around with for part of the time while I attempted to catch up on some work, which worked out well. It turns out that I knew the grad student who drove up with my mother’s friends, and Shannon was a friend of that couple’s daughter in high school. The grad student and his fiancée, a former roommate of mine, are planning to be back here in a few weeks for a wedding, so we made plans to make dinner plans. Kitchener-Waterloo, we meet your denizens all over this city.

We saw the usual local parks and interesting buildings, plus went swimming and saw an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented in a mix of English, French, some Spanish, and (according to the programme notes — I missed it) a bit of Cree. Leave it to Montréal to play Shakespeare with people switching languages mid-phrase, just like I hear on the street. The costumes and other staging was light-hearted and great fun too. Shannon was working that evening but we’ll try to see another performance. The same group is presenting a piece by Molière on Sunday and we’re planning to attend although I doubt I’ll understand much. Once again I’m unreasonably envious of Shannon for having spent fourteen years in Ontario’s French immersion program, in which among other things she studied his plays. I’m not likely to have that opportunity any time soon.

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Question: I think I’ve found the make and model of digital camera I want to buy, and a decent online store (because they work with a customs broker who can guarantee how much taxes, shipping, duty, and exchange rates living in Canada will add to my bill), but I want to buy an extended warranty too, and I understand this is perhaps best purchased from a third party. Any ideas or suggestions, anyone? Where did you buy your cameras?