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Showing posts from March, 2013

French life...language and manners...

Institut de Français, Villefranch sur Mer (photo Tripadvisor)


I am leaving this afternoon on a 25 hour trip from Perth, Western Australia to Nice in France, to take a one month language immersion course at the Institut de Français in Villefranch-sur-Mer. My son will then join me for two weeks to travel through Provence and then onto the wine growing areas around Bordeaux.
While having spent a lot of time in France over the years on short holidays, I have never had the chance to immerse myself in the language and the culture, to have the opportunity to "live like a local" at least for the four weeks in Villefranche.  I will be shopping at the markets, finding my way on the local public transport, attending church on Easter Sunday...and cooking to fill my little apartment in the Old Town of Villefranche with soothing and comforting smells while discovering new tastes and recipes.

My first two weeks will be spent alone, attending class five days a week for eight hours a day. I …

IQ v EQ...Table Manners, Social Skills and Intelligence

Over the past few weeks I have trained two teenagers through my program Modern Manners for Today.  They are both highly intelligent young adults but in both cases their mothers felt that their social skills could use assistance, not only to encourage greater participation in the social life around them, but to help them in gaining confidence.

The first client, aged 16, has been accepted to attend Magdalen College in Oxford this year.  She is extremely bright but socially very young for her age.  She is very pleasant but with virtually no social skills and a tendancy to say whatever comes to mind at the time.  She has few friends and spends a great deal of her time in chat forums on the internet with like minded people.

A formal western table setting (photo LP)

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of our day together was at the dining table.  Included in my program is a three course formal luncheon.  This young lady had never used a knife and fork...together. And when I suggested that sh…