Old school French books retained from childhood days. They take me back.
Funny to meet your younger self from decades ago by browsing the texts and seeing the fountain pen scrawls in the margins. To see those words that gave difficulty; a story that took weeks to unravel through class reading and translation; not good enough to read ahead and needing the teacher to explain.
The damaged spine of the doodled upon French Book 5 suggests that the two-strapped leather satchel that had protected the beginner's books had been replaced by a grown up canvas bag slung carelessly over one shoulder.
Why did I not take more care with that book? Was interest starting to wane? And if it was, how did it rekindle?
Oh, I know the answer to that!
In an all boys school, French suddenly became "fab" in order to impress the attractive assistante assigned to us for conversation classes. And what synchronicity when only half a dozen years later, by then utterly enthused with French, I would be the assistant d'anglais in a school in central France where she was a teacher of English? Bonjour mademoiselle, vous vous souvenez de moi ? "Fab"or what?
I wish I had been more solicitous of my notebooks. We used to have slim versions for vocabulary with a vertical centred line. French words one side, English the other.
One terrible habit I fell into then was not recording the gender of any new nouns I came across.
Such a mistake. And using the title of one my old books, let me close this post with une formule :
Meet a new word, learn it with its article.