le chouchou | teacher's pet
Name/nom: Jessica White
Level/Niveau: Intermediate Transition
LF: Jess, quelle est ta profession?
JW: I am an academic and a writer. I’ve published two novels and currently I have a postdoctoral fellowship to write about Georgiana Molloy, a nineteenth century West Australian botanist. I’m trying to use her story to raise awareness of environmental problems and climate change.
LF: Pourquoi tu étudies le français?
JW: I have a vision of living in Paris for a year to write a novel and shop in the boutiques, and to see the golden light of Provence. French is also très romantique!
LF: Ton mot préféré en français?
JW: Ah, that is a difficult question – there are so many beautiful words in French! I would say that my favourite word is papillon, which means ‘butterfly’. A number of native pea flowers in Western Australia were given the family name Papilionaceae because they look like butterflies.
LF: Est-ce que le français est difficile?
JW: I lost 75% of my hearing to meningitis when I was four which makes learning French quite difficult, mostly because the words are so soft and fluid (as opposed to Italian, the sounds of which are quite distinct, or sign language, which is fairly straightforward). However, deafness has never stopped me from doing anything, and my best French moments are when (usually after actually having done some homework!) I can finally understand what is before me on the page. It’s thrilling when everything falls into place.
LF: Quel est ton but?
JW: My goal is to read Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in the original. I love frocks, and some days when I come home and guiltily (and happily!) unwrap my latest purchase, I think that I must have been Emma Bovary in a former life.
LF: Merci Jess et bon courage!
JW: You’re welcome, LF!