Profess-herr

I think I'm starting some French lessons next week but I have doubts about the teacher. First of all, he's German.

That's not really such a problem. He speaks beautifully. But his approach seemed less than appealing, on our first meeting. "We'll focus on the three hundred most regularly used verbs," he said, and "Don't worry about the words you don't understand, they're not important." But they're the ones that attract me! Though he's probably right, in terms of learning.

I guess I've been spoiled. Our friend Emmanuel has been patiently teaching me, through speaking slowly enough for me to follow, gently correcting me in conversation, and bringing me exercise books. But I'd like to move things along a little more.

The lessons are right here in our village. I might enjoy an opportunity to get out and about, even travel into Limoges. But factor in the time and cost of fuel and it seems more practical to just walk around the corner once a week and spend an hour with someone who is possibly an excellent teacher.

Plus, I'll actually be here for the next several weeks (unless, of course, the bitc- I mean, wonderful actress they got to play my TV role gets a case of laryngitis).

I think learning French, really learning to speak, read, write and think in this beautifully complicated language, will take what I have left of a lifetime. So, do I risk anything by committing to spend 5 one hour sessions with this guy?