February 2006 Newsletter


Cookbook with a foreign accent—plus a noon program in English


On February 3 our noon program will feature award-winning immigration attorney Mira Mdivani. This native of Russia and current Brookside resident will present a La Causerie program in English. All La Causerie members are welcome to attend.


Mira will discuss her latest book, "Cooking with an Accent - An Immigration Lawyer's Cookbook," in which she recounts stories and recipes shared by newcomers to America from all over the world. Mira will share with you the fun she had meeting the people behind the recipes, including cooking with them.  She will punctuate these stories—which she says are all positive and full of love—with visual images shown using our new digital projector.

One of the recipes comes from our own Ninfa Redmond.  A recent KC Star article describes this recipe as "eschabeche de pollo from a Peruvian toxicologist." A linguist extraordinaire and fluent in all of La Causerie's languages, Ninfa recently took time off from her busy career as an official court interpreter/translator to substitute teach for us in Italian.  Thank you, Ninfa, for sharing your many talents with us!




Your fellow members have stepped forward with some interesting Internet resources. Check them out.


New member Barbara Christopher made us aware of this website:

LanguageGuide.org offers free sound integrated resources for learning languages. Resources are developed collaboratively with the help of volunteers. It is sponsored by Language Guide, a registered non-profit organization and includes our three languages, plus many others.  http://www.languageguide.org


Barbara Shapiro put us on to this fun site, where you can play 20 Questions in the language you are studying:  www.20q.net.


Also, check out www.yourdictionary.com for thousands of dictionaries, including foreign language (and chocolate!) ones.


La Causerie Featured in The Independent Magazine


Our Holiday Fête was featured in a full-page color spread in the January 14 issue of the Independent.   Some copies are available if you’d like one—check the Fireside Room or contact Inez.


Food Needed


Anastasia Thompson has sent out another request for members to bring treats and to help with set-up and clean-up for our Friday treats.  Please sign up in the Fireside Room to help with this much appreciated service.



Livret Updates


You might want to add the information below to your Livret:


These members have new email addresses:

Carolyn Skelton (see print version) 

Cerise Harris   (see print version) 

Roberta Barnes   (see print version) 


Change of home address:

Salvatore Iannazzo (see print version) email same


New members:


Judith Walter (see print version)  French


Katherine McClernon (see print version)  Spanish


Michael Edwards (see print version)  Spanish

Mary Ann Pinkerton (see print version)  French, Spanish

Nan Wilson has rejoined: (see print version)  Spanish


Susan Gardner (see print version)  French


Also, the new mailing address for La Causerie:  6320 Brookside Plaza, #253, KC, MO 64113.


Have a suggestion related to your class?


Then tell your department chair who is responsible for taking care of issues that need attention (such as class schedules and curriculum ideas).  Here’s who they are and how to contact them:


Department Chairs:

Italian – Carol Dirkes            (see print version) 

French – Peggy Rooney       (see print version) 

Spanish – Annette Howard (see print version) 


By-Laws Update


Member Merrill Toms has undertaken the somewhat thankless task of reviewing our by-laws and considering updates needed to keep this important document relevant to La Causerie’s current mission. If you would like to help him with this process, feel free to give him a call. Or, if you have suggestions for needed adjustments to our by-laws, please share them with Merrill. 


Snow Policy


La Causerie Française follows the Shawnee Mission School District practice on snowy or icy days.  If the Shawnee Mission District closes its schools due to bad weather, La Causerie will also be closed.  In case of inclement weather, please listen to the list of school closings on television and radio. 


La Causerie Calendar: Looking Ahead


All programs are at noon, unless otherwise noted:


Feb 3          English Program  Immigration attorney Mira Mdivani (Russian native and Brookside resident) will discuss her latest book, "Cooking with an Accent - An Immigration Lawyer's Cookbook" in which she recounts stories and recipes shared by newcomers to America. She will share her experiences in English using visuals presented with our new projector.

Feb 10        French (and English) Program  Sébastien Saint-ouen, La Patisserie/Artisian Francais, will discuss French pastry making. All La Causerie members will appreciate—and be able to understand—this program.

Feb 17        Spanish Program  Zulima Lugo-Knapp will speak on her experiences as a journalist, her re-location to this country and her poetry. Zulima moved to St. Joseph, MO from Maracaibo, Venezuela five years ago.  She has a Master's degree in Venezuelan Literature and Bachelor's degree in Social Communications with an emphasis in audiovisual media from the Universidad del Zulia. Currently she is a private teacher/tutor of Spanish, writer/publisher of St. Joseph's Spanish newsletter "Ojos Sobre Papel.” Her first book of poetry, titled "Espigas," was published in 2005.

Feb 24        Italian Program Our own Nina Mehta Young, professor of Art History at KCAI, discusses Italian Renaissance Art with terrific visuals (using our new projector). In Italian.  Lunch follows.