November 2006 Newsletter


NOTE:  There are new FAQ’s on the last page…your burning question might be addressed this month.


Membership meeting

Our membership meeting on Friday, October 27, was attended by 60 members.  Discussions included our fiscal situation and membership, which are both strong.  Teachers, department chairs and officers were introduced and everyone enjoyed food catered by Tom Anderson of Gourmet Grocers.  Plans for the holiday party were bantered about and a movement to bring back the wine and cheese tasting seemed to gather for be held December 15 at noon, let Veronica Bergonzoni know.  (see Livret for contact info)


Thad Carver shared a delightful presentation about the history of La Causerie—which is nearly 100 years old!  You missed a treat if you didn’t hear his presentation because Thad adds wonderful touches of humor to everything he does. But you can read about our history in our membership roster…minus Thad’s nice flourishes, of course.


Speaking of our membership roster, the “Livret” as it is called (pronounced

lee-VRAY) was distributed at the meeting. If you were not present to get your copy, you can pick one up near the coffee service in future weeks.  Ask an officer if you can’t find a one (they’re stored in our space in room 107).


Volunteer Needed for One-time Task


Want a short-term volunteer job that you can do sitting down?  We are looking for someone to gently sift through the La Causerie scrapbooks to select some interesting photos and artifacts to share on the website.  Our webmaster Don Erickson is willing to participate, but since he’s brand new to our group (well, as a student anyway) he’d like a more experienced member to help.  Let Inez know if you’re interested. 


Other Volunteer Input


From time to time we have small, one-time things that you can help us with, like printing handouts for a meeting through your office, or setting up chairs and tables for a program or party. Please let us know if you are willing to help out. Just hit your reply button!


Additions and Corrections to the Livret


We have some updates, corrections and additions to the Livret.  You can pencil them into your copy or pick up correction stickers (that you can paste into your book) at the coffee service table.  Note these changes:


Marta Diaz’ email has changed - see bulletin board

Sybil McClary’s email has changed - see bulletin board


Please add these two Associate Members to your Livret:

Margery Handy       French (stickers are available for insertion)

Julia M. Boutross     French  (stickers are available for insertion)


Call for Programs


A special request was made at the membership meeting for program suggestions. Normally six programs are offered each year in each language.  These cultural programs generally include a foreign language speaker talking about any topic that might be of interest to our members.  The program lasts about 30 minutes, with time for questions and answers and a dutch treat lunch afterwards.  If you have an idea for a program or the name of a possible speaker, let Joan Daniels or Inez Pennington know.


Thanks so much!

We had a fabulous response to our request for snack donations and for volunteers to help set up and take down classroom chairs, boards and tables.  This is really appreciated by our officers and members.  You’re the best!


If you didn’t get the opportunity to help, let Veronica Bergonzoni know that you’re available (see Livret for contact info). Or sign up at the coffee service table.


November and December Calendar

Nov. 3    Classes Meet, Spanish Program at Noon, christina Sell will  make a presentation (in spanish)

Nov. 10   Classes Meet, Italian Program at noon, our own Tiziano Cherubini, on Pinocchio (in Italian)

Nov. 17   Classes Meet, French Program at noon (TBA)

Nov. 24   Thanksgiving Holiday; no classes

Dec. 1     Classes Meet, French Program at  noon, Helene Perriguey-Keene (In french)

Dec. 8     Classes Meet, Italian Program at noon (TBA)

Dec. 15   All Classes Meet (except noon lab); Holiday Party at noon

Dec. 22  Christmas Holiday; no classes

Dec. 29   New Year’s Holiday; no classes

Jan. 5     Classes resume


Have a suggestion related to your class?

Then tell your department chair. 


Have a facilities issue?

Then tell a board member, not someone who works at the church.  They request that La Causerie issues, suggestions and requests be funneled through Inez.


Executive Board Members 2006-2007


President:     Inez Pennington                           (see Livret for contact info)      

First VP:       Linda Rei (Membership Chairman)         (see Livret for contact info)                

Second VP:   Veronica Bergonzoni (also Chair of Hospitality) (see Livret for contact info)

Secretary:     Joan Daniels (Program Chair)             (see Livret for contact info)      

Asst. Secy:    Dalene Bradford (newsletter / publicity) (see Livret for contact info)

Treasurer:    Linda Lyon                                   (see Livret for contact info)      

Asst. Treas:  Mary Lew McCarty (Textbook Chair)     (see Livret for contact info)


More FAQ’s we’ve heard this year

Why do I have to fill out a “drop and add form” to change a class?  This isn’t college.


Several of our classes are at peak enrollment.  Keeping track of class sizes relates not only to maintaining a good student/teacher ratio but also the very practical issue of having enough space for another person to fit in. Would you rather fill out a form, or enter a class where there is no chair for you? 


Also, your officers don’t think it is fair for the teachers to have to deal with this on the spot (that is, deciding whether to turn someone away or let someone squeeze in).  The drop and add forms are the only way the Board can figure out what’s happening with enrollment, class size and changing needs.  If you see a better way, let Linda Rei, our membership coordinator know.


Why isn’t La Causerie more organized, like a school or college?


Yes, we also hear the flip side of the first question.  Some folks want to know why we’re so “loosey-goosey” about some things.  If you want to help figure out the answers to these two questions, there’s a place waiting for you on the (all volunteer) Board next year.  Remember, there is no paid administration; we are completely run by volunteers. With so many details of running a school, some things will naturally fall through the cracks.  We appreciate your help!


When do classes actually begin and end?


Most classes begin on the hour and end at ten till the hour.  (The obvious exceptions are the one and a half-hour French classes.)  Fifty minute classes allow students to change classes efficiently.  Since most rooms don’t have clocks, students should remind teachers ten minutes before the class ends.  Teachers should then assign any homework and end the session so the next class can begin on time.


How do I know if classes are canceled due to snow, ice or inclement weather?


La Causerie Française follows the Shawnee Mission School District’s decision about canceling classes.  If the Shawnee Mission District closes its schools due to bad weather, La Causerie will also be closed.  Please listen to the list of school closings on television and radio.  Please do NOT call officers for this information.