December 2008 Newsletter


Holiday Fźte to be held at noon, December 12


We look forward to all members joining us for the annual Holiday Fete at noon on December 12th, following classes. Meet us in Witherspoon Hall (the large room on the first floor of the church) to enjoy some social time with fellow members and sample a great range of excellent food provided by our members.


For our program, our social chairs have arranged for a special presentation about cheeses from countries where Italian, French, and Spanish are spoken. They have invited Lincoln Broadbooks, store manager of The Better Cheddar, to discuss origins, tastes, and special features of these cheeses. Then he’ll offer a delectable palate of cheeses for everyone to taste. You’ll be well versed for holiday cheese shopping after his short program.


As usual, each member is asked to bring finger food to be shared with the group—hors d’oeuvres, snacks, fruit, desserts. Food with an international flair is especially welcome, including olives, pate, and breads from countries where our three languages are spoken. We’ll provide drinks, plates, and silverware.


If you can help out with setup or cleanup, please email Jeff Piehler or Carol Cowden. All help is greatly appreciated!




We offer our sincere sympathy to long-time member Marcia Bailey whose husband Stephen, also a La Causerie member, passed away on Monday, November 24th after a long illness. A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, December 5th, at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 6630 Nall, Mission, Kansas.


Fall Membership Meeting


The fall membership meeting was held Friday, November 14, with more than 35 members in attendance. The following information was discussed:






Shop and Support La Causerie


You can help support La Causerie (at no extra cost to you!) when you shop online at for your holiday gifts. If you shop by starting with any of our links at, they send us a small percentage of their profit. It’s a special arrangement offers to nonprofit organizations, and every little bit helps!


Study Tips for the Holiday Break


We’re all busy during the holiday break, with little time for studying. But there are ways to keep up and even hone your language skills during this time. Listening to radio stations that broadcast in the language you’re studying is helpful and fun. You can find a directory of more than 3,000 European radio stations which stream live on the Internet at The stations are listed by country and by genre. You might also try visiting the websites of major newspapers in the language you’re studying. You can read about familiar news stories, get a different perspective, and learn about important stories not covered here. Go to and click on the box marked “Europe” to find the country of your choice.


A Few Reminders:


Holiday Class Schedule: Classes will be held on December 5th and December 12th (the day of our Holiday Fźte), after which our winter break will start. Classes will resume on Friday, January 9th. Our Fall/Winter schedule can be found below, at the end of the newsletter.


Parking: Please keep in mind that Crestwood Shops merchants have asked us NOT to park in their parking spaces. You may want to plan to arrive a few minutes early for class on December 5th, as the Shops are holding their annual Holiday Event on this weekend, and parking in the Trolley Track lot or on the streets might be more crowded than usual.


Snow Policy: La Causerie Franćaise 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 or check the District’s website.


Fall/Winter Calendar


December 5       Classes held

December 12     Classes held       Holiday Fźte at noon

December 19     NO CLASSES

December 26     NO CLASSES

January 2          NO CLASSES     

January 9          Classes resume


Executive Board Members 2008-2009


First person to call: Alicia Girardeau, assistant to the board. 


President                                          Dalene Bradford

1st Vice President (Membership Chair)    Judith Walter

2nd Vice President (Social Chair)            Jeff Piehler (co-chair)  

                                                      Carol Cowden (co-chair)

Secretary                                          Judy Pearlstein

Assistant Secretary (Newsletter)            Paula Kartus

Treasurer                                         Inez Pennington

Assistant Treasurer (Textbook Chair)      Joan Daniels