December 2009 Newsletter

Roster is Ready


Be sure to stop by and pick up your copy of our annual roster, called Le Livret Printed copies will be available in the upstairs hall this Friday. Please check your name off of the list nearby so that we know you’ve received a copy and remind your classmates to pick up theirs.


The roster contains contact information for all our members and instructors.  It also has our calendar, by-laws, history, and other key information. 

Please do not park in front of Crestwood Shops


Please keep in mind that Crestwood merchants have asked us NOT to park in parking spaces directly outside their shops.  This is especially important the first weekend in December when the shops celebrate the holidays with some special events.

2 French Programs Scheduled

December 11 at Noon

Our first cultural program of the year is scheduled for Friday, December 11 at noon. Our speaker will be Ann Miller, who taught French at Pembroke Hill for 32 years.  She has just returned from a year in China, where she and her husband taught English.  Ann is an animated speaker and her multimedia presentation will make her experiences come alive for all of us. The program will be presented in French, (with the occasional English translation) followed by a Q & A and will conclude by 1:00  pm.

January 8th at Noon

Jean-Pierre Bacherot, long-time waiter at Le Fou Frog, will make a presentation in

French on January 8th at noon.  Appropriately enough, he will talk about "Table Manners of French Restaurants." 


NOTE:  Cultural programs are presented to provide additional language experiences for our members.  If you know of a potential speaker, let one of the board members below know and we’ll get it scheduled. Generally, speakers talk 2030 minutes, followed by an interactive time with our students (but ending by 1 p.m.) We offer a $50 honorarium to our speakers.


Holiday Fête scheduled for December 18


We look forward to all members joining us for the annual Holiday Fete at noon on December 18th, following classes.  Meet us in Fellowship 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.

Join us this year at centers featuring customs and foods from countries where our languages are spoken!  Learn about how the Holidays are celebrated in these countries and enjoy samples of special holiday foods. 

Each member is requested to bring finger food to be shared with the group—hors d’oeuvres, snacks, fruit, desserts, especially foods 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, especially take-down!


Positive News Shared at Fall Membership Meeting

The Fall Membership Meeting for La Causerie was held on Friday, November 20 at noon.  About 30 members participated in a short meeting that included a financial report from Treasurer Inez Pennington, a club status update from President Dalene Bradford and information about upcoming events from Second Vice President Jeff Piehler.  The organization is in good shape with 197 members taking classes and eight associate members.  It appears that we are on track to meet our income needs this year (which were projected using an estimated 200 members)



We welcomed four new teachers to our faculty this year:



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.  To support La Causerie you must access Amazon through any of our links at  In return for the promotion we give them on our site, they send us a small percentage of their profit. Every little bit helps us to keep your membership fees low.

Link through our site to and you give to friends, families, and La Causerie. 


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 markedEuropeto find the country of your choice.

Used Foreign Language Books for Sale

Some new members donated a great selection of used textbooks in all our languages.  We’re putting them out for sale along with some other treasures from our closet on a cart in the Social Room each week.  

Important Upcoming Dates: 


Friday, December 11th     Program in French,Teaching English in China.

Friday, December 18th       Holiday party at noon

Friday, December 25th     No classes:  Holiday Break

Friday, January 1st          No classes:  Holiday Break

Friday, January 8th          Classes resume

Snow Policy:  La Causerie 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,  To be automatically notified by e-mail of school closings due to inclement weather, click here (under theparentstab) to sign up for the SM Alert text and e-mail messaging system.

Executive Board Members 2009-10




Email address



Dalene Bradford


1st Vice President

(Membership Chair)

Judith Walter


2nd Vice President

(Social Chair)

Jeff Piehler




Carol Cowden




Judy Pearlstein


 Assistant Secretary (Newsletter)

Anita Toby Grow



Inez Pennington


Assistant Treasurer

(Textbook Chair)

Joan Daniels


Assistant to Board of Directors

Amanda Hassett


Note: Email addresses and phone numbers are omitted from our website at . Please refer to the e-news or Livret when these are needed.