March 2011 Newsletter


Help Guide La Causerie!

If you are interested in being a part of the La Causerie Board, the nominating committee would love to hear from you. The nominating committee, appointed by the Board, includes: Chairwoman Gail Clair, Dalene Bradford, Joan Adam, Joan Gastinger, and Phyllis Nolan.



Spring Break Ahead!

Please take note that there will be no classes held on Friday, March 18, our annual Spring Break. Classes will resume on Friday, March 25.



Coming Soon to a Classroom Near You! ‒ Noon Programs

French Program, March 11

Isabelle Olesen will make a noon presentation in French on March 11 about the profession of translation and interpretation, with a focus on simultaneous (or conference) interpretation. Using personal experiences interpreting for Bill Clinton, Mayor Richard Daley and NATO, she’ll tell you how the process works as she explains the challenges an interpreter faces. She’ll also share some interesting tidbits about this profession that has exposed her to a wide range of heads of state, business people and international issues.


Isabelle was born in Saint-Étienne, France, where she spent the first 18 years of her life. She then moved to Angers, in Western France, to study translation and interpretation. After obtaining her Masters, she moved to the US, where she has been living for 15 years. She taught continuing French for adults and credit courses to students at Northern Illinois University and Rock Valley College, while studying to get a Masters in languages. She has been a professional freelance translator and interpreter for 12 years and recently moved to Kansas City from Chicago.


Italian Program, Friday, April 1

Dr. Silvia Giovanardi Byer, a native speaker who is Associate Professor of Modern Languages at Park University, will speak in Italian about the shroud of Turin at noon on April 1st. Will those who are interested in joining Dr Byer for lunch at Bella Napoli, please e-mail Marti Moore,



Annual Business Meeting and Spring Fête

The Annual Business Meeting will be held on Friday, April 15 at noon. We will elect new officers for the next year, acknowledge our teachers, and welcome new board members. The meeting will be followed by our Spring Fête at 1:00 pm. in Fellowship Hall. We’ll also have the annual book sale, where you can pass on some of your foreign language books to fellow members. Look for details on both our Spring Fête and the annual book sale in your April newsletter.



Kansas City FilmFest

Mark your calendars for Kansas City FilmFest, April 6-10 at the AMC Mainstreet downtown. This annual festival shows more than 100 films, including a number of films in our languages. You’ll soon be able to find the schedule at and in the March 30 issue of Ink Magazine. La Causerie is a sponsor, making a small contribution to support a film in one of our languages. This also allows us to place an ad in the program, spreading the word about our classes.



100 Years of Archives

Since La Causerie Francaise will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013, the board is beginning to talk about how we might bring attention to this golden year, starting with getting our archives in shape.

And “archives” might be a generous description of our several boxes of “stuff.” So we’re putting out a call for an archivist. If you are an archivist yourself and would like to help with this project, let Martha Hogerty know. Or, if you know of an archivist we might hire for this project, share a name with Martha.



In memory of Mary Edith Woodward

We are sad to announce that Edith Woodward, a long time and avid member of La Causerie, passed away in November of 2010. During her many years as a La Causerie member she served as president from 1979 to 1981 and acted in other capacities on the board and as a volunteer. She participated actively in classes until 2007 when she became an associate member. In language studies her main focus was French, but she also took classes in Spanish and Italian because she loved travel. Among her many activities, Edith liked to sew, bake and garden. She was an active member of Second Presbyterian Church where she was director of the boys’ choir and she was an accomplished pianist.  Her favorite family vacation home was the Crystal Lake cottage in Michigan where the whole family gathered this past summer for her 90th birthday.


Maintaining Language Skills Throughout the Summer

It’s not too early to begin thinking about how you might maintain your foreign language achievements over the summer. In the next couple of issues, we’ll share some suggestions to get you thinking about this.



Important Dates:

January 7    Classes resume

March 11     French program    

March 18     No class (Spring Break)

April 1         Italian program

April 15       Spring fête and business meeting

April 29       Last day of classes