Adventures of a Drama Teacher

{September 23, 2007}   An Interesting Party

We went to Judith’s “Burning of her Mortgage” dinner party last night. It was the first of two, she will have another next week to accommodate more of her friends. She has paid off her house! Congratulations! As I now listen to Johnny Cash, I will tell you about this magnificent lady and her friends. Judith just turned 65. She was my 7th and 8th grade English teacher and my 8th grade homeroom advisor. She is from West Virginia, but has lived in Belgium for 40 years. As she tells it, she came to Belgium for a year and stayed 40. She was once a nun. In fact she was studying French at her “nunnery” during the civil rights movement in Washington DC. The head Priest had instructed that no priests or nuns were to attend the protests. This didn’t suit well with Judith (Sister Kathleen) for she felt that the black people were not being treated properly, so she marched with the protesters in full habit (nun costume). She then was demoted as a nun for her disobedience and sent to teach 49 7th graders at an inner city school which she claims was such a difficult experience that she has blocked the memory from her conscience. 49 7th graders, one classroom, brand new teacher. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? During this she also continued her education and was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to study French for a year in Belgium. She traversed the ocean on a cruise liner in 1968 knowing no one, and learned to speak French with a Liege-Belgian accent so well no one could tell she was American. After working a year in Brussels as a secretary she was hired on at St. John’s in its first year at the Waterloo location. This woman is so dedicated,wonderful, and funny! I admire her so much and really enjoy her company. Mo and I will be watching her dogs again in 2 weeks time.


So the people she had at the party last night were the ones we went with to the Labyrinth in the Ardennes on the first weekend we were here. Three Romanians,  an Englishman, a Belgian and two very small children ½ Romanian ½ English that speak, at ages of two and four-French, Romanian and English! The children’s mother is a gorgeous Romanian lawyer married to an Englishman who waits on her like she’s a princess. What a flamboyant personality! She is so wonderful with her kids, and come to find out she will only hire an “educated” nanny to help make sure her kids are learning how to speak “properly”. Must cost her a buck or two. Her father was a communist leader in Romania. He escaped persecution after the revolution and is now a University Professor of medicine. Her sister is an important geneticist working in Texas and discovered the gene for aging. (This was told to my by Judith). Judith also explained that even though these people were/are considered wealthy for Romania’s standards, it certainly isn’t the standards we as Americans consider wealthy. Anyway, sitting at the table with so many different languages spoken is so interesting. As interesting as the food we ate which was delicious. I have quit asking what this dish is before I try it otherwise I might not sample. I AM becoming even more adventurous.


Mo is going over to Axel’s house again today, (he and his mother stopped by yesterday to arrange a play date) so I am going to rest and read for pleasure.


Although this experience is wonderful, I must admit I am thankful to be American because of all the conveniences we have.


Beth H. says:

I remember Judith. She was my junior high English teacher too. I don’t remember if she was my homeroom teacher or not, but I can remember where her classroom was right off one end of the B level common room. She aslo seemed wise to me. It must be neat getting to know former teachers as real people. I don’t think we though about them that way when we were 12-13. Keep on sharing!

spicoli007 says:

Do you think we will see our students again when we are 65? I hope so. I’ve never thought about that before, but I am so attatched to some of my kids because I have had them three times already. i KNOW I am going to cry when they graduate from 6th grade this year and move on to Jr. High. I am for sure i will attend some HS graduations in 6 years and hopefully some weddings in the future.

sammygirl608 says:

Hey Mrs.G I’m so glad that everything is going so well for you!! You should probably know that me and Peter have officially stopped fighting(do you remember the drama last year??). Me, Ann, Ashley, and Peter have actually just tried out for the upcoming play, Julia Caesar. We find out if we are cast tomorrow(and to see if we got any big parts, not likely considering we are sophomores). I hope your upcoming play is going well too!! Say hi to Mo for me!!

♥♥Samantha Durfee

Speaking of interesting parties… Check this out, it’s in Brussels! The prices are outrageous though (that is if the conversion rate is what I think it is (1.4 something?) Anyway, hope everything is going well!

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