An Interview with…Mrs. Larochelle (Part Two)

Deborah Yee, Editor
Steven Tian, Interview Guy
Edited by Victoria Chiu

Click here for part one of this interview.

DEBORAH YEE: Do you have any interesting, enjoyable, or funny memories of a teaching experience?

MRS. LAROCHELLE: Just lots of funny things people do and say.

STEVEN TIAN: Anything stand out? Most recent maybe?

Well, we just went on a trip to Québec with St. Rose in February and that was really funny. It’s too bad you didn’t get to do that. Yeah, you’re looking all jealous.

Deborah: (laughs) yeah!

Yeah, I just thought it was really funny because the boys there always had a huge quantity of food and they were eating food for four people each. One day, they were sitting around saying, “I wish I hadn’t spent all my money on food.” “Yeah me too.” And then they went to McDonald’s and got a fan-pack of food each, which is for four people each. I just thought it was funny because—we did a lot of walking and that but they were always eating all the time. Like large pizza or walking out of Tim Horton’s with a box of donuts.

Steven: That sounds about right.

Yeah, that sounds about right, yeah.

Deborah: So aside from teaching and journalism, have you had any other jobs? Like even as a teenager, part time?

As a teenager, I wrote for the newspaper in my town and I also worked for a radio station.

Deborah: Wait, in Edmonton?

Down in southern Alberta, where I lived as a teenager. And I worked at a daycare looking after kids. And I was a day camp counselor. But mostly teaching and journalism.

Deborah: Those are nice jobs. Yeah, Mr. Caron always tells us stories of how he was a ice cream taster or how he worked in a morgue.

(Laughs) One time I worked as a tour guide in the Legislature for the whole summer and that was the summer when Princess Diana and Prince Charles came. We got to greet them when they came. And then some of us had to work in the Canadian National exhibition at the end of the summer because they needed people who could speak different languages to greet the people there. That was really a fun job for the summer.

Steven: The best I got was someone offered me a teaching job in grade 8.

Mrs. Larochelle: Yeah?

Steven: Like an actual teaching job because I was in China and—I’ve always looked old for my age so I guess they thought I was eighteen. They offered me an actual job teaching English because I was speaking fluent English. My Chinese is kind of bad but I live in Canada.

Were you just visiting over there?

Steven: Yeah, I was visiting family and someone actually offered me an actual job as a legitimate teacher. The pay was really good because people need English teachers in China. I just happen to be near a guy who was ran a class because my cousin was taking a class there. I was offered a job on the spot.

I heard they have classes more like a conversation class. I have a friend who teaches English in Japan and people just want to place where they can come to talk about current events, business, or any type of topics, just to practice speaking English.

Steven: That’s actually how a lot of the courses in China are and they are really expensive

Mrs. Larochelle: Are they?

Steven: They aren’t overwhelmingly so but they’re not cheap

No, not everyone can afford that. Yeah, I went to school in Italy for a year.

Steven: You’ve been everywhere!

(Laughs) My third year in university, I went to Italy so that was good experience to learn and be able to speak Italian.

Deborah: Is that how you learned to French and Italian?

I learned French in school. Took it at University. I studied at University at Quebec and lived with a French family. My husband is French and my kids all speak French so it’s French, French, French at my house all the time.

Steven: Do you find it interesting that there are so many kids here from St. Rose that you once taught? I know that before school started and we were looking at all the new teachers, a lot of my friends noticed you were coming here.

It’s something that’s made it easier because there are lots of familiar faces. My first few days here, quite a few people came over to say hi and that they were glad to see me. Some of them were happy because they were going to take a class from me again. So that’s good because it’s not like your totally, totally, totally new. You have at least some people you remember before.

Deborah: Did someone replace you at St. Rose then?

Yes…what is her name…Ms. Miscue. What Mr. Miscue there at St.Rose when you were there?

Deborah: I don’t think so

Anyhow, that’s his sister-in-law. Her husband’s dad use to be the principle of MAC, before Ms. Malecki. They’re a family of teachers also.

Steven: I didn’t see Malecki in the past two years. I’m sure I’ve seen her, I just did not recognize her.

I don’t know her at all but Mr. Fiacco—I know it’s super important for him to be somebody you see all the time and somebody you can talk to. He’s around all the time. I can recognize him in the hall because he has a very distinctive voice. He hangs out there [in the English hallway] and says bye to everyone. He’s around all the time and that’s good because it makes everybody feel like they could talk to him because they’ve seen him around and know his face.

Deborah: Yeah, they’ve implemented a lot of changes around the school.

Like what?

Deborah: Like the ReDesign Day or the Beautification Committee. I don’t know what that is about.

I think they were wanted to make the school look more like people live here.

Steven: I want to grow cacti so that people who aren’t paying attention will walk into them.

(Laughs) I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Are they having kids on that Beautification Committee?

Deborah: Yeah, two of our writers joined. So finally, do you have any advice for the students of MAC who are getting ready for their future?

What I used to tell my kids when they were in high school was to keep all your doors open because what you think you want to do and what you might actually end up doing might not be the same thing. You don’t want to prevent yourself from having other opportunities that come your way when you’re older. When my kids were in high school and they didn’t think they wanted to do math or science, I told them, “it’s your job to get out of high school with as many possibilities available to you as possible and not shut doors in your face in case you want to change your mind about what you want to do.”

And also—because I’m an English teacher—learning how to write well will help you no matter what you want to do so it’s worth it to put effort in it. Even if you end up with a career unrelated to English, being able to express yourself well is important….Read as much are you can because people who read more are so better at everything.

Deborah: Well, thank you so much for your time.



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