French instructor joins southern staff

Chris Heinrich

Not many people have seen customers ordering food for their dog in restaurants, but new French instructor Judy Parsons has – twice while studying in France.

Once, a woman had a meal, complete with a drink for her dog, which sat at the table in a café. And, while in Nice, the waiter brought the meals for a family and one special plate for their dog that laid on the floor.

Still living in Grove, Parsons drives an hour and a half each day to teach Beginning French I, Intermediate French I and Intermediate French II.

While majoring in elementary education at Oklahoma State University, Parsons decided to switch to French because she enjoyed the language classes she took just for fun.

“Language is one of the things that can touch your life and open the world up to you,” Parsons said.

Parsons studied at the Université de Paris, Sorbonne for a summer. There, she was able to mingle with other students from all walks of life.

She enjoyed the learning experience in Europe. Some may think that being in a different country, it may be difficult to get to understand the language.

“Your ears get used to hearing it,” she said. “It was challenging, but it was wonderful.”

Seeing things in French class is one thing, but in person, “it makes history come alive,” she said. “All it does is wet your appetite. It makes you want to go back.”

She once co-owned a nature shop in Grove. For a year and a half, the Nature Nook shop brought bird seed and feeders as well as nature-themed gifts to the public.

“It was something we were interested in,” Parsons said. “We thought we would enjoy doing that. It was fun.”

This is Parson’s first semester teaching at the university level. She taught middle and high school levels as well as a class for children at Pittsburg State University.

“Our world is becoming interdependent,” she said. “If you want to be a citizen of the world, it’s pretty important to know another language.”

Parson’s advice to students of a foreign language is to just “stick with it.” Learning a foreign language “is a life-long project.”

“You never know it all,” she said. “You can never get bored.”