Many kids at supermarkets: screaming, jumping, pulling away at jumpers, recognise the power of persistence. persistence makes their favourite cereal appear at the cashier’s register, it leads to shopping bags filled with the day’s success, and yet somehow this wasn’t their first shopping trip with mummy and daddy.
This lesson of persistence is a valuable one to anyone who wishes to succeed in anything.
The best way I can explain this lesson is through the story of how someone would learn a new language. This explanation can be applied to practically anything in life; many students, artists and entrepreneurs may have a few things to learn about toddlers at supermarkets.
My french teacher would always repeat: “Practice and Persist!” We, the class, would then mumble back at Madame Quinn “prac..tiss and *incoherent noises*”. The days lesson would begin with learning the definitions of about 10 words, how they should be used in different tenses. We would then repeat those words over and over again, until that’s all we could think about.
Once French was over and next period was Maths, most students stuffed their french books into their tiny and impractical bags, and bopped off to their next classroom, where there awaits another overly enthusiastic teacher. By the time we left school and parted onto different lives, most of us were equipped to hold a conversation with a french waiter and could ask for directions if we were ever looking for the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower.
Many years later, a few of us had a small gathering over some good food and endless stories.
I asked a few of the girls if they remembered Madame Quinn, and if she was still working at our school. I didn’t get an answer but got a few laughs about how they didn’t know a lick of French but wished they could be fluent, so she couldn’t have been a great teacher.
Wrong! We got lazy, she equipped us with the necessary tools and methods, but we lacked the mantra she’d repeat in every class: PRACTICE AND PERSIST!
One girl said she remembered a few words but vividly remembers the phrase: “Omelette du fromage!” We all laughed and realised it was from a popular Dexter’s Laboratory episode where Dexter learns french.
Why did we remember that phrase, and not the rest of the script? The episode was equally funny but we distinctly remember that line.
Its simple, because the line was repeated and repeated and repeated, again and again. That’s what Madame Quinn tried to teach us, persistence.
Bonjour, bonsoir et bonne nuit,