Twenty years! That’s enough time to see a young man become a successful private school professor; long enough to see him fall in love and marry his sweetheart; and long enough for him to have an energetic tri-lingual son! That’s how long our French teacher, Régis Rolando, has been teaching our Saturday classes. He’s been teaching us long enough that Régis has seen our class members grow from beginner & intermediate levels to intermediate and advanced students. For most of our history, we met en présentiel (in person) at Ward Centre, but since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we’ve been meeting en virtuel (virtually) via ZOOM. We never missed a beat, so to speak. Now we’re trying to figure out a way to meet en présentiel and, at the same time, accommodate those who can’t make it and/or prefer en virtuel. We have several students on other islands or on the Mainland.
Régis goes out of his way to make our lessons interesting and fun. He includes maps, photos and charts in order to demonstrate where we are “going” and what we are talking about. We practice reading (aloud), pronunciation and use of common phrases; we discuss grammar and proper usage of certain words and phrases. No question is too large or too small! Régis can pack more in an hour than anyone I know!
Qualifications? Régis has a Master of Arts in French, with High Honors from the University of Hawai’i-Manoa. He has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English and majors in French, Philosophy, English, German, Spanish. He also has a DEA in English (post-graduate/ pre-Ph.D. degree). No wonder he speaks English better than the rest of us! Besides being fluent in English, Régis is fluent in Spanish and, of course, French, and he is competent in Italian. He has taught all four languages. Régis grew up in Marseille, and his parents now reside in Corsica. He and his family LOVE to travel! They travel to see their relatives in France and Japan as well as visiting every place in between! From time to time, Régis produces a slide show (always incredible) of his trip(s) to show our class.
In addition to travelling, Régis LOVES “football,” as in soccer. Now that his son, Kalani, is old enough to appreciate the sport, Régis is delighted to share his passion. He also enjoys surfing, making photo journals and cooking healthy foods for his family. I’ve asked him why he continues to teach our class as he obviously doesn’t need to add to his busy schedule. He spends several hours putting together each lesson. Régis said that he wants others to appreciate his native culture and language. Of that, we are certainly fortunate and grateful.
Here’s to TWENTY MORE YEARS!