[Editor's note: Starting in Spring of 2018 we'll be regularly featuring Rype Coaches so you can learn more about the great community of instructors here at Rype.]
Current location: Dayton, Ohio. USALanguages Spoken: English, French, SpanishWhat do you teach at Rype? I have been teaching French at Rype for two years.What's been your favorite breakthrough moment with a student? My favorite breakthrough moment, with any student, is when I can see them having an ‘ah-ha’ moment. Yesterday, a student left me a voice message after our second lesson. She said she was driving down the road and suddenly realized why the name François sounds the way it does. Up until then, she couldn’t make sense of why çois sounded like "swah."But after I had explained the different sounds that vowel combinations make, she was able to make the connection between spelling and pronunciation in French. I could hear the excitement in her voice and it made me happy that she shared it with me!What is your favorite book?Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho is my favorite book. I love most of his writing. He is so insightful and wise. This particular book deals with the balancing act between being true to ourselves and fitting into the society in which we live.What would a "perfect" day look like for you? A perfect day for me would be a summer day that began in the garden. I enjoy being outside and I like to grow my own herbs and vegetables. I would walk inside to a clean kitchen and cook something amazing with the food I picked. Then someone else would clean up after me while I ate. I love to cook but hate to clean the kitchen. I would spend the rest of the day lost in a book or series without feeling guilty about what I wasn’t accomplishing.What is your approach to teaching language? My specific approach varies by student, because everyone learns differently. But there are three things I make sure to do with everyone. First, I start speaking French right away and we will begin to have conversations in French as soon as we learn what to say. Second, I will give you mini quizzes at the beginning of most lessons. Studies have shown that frequent testing helps us remember what we learn. Lastly, I will periodically push you past your comfort zone with the language. Some of the best learning happens when we are pushed beyond our comfort zone.What is your craziest travel story? When I turned 20, I went backpacking with my dear friend, Margaret. We took nothing but a tent and whatever clothes we could fit in our backpacks. We started out in Amsterdam, in April, and we really knew nothing about camping. We woke up with a wet tent floor, wet sleeping bags, and wet clothes the first night! I think we spent the first two weeks of our trip damp, without ever truly drying out. After a month there, we were broke and decided to go to a hippie commune in Spain that some of our friends had told us about. We hitchhiked and it took a week of sleeping in fields and riding with strangers before we made it to a little town called Orgiva which was near our destination. The stay at the commune is another story in itself! But the entire trip was my favorite adventures and is one of the craziest things I have ever done!What are you currently watching on Netflix / HBO? I am watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend for the second time on Netflix. It is an uproarious comedy with musical numbers and I can't get enough of it! I seriously laugh out loud at least once per episode.What’s the coolest project you’re working on right now? The coolest project I am working on right now is trying to turn my suburban backyard into a mini urban farm. We are in the process of building a chicken coop and trying to decide which breed and how many chickens to get so that we have enough fresh eggs to make plenty of delicious French Custards and Hollandaise!What's one thing you'd like to accomplish in the next 5 years? In the next five years, I would like to have actually written the story that I have been working on for the last few years. I would love to see it come to fruition, but as is so easy to do, I tend to put my personal dreams on the back burner.Share a guilty pleasure you have. My guilty pleasure is that I am captivated by Versailles. Both the palace itself and its history, but also the series on Netflix! The intrigue, the comedy of etiquette and the opulence. I can’t get enough of their clothes and lavish surroundings! I feel guilty for being so enamored with such over the top extravagance because it came at such a price for the French people. But I love it nonetheless. I can’t seem to help myself!