miss Coco's Story
Etiquette, foreign languages, and writing skills are what I call the “Triple Threat.” They are three necessary skills that you need in order to excel and succeed in many aspects and branches of life.
If you want to thrive in the entertainment world, your triple threat is probably going to be singing, acting, and dancing.
If you want to be a reputable doctor, sculptor, or professional basketball player, your triple threat has to do with three important skills obviously related to the trade.
If you want to succeed in life in general, Etiquette, foreign languages, and writing skills are indeed the “Triple Threat”.
For the 2019 autumn
in Hamilton, Montana
Please click HERE
to watch, please click on the Video
Teach me French
to watch, please click on the Video
Help me Write
(FRENCH or ENGLISH)
to watch, please click on the Video
About Coco, your host, your tutor, your personal coach
Bourges, a beautiful medieval town in the center of France is my hometown. Growing up, I loved academics, ballet, and classical piano.
I pursued higher education in foreign languages and commerce, got a degree as a commercial translator in French-English and in French-German, studied in Troyes, in the Champagne area of France, at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce / Institut du Commerce Exterieur, and at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
In 1986 I entered and won a students’ contest sponsored by the French-American Chamber of Commerce which took me to a trade show in Los Angeles, with all expenses paid for. I was a translator on the show for some French companies, and I met my later-to-be husband there. I went back to France to finish my last year as a student, graduated, got married in 1988, and moved to San Francisco.
I worked with my husband for several years until our first child, West, was born. Soon after, we moved to Montana and had a second child, a girl this time, Claire Marie.
I loved to be a mother and a true friend to both children. I loved every step of their childhood and teen-age years (yes, even the teen-age years!) and, although they are now far away from me, I am still very close to them.
I have always loved to teach. As a matter of fact, I have been a very busy tutor and coach for many years, teaching etiquette, French, but also English grammar and writing skills to groups and to private individuals.
In 2008, I produced a musical which was the fruit of hundreds of hours of work. It was a very dear project of mine, a tribute to my mother country, to my family, and to the French-American alliance during World War II. I gathered many anecdotal pieces and evidence from war time in France, assembled them like a puzzle, and built the poignant story of a young boy that fled the occupied zone in 1939, struggled, and found America. To my script I added songs, music, and arrangements, and I am hoping that someday the musical will be lifted to some new heights.
In 2010, I was appointed “Honorary Consul of France” for the State of Montana. Since then, I have been assisting and protecting the citizens of France and, for these specific functions, I am attached to the General French Consulate of San Francisco.
When my husband and I became empty-nested, I opened a French restaurant in Hamilton, Montana. I started small, and quickly had to expand as it became popular very soon. Within three years, I was running the restaurant, a French boutique, and a reception hall for special venues. Life was extremely busy for me, … too busy.
I had to make more time to teaching and coaching.
Making a difference in each and every student is my call and my dedication today.
Video Transcript for "Manners, Please!"
Let’s start with Etiquette – good manners, courtesy, rules of conduct…
Etiquette is not exclusive. It does not cater to “select people” or to the
“high class”or to the “top notch” society. Rather, etiquette is for ALL
and can help us ALL. Help us all?! Yes, help us succeed, help us feel comfortable, and be confident.
So, if you think that good manners are a thing of the past, a thing that only our grandmothers would care about… they are still very important today, and I would say even more so than ever. I will tell you why I think so:
If your children learn and apply the rules of etiquette, they have a plus, a huge plus that the majority of children no longer have today. They stand out. And they have a better chance in life compared to what I call “the norm”, those who ignore the rules – and when I say “ignore”, that means those who simply do not know them and those who refuse to apply them. Learning and applying are two different concepts, obviously. You can learn them, but you decide if you will apply them or not. And I suggest you do.
So, give your children all the tools necessary to have a great start! Teach them good manners.
In a lot of firms, one of the final steps of the hiring process for a new executive or personal assistant is actually to take the candidate out to lunch, and believe me, it is not just to have a nice meal somewhere, it is to check out how polished this person is and if he or she will represent the company favorably.
But keep in mind, etiquette is not only about table manners. It covers much more than that. It is about culture, it is a way of living, of entertaining, of socializing. It is everywhere, day in, and day out. So, I encourage you to learn or re-visit the rules of conduct with me, and I promise you will not be disappointed.
To learn more about "Manners Please!", please click HERE.
Video Transcript for "Teach me French"
Being originally from France, I am quite partial to the French language.
Also, I know that the French language is in demand as people tend
to be drawn to the “language of a sophisticated culture”, as I often hear.
That being said, there is much more to the French language.
A BETTER GRASP OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Any Latin-based language, and this definitely includes French, will help you understand your own language (most likely English), and, at the same time, broaden your vocabulary.
A BETTER DICTION
Throughout my classes, I never miss the opportunity to connect words together, compare languages, explain how a word got to be this particular word. Not surprisingly, my high school students score very well in the language part of the SAT.
Plus, it is a fact: foreign languages help your diction and your enunciation. Let me explain:
A BETTER ENUNCIATION
Teachers of foreign languages never mumble. If they mumbled, they could never teach their language of expertise effectively and successfully. As a result, learning a foreign language can only improve your enunciation because you start reflecting upon your own language, how you construct it (“syntax”) and how you speak it (“enunciation”).
You gain so much when you learn a foreign language. I have seen some children’s inquisitive mind blossom, and I have seen adults in awe. Oh! That‘s where the word “dentist”, for example, comes from, or “journal”, or “casserole”, or brunette. You scratch the surface of a word, and you get a world of words, believe me! So, what are you waiting for? How about doing it together?
To learn more about "Teach me French", please click HERE.
Video Transcript for "Help me Write"
I know, many of you have a hard time getting your thoughts in order when it is time
to write a letter.
A good letter, a good report, a good article all start with an outline, a good, methodical outline.
Whether it is a card, a note, a letter, a memo, a report, an article, it must be right to the point, sometimes firm, sometimes reserved, sometimes diplomatic and strategic, but always, always courteous.
It may be to apologize to a family member or a friend. It may be to ask for a favor. It may be a business letter to ask for payment or to clarify a situation. It may be a press release on a hot topic or sensitive issue. Whatever it is, it must be well crafted.
What does that mean? We already talked about the importance of the outline. That is one thing. But also, the grammar, the syntax, the punctuation, and the spelling have to be correct. Why? Because if this writing project of yours is going to either be in the framework of a business or be published on paper or online, your skills or lack thereof will be exposed. A business letter filled with mistakes is not going to be as credible as a skillfully constructed letter. Believe me, I know from years of experience. Also, people are inherently very quick at judging, especially if it is for the worse, and you can very easily be labeled as uneducated based on a poorly-written document… to which you may say, “Oh, no worries, I use the spell check all the time.” That is good. However, the spell check is not always accurate. It underlines SOME – not ALL – syntax problems, but it does not correct them for you. It self corrects some spelling mistakes, but it does not always correct words such as homonyms.
Finally, the words must flow. In the English language, we have multiple adverbs, transition words and conjunctions that do just that. They are the cement between words, phrases, and sentences. So, by all means, use them!
Good writing is an art. It takes practice, and it does not have to be a struggle. And remember, there are some people out there – and I am one of them – that are here to help you. At your service!
To learn more about "Help me Write", please click HERE.