Louise – now and then

19th April 2012 1 By Nandini

One day about four years later, I got a call on my mobile phone while I was giving a presentation at work. Something made me answer it anyway. It was someone I knew from the ROC  – the Dutch school I had studied in after I had stopped the evening classes in the buurthuis. He told me that my teacher had died and asked if I would like to go to the funeral the next day. Again, without thinking, I said ‘yes’.

A couple of years before her death, for three mornings every week, I had contact with my teacher for about a year. On the first day of school, she stood before the class and said, ‘I’m Louise de Vries and I will be your Dutch teacher. Please address me as Louise’. I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand not because it was Dutch she spoke but because how does one call one’s teacher by her first name?

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