In French, I am a child.

Bonjour.  Bonjour.  Bonjour.  Merci!  Ah yes.  You in the front with the crown, thank you! Thank you, guys.  Yes! Did I just hear a whistle?  I’ll take it.   Wow.  Thanks.  Okay, shh!  Ah non?  Plus?  D’accord.  D’accord.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Holy Cow Wow.  Thank you!

It’s exciting to be here tonight.  I’m glad you came out in such crazy winds.  When I was first invited to the TED stage, I thought, me?  A simple crow researcher?  A woman with a heart full only of these winged animals and Airborne Vitamin C?  Mais, porquoi?  Porquoi, moi?

But, then I thought about it during my afternoon calisthenics and thoughts, “Of course, they chose you, you old dog.  You are known for your speaking ability.  People have described it as endless and abundant.  Uncontrollable! Unstoppable!  Unrestrained and unapologetic! But of course they chose you for this talk!”

And so, I begin.

In the English language I am an adult.  I am thirty-four years old.  I say complicated sentences to complicated people.   I ask rhetorical questions to my friends at Mind-Enhancement conferences.  Do I ask them because I am truly interested in what their lives are about?  Or, do I ask them only to prove a point?  I can read Shakespeare and Gertrude Stein and Annie Proulx poems.  Ah yes.  Of course.  It is obvious, no?

But, in the French language, I am a child.  I can say small remarks and they mostly have to be either “This horse is magnificent!” or “I hate this apple!”  And, so, I have realized this and in realizing this, I can learn because if I know I am a child, then I can learn as a child.

This concludes my talk.  Please don’t ask me about refunds.  I don’t know why but this question comes up a lot during my Q&As.  Thank you again.

(here are the “Lili & Lars” videos i’m watching to learn French)


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