Somehow I missed taking photos at this meeting so I thought watching a hedgehog getting a belly rub would make a nice substitute.  

Today Jennifer Brennan gave her classification talk, but instead of talking about her work at Harper College, she talked about her passion for the French language.  
Jennifer first took up French in high school and immediately knew it was something she wanted to pursue.  She spent a month in Quebec as an exchange student during the summer before her senior year.  That experience was the first of several study/work opportunities that took her to France and the Dominican Republic., where she taught English at a French school in the Spanish speaking nation. 
Canadian French and European French are very different.  Each can be understood, but the accents and colloquialisms set them apart.  It's akin to English in Great Britain and American English.  
French and English are actually closely intertwined with many words being adopted between the two languages.  The merging began with William the Conqueror's conquest of England in 1066.  He and his court imposed French on the land which led to many French words being Anglicized.  But beware - while there are plenty of cognates between French and English, there are just as many false cognates just waiting to make you look silly.  
Jennifer keeps up with her French through a local group of fellow francophiles.  It also serves as a compelling reason to frequent French restaurants!