Select a number to view video excerpt and read transcript
Question 12: Are there any noteworthy events that influenced your career?
I think that when I went to do my master’s degree, it really affected me because, first of all, I went to do the master’s in the United States and I didn’t know any English. It was surprising that I was accepted even though you were supposed to know the English language. But because of all kinds of circumstances, I think they found it interesting having a Canadian. I’m Canadian even if I was born in Belgium, but that was a long time ago. It’s kind of funny to say that I’m Canadian with the accent that I have. So when I arrived in Rochester, it really affected me because it was a shock. First of all, I was at a school where I didn’t speak the language, so the first thing one would normally do is learn the language in order to follow what was going on. Instead I had fun, I started to teach French to all my classmates, I gave visual French lessons. I mean I would take a picture of a tie then write tie, a loaf of bread, I took a picture of a loaf of bread and I put the bread then after, I knew that the bread… it was butter, and then ice cream, I liked your picture with… So it affected me. In the beginning when I was there I thought, I’m never going to be able to stay here, I don’t know the language, I don’t know what’s going on. But after a few months it changed, and as the school director Nathan Lyon used to say, anyway visual language is mumbo-jumbo, we’re the only ones who understand what we want to say.