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This page contains a single entry by Westley Annis published on June 30, 2008 9:49 PM.

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Soyez toujours votre propre personne

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“Soyez toujours votre propre personne.”

Because the five words above are French, many of students and their parents, descendants of the French who settled in south Louisiana generations ago, would get the gist of the sentence, even if they could not translate it directly. Most would not even realize that the phrase was in a language other than English.

Unfortunately, most does not include everyone.

At least one person has gotten his feathers ruffled because Cindy Vo, the valedictorian of Ellender High School, located in Houma, La., decided to say those words to her parents, in her native tongue, Vietnamese.

Rickie Pitre, a member of the Terrebonne Parish School Board, has a problem with Cindy Vo being her own person. Pitre is so upset that Cindy would speak those words to her parents in her commencement address that he is urging the entire Terrebonne School Board to enact a rule that all future commencement addresses must be done in English.

One can only guess that Pitre is afraid that Cindy Vo had a team of sleeper terrorist members with her at the graduation, waiting for her to say the secret phrase that would unleash a hostile take over of south Louisiana by a foreign group.

Should Pitre be successful in his endeavor, one can only guess that all foreign language classes at Terrebonne Parish schools would have to be canceled. After all, we could not have another student displaying their mastery of a second language upon their graduation.

To Cindy Vo, I say “Luôn luôn là người (của) riêng mình.”

For Mr. Pitre's benefit, that quote, and the French one above, means “always be your own person.” It doesn't mean everyone has to be like you.


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