When I was about 8 years old, my aunt and uncle were posted in Paris for work for three years. My youngest sister was only a year old and my parents are not adventurers, so we didn’t visit. Instead, I decided that I was going to learn French in the year or two before they came back, so I could impress my aunt when she got off the plane.
I’ve always been ambitious.
However, at age 8 I was pretty sure that watching Muzzy (in the French version it’s pronounced MYOO-ZY) for a few months would make me fluent. I know you remember Muzzy: language learning in the form of a green, fuzzy, clock-eating alien on VHS. Obviously I was disappointed in that, but I did learn a lot of vocabulary and gained something else: my first exposure to another language and feelings for another culture. I watched that tape set like it was a freakin’ award-winning Disney movie.
I took middle school French (despite my classmates telling me that Spanish would take over the U.S. in 10 years, which at the time I laughed off), high school French, and by college was planning on studying in France. And all because I loved how Muzzy talked, and wanted Corvax to get in trouble for being a jerk!
I leave you with one of my favorite parts of Muzzy: the scene where they sing the vowels and ride a motorcycle up a rainbow and through space.