Our public school education included French classes starting with grade 6, and these classes continued for the six years through to grade 12.
A cornerstone of the teaching materials in Ontario French education during the 1970s and 1980s was a series of videos featuring a lovable character named “Sol.” Sol was a clown, and his whacky franco-antics hit us not only in school, but also on TV Ontario, the educational television channel.
I remember “Sol, le Disc Jockey” and innumerable other skits designed to get us to understand one aspect of the language or another. And the skit I remember most of all was the one where we learned the words for breathing in and out: “Inspirer…,” Sol would intone, followed by a big breath in. Then “expirer…,” followed by a big breath out.
Here’s to you, Sol; my breaths in and out today are in your memory.