About This Book
Assimilation: This word has many definitions. In this book “assimilation” is the process of learning the language, customs and job skills to cope in a different culture as well as being educated in the new language.
This book is autobiographical — my memoirs of going through the process of assimilating into a majority culture. Yet, in a greater sense the main point is not about me, the author. Instead, it is about the process everyone must go through to gain access to a satisfying, productive and purposeful life. The process is the same whether one was assimilated in the 18th century or the 21st century.
How to Read this Book
Many good, avid readers often go to Chapter I to start reading a book. This book is best understood and appreciated by reading the preface, the historical orientation, and the prologue first. These really help to prepare the reader for what is to come in the book. This is a case where “front matter” really matters.
This book is a non-fiction memoir, but written to read much like a novel. Additionally, it has a prologue and an epilogue which are usually found in books of fiction. These are also non-fiction, set in France, and serve to further introduce the book and to give it closure.
Real names were used for family members and close friends. Others were given fictitious names to protect their privacy.
The tone and mood are generally humorous.
Finally, unlike most memoirs or autobiographies, which are usually written in 1st person, I chose to write this book in 3rd person. My reason for doing so was that it, in a sense, removed me from myself to provide a measure of objectivity. It was somewhat like I was sitting in a crow’s nest watching myself making my journeys. I hope these unorthodox techniques work for you.
About This Author
Sidney P. Bellard is a retired educator whose career included teaching European history, civics, English, geography, sociology, French and adult literacy. Additionally, he was a high school vice principal and counselor in a private school and director of adult education programs in the public school sector. He has chaired state and national conventions and made state and national presentations on the topics of adult literacy, and convention planning. He has also served on state and national literacy boards of directors. His hobbies are physical fitness, cycling, reading, cooking, traveling and stained glass projects.