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Zachary Polsky

Job Title:

French Teacher


World Languages


Phone: (510) 577-9100



Started at O'Dowd:



B.A. French, Grinnell College, 1995 Ph.D. French, UC Davis, 2002 Credential, Dominican U. of CA, 2006

Originally from:

Berkeley, CA

Why I Teach:

It's the only thing I've ever really wanted to do. I don't think I could deal with a desk job or the 9 to 5 daily grind.

Most powerful teaching technique:

I always try to appeal to the students' sense of reason and encourage them to make good decisions for themselves. It's about them, not me.

Why are the subjects you teach important?:

French has had a profound influence on the English language. In terms of vocabulary, no two languages are more similar. And the French philosophy of the Enlightenment is the basis for our Constitution as well as many of our political beliefs.<br /><br />However, one day native Spanish-speakers will outnumber native-English speaker in California.

Favorite quotes:

"Le bon sens est la chose du monde la mieux partag̩, car chacun pense ̻tre bien pourvu" - Descartes, Discourse on the Method.<br /><br />"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Favorite trivia:

French is a national or official language in 39 countries. Only English is used in a greater number of places.

Recommended visual media:

"The Widow of Saint-Pierre," Dir. Patrice Leconte. "Au Revoir les Enfants," Dir. Louis Malle "Carmen" and "Tous les m̻mes," Stromae

Recommended reads:

So many books, so little time!

Hobbies or outside interests:

Piano, hiking, skiing, reading, doing crossword puzzles, travel.

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